Dear Demetria: My Married Friends Invite Their Husbands When We Hang Out

single-black-woman Dear Demetria:

"I'm single. A lot of my friends are married. I'll suggest getting together, and they'll say yes, only to hit me at the last minute with, "Hubby will be with me; is that all right?" Is it unrealistic of me to expect to still see my girls without their men tagging along?" —Anonymous

Your married friends are tripping and should know better. I mean, they weren't born married, and they've been in your shoes. So, no, you're not being unrealistic.

Single or married (now), this has happened to most of us. We're looking forward to a good kiki with the girls, and one of them shows up with her man. Even if he's the coolest partner ever, an unexpected husband (or beau) can be a mood killer for a ladies event. It's like, why is he here? The game ain't on? He doesn't have any friends? And real talk: We don't always converse the same when men are present.

It's bad if he just sits there looking like bored lump, and even worse if he wants to jump into the conversation, requiring a long-winded backstory to bring him up to speed or offering unsolicited advice about how to fix your issue, when all you wanted was your girlfriend to listen. Even worse than that is what happened to you. You showed up for one-on-one time with your girl, and ended up as the “plus one” on a date with your girl and your husband! That is not OK.

Some married couples take that "we are one" thing way too far. Yes, you're one family, and you're supposed to think in terms of what's best for "us, not me" and proceed as a unit, but that doesn't mean the couple has to be attached at the hip for every occasion. This may be how your friends operate, but this is not a universal outlook (by far).

That said, your friends are not entirely to blame here. Yes, they need better social skills, but you need better communication skills. When your friends have called last minute and asked to bring their spouses, you haven't been honest with how you feel. You've said yes and pretended that everything was cool when it is not. You're encouraging their behavior by pretending that it doesn't bother you.

Before you bail on your girls for asking you to be the third wheel, have a grown-up chat with each of them about what's bothering you. Admit that you haven't been completely honest about your feelings when it comes to hanging out with your friends and their husbands. Individually, remind your friends that you like their husbands and support their marriages. Say this first so that no one thinks what's coming next is a passive-aggressive way to diss their husbands. Then add that you miss having girl time, and sometimes you just want to hang out with your friends one-on-one.

Read the full article: HERE

Storytime: "Men Who Are Interested, Act Interested"



(Brief) Storytime:

I had the best cable guy today. THE BEST.

He's 23. He's been with his GF for 5 years. He met her on line in his first semester of college. He was a full time student with no job living in BK; she was also a student with strict parents living deep in Long Island.

Once they met in person, he was like, "she's it!" I'm done.

Her parents weren't cool with her going to the city to hang out with a Brooklyn guy she met on the Internet, so they were like, "if he wants to see you, he will come here because that is where you will be."

She tells him this. He's like, "I don't even know where [her neighborhood] is." So she's like, "I guess this is a no go, huh?"

He's like, "You sound crazy. Let me figure it out."

So he figured it out.

He would take the J train from BK to Penn Station, then take the LIRR out to Long Island to see her. [For non- New Yorkers, it's about a two hour commute, each way.]

Me: I wouldn't even date guys in Harlem because it's so far. You were going out to Long Island, what every weekend?

Him: Uh.. every day after class.

Me: What?

Him: Yeah, I had to get a job in the morning so I could pay for the train fare back and forth. It was $16 RT. My parents would give me $20 sometimes, so I'd spend that on the train, then save the $4 for food for the day.

Me: I'm sorry. You got a job... to pay for transportation... to get to Long Island... to see your GF... EVERY DAY?

Him: Ok. Not everyday, every week. But like 5-6 times a week. I'd hang out with my friends sometimes. Or my parents.

Me: Seriously?

Him: Yeah. I love her. I'm gonna propose in two years.

Me: You know what, this is funny, I often tell women that "men who are interested act interested". Like they put in the effort to see the woman, at the very least.

Him: Yeah. She's worth the effort. I love her. She has a friend, and the friend's boyfriend lives nearby. He sees her maybe twice a week, some week's not at all. I tried to tell her friend that he's not into her or he's seeing other people, but she doesn't listen.

Me: Curious, is this your first girlfriend?

(I asked because guys tend to be like this before they've had their heartbroken or been betrayed.)

Him: No, I dated a girl for two years right before her. She cheated on me and broke my heart. I stopped working out and gained weight.

(Dude is husky, not fat.)

Me: Interesting. (I'm kinda in awe of his effort.)

Him: Not really. When you know, you know. If I had any doubts, I wouldn't work this hard.

Ask Demetria: How Do I Get My Jump Off to Open Up More?



Dear Demetria:

"I’m having sex with a man that I would like to get to know better. I’m not trying to rush into anything; I would just like to be a little more knowledgeable about the person who is sexing me. I’ve invited him over when we talk, but he never comes. However, when he wants to have sex, he’ll ask me to meet him in various places, such as his mother’s house. I would like to be somewhere comfortable, but he seems at ease with risky places. I’m confused and not sure how to communicate with him. Any advice?" —Anonymous

I’m in support of single, consenting adults having all the safe, consensual sex they desire, whether it’s an established relationship or a one-night stand or a friends-with-benefits scenario. Your body and with whom you share it is your business.

That said, you’re hustling backward here. You want to get to know the person you’re sharing your body with now? That’s a matter that should have been worked out before you hopped into bed—or wherever y’all are having sex. Also, don’t lie to yourself about what you want here. You’re not having sex with this man because you only want a good time. You also want an emotional connection—hence, you’re inviting him over to talk and get to know each other.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a connection. But what is wrong is trying to use sex to get it. A lot of people make that mistake, and they quickly realize that the connection doesn’t last beyond the sexual engagement, if even then.

