Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Guest Blogger, Lists, Theory & Essay, Uncategorized

The Don’ts of Dating: How to Lose a Good Thing in 8 Days (Part 1 of 2)

This is another collaboration between Panama from VSB and Rahiel Tesfamariam from Urban Cusp. It is a bit long. So kick back and peep game. This is a little back and forth on what drives women crazy and how men view those same things. Enjoy.

A “He Said”/”She Said” Analysis on Dating, Love and Relationships

"My girl grillin' me. I got to go. This isn't going to end well."

What happens when you ask a group of women to tell you about some of the worst habits that men from their past have shared in common? They instantly become great writers, historians, and comedians who don’t shy away from exclamation marks and ALL CAPS. Here’s a short list of things guaranteed to drive 99.9% of good women away and how a man might justify doing these things, from two people who have been there (or who at least know someone who has).

1)    Habitually “checking in” and then falling off

Rahiel: His nickname is Mr. Check-in. Why? Because he’s the king of “I’m just checking in.” Rain, sleet, or snow – he’s guaranteed to call, text or email to ask about her day, family, and current affairs (like conflict in the Middle East). But it never amounts to anything (dates, a relationship, meaningful dialogue) besides him soon falling off of the face of the earth. Only to resurface weeks or months later – just in time to “check-in” again. He has seemingly devoted his life to keeping a foot in the door until she finally figures it all out and tells him to “checkout” or simply gives him a taste of his own disappearing act.

Panama: Is it really men’s fault that we like being cordial? In fact, it’s women’s fault for assuming all of those convos are supposed to lead anywhere. Plus, only in a woman’s mind does a man calling to ask sincere questions about how she’s doing and what she’s up to come across as rude and disingenuous. If it was your insurance salesman, you’d be pleased as punch. Your dentist calls every six months, but if we do it, then we’re playing games? I’m calling shenanigans on this one. We “check in” because you crossed our mind – plain and simple. Be glad somebody’s thinking about you instead of being upset that somebody out there in this great big world thought enough to send a simple, “I hope all is well.” I’m convinced that women and bobcats are the only species on the planet who believe that every single action has to lead to something. Live like the honey badger. Besides, you’ll be dead soon enough and nobody will text you then.

2)    Doing the bare minimum

Rahiel: He asks her out on a date, she accepts, and he responds, “So, figure out what you want to do and let me know.” This is what one of my girls had to say about that: “Why do I now have to plan everything?  Wasn’t this date your idea?  I think it says a lot if a man at least puts forth the effort to suggest something you could do on your date OR God forbid actually has everything planned. I think the complete lack of effort is either laziness, lack of leadership ability, or a sign of a self-centered man who does not think he needs to put forth any effort all.” This doesn’t mean that the blueprint has to be laid out, but where’s the initiative? Having ideas in mind and having made efforts to plan things out suggest interest, responsibility, and consideration for others. And those things never go out of style – even if you think chivalry has.

Panama: I totally agree on this one. Any man who won’t put at least a little effort into planning probably isn’t really that into you. I’ve been that guy before and I honestly feel bad about it sometimes. I’m almost sure I owe a few apologies too. But you live and you learn. You know what though? You have to be careful with this one as well – not to read too much into it. Some guys are just chock full of knowledge of random and interesting things to do because they like doing them. Of course, those guys are a win for you. Just remember, you might feel special, but he took a chick hang-gliding yesterday too, boo. But in general, the least a man can do is plan a day or an evening that you’ll spend together unless it’s agreed upon that you’ll just be streaming Netflix movies and ordering take out. Or watching reality television. Or yada yada yada.

3)    Acting like a “sweatbox”

Rahiel: Growing up in DC, there were particular words you never wanted associated with your name. After bamma and hoodrat, sweatbox was high on the list. The term has historically been used to reference a man or woman who excessively admires another individual – to an embarrassing (for all) extent. Somewhat of an unsolicited hype man. Sweatboxes weren’t cool back then, and they’re not cool now. Women may vary in what they deem as an “acceptable sweat level,” but no one (in their right mind) wants to be contacted so much by you that it borders on stalking and begs the question: you don’t have anything better to do in life than worship the ground I walk on? 

Panama: Again, I’m calling shenanigans. This is complete and utter nonsense. And do you know why? You only feel this way about the guys you’re not interested in. If you are feeling him then he can’t call you enough. If you like him he can text you 1,000 times a day and you’ll think each one just shows how much he likes you. You’ll rave to your friends about how much communication you all share. THEN you’ll always be available whenever he’s available. This is only an issue when the dude you aren’t interested in keeps calling you. That dude is a nuisance. That dude doesn’t get the message that you’re not interested. That guy is the “sweatbox”. The guy you like? That guy is thoughtful and charming and can’t seem to get enough of you. That guy treats you like a queen… and worships the ground you walk on and you love it. Miss me with this one.

