The Only Reason Why Relationship Advice Even Exists

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In less than a week, VSB will celebrate its 5th anniversary. As of today, we’ve published 1289 entries, and those entries have received 472,695 comments. And, between the comments, email, Formspring, Madame Noire, Twitter, Facebook, and people recognizing the shirt and chasing me down at bus stops, the number of dating/relationship-related questions I’ve been asked and answered numbers in the thousands.

That’s thousands of questions about men and money and sex and cohabitation and celibacy and intimidation and exes and dating and independence and texting and where to meet people and dating men with ashy elbows from thousands of different people. And, controlling for occasional outliers, I’d say that (at least) 75% of the women asking questions already know the answers before they even ask.

So, why do they continue to ask? Well, the most common question I receive—and the fact that this particular question happens to be the most common question—answers that question.

As I’ve stated numerous times before, I’m not a dating and relationship “expert.” My particular form of “expertise” is just me combining my experience, education, and observations to give the most practical and objective advice I possibly can. That being said, there is one particular sub-subject I—and many other men (and women)—do have a real expertise with:

Random Woman: “Is he into me?”

While it comes in various forms and is constructed various ways, this is the question I hear the most. Unfortunately, after they’ve asked the question, and have volunteered the background info I’ll ask for to give a better assessment, the answer usually is “Sorry, but probably not.” 

Anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of a “Damn, I guess they don’t like me as much as I hoped” conversation or realization knows how it feels. And, knowing how it feels, giving that answer (usually) is not fun. It’s even less fun when realizing that they already knew the answer before asking.

This sounds delusional, which fits one of the most common stereotypes men have about women and relationships. But, delusion (usually) has nothing to do with it. It—and most of the rest of the questions I receive—is all about hope, hope that manifests in two separate ways:

1. “I know the answer already, but I hope someone agrees with me so I can be more sure about my decision.”

2. “I know the answer already—I can feel it in my gut—but I really don’t want to believe it. Maybe, hopefully he’ll tell me my gut is wrong.”

Much of the pushback people who dole out this type of advice receive is also related to the concept of hope. According to them, people (the advice givers) have positioned themselves to profit off of people’s (primarily women’s) hope by putting a tux and tails on common sense and calling it “genius.” While their concerns about the intelligence/independence level of the people asking questions—and the true motives and agendas of the advice givers—are warranted, this pushback has the tendency to minimize the fact that it’s easy to be objective when you’re not invested. Of course it’s easy to read an email or a tweet and deduce that person A doesn’t like person B as much as person B likes person A, and that person B is an idiot for even asking. But, when you’re person B—and, as mentioned earlier, we’ve all been person B at some time—it aint always as easy.

The variables constituting love and attraction are so intangible and so subjective that a level of hope is necessary to want, pursue, and maintain it. I mean, knowing how love has a tendency to completely and thoroughly f*ck us up, who in their right mind would even want that? Well, we do (Most of us do, anyway). As delusional and idiotic and nonsensical it seems, we hope it’ll be different for us. And, as long as that hope exists, relationship advice—an awkward way of finding some truth in a haystack of hope—will too.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Fighting Crime With Chicken Little: Why things aren’t nearly as bad as they seem

More common than you think

Although the rapture turned out to be a JaMarcusesque bust, a quick glance at the evening news and the hundreds of thousands of stabbings, shootings, muggings, murders, and animal rapes occurring in every city every day makes it seem like the end is definitely near.

And, when you consider that more and more recession-induced frustrations are going to make people lash out even more at their (bastard) children and the fact that the upcoming NBA and NFL lockouts are going to fill the streets with a bunch of unemployed and uneducated Robocop thugs wandering the streets with nowhere to go after they’ve used up their Strokers credit lines, things aren’t looking up.

It’s a war going on outside, no one is safe, son, it don’t matter if you’re 3 feet or 8’1”, and sh*t is just getting worse and worse and worse.

Or not.