When you began this situation, you were offering sex with no strings attached, and he accepted. Now you’re trying to change the rules midway through the game. You have the absolute right to change your mind about what you’re looking for, and he has the absolute right to want to keep things as they are.

You have to start paying attention to what’s going on, though. This man has made it clear that he is interested only in having sex with you, not building a relationship with you. It’s why he’s never available to talk or spend time when there’s no sex involved, but he can quickly find the time and a corner in his mama’s house when he’s ready, willing and able. Is he even that available when you’reinterested in sex, or is sex also solely on his terms? I’m guessing that he isn’t, since he won’t even compromise to have sex in a place you would find “comfortable.”

You’re selling yourself way short here, hon. Not only does this guy sound uninterested in you beyond sex, but it also sounds as if he may be committed to someone else. Is it that he doesn’t have his own home in which to have sex with you? Or is it that there is someone else—his girlfriend or wife—who lives in the home he has, which is why you can’t go there?

Read the full story on The

Ask Demetria: Should I Wait 'Til His Divorce Is Final to Date?


Dear Demetria:

I’m currently in a seven-month relationship with a married man who is separated from his wife (it’ll be a year this October). They don’t live together but are co-parenting a child. I’ve met the baby, wife, immediate family as well as close friends. Also, he took me on a trip out of the country for a wedding that he and his wife were initially invited to. While I love how things are going, entering a new season (mid-20s), I am reassessing this. Should I back up because his marital status isn’t “divorced”? Let me mention that he wants one and his wife doesn’t. Or should I give it more time (two years) to see what happens? —Anonymous 

The man you are dating is married. Period. He might be separated from his wife, but he is still married to her. “Separated” does not mean “single.” You’re right to reassess this one in your new season because this is a bad situation.

You don’t realize it, but you are a rebound from his marriage. If you’ve been in a relationship with him for seven months, that means you likely met him when he’d been out of his marital home for a few months. This other woman’s husband didn’t take hardly any time to process separating from his wife before he took up with you.

Maybe he was deeply unhappy in his marriage and knows for certain that he wants out. I can fully understand that. But he still has to take the time to process the end of his marriage and assess what went wrong and the role he may have played. (It does take two.) Unless he does that, it’s impossible for him not to bring the baggage from his relationship with his wife into the relationship with you. He needs to “do his work.” You’re a distraction from that.

Also, they are still in a relationship. This isn’t like dating, where you say “It’s over,” move out and, just like that, the relationship is over. It has to be legally dissolved. Many states require a legal separation of a full year before couples can even begin divorce proceedings. There’s a reason for that. The hope is that if spouses take the time to consider their situation thoughtfully and with clear heads, they can work out their issues and reunite.

He says he wants out. His wife says otherwise, which makes this situation very messy. They have history, memories and a child together. And while the marriage is rocky, it isn’t over. He has unfinished business with his family.

It’s also not just another random woman who wants him; it’s his wife. That holds more weight than you seem to give it. At any moment, he could decide that he acted too rashly, wants to give his family another shot, and return where his wife and child are waiting with open arms. If you told me he’d been separated for years, I’d wonder what the holdup was, but I’d think that a reunion was less likely to happen (even though I know of couples who have been separated for years and worked things out). But a guy who got in a serious relationship three months after he moved out? Anything’s possible at this point.

I’m wondering why, in your mid-20s, you’re willing to take on the complications of a married man with a wife and child. What is so compelling and urgent about this relationship that you can’t wait for his divorce papers? Is there some sort of ego boost, knowing that he has a wife but he’s choosing you over her? Do you feel that he’s giving you the wife treatment because he’s taking you to events that he planned to attend with her?


Read the full story on The Root 

Behind the Scenes with Belle at GMA

Demetria does "Modern Romance" on Good Morning America "Don't forget the graphic."

"Smile, so you don't have RBF." 

"Get to the point, so you get to the fourth question."

"Sit up straight so your boobs aren't on the table." 

"What's my first line again?" 

"Be clear, concise." 

"Not too much about New York or Black folk. This isn't a New York or Black audience."

"MRS degree. MRS degree. Don't forget MRS degree." 

"We don't depend on men for survival."

"60s housewife. You have to say 60s housewife. If MRS doesn't stand out, this will." 

"Remember to breathe." 

"Oh sh--. We're live!" 

"She's talking to me."



The build up for doing live TV is more scary than actually doing it.

I did a pre-interview with the Good Morning America producer yesterday. He asked me a million questions. The call lasted 30 minutes. All that chat has been boiled down to a segment that lasts 1:45. I'm in and I'm out. Fast and not so easy. As soon as I get warm, the segment is over. Warm is not enough. Hot. I gotta be hot.

In the green room, the producer rehearses the segment with me four times. I keep forgetting to mention the graphic. I'm talking too much. We're at 2.5 minutes. We need 1:48. Again. 2.20. Again. 1:48. Again. 2:00. It's fine. The fourth question is the advice. The good part where I tell women to shorten their lists. 3-5 must haves, everything else is about communication and whether you're compatible. Be "aggressive", ie, do something when you see a fine man. Say "hello", smile, ask a question or pay a compliment. And stop listening to all these doomsday statistics. You are one woman looking for one man. This is entirely feasible. I need to get this part in.

The producer's not gonna force the time. I just need to remember the graphic. "If you forget, it's not the end of the world, but my boss wanted the graph, so try hard," he says. What he means is: whatever you do, do NOT forget the graph.

