How Being “Nice” Can Be The Shittiest Thing You Can Possibly Do

I’ve spent approximately 15 minutes staring at my monitor, trying to think of a way to say what I’m about to say without sounding like an asshole. But, since there is really no way to say “Women — attractive, smart, and option-having women — seem to like me…a lot” without sounding like an asshole, I’ve decided to just come out and say it.

Mind you, I’m not saying this to brag. I realize that I’m not especially special. I don’t make a ton of money, I’m quite a bit taller than the average man, but not tall enough for my height to really be considered a plus, and although I’m aware that some women are physically attracted to me, I’m not the type a guy that would cause an Elba-esque instaswoon. Even my personality seems to leave much to be desired, as my introverted nature tends to initially come off as either detached, aloof, and arrogant or shy, awkward, and reluctant.

Yet, despite all of this aggressively but solidly above-averageness, I’ve managed to cultivate many “successful” interactions with quite a few very, very attractive women, which leads me to believe that, right now, the main reason attractive, smart, and option-having women seem to like me is because they’re aware that other attractive, smart, and option-having women also seem to like me. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. (Or something like that)

Thing is, these successful interactions also have a tendency to end badly. Very badly. Thousand word long text message and restraining order badly. And, until recently, I was utterly clueless why. I mean, along with my aggressively but solidly above-averageness, I’m a nice guy who does nice things and shit. And, nice guys who do nice things and shit aren’t supposed to have to file restraining orders.

Now, there are myriad possible reasons why my relationships seem to end so shittily, the most obvious being that I may just be attracted to attractive but “unbalanced” women. You could also point out that by every available metric, there are more “eligible” Black women than “eligible” Black men, and this ratio imbalance — and the exaggerated ratio imbalance in some women’s heads — also means that certain women may take “losing” one of these eligible men much harder than they’re supposed to.

Solid reasons both, but neither really encapsulate the dynamics unique to the interactions I’ve had.

A couple weeks ago, though, a female friend very, um, “familiar” with my dating history shed some light on why this manages to occur so often…while also completely deconstructing me and my “problems.” (She’s talented)

(Paraphrasing)

“You do nice things for women, but you do them in a way that doesn’t seem like you’re only doing them to get some ass. You open doors and walk on the outside of the sidewalk and listen to what I have to say and even return text messages in a reasonable amount of time. Well, at least you return my text messages in a reasonable amount of time. You even always make eye contact.

Basically, you treat women like they’re special. And, it’s easy to see why they fall for you, because you treating them like they’re special makes them think that you believe they’re special. But, they don’t realize that you treat all women like that, not just the ones you’re trying to f*ck or already f*cking.

And, when you get bored or antsy or horny or hungry or whatever the hell it is that causes you to do this, you end things. Which is easy for you to do because you don’t have much invested, but it comes out of left field for the women because she thought you thought she was very special.

You are a nice guy, but you’re a f*cking liar. Which means you’re not really that nice of a guy.”

I had to defend myself.

“A liar? You know my history. When have I ever been dishonest?”

She continued the deconstruction.

“Dishonesty isn’t always about telling lies. You’re smart enough to know that acting a certain way is going to make women feel a certain way about you, and you do that while knowing you don’t feel the same way about them. You’re not doing this to hurt them intentionally. You’re being “nice” but your form of niceness is one of the meanest things you can do to a woman. Honestly, I’d rather get cheated on or hit by some asshole than have a nice guy I genuinely like pull some shit like that with me.”

“So in order to truly be a good guy, I have to be more of an asshole?”

“I’m not saying that. Just, well…ok. Actually, I am saying that. You’re not alone, though. Quote unquote good guys do shit like this all the time. What you’re doing is no different than the guy who stays in a relationship even though he knows it’s going to end. By being nice and not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings, he ends up prolonging it and making it so that when the relationship finally does end, her feelings are hurt even more. You don’t have to be a jerk about it, but just stop treating women like you want them to be your chick if you don’t want them to be your chick. Thing is, that behavior is so ingrained in you that you’re probably unable to change it.”

“So, wise one, how do I make some changes?”

“It’s easy. You’re dating attractive women that you don’t really want, and continuing the interactions because you feel like you should want them. You need to stop bullshitting with “safe” chicks you know you can obtain and start putting yourself out there and reaching for who you really want. Maybe you turn asshole and cut off women you’re not super into, but doing this allows them to find someone who would be. Basically, if you stop being a bitch, you’ll also stop being a f*cking liar.”