From “FBI: 5.5 percent drop in violent crime”

Crime levels fell across the board last year, extending a multiyear downward trend with a 5.5 percent drop in 2010 in the number of violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decline in the number of property crimes.

Year-to-year changes the FBI released Monday in its preliminary figures on crimes reported to police also showed declines in all four categories of violent crime in 2010. All categories for property crime went down as well.

“In a word, remarkable,” said Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox. In his view, the declines signify success for aggressive law enforcement and corrections programs and comprehensive crime prevention efforts. He said the crime levels could easily rise if the current environment of state and local budget cutting extends to law enforcement measures that are working.

Wait, what??? I thought this was the end of the days!!! I thought things were getting worse!!! I visited my old elementary school last month and saw a 5th grader in a ninja costume chasing a lunch lady with a giant tampon!!! I personally know three 28 year old grandmothers who still gang-bang, and one of them is my accountant!!! A Nigerian nun broke into my house last night and shot me in the knee!!! It was a non-lethal wound, but still!!!

Nope.

The FBI reported that violent crime fell in all four regions of the country last year — 7.5 percent in the South, 5.9 in the Midwest, 5.8 percent in the West and 0.4 percent in the Northeast. The bureau’s preliminary statistics for 2010 are based on data from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Nationally, murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 4.4 percent, forcible rape decreased 4.2 percent, robbery declined 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault was down 3.6 percent.

Yikes! Cold hard facts have a funny way of quelling hyperbolic anecdotal hysteria.

Still, even with these numbers, I know there are still going to be people who refuse to believe that crime is actually getting better. People whose notions and fears and misplaced nostalgias will make them maintain that each and every hood is a carbon facsimile of the first 15 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan.” Chicken Littles who refuse to believe that there’s actually hope, actually room to go outside and inhale, and actual proof that the sky is staying right where it’s always been.

As I read that report, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between how our perceptions about crime don’t quite fit the reality and how our perceptions about love and relationships don’t quite fit those realities either. Everywhere I turn (including here) I read more and more proof that we’re a bunch of relationship retards, getting picked last for coitus kickball, destined to eternally ride the short bus of romance. We’re stupid, fat, ugly, undateable, DBR, and…did I mention already that we’re stupid, fat, and ugly?

And, while I’m sure there are people out there experiencing real dating and relationship acrimony, the reality is that things aren’t nearly as bad as they seem. The vast majority of black men are still completely enthralled with black women. Black women are still the baddest and bangingest beings on Earth (even if they don’t quite believe it yet).

We’re still getting giddy when we meet someone who makes us smile, we’re still saving voicemails left by that person so we can listen to them later, we’re still asking our dudes and homegirls for the “hook-up,” we’re still on dates taking up all the damn booth space at the Cheesecake Factory, and we’re still getting invites to weddings that’ll definitely be so hood that they’ll be hilarious. (“Wow. I’ve never been to a wedding reception with a breakfast buffet”) And, speaking of hilarious, Jet magazine still hasn’t run out of their seemingly never-ending supply of pictures and unintentionally hilarious bios of just-married n*ggas.

Can things be better? Definitely. Our main problem continues to be the fact that there’s a bit of a communication disconnect between us, but our increasing willingness to have open conversations proves this is a problem that can (and will) be solved.

I understand that sometimes the barometric pressure makes it so damn tight that we’re convinced the sky is definitely falling. But, when you’re done reading this, take a look out your window. I bet you it’s still there.

—The Champ

In case you missed it, check out our interview with Black Enterprise.

No rapture means that God wants you to stay on Earth and purchase the paperback or the $9.99 Kindle version of “Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime”

Lastly, we’d like to thank all of you for coming through and nominating us for FIVE Black Weblog Awards. We’re on the final ballot for Best Humor Blog, Best Writing in a Blog, Best Sex & Relationships Blog, Best Group Blog, and Blog of the Year. Please vote for us here.

Different Women Like Different Things…

It’s Friday.  Thankyajeefus.