I walk on set and there are three sets in one big room: a news desk, a half moon table, and a living room. There are 50 people: producers, sound men, cameramen, a director, other talent, the host. Fans. Kids. There's a gigantic window where people walking thru Times Square can watch from outside. It's a crowd. 50? 100? I don't judge crowd size well. And big a-- cameras. That are moving. I'm in the way. I move. Now I'm in the way of another camera. I move again. The graphics on the wall keep changing.

A lady who was in the green room with me enters the set. She came down after me, but she's going on before. She walks over to her set and takes a seat. She's a natural. She's done this a million times. I want to do this a million times too.

I'm up. I'm not seated on the side a junior producer said I would be on. Hold up. Which way do I point to indicate the graph? I look out into the 50 or so people milling around. I don't see my producer. I get distracted by Robin's shoes. Are those Sophia Webster?

The intro video is playing. All my directions are playing in my head. The video is wrapping up. It's almost time.  I replay instructions in my head. "She's talking to me."


image1 copy


I talked. I almost forgot the graphic, but then the the wall screen moved rapidly and I caught it in my peripheral vision. I think, hey, look at that! That's cool, but I mention the graphic out loud and give commentary. I honestly don't know what I said, but the hosts are laughing and applauding. I smile because I've done something good. And, you know, no RBF. We're going to commercial. I missed the fourth question. Sh--.

I'm being guided off set by the producer. He says I did great. I'm disappointed. I say, "but I missed the fourth question." That's not hot.

Producer: "But you remembered the graphic!" He's happy. I hope his boss is too.

I check my Instagram. No one watching knew there was a fourth question. (Almost) Everyone's happy. I know from experience that social media will not hesitate to rip me a new one if I weren't better than good.

I get a text from my father, by far my hardest critic, and the only opinion I really care about. Weird that nothing came thru from him before now. He usually likes to text me while I'm on air live with instructions. Smile. Pause before you answer. Don't cut off the question. Don't nod out of nervousness because it might be something you don't agree with. Don't fidget. It doesn't matter that I can't see any of this until after the cameras stop.

His text reads: "outstanding." Period.

My PR sends me the link. I refuse to watch it. I hate looking at myself on TV.


Ask Demetria: Should I Propose to My Man?

Screen shot of a woman proposing in a viral You Tube video.

Dear Demetria:

"A friend is considering proposing to her boyfriend. I am against it, not because of gender roles but because a man will commit to you when he is good and ready. How do you feel about women proposing to men?" —Anonymous 

In theory, I’m not against women proposing to their boyfriends. I was once a girlfriend who discussed marriage with her significant other and was anticipating a ring. It did trouble me that because I chose to abide by tradition, the entire timeline of the future we were planning together was being determined by him.

I was wondering and waiting and hoping for a ring while he was the one with the option to take action. It was one of the few times in my life when I didn’t feel like I was being an active participant in it. For women who feel a similar way, I absolutely understand why they would take the initiative to propose.

That said, I never considered proposing. I consider myself a modern woman, but in many ways I’m very old-school, and I like the idea (and romance) of a man going after what he wants and doing the asking—whether it be a first date or proposing marriage. It seemed contradictory to me to want a man who is a leader and then not let him lead by asking him to marry me. For women who want a leader type of spouse—and not every woman does—I wouldn’t recommend proposing.

But those are my thoughts. What really matters most here is how guys think about this scenario, since sometimes they are the ones being asked the big question. I asked several what they thought about being proposed to by a woman, and I’m glad I did. I’d guessed that most would find the idea emasculating, but many of the men who shared their thoughts—on the condition of anonymity— weren’t turned off.

“Women talk about ‘leaning in’ and all this empowerment stuff, yet sit around and wait and hope that their man proposes to them is the most ass-backwards thinking around,” one man responded. “You champion liberation and equality, yet feel that it’s a man’s place to propose because ‘that’s the way it should be; that’s the way it’s always been.’”

Another gentleman echoed similar sentiments: “If we’re in a mutual relationship and heading in that direction, why shouldn’t either one be able to propose the next step? I think this is another vestige of our society’s paternalistic approach to relationships. My manhood would not be threatened by this.”

He added, “All of that said, if you never in all the time we have been seeing each other reached for a dinner check, don’t all of a sudden get liberated.”

But other guys weren’t so on board. In fact, they were adamantly opposed.

“I would not want to be proposed to, and if I was, it would be indicative of a bigger problem,” one man responded. “I’d wonder if she thinks I’m a bitch, if she thinks I pussyfoot around, if she thinks she has to take control of a situation. All of that epitomizes emasculation. These are not ideas that I want my wife to have in her head about me.”

Most of the men who responded implored women to wait for a proposal. “There’s something to be said for some traditions,” one man said. “Let us have this one, please.”


Read the full article on The Root 

Fontella Marie Holmes: The 88 Million Dollar 'Trap Queen'

Lotto winner, Fontella Marie Holmes So.

Fontella Marie Holmes, 26, single mom, lotto winner. Black lady. She hit the numbers back in February to the tune of $88 million after taxes, and she has since dropped NINE milli bailing her man outta jail two times. I keep reading articles about how people are enraged and baffled by her spending this amount of money on a felonious man.

Me? Meh. Not so much.

Here’s why:

1. She was with ol’ boy before she had money. 

Holmes hit the lotto in February 2015 and used her proceeds to bail out Lamar McDow, who was arrested in November 2014, in March.

I’m going to suggest that an active drug distributor, who had a girlfriend with four children, probably spent some dough on her and the kids, and not just a lollipop here and there. Babies– FOUR babies– are expensive. And Holmes didn’t have a job at the time she hit the number. It’s not a reach to assume that McDow dropped some duckets on the regular for this family. He may have been funding Holmes — and her kids– entirely before she “got on”.

When the drug dealing man who held you down gets locked up, you return the “favor” by bailing him out.