“Why do I always regret talking to you?”

“The truth hurts!”

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

***Hey everyone, if you participated in Five Dollar Friday and haven’t received your PDF yet, please hit us up at contact@verysmartbrothas.com, and I’ll make sure you get it.***

Going Nowhere Fast, We’ve Reached Our Climax

Heed the signs ninja.

One of my absolute favorite songs right now is Usher’s “Climax”. For various reasons: 1) its a sadly beautiful song that most people I’ve talked think has to do with sex, which I find humorous; 2) Diplo did the beat and I’ve never heard him make something so subdued and sleek; and 3) I’m just glad to hear Usher back making quality music instead of chasing trends. Usher’s had a fairly non-monumental go of it the past few years. Culminating in him jumping on the dance-music craze and making songs where the artist doesn’t matter at all because the music is what people know. Though, I can’t front “OMG” was my sh*t. But you could have given that to David Hung and it would have been a hit.

The main reason though (aside from just being dope) is because I’ve been there. The lyrics of the song are about two people who have basically reached the apex of their relationship and are letting go because the lows kept getting in the way of the highs. And neither person wants to give in so they let go. And sometimes, that’s what you have to do.

This might go against what everybody always preaches about the ability to work through things and that being the true definition of love. And maybe it is. But the TRUTH of the matter is that sometimes, you’ve made it as far as you can as a unit. Sometimes the best relationship decision that you can make is to “love each other separately”.

Every relationship has highs and lows. We all know this. The only way to thrive in those relationships is if the highs are higher than the lows are lower. For some odd reason, people seem to have an issue with letting go though. No matter how low we’ve been, we just need one high to convince us that we can regain all of those high moments that we had. We’re all relationship crackheads. One hit of possibility can erase all impasses we see in front of us. At least temporarily. But it allows us to believe in the potential. We have to right? That’s how we even got there in the first place, the potential. But maybe, just maybe, there is a climax to certain relationships.

I think most people know if the relationship they are in can make it. Or they at least have some idea. A lot of us hold on because we don’t know how to let go so we just stick around for whatever reason hoping to be convinced in one direction or another. That’s a somber way to look at relationships, but I don’t know that its totally off. Yes, you have people who are absolutely crazy in love and thats beautiful and something to aspire towards. You also have people who KNOW they should let go but refuse to do so for whatever reason. And that’s not a man or woman thing, its a people thing. We refuse to believe what we know; that we’ve gone as far as we can with this person because we’ve gone through too much to go on, and too much to go back. You’re at a place where you are ACTUALLY at the climax of your relationship.

When you get there you either choose to stay and slide back into the negativity, or you break up, move on, and miss that person while accepting that you’ve done what you had to in order to live your life being able to breathe. For many of us, love is our air. When you’re in a relationship with somebody that you love, being with that person is like breathing. For better or worse. If that relationship ends then you can’t breathe on your own…you need a ventilator of sorts which can be family, friends, a journal, etc. But eventually you have to choose to learn to breathe without that person. And that’s the circle of life. Everybody has been there. Love can make you feel 9 feet tall or make you feel as if you’ve been beaten up with a brick.

But you learn to breath again. The world ends until it starts again. And it always starts again. The key is to realize when you need to lock in for the long haul or when you need to bail so that you two can both move on and remember, but never forget. It is totally possible to go nowhere fast in a relationship. The sooner we all realize what type of situation we’re in, the better.

Recognize the climax. It’s okay to love somebody forever. But you have to realize what that love is costing you. It could be your forever.

So, VSBers, have you ever been in a relationship where you realized it had an expiration or had reached its climax? Were you able to let go for the betterment of everybody involved? Or did you have to learn the hard way?

Do tell.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. WE WERE TOGETHER, NOW WE’RE UNDONE aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

That Awkward Moment When The Relationship Ends

Awwwwwkard.

Relationships are full of  moments. There’s the first time you hold hands. The first kiss. (Hopefully) The first smang. The moment where you realize her cooking tastes like an a** sandwich. Or the first time you realize his toenails look like they fought in ‘Nam.