4)    Talking a good game but never following through

Rahiel: He didn’t enroll in “How to Keep a Woman Happy 101” while in school and therefore doesn’t know that he should never tell her he’s going to do something and not actually do it. To him it’s just a phone call that he neglected to make (for the 100th time nonetheless), but to her it’s an epic failure and betrayal. Why? Because if she can’t take his words to the bank and trust that she’ll get a return on them, then they’ll quickly become null and void to her.  And we all know that if you’ve lost a woman’s trust, you’ve ultimately committed relationship suicide. One word sums this all up: integrity. One female friend informed me that a lot of her girls have resorted to launching hi-tech investigations on new men that come into their lives.  This entails checking all social media sites,  wedding websites, and the registry lists of popular stores for wedding and/or baby registries. Really? It’s THAT serious now? What ever happened to full disclosure?

Panama: Seems to me like you’re talking about two different things: follow through and honesty. Now yes, they are related, but obviously, some men don’t follow through because they don’t mean it in the first place. Blame the first woman who ever let him off the hook: his mama. Plus he’s probably only saying what he thinks you want to hear and it isn’t worth it to him to follow through because what he wants from you and what he gets are one and the same. No need to do better for you because he isn’t convinced that he can’t do better than you. Now on the honesty side of things, well, we all lie. Or rather we all tell versions of our own truths; women too. Y’all don’t tell men upfront that you’re crazy just like he didn’t tell you that he had a wife. Equal trade off? Nope. But you’ll probably both end up dead in a few months dealing with each other anyway so whoopty do. By the way, while I do understand the desire to do a Google search on anybody you meet, some women take it too far. If you keep trying to find something wrong, you WILL find something wrong. Real talk, what happens in Mexico that ends up in the press, STAYS in Mexico. Oh and miss me on the full disclosure because very few women are going to put their nonsense in the street while expecting the man to let her know everything she needs to move forward. Women are information hoarders without wanting to do the same. Stop it.


Ladies? Fellas? What’s your take on those situations? Talk to me.

-VSB P and Rahiel Tesfamariam

Check back tomorrow on Urban Cusp for Part 2 of this series.

Meet Urban Cusp’s founder/editorial director Rahiel. You can follow her on Twitter @RahielT. Follow Urban Cusp at @UrbanCusp and join Urban Cusp’s fan page on Facebook.

Filed Under:
Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at

  • This post feels like an episode of “Crossfire”…remember that show?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Wave Cap Willis. I do.

  • I agree with you all the way through. As far as the second point; I’m not good at making plans because I’m just happy enough to be getting the chance to spend time with you.

  • Mo-VSS

    The only one that strikes me as odd is the one about honesty vs follow-thru. They aren’t one in the same and I don’t see why it was connected in the first place. You can follow-thru and be dishonest and you can be honest and not follow-thru. *Shrugs.

    I agree that a dude who calls to say hi or “check in” is sexy…when I like him. When I don’t then it’s unwanted, annoying and borderline harassment. So many “rules” of dating are dependent upon a person’s level of interest in the other. If it’s high, then the other person can damn-near do no wrong. If it’s not high, then no matter what the other person does fault can be found.

  • *long dramatic Beyonce-size pregnant pause ….

    These are all true. Everything in life is a mutha truckin’ job interview. <<<<—- see what I just did there? Me neither. :)

  • Liz

    I guess overall I agree with the list. Several of the items are what pissed me off in a previous relationship. It is what it is.

  • #2 I can completely relate to. Why can’t men just say they aren’t interested even if they already asked you out? IJS. It would be nice to go on a date that the guy planned and pay for. Some women do believe in old-fashioned relationship rules. I’m one of them.

  • i agree with panama on number 3. there’s no way a woman is going to say that a man is sweating her if she’s feeling him. he could show up at her window after the first date with a boombox raised over his head sending love songs through the air. matter of fact outside of proposing on the first date there’s not too much he can do that will make her feel like he’s sweating her.

    number 2. i agree with rahiel. its not that hard to plan a date that doesn’t include dinner and a movie. especially if you live in a progressive city. it doesn’t even have to be that expensive. with the advent of the internet all you have to do is search for activities.

  • A man who constantly “checks in” w/o any progress has little to do with being cordial. He’s checking in to keep himself relevant so she doesn’t forget about him. That way, he can take his sweet time playing the field while he remains an option.

    I have zero patience for bare minimum people…not just dating. I think it’s a sign of a bigger personality flaw.

    Sweatbox is funny. I’ve never heard of that term. I agree with PJ, we only throw that term to men who we are not interested in however I have met a few guys I was interested in until they went overboard with the advances. I do notice a trend of ppl calling everyone and their mama thirsty or sweatbox or whatever. Unless the person is being innappropriate, I think it’s lame to complain about being hit on too much. Unless you’re Beyonce, have a seat. It sounds so self-righteous to me. Just let the person know you’re not interested like that and keep it pushing.

    #4 is a friggin pandemic. Ppl hype themselves up to the point of lies. This is why I like to focus on actions and I’m not big on word play. I’ve never been attracted to men who talk a lot either. I’m one of those women who will do a google search on dates. I don’t think I go too far but I will browse. I learn a lot and yes I’m open with someone I’m trying to get to know. Not all women are secretive. I make no apologies for who I am and I rather a man know the real me. I know how to be a lady in the street and don’t have any skeletons so that’s all that should matter.

    Good post.

  • SpottieOttieDarlin

    Great list and I thought both POVs were well-explained.

    My only addition….. I don’t ask for much, but consistency is everything.

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