Fellas, Lets Talk.

Fellas, we need to talk. Although we live in a time where women believe in equality by no means does that imply you can forget how to treat your girlfriend and how to carry yourself as a man. Here are a few guidelines:

1. Do not have a girlfriend if you cannot maintain her. Now I’m not saying you have to spend mad money on her and buy her everything she wants. However, it is your responsibility for AT LEAST the first six months of DATING to pay for your dates . This includes but is not limited to gas for your car, movies, dinner, clothes, bus fare, and or anything else that is relevant to the relationship.

2. Make the effort. Just because you have a girlfriend does not mean you can slack on being the man you made her think you were. In any relationship communication should be, for the most part, 50/50. Nevertheless, do not make her regret the decision she made to be with you by participating in random disappearing acts for more than 2 days at a time.

3. Watch your company. If you’re going to your girls’ house it’s cool to bring some of your homeboys, within reason, as she would bring some homegirls. Conversely, this does not mean you can bring a girl who is NOT blood related to her house. Not only is that disrespectful, it also leaves your girl wondering: what kind of girls do you kick it with? No girl, who has values or morals, will agree to go to your girls’ house (especially if you two are just getting together), and if you know one who will…. Go ahead and question their logic and I can promise you that she will have an ulterior motive. She was also wonder if you even refer to her as your girlfriend?

4. Stay respectful. You’re the man in the relationship (hypothetically) it is your job to be a gentleman. If you’re mad or frustrated for whatever reason, especially with her, by no means should you ever call her out of her name. Nor should you refuse to meet her wishes if she asks you to leave, you need to leave. You two can have a civilized and mature conversation about whatever the situation is when you are both calm. & even if she wants to have the conversation when both of you or one of you are mad, step away she’ll thank you & you’ll thank me later.

It’s becoming more difficult for women to find “good” men out there because of the expectation set out for us by media today. If you happen to grab one of those “good” girls you’re are lucky, don’t let her slip through your finger because you were too busy focusing on the quick fix media sets out for you. Please remember that I am 19 years old and all of these guidelines are developed from conversations I’ve had recently with my girls.

9 Comments on "Fellas, Lets Talk."

  1. Yohance Aug 28, 2010 · 3:28 am

    When i read this, I said “this must be written by a woman” because half of it is very vague, and the other half of it is so specific that it feels like it is pointing to very specific circumstances that happened to the writer.

    point #1 If we have been dating for more than 3 months, and I have been paying for everything, it’s not going to go ANOTHER 3 months with me solely paying. She should be offering to pay and should not be expecting me to always pay. By the 6th month I’ve established a pattern to where she’s going to expect that I always pay her way. I ain’t got money like that, and even if I did, I don’t want a woman that depends on me financially. Paying for all dates 6 months straight communicates that I am going to be the sole financial provider.
    Point #2 Any dude that disappears for more than 2 days with no communication at all either A. doesn’t like you that much or B. just likes his space and expects that you respect that. If he ever disappears for more than 2 days at a time either you are cool with it or not. If you are not cool with that, break up with him. It is a most clear signal that he doesn’t put your feelings in consideration. I’ve never met a dude that disappears without it being for a very grave reason. Otherwise, he’s boning someone else.

    point #3 what dude brings another random girl to the house of a girl that he’s dating? If he does that then that’s his homegirl, and if that homegirl is trying to make moves on your dude, then the man has made it clear that he puts YOU first because he is inviting another woman there. Otherwise I don’t see why any person would bring a 3rd wheel along if that 3rd person isn’t just a friend.

    Whoever wrote this clearly outed a large part of their immaturity in saying that they are 19 years old and discussed this with their “friends” who I assume are also of the same age range. Any guy that does anything that shows lack of consideration means he doesn’t put you first, plain and simple, which means you should keep it moving. Most men know most of the underlying things it takes to keep a woman around and to show dedication. There are certain things that need to be tailored to individual women, but these very BASIC rules show that you are dealing with a BASIC dude, who is not worth any woman’s time. This is coming from a 28 year old man who discussed this with a 29 year old friend who is engaged to be married.

  2. Stacee Brewer Aug 31, 2010 · 3:27 pm

    Yohance-Once I was able to overlook your condescending tone I was able to see some merit in your points. In regards to your first point, do you think maybe you would feel more comfortable paying if you “had money like that”? I don’t think it communicates you will be the sole financial provider, but rather you can hold it down if need be, as a man should. The timeline is unnecessary. I do agree that if a dude disappears for days he is likely not interested; however, as you stated in your comment this should probably be tailored to the individual. Maybe the guys who are busy for days are the ones who “have money like that”. Lastly, I don’t think referring to the author as immature is really necessary, given she stated her age and is obviously aware of her inexperience in the matter. Perhaps she targeting that audience?! Does the fact you are 28 and your friend is engaged make you an expert? Didn’t think so.

  3. AFortenberry Aug 31, 2010 · 4:24 pm

    Yohance, thank for taking the time to read and respond to my post. First, I would like to say that although my target audience is people my age (16-20), there are some “grown” men and women who may benefit from a fresh perspective on dating as well. I am aware of my limited experience; but experience isnt equivalent to insight. Second, my points are based personal experience and I thought I made that clear when I specifically said that everything I wrote was from conversations I had with friends. I made points similar to yours in my discussions with them and still came to the conclusions above. That being said, I completely agree with your belief “There are certain things that need to be tailored to individual women, but these very BASIC rules show that you are dealing with a BASIC dude, who is not worth any woman’s time.”

  4. William Aug 31, 2010 · 4:36 pm

    I enjoyed the post. You simply stated traditional values that its clear we need to return too. There could be some differences based on regional expectations. Southerners tending to be more traditional than our coastal neighbors.