But moment’s don’t just exist inside of an official relationship. What about that moment when you’re talking to somebody and you realize “holy sh*tcakes Batman, I’m smitten with this motherf*cker” and then you momentarily nut up like LeBron James in the fourth quarter. Or the moment when you realize that you have got to have this person for breakfast. Not on some toot it and boot it steez, but on some, “I wonder if she’ll make me brefest…” steez. Or the moment where you realize that you are exactly where you want to be. But not like Donell Jones.

Every aspect of a relationship is defined or spearheaded by some moment of realization. And the end is no different. And the most akward moment for a man is the moment he realizes that he no longer wants to sleep with a woman.

Ever again.

Because that is the end of it even if exists for two months or ten years more. Conventional wisdom states that all men are wanton lustbags ready to rock and fire even if we have no emotional investment in a woman. And you know, that’s true…as long as we never had an emotional investment. If we ever get emotionally caught in a woman, the moment where we realize that we no longer want to do the beatitupright dance is a very confusing and confounding one. It’s enough to drive you to drink. Considering that the way most men tend to “show” their love is through their never-ending desire for their woman (five love languages notwithstanding), it’s no wonder that women lose their sh*t when their man can go weeks without even wanting to touch her. Yeah, we’re going to tell you that we’re fine and just stressed, but the truth is, we realized we don’t care if we see you naked again. Not only do we not care, we actually don’t desire to see it anymore.

And trust me, it f*cks with us just as much as it f*cks with any woman. At that awkward moment that we realize this, we know we’re stuck in a situation that we can’t just walk away from. Breakups either happen quickly via some sort of life altering event (pretty sure between punches, Rihanna said “I quit you”) which is the ideal or they happen slowly with both sides pretending that they’re still there mentally, which is clearly the calendar from hell. And I’ll go so far as to say that most women still are there, as women tend to stick around longer (mentally and emotionally) than we will for various reasons stemming from not wanting to start over to honestly having no clue what happened and refusing to believe that it can’t be worked out. Though I really think that the reason most woman refuse to acknowledge the end is because they don’t want to be wrong about their choice of man.

The relationship-slow-death is the most frustrating downfall ever. You’ve got two sides growing further and further apart while pretending to be as close as ever. But it had to start somewhere, and that’s the moment where the dude realized he didn’t want to let you play with his wang anymore. It’s a vulnerable time. It really is.

And you know it happens before actual relationships start (as referenced above). Dude can be out on a date with a woman that he was vibing with and found stimulating, interesting, attractive, and sexxy and in one fell swoop something can be said or done to murder that whole entire vibe. At which point, the dude might be like, “f*ck, I don’t even want to beat…what’s the quickest way I can get out of this Red Lobster, stick her with the bill, and go find that Kim chick from Cube’s “Today Was A Good Day” song.” I’ve seent it happen with my own two eyes. Trust me. While its purported that women know if they would sleep with a man within the first five seconds of meeting him, the decision about whether or not they will or not usually takes some convincing. Of course, us menfolks on the other hand, if we’re going out on a date with you there’s about a 123 percent chance that we will.

Which is why that moment is so awkward for a man…once you remove the sex from an equation where it’s 3 out of 5 variables, the relationship is dead.

So ladies, start asking the right question when things go south. Instead of asking (as you all do) “do you still love me?” ask the more pertinent question…”do you still want to sleep with me?”

His reaction, not his answer, will likely tell you everything you need to know about the future of your relationship. If that’s gone ladies, so are you.

Fellas, do I speak truth? What’s the moment when you know the relationship is ending?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka BIGHAND PIMPHAND JOE aka YOUNG P DA FLY THIEF aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Note: A ways back, Liz mentioned that yours truly makes some music for the people and what not. Well tonight, I released one of my projects on Twitter by my “group” Everybody Wants Free so I’m going to do the same here. It’s an album called The Social Loner. The entire project is conceived, composed, programmed, played, produced, mixed, sequenced, loved, and hated by Panama Jackson and his various alteregos. It was conceived of as a sort of motion picture score to a time in my life. Anyway, feel free to download it for free. It’s an instrumental album…a side project of experimental music. Anyway, enjoy. All feedback is good feedback so hate it or love it, feel free to tell me. I appreciate the support either way.

