Ask A VSB: He Hates My Natural Hair!

Cute Lioness style.

(Damon’s latest at Madame Noire advises a woman whose boyfriend isn’t a fan of her new hair)

Hey Damon,

I recently decided to cut my hair off and go natural. I made the decision on a whim and I felt empowered doing it and I love my new TWA. But my boyfriend absolutely cannot stand it. This is who I am so I’m wondering whether or not our relationship stands a chance? What do you think?

-Newly Natural

Dear Newly Natural,

That’s a tricky question, for many reasons.

It’s possible that he doesn’t dislike your natural hair, just the particular natural hairstyle you have. Just as there are dozens of different things women can do with weave or relaxed hair, there are dozens of different “natural” hair styles — twists, afros, short dreads, long dreads, braids, etc.

I bring this up because it’s often implied that if a Black man doesn’t like a Black woman’s natural hair style, he’s a self-hating slave to the euro-standard of beauty. And while that may be true in some cases, usually it just comes down to a man getting used to his woman with a particular hairstyle, and not immediately feeling the change.

Also, although men are the ones who get criticized for being upset about a woman’s hair change, many women actually would feel the same way if their bf/husband made certain hair-related changes. For all the women attracted to and/or dating men with dreads, I’m sure you’d feel a certain way if you came home one day and he cut all of his hair off. Same with the women who attracted to and/or dating men with full beards. And, I personally know that my fiancee would have an issue if I went all Pusha T on her.

You also have to consider the fact that maybe it’s not about the hair. Perhaps he’s upset you made that decision without discussing it with him first. Not asking permission, mind you. But discussing it. Perhaps the hair issue is a symptom of a deeper communication problem.

That said, a situation like this can say a lot about your relationship’s health. Basically, if he’s truly into you, he’ll eventually get over it and get used to your new hair. Maybe he won’t ever love it, but it won’t be a deal breaker either. And, if the hair continues to be an issue, he’s not the one for you.


Damon Young

(Read the rest at Madame Noire)

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: “I Want My Husband To Know He Broke His Mistress’s Heart”

***The Champ’s latest at Madame Noire puts away the snark and gives some advice to a woman conflicted about her husband and his old mistress***

I have been married for 12 years. About two years ago I found out that my husband had an affair. Since then we have decided to work on our relationship and repair our marriage. However, what still concerns me regarding my husband is the emotional connection he had with this other female. She and I had an extended conversation were she admitted her love and desire for my husband. To be honest I feel bad for her. Yes she had an affair with a married man but a broken heart is abroken heart. What I want my husband to realize is the negative impact that he made not only in our lives, but in this other women’s also. Am I asking or expecting to much?


Mistress on My Mind


Dear Mistress on My Mind,

Wow. Your husband needs to thank God every night for allowing him to marry such a caring, compassionate, and forgiving woman. I know there are people who’d consider a woman taking back a cheating man to be weak or a pushover, but if you trust that it was a one-time thing, the type of strength it takes to move on from that and legitimately forgive is rare.

With that being said, I do wonder why you feel the need to have your husband “realize the negative effect” of breaking the heart of the woman who almost ended your marriage. If you’ve made the mutual decision to repair your relationship, I’m sure this decision has come with the realization that he effed up and needs to make amends. And, while your concern for your husband’s mistress is commendable, I wonder if your concern is about her or if you just want your husband to feel worse about what he did. If it’s the latter, you haven’t actually forgave him yet, and maybe the relationship repairs aren’t going as well as you think they are.

You’ve been put in an unenviable position by actions made by your husband and your mistress—actions that were completely out of your control. Now, by attempting to forgive and focus on your marriage, you’ve asserted control. Keep that control by keeping the focus on your marriage—the relationship between you and your husband—and not your husband’s mistress. As I stated earlier, it’s commendable that you’re even able to harbor any type of positive thoughts or feelings about her. But, learn from your husband’s mistake. He almost ended your marriage by bringing another person in the picture. Don’t ruin the reconciliation by bringing her back.

Read more at Madame Noire

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Am I Really Annoying Him?

Dear Damon, I was with a man and we have been off and on for the past year and a half, he recently lost his job and somehow that has changed everything between us. When we first met he used to love having debates with me just because we have different opinions and our information was always from different sources. He’s an information junkie but I’m a student. He used to tell me how smart he thinks I am and how he loves that I am so articulate but since losing his job he barely wants to be around me or communicate with me because he says I annoy him. The last time we spoke I asked him if he was still planning to come to my graduation, two hours went by and still no reply from him so I told him he no longer has to give a response I will take it to be a no. This infuriated him and he said it’s things like that that make him not want to talk to me. My question is can someone who truly loves you and want to be with you, which he claims that he does, find you that repulsive to the point where they don’t want to be around you or talk to you, or is something else most likely going on?

Dear Shelia,

Let me share something with you. When I respond to these letters, I usually try to stretch a two or three sentence answer into two or three paragraphs. I employ this tactic for various reasons—to give context to a certain point, to make an analogy so that a point is better understood, to riff about Love and Hip-Hop etc—but overall, the main reasons are to soften the answers and make them more readable. Even if a 300 word long question could be answered in three, I try to shy away from doing that because it seems condescending and (just as importantly) no one wants to read that.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because I’m struggling to provide an insightful and non-condescending answer your question, because the answer is in the first sentence of your question. He lost his job. He’s obviously upset about this, and the emotional, mental, and financial strain of losing employment has begun to strain the relationship. Honestly, the fact that you haven’t made this connection—and you using hyperbole like “repulsive” to express a point as well as you taking a two hour gap in communication as a sign that he doesn’t want to be with you—shows me that you both might be a bit too young to even be thinking about serious relationships (and also kinda proves his point about you being annoying).

Read more at Madame Noire

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I Cheated On Him Some Time Ago. Should I Tell Him?

***The Champ’s latest at Madame Noire includes questions and answers from his weekly Facebook chat***

Jasmine: What is the most reasonable time period in which a woman should receive a proposal from her boyfriend?

DY: I don’t believe in an arbitrary set time for things like that. But, I will say if you’re in your late 20s and above, just “dating” for longer than two years probably isn’t the best look

Nita: Who comes first in your life, your wife or your mother?

DY: Wife. In my opinion, a wife comes before everyone else, including children

Cynthia: Why do today’s men want women to take care of them?

DY: Men, by in large, follow the path of least resistance. Basically, (some) men expect women to take care of them because (some) women are willing to do it.

Shahdae: Is it okay to date more than one guy at a time?!

DY: Of course! Dating is supposed to be when you’re out meeting people and finding out what you like/don’t like and need/don’t need. How are you going to do that if you don’t date multiple people?

Clarissa: If you cheat and know you made a mistake should you tell your man or take it to the grave?

DY: Honestly, it depends on when. If this happened some time ago and he’s unlikely to find out—and you know it won’t happen again—I think you should keep it to yourself. Although it seems “honorable,” letting a person know about something they’d never hear about otherwise—something that would definitely hurt them—would likely be more about you having a clear conscience and feeling better than anything else.

But, if this happened recently, you probably need to tell him because your sexual behavior has put him at risk. He needs to know that. Either way, your first step should be to get tested.

Read more at Madame Noire