    There is absolutely no reason if a man is courting a woman that he should not be paying. Traditional values is certainly something African America needs to return too when almost 50% of the population that is able to marry has never been married. Men are traditionally providers and women nurturers. Not to mention based on historical perspective it was the man who had to provide the dowry to a woman’s family in order to take her hand. This has simply evolved with the times but there it is still a layer that exist. As long as she is understanding of your financial situation and not asking for Red Lobster every time I see no problem. And as a man learn to say no. If you can’t afford it at the time just say honey that’s not in the budget. She’ll understand. If she doesn’t you don’t want her.

    Of course the author wrote this from her own experience which I have no issue with. If you stick with her general points though they are pretty well stated. Don’t do the things that it took to get the woman and then become complacent. Relationships require a lot of work.

    As far as the company a man keeps. Every man knows there are women in his space with not the best intentions. Hopefully he has enough sense to keep the distance. At the same time both parties must recognize that their were friends of the opposite sex before you. Its something you have to respect. Being secure in the relationship. As a man/woman there should be clear differences though in how you treat your friends of the opposite sex and your significant other. But never expect your significant other to abandon a genuine friendship just b/c of a relationship.

    Being respectful. Gracious I could write a book on this in our community. Whether its the times or a cultural shift. The tension that exist between African American men and women exist. The lack of respect for each other and the lack of understanding I see is making me question if our relationships can be repaired.

    I look forward to seeing how your experiences will shape you going forward. Continue to write. You’re off to a good start. Age isn’t always a barometer its more about the experiences. Although a lot of times experiences come with age. Just continue to be able to look at the broader picture in the context of your own experiences and you’ll do fine.

  5. kclehman Aug 31, 2010 · 9:08 pm

    William, love your Southern perspective.

  6. AFortenberry Aug 31, 2010 · 10:04 pm

    William, thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I appreciate your being able to look past anything that is under or over defined & my age & also being able to see that these are things that people have told me they’re experiencing. You’re right, time have changed and it seems we have lost track of traditional values such as respect for a your love interest. In addition, thank you for your words of inspiration and I also look forward to seeing where my experience takes me.

  7. Yohance Aug 31, 2010 · 10:47 pm

    I apologize for sounding too rough or brash, but lately I have been hearing a lot of dating issues from women who talk a lot about their requirements but never the reasons why they are there. In fact, certain themes keep coming up which is how many women end up gettin played, which also angers me. I’ve written a more in depth post which will ebon the site soon. Peace

  8. Yohance Sep 1, 2010 · 3:20 pm

    Wrote a response bout it, like you to hea’ it, hea’ it go…

  9. Chris L Sep 1, 2010 · 6:24 pm

    I enjoyed the post as well. Yohance & William do bring up some good viewpoints from a man’s perspective. I’m not mad that you are targeting 16-20 year olds because this information is good for them to have before they get deep into their 20′s and the dating scene.

    The fact that money is the first point can be a little off-putting. There are men who get turned off when questions about work/finances are immediately brought up because it seems like that is the woman’s ultimate goal. Most men understand the unwritten rule that they are going to be coming out of pocket for dates, and its not a big deal. But putting a timeline on how long I have to pay and for what (clothes?) is not cool. I wouldn’t ask a woman to pay for the whole date. But if we’ve been going out for a few months and you don’t even offer to pay for valet parking or an inexpensive lunch, most men will start to wonder if the woman will ever open her wallet in front of him. Honestly, if a woman has never paid for ANYTHING since we’ve been dating for 6 months, why would she expect to pay for something later on down the line?

    Putting in effort is a requirement if you want the relationship to last; both parties should be communicating their feelings and expectations. That way you know if this relationship is worth all the effort you’re putting into it. I know in this technologically advanced world we live in 2 days without communicating seems like 2 weeks, but life is hectic. If the guy (or girl) has a honest reason for not hitting you up, that’s one thing. But if the disappearing act is a regular thing, somendy needs to start explaining.

    As far as company, it would first need to be said if you and I are spending quality time together, or are we hanging out as a group. I feel a woman who gets upset if you bring your boys around when she’s trying to spend time with her man, but I don’t want to come by alone and you and your girls are chatting it up. Everyone is going to be suspicious about a single person they don’t know around their partner. That goes along with the last point; respect.

    Respect is a two way street and seems to be missing in the relationships between black men & women. One thing that bothered me with this point is you want a man to be mature and a gentleman. But then you throw “hypothetically” in there when talking about him being the man in the relationship. You asked for respect, then just disrespected him. I know there is a lot of tension in the air when differences come up in your relationship (and they alway will; you’re two different people). As a man, you should not call her out of her name just cause you’re mad. You’re just making the situation worse. But women need to watch their sharp tonugues as well, and act like a lady. Just because society teaches men not to have feelings doesn’t mean we don’t have any. Like you said, sometimes its best to just go to our separate corners and let cooler heads prevail. Acting on anger usually make things a whole lot worse.

    Unfortunately, I do agree that it is getting harder for sisters to find good quality men. That is a whole topic in itself (crime, prisons, drugs, education system, family structure, etc.). Men, if you honestly feel like you can’t be or are not fully ready to be in a relationship, tell her and end it. It may hurt a little now, but it will hurt much worse the longer you wait. (She’d rather hear it from your mouth than to visually see it for herself). Women, if the guy you are with is not what you really want, or you’re with him just for his monetary values, please be a woman and end the relationship. He won’t be happy finding out the hard way either. This will save a lot of heartache and hopefully won’t ruin it for the next man or woman who you meet.

    Love the post. More open and honest dialogue is needed on these kind of issues.

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