2. She Doesn’t Care He’s A Drug Dealer 

Look, I’m all for innocent until proven guilty, but you don’t just happen to find yourself in a room with 8,000 bags of heroin unless you are– have been for quite some time– into some nefarious sh–. You get caught with a bag of heroin? I’ll hear you out on saying the police planted it and you don’t know how it got there. But eight thousand bags? Son. That’s. Your. Heroin!!!

You also don’t stumble into EIGHT THOUSAND bags of heroin over night. You’ve been in the game for a minute, long enough to know people who know people to get your weight up, figuratively and literally. And if you are moving drugs at this level, unless your girlfriend is ADA Angela Valdes, she knows what you do for a living.

When McDow was arrested again in July, he was living with Holmes and her four kids in the trailer Holmes lived in before she hit the lotto. He’d also been upgraded from boyfriend to fiancé since his March release. They’ll have “matching lambos” any day now.

3. Perspective Matters

NINE MILLION DOLLARS is an insane amount to people who don’t have $88 million after taxes. Holmes dropped almost eight figures (kinda) getting her man out of jail and still has $79 million more… AFTER TAXES.

I have a personal philosophy on not visiting jail or being involved with men who do illegal hood rat sh– with their friends. As a personal rule, I don’t do bail money unless the case you caught was protecting our family, saving a life, or marching for civil liberties. I’d also drop stacks to free you if you have an encounter with a rogue cop. But otherwise, no.

That said, if I had a different philosophy on bail and say I had $50k saved? If I spend the same percentage freeing my man that Holmes did freeing hers, I’d spend about $5k. That’s not so bad. What you have to understand is that there are levels. We ain’t financially on Holmes’s.

Read the full article on VSB. 

The Root: I Just Came Here to Find A Husband

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 8.38.11 AM

On Sunday afternoon, I was at an annual event in Brooklyn, N.Y., which was attended by thousands of people, mostly young black professionals looking for a good time.

In the crowd, I spotted a woman who left no doubt about why she’d shown up that day—not for the music or to hang with her girls or stunt for the Gram. She was looking for a man. How did I know?

She was wearing a sign on her back that read, “I just came here to find a husband.”

I was intrigued. I’ve spent more than a decade writing about dating and relationships, and I’d never seen anything like this. I just had to know what she was thinking and whether this unusual approach was effective.

But I had to wait. As I was making my way over to ask her, a guy knelt on one knee before her, offering her a mock marriage proposal. “Hmm. Maybe this lady is on to something,” I thought.

“This lady” is Ayana Evans, a Brooklyn-based performance artist “in her 30s” who’s best-known for “Operation Catsuit,” in which she traverses New York City in a neon-green catsuit to make a statement about the male (and female) gaze.

You might also find her jumping in heels, for hours at a time, to highlight the demands of being a woman, or you could spot her literally carrying a woman on her back, a testament to the strength and expectations of black women’s friendships.

But the sign on her back Sunday? Was she performing or was she for real? And again, does this approach work? The Root caught up with Evans the next day to find out.

The Root: How did you come up with this idea?

Ayana Evans: As an artist, when I have a block and I can’t think of anything to make art about, it usually means I’m not being honest about something. There have been a lot of points where I have been desperate about finding a husband, feeling anxious, wondering, “When is it going to happen? Where am I going to meet him?” I’m not proud of that, but that’s definitely how I felt. I haven’t been in a relationship in six years. I realized worrying about getting married was something I edit out a lot in work. So I was like, “All right, let’s make a piece about how I feel.”

TR: When you wear the sign, are you hoping that men will approach you, or is this an artistic expression?

AE: It’s both. I go to a lot of places hoping to meet someone, but not with a lot of faith that it’s going to happen. This is me just putting it all out there about what I want, whereas before I would spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into pretending like finding a life partner was not on my mind. I didn’t want anyone to see me as thirsty or desperate. Now I rather just deal with it head on and let it all hang out.

If someone comes up to me that I think is cute, is a great candidate, and I’m like, “Wow, you’re intelligent, you make me laugh,” am I going to go for it? Yes!

Read the full article on The Root HERE 

Ask Demetria: Why Do Guys Send D--k Pics?


Dear Demetria:

Why do guys send unsolicited d--k pics? I feel like as I talk to guys, we slowly venture into sexting, then the guy just takes it from zero to 100. I'm interested in him, but the picture just came out of nowhere. Do any girls actually like these things? How do you respond? —Anonymous 

Hold up. There’s no such thing as “slowly venturing” into sexting, defined by as “the sending of sexually explicit photos, images, text messages or emails by using a cellphone or other mobile device.” Sexting implies that you are interested in having sex with the person to whom you send the images.

I’m unclear how you do that slowly. Whatever you sent suggested that you were interested in having sex with him. He responded with a picture of his sexual organ to let you know that he’s also interested, to allow you to gauge his equipment and for you to anticipate what he can do with it. I’m unclear where this guy went wrong here.

That said, I’ve heard plenty of stories about men actually going from “zero to 100” and sending penis pictures when there was no indication whatsoever from the woman that they would be welcomed. I’ve received a set of pictures—yes, plural—from a guy out of the blue. (In my first book, A Belle in Brooklyn, I dedicated an entire chapter to that story.)

Probably, like you, I wondered, “Why?” Had I done something to mislead him? Did he think I was that type of girl?

I never arrived at a solid answer, and your letter finally prompted me to get one, as much for you as for myself. I hit up several guys in my circle to get to the bottom of what I’d started to think of as the “d--k-pic conundrum.” The answers, which the guys gave on the condition of complete anonymity, were fascinating.

