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My mother has been one of the most important blessings that God has bestowed upon me. Her maternal instincts, to her wisdom, humor, guidance, and tough love have aided in shaping the man you read before you today. Whether leading by example or speaking her mind (which she never has any issue offering opinions), she gave me a roadmap of how to maneuver the world as a man and a decent human being. I’m not a mama’s boy (I don’t think), but I care for my mom and have conversations with her about all aspects of life. My interactions with women won’t always be prevalent in these discussions, but when she wants to assure that her philosophy is embedded in my mind, she will drop knowledge upon my soul that will resonate throughout time. I wanted to share the lessons my mother taught me about women and dating that have helped shape my interactions with the fairer s*x:

 I Aint Raising No Babies!

 My mother works in healthcare and sees a whole bunch of crazy sh*t daily. High amongst these wild occurrences was a rash of teen pregnancies. We’ve all experienced teen pregnancy at some point in our lives. I still remember being shocked when one of my home girls showed up to school and was 5 months pregnant. It was taboo back then, and not glorified on reality TV as it is today. My mom would hear none of that, so she made sure to inform me that 1) She doesn’t have the money to help raise a kid, 2) We don’t have space in our crib for a crib, and 3) to keep my d*ck in my pants to avoid such problems, and if I can’t then I better be wearing a condom. I promise you this was our de-facto “birds and the bees” conversation and it was equal parts disturbing and hilarious.

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I heard the message loud and clear, and avoided that early pregnancy bug. More importantly, my mom taught me that she would NEVER raise a deadbeat dad. I would hold equal weight for any child I brought into the world. She was a single mom for a time as well, so I saw the struggles she endured, and she let me know that a woman will do what they have to do for their kids, irrespective of the man, but a true stand up man would take ownership of that responsibility and not be a typical absent father. I understood the importance of safe sex, and how YOLO should never be applied when condoms aren’t available. No coochie is worth the trouble, not to mention the potential risks of STD’s. Sidebar, it’s funny how years ago I would’ve said avoiding a pregnancy > avoiding a STD. Then again HIV/AIDS were still mysteries. I digress…

No Means NO

I dedicated a whole section of my e-book, and shared it here with the masses on my mother’s teachings on this subject. Here is an excerpt from that article:

I would say that it has to be a gut feeling, mixed with the analysis of non-verbal communication. See, I’m always weary of trusting intuition. As a youth, my mom ingrained the following mantra: “If a woman says no, No means NO!!!” No matter what I thought she really meant I would stop when she says no. There’s a difference between a verbal confirmation and physical. There will be times when things get hot and heavy between a woman, and she might do a gentle push away or the classic “Let’s slow down” phrase, while she’s getting increasingly aggressive, but once she says to chill, I chill!

 Almost 2 years later, those words are still gospel. With the current highlight on rape and the mentalities of our young men in blogs and social media recently, I make sure to perform proper due diligence on myself and my actions so that I don’t get caught out there. Call me paranoid, but you won’t have to call me in jail!

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