If you ask Demetria Lucas what she thinks, be prepared for a jolt of raw reality. For the past few years life coach Lucas has dished out advice on everything from bad BFFs, falling for your FWB (friend with benefits) and freaky sex at her website, A Belle in Brooklyn, and in her column, Ask Demetria, at The Root.
She pulled together some of her favorite questions, and no-holds-barred responses, for a tantalizing new book, Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love.
The Root: What does the title mean: Don’t Waste Your Pretty?
Demetria Lucas: “Pretty” is shorthand for all the resources that women take for granted in the dating marketplace and often give away to the wrong person. Your “pretty” is your energy, emotional investment, time, listening skills, nurturing, sex, sacrifices, cheerleading, hand-holding, etc. The “pretty” I refer to in the book title is also a resource, but it’s the least important of what you bring to the table. Pretty gets you noticed across the room, but it’s everything else you bring to the table that keeps a potential partner calling and coming back.
TR: A lot of what you teach is old-school values: respecting yourself, protecting your health, your well-being and your money. Do you feel your message about values is getting through?
DL: I do. A lot of women—and men—didn’t get much guidance about how to date or create healthy relationships. They don’t know what they’re supposed to do, or not. They’re just doing the best they can.
I’ve had countless people write in to say they were skeptical of my advice, but what they were doing wasn’t working, so they figured, “Why not try what Belle said? I’ll speak to my mate a little softer. I’ll ask for what I want. I’ll stop looking away when a guy makes eye contact and I’ll smile instead.” And it worked. All people want is results, and if values get that, they’re happy to embrace it.
TR: You credit your parents and their marriage a lot with your ability to sort out the rights and wrongs of relationships. Do you think most women—or most of the women you counsel—are still looking for marriage? Or do they just want a relationship, even if it’s without the ring?
DL: Absolutely, for the vast majority of my readers and clients, marriage is still the ultimate goal. The single ladies want a relationship, then a ring, then a husband and then some kids. The women in long-term relationships still want a ring. The “mothers of child” want to become wives, if not to the father of their child, then to someone. There’s great fretting about the possibility of never getting married. “Just” a relationship is not enough.
TR: When you’ve met some of these women at book signings or other events, what kinds of things do they tell you about the advice you gave them?
Read the FULL STORY on TheRoot.com