First, the “why” should be obvious. “I never understood why my female friends were always so confused as to why dudes sent them,” said one man. “It’s clear that the pic is supposed to incite sexual interest or excitement. Whether you’re grossed out or not, you know damn well why he did it!”

But is a d--k pic a sign that he doesn’t respect you? Most of the guys agreed that wasn’t the case.

“Men don't see it as a form of disrespect,” another gentleman explained. “It's our way of being vulnerable. Most women, especially black women, are very vocal as it pertains to their wants in life. This includes career goals, marriage, family and a sex life. They have made it very clear how they want to be pleased in the bedroom. An unsolicited d--k pic is oftentimes a man’s way of saying, ‘I qualify.’”

In simpler terms, another man explained the pictures “as a way of saying, ‘You interested or nah?’ It’s basically just fishing, throwing the bait out there and hoping something [catches].”

Most of the dozens of men I conversed with understood how many women could perceive the photos as uncouth and ill-mannered. Still, the guys also thought that the guys who sent them ultimately were harmless and women were making a big deal out of nothing. Several suggested that the penis pictures might be one of those circumstances that support the idea that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus”—i.e., the sexes are just wired differently.

Dear Demetria: Should I Buy My Own Engagement Ring?


Dear Demetria:

"My fiance proposed in April with no engagement ring. He wanted to just go down to the courthouse and marry me plenty of times. I’m not a materialistic person at all. Even when we do get married, I probably wouldn’t wear my wedding ring every day, but I want my engagement ring now. My fiance is still in school and lives with his dad and can’t afford it now. What do you think about me buying my own ring and he gives me the money later on?" —Anonymous

You want an engagement ring. You don’t have to apologize for that and it doesn’t make you materialistic, at all. Don’t feel bad about wanting a ring as a symbol of your commitment. The ring isn’t everything, but it is absolutely “a thing,” a cultural tradition (three-fourths of American brides wear diamond engagement rings, according to Kenneth Gassman, president of the Jewelry Industry Research Institute). It’s entirely normal to desire an engagement ring, even if you don’t plan to wear it every day once you are married.

Who pays for the ring isn’t really a big deal, even if it’s an expense that usually falls on the man in heterosexual relationships. Honestly, diamond engagement rings are a relatively modern concept. It’s actually the result of a marketing campaign by De Beers Consolidated Mines that was crafted in a Mad Men-esque marketing agency circa 1938. Have you heard the line, “A diamond is forever?” In 1999, Advertising Age named it the slogan of the 20th century.

All things being equal, there’s nothing wrong with buying your own engagement ring. And unless you or your guy runs around telling people, no one would ever know. That said, all things aren’t equal in your scenario.

Your guy, I’m sure he’s great, but he doesn’t sound ready to be married to you. To be clear: The issue isn’t that you have more money or that he doesn’t seem to have much at all. It is hard to be broke and starting out and married—though easier if a couple is in the same boat. However, it can absolutely work.

There’s also nothing wrong with marrying a man who makes less. The issue is that he’s a dependent adult who can barely do for himself, and you really want things—basic things—that he can’t provide yet. You would be better off waiting for him to get himself together financially and establish himself as an adult before you marry him.

Just so you know: If you’re going to accept a man who doesn’t have a lot of wealth, and marry for love, that’s fine. But you also have to accept what comes with that: not having some of the things you may really desire when you desire them. You don’t get to emasculate your man by getting the things he should be able to provide for you, such as an engagement ring, because you’ve become impatient.


Read the full story: HERE 

Ask Demetria: He Abandoned His Pregnant Ex


Dear Demetria:

"I’m talking to this guy. His recent ex is actually pregnant by him. He explained to me that he strongly felt like she tried to trap him because he told her before she got pregnant that he wasn’t ready to start a family.

When she got pregnant, he told her the best thing would be to get an abortion. He thought she did, but apparently she lied and didn’t go through with it. So he gave her the option to give it up for adoption or she could keep the baby, but he was not going to be a part of their lives. I’m guessing she agreed at first, but ultimately she changed her mind, so he finally left her. He wants to go back to school for his bachelor’s degree and become a cop.

I still don’t know how I feel about this. She gave him a choice to be a part of the baby’s life without being with her, but he still said no. I feel he’s awesome with me, but this scenario bothers me. I don’t know why. What do I do? —Anonymous

I appreciate your candor and the details you’ve provided, but honestly, you could have stopped after the first few sentences and my answer would have been about the same: No.

Why? It’s one thing to have a partner who has a child from a previous relationship. Hopefully by the time you meet that amazing co-parent, that person has sorted out his or her major issues with the ex and they’ve got a smooth operating system running.

But dating a man who has someone else pregnant? Whether or not he wants to be a father to the child, the fact remains that there is a woman out there carrying his child and he is not with her. That relationship is messy and complicated and unresolved. You don’t need the headache. Run.

The additional details are astounding, and the only thing they change about my answer is escalating it from “no” to “hell no.” You’re likely bothered by his version of events because they defy common sense and demonstrate an appalling lack of responsibility and character.

Unless there’s some far-fetched scenario in which he wore a condom to prevent getting his girlfriend pregnant and she went all Being Mary Jane and used a turkey baster to retrieve its contents in hopes of impregnating herself and it worked, this guy wasn’t “trapped.” (And if that were the scenario, he would have told you.) It’s much more likely that he and his ex had unprotected sex and she became pregnant as a result of the act that they, together, the two of them, participated in.

Even if they did have safe sex and she still became pregnant, that doesn’t absolve him of the responsibility of taking care of his child. Sex is pleasurable, and many people treat it as solely recreational, but the middle school biology fact we all have to remember is that it can also result in a child. It’s a risk all heterosexuals take when we have sex.

Ask Demetria: My Ex Is Spilling the Tea About Me on Social Media

Worried Businesswoman

Dear Demetria:

My ex is very active on social media. Whenever he is upset or annoyed with me, he writes about me in a condescending manner. He doesn't say my name, but I know it's about me because I know what's going on. So do my friends. I've asked him so many times to stop, but he won't. What do I do now? —Anonymous

When I think of this scenario, I picture the online equivalent of the current drama playing out with rapper Future, former fiance of singer Ciara. He recently had a rambling sitdown with Marc Lamont Hill at the Huffington Post, and Future attributed the breakup with Ciara to creative differences in their music and her desire to get married quickly and have a big wedding. This was after she had already given birth to their child.

He went on, giving details about his sex life with his ex, telling Hill that they had sex and prayed after, unlike what Ciara does with her current boyfriend, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, which is praying and abstaining. It was TMI and intentionally disrespectful.

Much like your ex, Future has a tea-spilling problem. Perhaps he expected viewers to empathize with his point of view, not realizing that he sounded foolish. But that was not the result. I mean, the man is throwing pubic shade on an ex that not only moved on (quickly) but upgraded to Wilson, a man who appears to treat her well (and takes her on dates to the White House).

Some of the responses to the interview, posted to my Facebook page, were brutal:

“[This] basically was a bunch of [bulls--t]. I mean, how DARE she want an actual engagement, a ring and a big wedding?? What type of crazy-arse expectations were those?? I mean, wasn't having the kid enough of a ‘prize’???”

“Stupidity is a sin. Future is so hurt & needs to have several seats. He's upset [because] she's not running behind him.”

“If he wanted to take his time marrying her, he should’ve took his time getting her pregnant.”


Fortunately for you, your ex doesn’t have a national audience. You have the option of effectively ignoring him. That means you stop checking his social media page—in fact, block it—and you tell the mutual friends who want to run back and tell you what he posts to stop informing you. You don’t want to know what he’s saying because you don’t care anymore. Let ignorance be your bliss.


Read the full response: HERE 

Ask Demetria: "How Do I Get Her Back?"

Kanye West "Heartless"

Dear Demetria:

Help me out, D. I was dating a woman long distance, and things started to head into relationship territory pretty fast (three months). I felt pressured and basically stopped hitting her up as much and being less responsive to slow things down. She reacted terribly and cut me off for being inconsistent. I was relieved at the time and let her leave, but now I regret it. She ignored me last time I tried to reach out. How can I fix this? —Anonymous

Honestly? I don’t know if you can fix this—or, if you can, that you should. You thought things were moving too fast, and you’re entirely entitled to however you felt about that. But the correct and respectful thing to do was to have a conversation about how you felt about the pace of the situation, not be passive aggressive and distance yourself from her. You seem to care now, but you’ve been disrespectful of her feelings, and your past actions demonstrate that you’re a consistently poor communicator. I can’t say that I blame her for ignoring you, given these circumstances.

I also wonder, what has changed now, and why you are suddenly interested in her again after being consistently uninterested? Are you reaching out to her because you are lonely? Bored? Or is this your ego in the sense that you’re only interested now because you reached out and she didn’t bother to respond? Do you want her back, or do you just want the satisfaction of knowing that she may want you?

I’ll be honest; if this query came from her about a guy she was dating who demonstrated that he wasn’t interested in the same way you have, I would tell her to keep it moving and don’t look back. I would advise her to know her worth and not waste her pretty on a man who has shown her how easily he can disregard her feelings and not care enough about her to respectfully say, “Hey, I like you, but this is moving too fast for me,” or even, “Hey, this isn’t working for me.”

If you had said that to her, she might have been disappointed by your perspective, but at least she would have seen that you cared enough about how she felt to communicate like an adult. Because you had treated her feelings with respect, there would have been a better opportunity for you to circle back if you were ever willing to rekindle something with her in the future.

Read more: here 

Ask Demetria: "I’m Considering Lipo, but My Boyfriend Hates the Idea!"


Dear Demetria:

I’ve lost 40 pounds and have 20 more that I would like to lose. I love my body, but I have a trouble area that will not budge with exercise and clean eating. I have decided to get liposuction if I lose the rest of the weight and the area still hasn’t budged. I feel like this is reasonable, and I don’t consider it “cheating.”

I have a consultation scheduled, and my boyfriend does not approve. He believes I don’t need it and I’m just not working out enough or doing the right exercises. I just don’t think he understands. I know it's my body and I still plan to go through with it, but I want him to be on board and support me. How do I get him to understand? —Anonymous

First, congratulations on taking control of your health and putting in the work to get the results you want. With a lot of discipline and certainly some major lifestyle changes, you’ve accomplished a great feat. I’m proud of you.

Most people would consider the approach that you’re taking to be quite reasonable. After working to lose a considerable amount of weight, you want to be happy with what you see in the mirror. You’ve committed to losing another 20, and given your past progress, there’s no reason to believe you won’t reach your goal. You’ve decided to make your final evaluation once you’ve met your weight-loss goals. That’s a responsible way to approach the surgery.

It’s also nice that you’ve shared your thoughts with your boyfriend, but unfortunate that he’s not on board. It would be great if he were more supportive of your possible surgery, but the truth is, you can’t force him to be. He has his own ideas of what he finds attractive—or not—and he’s entitled to that, just as you are. The good news is that you don’t need his permission to move forward, and your opinion on your own body trumps his ... by far.

But you would like him to get on board with your idea. I get it. Try getting to the real issue of what he’s afraid of, because it’s likely deeper than “I just don’t think you need it.” There have been reports in the news of people dying or having major complications as a result of cosmetic or elective surgery. Cases like Kanye West’s mother, Donda West, as well as Tameka Raymond and Joan Rivers, come to mind. Perhaps sharing the research you’ve done to pick a qualified surgeon would help ease his concerns. It may also make him more comfortable if you invite him to meet your surgeon during your consultation so he can make his own evaluation of him or her and ask questions of his own about the procedure.

Another common concern when a mate loses weight or drastically alters his or her appearance is the fear that the partner will become more attractive to others, which may be a threat to the relationship. Or there’s a fear that the partner who has made the changes will want to upgrade to someone more attractive than his or her current partner.

Read the full story: here 


UPDATE: The original poster wrote in recently, "Lipo OP: Hey, Belle. I had another convo with bf & he said he would be down with whatever made me happy. I still felt like he was just telling me what I wanted to hear & didn't fully understand. I started researching doctors & had my first consultation yesterday & it turns out I have a considerable amount of loose skin that has to be removed/tightened when I lose the remaining weight. I was bummed that it was worse than I thought & bummed about the price so I showed bf the pics from my appointment. It really sealed the deal for him because he really paid attention & saw that I wasn't overreacting. He congratulated me on losing so much weight & told me that WE would get some more opinions & to not let it bring me down ! THANKS FOR THE ADVICE!"

Ask Demetria: I Moved, and He's Not Ready to Marry Me

Do know that waiting is an option, not a requirement Dear Demetria:

I have been with my boyfriend for almost three years in a long-distance relationship. In January I moved to his city to be with him. We have talked about getting married in the future. But I’m super frustrated that almost six months into living together, he hasn’t proposed yet. I try not to bring it up, but I can’t help it. Then it turns into an argument about how he isn’t ready yet, etc. My question is, how do I keep sane while I have to sit in this waiting limbo period? It is consuming me! —Anonymous

This is a hard one to conveniently “fix” because there have been a lot of missteps along the way that led to this point. Your situation will be hard, but not impossible, to neatly unravel. If it makes you feel better, this is a surprisingly common conundrum. Also, you do know that waiting is a choice you’ve made. He’s not making you do that. You do not have to wait. Own the choice you’ve made to do so.

That said, you two have been in a long-distance relationship for a significant amount of time. At nearly three years, it was time to figure out, “What are we doing here?”

It seems that there was a desire from both of you to be together in the same city. But it also seems that you were both so caught up in the romance and the excitement of finally being together that you overlooked, or avoided, some important detailed conversations about where this relationship is headed and when. You’re now both learning this information on the back end, when it’s the most inconvenient and frustrating for the both of you.

It’s great that you and your partner had a conversation about wanting to be married to each other before you moved, but as you’re finding, the timeline for that matters. A lot. You’ve made a big sacrifice by packing up and moving to a new city—likely leaving your friends, maybe family, and a job behind. You’re looking for a reward, of sorts, for doing that.

I don’t fault you for feeling that way. But since that was your outlook, you should have relayed it clearly to your partner before you quit your job and opted not to renew your lease so that you knew exactly what situation you were moving into—or not—and could manage your expectations and relationship accordingly.

Read more: here 

Ask Demetria: My Ex Won't Visit Our Daughter Unless I Have Sex With Him

Black Mother and child.

Dear Demetria:

I am currently single and dealing with the father of my daughter. We were never in a formal relationship, but he refuses to see our daughter unless there is sex involved. He also has other children, with multiple women, whom he sees and acknowledges. I don’t want anything to do with him, but my daughter needs her father. What do I do? —Anonymous 

The father of your child has opted not to play a role in your daughter’s life unless he can get something out of it—namely, sex with you. That’s a really unfortunate stance that he’s taken. But no, you should not have sex with a man you “don’t want anything to do with” in exchange for him fulfilling his responsibilities as a father. Mothers make sacrifices for their kids, of course. But this is asking entirely too much.

He should be present because he’s her father, period, not because there’s quid pro quo where he gets a treat for doing what he’s supposed to. Tell him flatly that sex with him is no longer an option. He may choose not to come around anymore; and as sorry as that will make him as a man and father, and as sad as it may make your daughter, do know that his absence in your daughter’s life will not be your fault. You’re not telling him not to come around; you’re telling him that he no longer has sexual access to you. His absence will be solely on him. He will be making the choice not to be a part of her life, not you.

What your daughter needs is a father who is actually invested in her well-being and who genuinely cares about her. Her current father isn’t demonstrating this if he will spend time with her only when he is enticed with sex from you. Even though he may be present in her life now, present isn’t enough.

Your daughter doesn’t just need a father; she needs a good father. And by no one’s definition would her biological father’s current actions count as being a good father. Also know that what your daughter needs, too, is a mom who respects herself.

Read more: HERE 

Ask Demetria: Our Moms Are In Our Business

Actress Jennifer Lewis has been type cast as an overbearing Black mom.

Dear Demetria:

My mom and her good friend since childhood had the idea to set me up with the friend’s son. I initially reached out to him in a friendly manner, and we had a nice conversation via text. However, I was hesitant and kept the convo very light because I thought having an attraction to him would be too close to home. Later I found out that our mothers had master-planned our future wedding before we officially went on a date.

He’s always tired or working unless out with his friends. We both work a lot, so I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt because I am thinking he’s not interested, although his mother is saying that things are great for us. Which, by the way, is weird, having someone interpret my situation for me. I guess my question is, should I ask if he’s interested so we don’t waste our pretty? —Anonymous

Unfortunately, he doesn’t sound very interested, despite what his mother says. Everyone gets tired from working, but anyone who is actually interested in someone will somehow find time in his or her schedule to see that person, even when he or she is exhausted. If this guy has enough energy and free time to hang out with his friends—people he is interested in being around—then he could make time for you, too. He is choosing not to.