I hope and pray that you all can access youtube wherever you are because what I’m posting right now…is that gospel.

As ridiculously retarded as this dudes philosophy seems, it’s right on point.  Or at least highly entertaining.

Definitely VSB-topic worthy.  In fact, this dude is making the video version of what could easily have been a post here at the relationship dope spot. Hmm…video discussions of posts?   Hmmm….

So…

VSB meet Mr. Chi City.  Mr. Chi City, meet VSB.

This video is entitled:  Keeping your refrigerator stocked will get you many women.

Watch.  And learn.

Annnnnnnnnnnd discuss.  Is dude full of bullmalarkey or is there truth to his shenanigans?

Just where is the Honeycomb Hideout?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD 3

How To Be A 3 And Pull A 9.

It’s no secret that I’m a 3.  It’s been alluded to at various points over the past few weeks on this blog by myself and by commenters.  It sucks but I can’t help it.  I’ve been outed.

I’m unfortunate about the face.  I’m a tragedy amongst the trolls.  I’m just plain ole…under-plain.

Insert sad face *here*.

But despite my tendency towards being unattractive, I’ve never really had any problems pulling attractive women.  Banging, even.  And even better, I don’t have any Hitch-like characters helping me do the things that I can’t do for myself.  Nope, I do my dirt all by my lonely.

Since I champion education, I think today I’m going to do a real service for the menfolks out there who are, much like myself, not hot.  You see, you too can be desirable even if God didn’t see fit to turn the tables in your favor aesthetically.

Word to this guy.

1.        Get her to notice you.

The most difficult part of being unfortunate faced is that well, people don’t like to look at ugly things.  It reminds them of bad things like recessions.  Brad Pitt reminds people of the Clinton years.  But being as women are so much more than just visual creatures, looking bad won’t stop all women from considering you if you have a great personality.  You just have to get some attention first.  Might I suggest tripping her and then helping her back to her feet while she’s trying to figure out WTF just happened?

2.        Be interesting once she’s paying attention.

And by interesting I mean, be yourself, just the yourself that’s charming – even if that charm is just plain ole goofiness – and approachably engaging.  What do I mean by this?  Well, I mean, one of the best qualities any person can have is the ability to hold a decent conversation where both people are forced to smile.  This does not mean pull out your schlong and attempt to put it on her shoulder.  That would be harassment which is kind of like the total opposite.

Fact is, all women want a man that they can talk to who doesn’t make them feel like less of a person.  Women like equals.  Women are all about the Civil Rights.  And voting.  Women like to vote.

Also, women like to find out about things they didn’t know about before.  Amazing isn’t it, women love it when the man they’re dealing with can open them up to new things.  And trust me bucko, you are a wealth of untapped information.  If you’re thing is wicker baskets with gang terminology woven in as designs, let her into that world.  Sure its strange, but she’s already listening, you might as well tell her about something she clearly knows nothing about.

3.       Be funny.

It has to be sincere though.  If you’re not a funny person this probably won’t work.  And it doesn’t have to be funny like Chris Rock with witty and intellectual humor.  You could just be the Every Man with a sense of humor who likes to smile.  B*tches love the smiley face.  If you can get her to give you the smiley face, then not only is she going to allow you to attempt to give her more smiley faces, she’ll start trying to make you smile too.

Then its all bedroom smiles baby!

By the way,  you NEVER want to date a woman who doesn’t like to smile.  Those b*tches are evil.

4.        Be nice.

The only women who really want a man who’s a jackass are the ones who don’t really understand the concept of “quality of life” yet.  They’ll figure it out eventually, but any woman who says, “He’s too nice, I feel like I can run over him” is looking for Bobby Brown.  Trust me, 10 years from now, she’ll be pissed that she still has to call around to find her husband and will have the County Jail Inmate Check-Up number on speed dial.