Everybody Wants Free (produced by Panama Jackson) – The Social Loner: Original Motion Picture Score (mediafire DL link)

Why Cheaters “Win” At Relationships

“Running a mile in under five minutes and thirty seconds”

This was my response to an interview question about the most difficult thing I’ve done as an adult; a “safe” answer that 1) allowed me to segue into some faux self-depreciating discussion about my star-crossed college basketball career (I started off with “Oh yeah. I played ball in college a long, long, long time ago.” It’s not a game with my faux self-depreciation game.), and 2) was a lie.

Ok, it wasn’t a total lie. The 5:30 mile — a somewhat pointless feat of mental and physical anguish my college coach forced us to complete before we were allowed to practice — still haunts me. While others have nightmares about death or falling or getting chased by groups of especially irascible midgets with full clown costumes, thoughts of track shoes and stopwatches give me cold sweats.

But, while running the mile was definitely daunting, it’s nowhere near as difficult as breaking up with a woman — a completely draconian task I’ve (unfortunately) had to do twice.

What makes breaking up with a woman so hard for a man to do? Well, it’s always difficult to give bad news to a person you care about. More importantly, though, much of a man’s life (and much of a man’s “success” in life) is predicated on convincing women we find attractive to say “Yes.” — “Yes, you can have my number,” “Yes, we can have sex,” “Yes, you’re allowed to cum there” and so on. This ongoing socialization has left most of us somewhat ill-equipped to say “No” to a woman we’re even marginally physically attracted to and completely ill-equipped to deal with the guilt-ridden emotional fallout of telling a woman “You know those things you do — the things I practically begged you to do when you still weren’t sure if you wanted to do them to me? Well, I no longer want to do them with you. Sorry!”

But, when I reflect on each of those failed relationships, I can’t help but come back to this one act, an act that could have saved each and prevented my break-up anguish if I’d been willing to do it.

Cheat.

Yup, you read that correctly. The general sense of relationship melancholy preceding each of the break-ups? Solved if I spiced things up by occasionally stepping out. The feeling of “This isn’t working. Maybe I need to end this and explore other options” the aforementioned relationship melancholy eventually leads to? Not an issue if I decided to explore other options while still attempting to work things out. The inevitable frustration with the idea of monogamy? Cured if I completely eschew the entire notion.

This issue goes well beyond me. Even the oft-cited reluctance of many “good guys” — and “good guys” in this sense are eligible men interested in healthy and monogamous relationships — to commit can partially be traced back to how most good guys feel about cheating. Basically, you can argue that it takes longer for a person invested in monogamy to commit because they understand that commitment to be somewhat final, whereas a person not concerned with monogamy will “commit” at anytime to anyone.

In fact, if I’d been willing to cheat — and assuming I was either clever enough to never get caught or with someone willing to forgive my repeated transgressions –  not only would I have “saved” myself from having to break-up with a woman, I’d probably be married (with children) right now.

I’m assuming these last couple paragraphs — which can be interpreted as pro-cheating — comes as a surprise to those familiar with my work. From “five completely selfish reasons why i’ve never cheated” — an entry listing, well, five completely selfish reasons why I’ve never cheated on a mate — to “35 reasons why he cheated,” I’ve made no secret my absolute abhorrence for cheating.

That feeling hasn’t changed. I still abhor cheating, but I’ve began to wonder if this abhorrence is less due to what I thought was some moral code than just plain ole envy wrapped in a layer of self-righteousness. Maybe I just hate the fact that while I’ve had to deal with relationship acrimony and break-up anguish, cheaters seem to take the “easy” way out.

I mean, if you’re spending countless hours and sleepless nights cramming for a final exam while your roommate has a cheat sheet with all the answers, how soon before you either start hating that roommate or just say “F*ck it” and ask him to make you a copy?

Who knows? But, do you know why I lied when asked to name the most difficult thing I’ve done as an adult? I knew the real answer would lead to a conversation I just wasn’t interested in having, and I wasn’t prepared to share what it would say about me.

Hmm. Kind of reminds me of the reasoning behind the lie we tell ourselves when saying “Cheaters never win.”

—The Champ

The VSB Files – Episode 001: And So It Begins…

beginningCheck out our inaugural VSB podcast as The Champ and Panama Jackson wax philosophical on just who the hell Liz is and what she does, Beyonce and what she is to mankind and potentially beyond, the greatness of T-Boz, and how some women JUST can’t get this break up sh*t right.

Welcome to the next level.

Maybe nobody’s going to see Otis, but The Champ and Panama Jackson?

We the voices.

Right Click/Save As: And So It Begins…

Alternate download link here.