It’s probably not personal. That said, what he feels—or doesn’t—and the lack of interest he shows counts way more than anything his mother says. She may be interested in having you for a daughter-in-law, but you’re dating him, not her.

Try not to take his lack of interest personally. I’m going to guess you are truly lovely, well rounded, a great conversationalist, easy on the eyes, ambitious, kind and nurturing and have all the other great traits that women are expected to embody. Let’s say you’re perfect, even. If I were he, I still wouldn’t date you under these circumstances. It’s not you; it’s your mom and her best friend.

Frankly, and to paraphrase retired street poet K-Solo, your moms are in your business way too much. It’s one thing to set your child up and make an introduction. But your mother and his have concocted a whole Shakespearean comedy for their children, and they’ve escalated from introduction—which I’m not mad at—to meddling and trying to force a union that clearly isn’t a match. It’s not enough for them to want their children to be together; the children actually have to want that, too. Otherwise this is a no-go.


Read more: HERE 

Ask Demetria UPDATE: #Justthetip

A controversial ad that ran in NYC subways.

Dear Demetria:

You told us to cool out before things went too far. They did, and now we’re in trouble. I got her pregnant. Now she wants me to tell her dad by myself. I’m not talking to bruh by myself. He’s a big dude, like black man from The Green Mile big. He might break my damn legs, and I need these legs. What do I do? —Anonymous

I remember your story. You sent a query to Ask Belle about three months ago to say that you “accidentally” took your girlfriend’s virginity and she was mad.

You wrote this:

I swear it was a weird accident. My girl wants to wait until marriage. In the meantime, we do everything but penetration. Last night, we humping. I got her legs on my shoulder and I’m moving. I made a wrong move or something. The next thing I know I’m in. But not all the way in, just the tip. My girl starts screaming and punching me. She’s asking me what did I just do. She telling me I ruined her virginity and this wasn’t how she wanted to lose it. I feel like [s--t], man. Unfixable or nah? P.S.: I love her.

After a bit of back-and-forth, I learned that you were both 18 and high school seniors, and neither one of you had received a proper sex talk. Her parents are super religious and had simply admonished her not to have sex. (Dear parents: This is not effective.) They didn’t discuss with her how to manage her sexual urges, other than to pray about it.

I—and several readers on social media—wrote in to support you after you and your girlfriend shared your story. Everyone reading had once been a sexually excited teenager, and very few of us were given the proper information about how to protect ourselves from accidental pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. We learned by trial and error. We tried to have the conversation with you and your girlfriend that we didn’t get from our parents.

We told you then that whatever you two chose to call what y’all were doing, you needed to wear a condom (or at least underwear) while doing it. We didn’t tell you not to have sex, which would have been unrealistic, since the average American loses his or her virginity at age 17. We told you how to protect yourself. We were rooting for you both, man.

Your girlfriend’s pregnancy may have you feeling as if it’s the end of the world. It isn’t. I promise. But this is a big deal. You’re scared—as you should be—and not just of your girlfriend’s father, whom you should have thought about when you weren’t using a condom. You and your girlfriend just took on a major responsibility, the magnitude of which I’m not sure you fully grasp just yet. Starting now, and for at least the next 18 years (really, for the rest of your life), you’re both in this together.

The upside of this togetherness, however, is that you’re not required to tell her father alone. I’m positive that there were two people actively involved who resulted in her pregnancy. So either both of you inform her father together, or she tells her father alone, since it’s her father.

Read the full story on The Root 

Ask Demetria: "I asked my husband to move his former wife's urn."

"Why don't you love me?"

"My husband’s first wife died. They had two kids. We live in his house. He keeps his wife’s urn in the living room. I requested that “she” be moved, and he and the kids are upset. Am I wrong?" —Anonymous

So when it comes to relationships, it’s not always about right or wrong. Sometimes it’s “Am I happy, and/or is my partner happy?” Or “How do I keep or restore peace and get my needs met, too?”

But if you want an answer in terms of rightness or wrongness, I don’t think you’re inherently wrong for asking. I do think it’s a sensitive subject that you may not have handled in the best way.

For starters, I’m not sure why the kids were involved in this discussion, given its sensitive nature. This should have been a subject that you broached with your husband and worked out between the two of you and then approached the kids as a united front. That would have gone over better than having you—whom they may not have taken to as a second mother yet—approach the topic with them on your own.

I also think that while you’ve chosen to focus on the urn, the urn isn’t really your issue. You used some interesting language to refer to the home you live in with your husband: “his.” You’re married. You live there with your husband and stepchildren, to whom you are a full-time mom. It’s curious tome that you don’t consider your dwelling your home. But I can also understand how that could be.

You moved into a home that your spouse once shared with his previous wife. Unless he and the kids did some major renovations and interior decorating, that house has his ex-wife’s stamp on the furniture, the decor and maybe even the dishes (hopefully y’all got a new bed). If this is the case, I’m not surprised you don’t consider the place “ours.”

I’m choosing to believe that you’re a reasonable person. And I’m going to guess, based on your query, that you may feel overshadowed by the memory of a deceased woman, which is understandable.

If you feel that your new family isn’t making room for you in their lives, then that needs to be addressed, not just the urn. The urn is just a symbol of a larger issue, and even if it’s moved to a place where you don’t have to see it daily, your feeling of being an outsider won’t change.

When you asked about moving the urn, your family didn’t hear “There’s not enough room for me here.” They heard, “You don’t respect my ex-wife and our mother.” Given that, I get why they are mad.

Read the full story on The Root