5.        Don’t believe that she’s out of your league.

Trust me dude, the key component to pulling a dime-piece is to get her to notice AND talk to you.  If you can make that happen, you have the same shot that a Boris Kodjoe doppelganger has.  Charm will get you everywhere in life.  I mean, think about it, the gift of gab is what makes the world go around.  It’s how I, Panama Jackson, have been able to convince women of clearly high standards to take a shot on this gangly, big nosed, big headed, lite-brite.

Of course, this won’t work every time as some women will think that they’re too good for you and will look at you like, “how dare you think you can even talk to me?”  I mean, everybody has an ego, right?  But you don’t want that heffa anyway.  She’s waiting for an athlete to date so she can get married and spend the rest of her time pretending he’s not d*cking down all the random trim in AnyCity, USA.

Nope, you want the woman who’s not afraid to smile, because that woman will give you a chance.  You just have to be willing to take it.

Or….

…be  rich, then most of this null and void.  All she really needs then is to see your necklace, she’ll start reacting.  And friend?

That’s what the f*ck I call a chain reaction.

Game. Set.Match.

Overall, pal, just have a great personality and you too can date a 9.  It’s that simple.

Ain’t I.

And by the way, I FULLY expect the women to chime in here with their tales of the uber-unattractive fellow they just couldn’t resist.  You all have them.  All of you.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3

Brotha’s Gonna Work It Out.

One of the main premises that’s arisen out of the myriad discussions that have occurred here at VSB.com is this:

Men and women just plain out view things differently.

I’ve long contended that the major reason that men and women butt heads so much is that men and women refuse to acknowledge the fact that we’ll never truly understand why we each do the things we do. Women think men are complex and men think that men are simple.

Men think that women are irrationally emotional and women think that women are only responding to the energy that men bring forth. It’s a tangled web we weave.

It’s like we eat because we’re fat. But we’re fat because we can’t stop eating. It’s a vicious cycle.

One interesting place where these differences arise that I, as a man, can’t really comprehend why the difference occurs is here:

When dating, men look for ass first and end up finding meaning with a woman. Women on the other hand look for meaning from the beginning and get surprised when men tend to be the very jackass that their daddy (if he was even there) told them to avoid. What this basically means is that women are always hoping for the best and probably hopeless romantics. But the problem with always hoping for the best is that there’s another half to that equation, and the two equal up to life. The second half is to prepare for the worst.

So when many women seem to be enthusiastically miffed the f*ck up by a man who only wants to see her naked, I’m genuinely surprised. Especially since every single woman I know believes that men just want to see them in their skivvies anyway. Yet somehow, even the most practical and pragmatic women is honestly shocked, dismayed, and disappointed when a cat she had high hopes for shows his ass as the South Street Slut Sleeper.

Now of course, I tend to believe that at their core, women are better people than men. Women operate on feelings and warm and fuzzy places. And men, well, we like warm and fuzzy places. Attached to legs. It isn’t that men aren’t good people, it’s just we’re more animally instinctual. We like to pounce on things and women make such fun things to pounce on. Grr.

Now there’s probably a good reason for the difference in women’s attitudes towards dating et al. Women are socialized to be more passive and to basically not be whores – which is good. Being a whore seems like it’d totally suck.

Um, no pun intended.

But the thing is that I think we men have it right when it comes to choosing our mates. We get all the whorishness out of our system and then decide its time to settle down and get us a wife and make a family. Most women just look for the first thing smoking instead of giving themselves the opportunity to fully explore themselves and let their soul glow.

They don’t let it shine through.

I understand why women seek out a husband first and then start dating, but I don’t really get it. Mostly because I know good and doggone well that as a man, it seems like there’s just too much to do before you get married.

But maybe it’s not for me to really understand anyway. Maybe that’s the beauty that is women. All full of hopes and dreams and belief in men allowing for the continuation of the species.

Good thing I’m a man then…since you’re hopes and dreams ensure that a brotha’s gonna get a chance to work it out.

And isn’t that what it’s really all about anyway?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST