• MAN TALK
    • MARRIAGE 101
    • FAITH


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

Time flies, can you believe we are already past the half year mark? Just the other day we welcomed the New Year with long lists of resolutions. Well, the year doesn’t feel so new anymore, it’s that time of the year when energy levels sink, we get sucked into the routine of life and many times become complacent. All these are symptoms of Mid Year blues.


Posted by Editor On JULY- 18 - 2011

Growing up, I was a ‘someday girl’. I had dreams of someday publishing a book, someday working for a newspaper, someday being an editor, someday. Until one day many years later I woke up to the realization that someday was today; the only assurance we have, not 2 years from now or tomorrow but today.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

For some April habitually brings in to mind Spring; sunshine, blooming flowers, the green of trees and sliding into flip flops. For me, April is just April because luckily where I live the beauty of ‘Spring’ and getting high on Vitamin D is something I experience every day.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

As I kid, one of my all time favorite TV shows was 'The Jefferson’s'. As I write this, the theme song is playing in my head. “Well we’re movin’ on up, to the east side, moving on up, to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Moving on up, to the east side, moving on up,we finally got a piece of the pie.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

February is a special month, apart from the red roses, boxes of chocolate, great deals and the romance, it’s also the month we celebrate the history and contributions of African American men and women to society in the name of Black History Month.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18- 2011

Happy New Year!Yes, I know I'm a little late on the wishes just like the way I'm late with our new January Issue but it's finally here. New year, new layout, new name, basically, new things. Its all about the new new! For all those who knew this blog as The Ladies Room, I now introduce you to AfroElle; a blog for women of afro-descent from all over the world.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

The year has literally flown by, I can't believe it's already December. To many, December is a month of in depth self evaluation and stock taking; taking that walk down memory lane to see if you accomplished the goals you set at the beginning of the year.It's also about looking at your present to see what has worked for you or what you need to eliminate before you head on to the new year.

Showing newest 5 of 10 posts from October 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 5 of 10 posts from October 2010. Show older posts

Editor's Note: Think Pink.

Posted by AfroElle On 6:54 AM 1 thoughts
Dear Readers,

The October issue of The Ladies Room is finally here. There's alot in store for you from the discussions to the interviews.
We explore the basic dating rules in our feature article 'The Dating Basics'.

As a woman would you walk up to a man and introduce yourself or would you wait to be noticed? What kind of questions are you not supposed to ask on your first date? We interview four women on their views pertaining to dating rules in our Round Table Discussions.

You will be glad to know that we have introduced a new section called 'Man Talk' and this month, six men talk to us about their dating views in their round table discussion.

You will be amazed at how beautiful young love is when you read about the Bentons from United Kingdom sharing their special love story.
Our phenemenal woman of the month is Sudanese born US base photographer Terekah NaJuwan. Read her interview as she talks about her background, her love for photography and how it is like being on the other side of the camera telling her own stories.
'She Works Hard For Her Money' is another new section featuring career driven women. Read Jacinta Omwa's interview about her Glamour Fashions and Design business and get a feel of a day 'in her heels.'

This month Singular comes to you inform of poetry; A Single Woman's Lords Prayer, while 20 year old Rwandese author Ornella Umubyeyi inspires us with her life quotations in Inspiration. Finally you can enjoy a Book turned Movie Review of The Devil Wears Prada by Guest writer Gina.

October is breast cancer awareness month. For strength, courage, fear, hope, detection, anxiety, faith, survival, awareness, care, support; we dedicate this issue to every cancer patient, family member or friend who lost their battle to cancer. We honor those who continue to conquer and battle it and we support those working to prevent cancer through research and early detection. Feel your boobies; get tested.

Hope you enjoy our October issue and make a point of coming back for more. The Ladies Room cannot be a place of open arms and hearty conversations without you. We look forward to your comments, suggestions and articles.

Follow us on Twitter, or 'like' our page on Facebook or contact us.

Thats all folks.


Feature Article: The Dating Basics

Posted by AfroElle On 6:45 AM 1 thoughts
Erin wonders why Ken hasn't called her yet after their first coffee date. She looks at her phone and for sure there is network reception but no missed call. Should she call him or not? She wonders.

Kels has cyber stalked Jim; she's contemplating sending him a Facebook inbox or even an @ mention or direct message on Twitter asking him out on a date. But what will he think? She wonders.

Millie is going out with Fred for the first time, should she keep Fred waiting long enough to make the grand entrance? She wonders.

All these women have one thing in common; they are all following 'The Rules' which insist one rule or the other. That has been me at one point or the other but it's 2010 people! Try telling that to the writers of the old skool dating commandments and they will tell you something totally different.

Society, our mothers and girlfriends have drummed in ‘The Rules’ into us. Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider even wrote a best seller about it and made a sequel out of it. We've grown up being told; act like a lady and sit like one, smile, don’t kiss him on the first date, if he is available Monday, be available on Wednesday, If he doesn’t call within the three day period after the first date then forget him, if he continuosly talks about his mother, run! The list is endless.

The dating game is not the same, the rules have changed and the roles have been reversed; out with the old and in with the new. Women are more out there, taking control, getting what they want and not sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring.

Though the present dating scene is overwhelming there are a few basic rules that remain constant.

1. Location
For your own dating safety and the fact that’s it’s the first date and you do not know the person well, meet in a public place. Decline any offers to end up in his place after the date; give him a reason to want to set up a follow up date.
If you are dating someone you know, it's still advisable to meet in a public place so that they make the effort from the beginning and not become complacent.

2. Be on time
I know some rules say, ‘make him wait a little’; that it’s a lady’s prerogative to show up late for a date but on the other hand making your date wait for thirty minutes doesn’t build anticipation, it rude and not thoughtful, you never know, they probably have somewhere else to be. Treat the first date like an interview.

3. First Impressions
Men are visual; they take a lot from your appearance. Good grooming is important. For the first date don’t be trashy, don't wear things that will draw more attention to what you are wearing on your body than what you are saying. Don't let your date think you are just about the breasts and the booty; let them fall in love with your mind and personality first.

4. Save the drama for your therapy sessions
Don’t treat your new date like the girlfriend you've known for five years, your therapist or priest. Don’t torture them with details of our previous relationships; how your ex did this and that or how you caught him cheating. Don’t also go on a rant fest talking bad about your colleagues at work, or your ever annoying boss. Which means no name dropping, it’s a very small world and the mentioned might actually be your date’s friend or relative.

Don’t ask questions like “Do you think I’m fat or do you think I should add more weight.” Don’t show that you have insecurities with your self esteem instead have confidence.
Avoid questions like 'what car do you drive?' or 'How much do you earn?. Don't discuss controversial topics such as religion, politics or crass topics like toilet jokes.

Don’t disclose too much about yourself too soon, just enough to keep your date wondering more about you.

5. Be good company
Take interest in your date. Most women are known to do most of the talking, ‘I did this’, ‘I love that’ but men are ego-driven so take the time to listen to him; ask questions about his job, his family and then you can also add your bit.
Pay attention to your date, this means do not send text messages during the date or make multiple calls, its rude. But if you have to receive or make an important call during the date excuse yourself.

6. Be Yourself
Don’t pull up a charade, jjust be you! At every point express yourself. If he asks, ‘so are you an Arsenal fan?’ Don’t go ‘Yes’ unless you are, lest you find yourself spending the rest of the evening discussing premier leagues and what not. Don’t agree with everything he says just because you want to seem like you have a lot in common, have your own opinions.

7. Don’t go overboard
Don’t get him gifts on the first date. Don’t try too hard to impress because it screams out desperation.

8. Etiquette
Most probably if you are going on a date, food will be involved. Leave home when you have taken something light, so that when you show up for your date you do not overwhelm him by overeating.
If you want something he is eating order for it but do not eat off his plate. You know like asking him ‘Are you going to finish that?’

At the end of the day dating is a personal way of relating with someone, find what works for you. You will be surprised at how spontaneous dates can be when they are not so structured.
Photo source

Featured Couple: Mark and Lucy Benton

Posted by AfroElle On 2:45 AM 0 thoughts
On our 18 month anniversary, we bonded over an episode of Friends and ice cream.

He blurted out 'Marry me'. I thought I misheard so I asked him to repeat it.

He repeated it, "Marry Me, I love you so much. Please Marry Me"

I was so stunned that all I could say was "But I'm 19!"

He said " I know but you knew this day would come, We love each other, why wait?"

And on 25th July 2009 Lucy Keyamo and Mark Benton were joined in holy matrimony.  

At First Sight

Mark and I met on the first day of sixth form in 2004 (12th and 13th Grade) which is the stage before University in the UK. I was seeing someone at the time but something attracted me to him quite instantly. We sat next to each other and I was so surprised how easy it was to talk to him.

By October of that year, The relationship with my first ever boyfriend had come to an end and I was getting over that so nothing ever happened with Mark and I. As the year progressed, we became friends and by the 2nd year we had become quite close.

Friendship and Passion

I knew from the beginning that we were in for the long haul and about two weeks into our relationship, we realised that we loved each other and we talked about everything from children to marriage to ensure we were on the same page.

Also I firmly believe that you should date for a purpose i.e. the dating period should be to see if you could be lifelong partners. I knew we were meant to be because we could be completely ourselves. We shared the same core values which is very important. We had the right balance of friendship and passion.

                                                                                           Treasure Found

I was looking for a spouse who would be my best friend, who would consider me as their life partner, one who knew the value of a good woman. He had to be handsome, both on the outside and within. He had to be able to make me laugh and understand my little quirks. I found all that and more in Mark.

"The One"

I know it sounds cliché but I just knew. Quite early on. I suppose it just goes back to all the reasons listed above. We just fit.

Family Affair

It was a battle and a half convincing my parents to let me get married at a young age. Mark’s parents were fine with it mainly because they had done it too. Mark’s mum got married at 19. My mum found it quite tough. The reasons she gave were because I was still at University. She eventually came round but I would have gotten married regardless. I believe in honouring my parents but I also believe in applying wisdom to situations. As an adult, there comes a time when you have to stand up for what you believe in. This was it for me.

"I do"

We We have been married for just over a year and I really love marriage. I love doing life with my best friend. I love how we’ve started our little traditions and I love making memories with him. I like that we have created a life for ourselves in a city we love with friends we adore.

Marriage 101

I believe communication is the greatest factor in a marriage. It is so easy to misunderstand each other and get in strop for nothing really. But if you take time to speak each others language, it’ll make things a lot easier. Another thing that is useful is remembering that you’re on the same team. Marriage has taught me to relax a lot more, Mark’s quite laid back and I’m more uptight but living with him has taught me not to stress about the little things.


Everyday Honeymoon

We have marriage day without fail every week. Even if we can’t go on day trips every time, we have a picnic in our garden or go to the cinema. It is important to know we prioritise that time for each other. You get out what you put into marriage. We laugh a lot. We’re not too grown up to act silly and goof around. That makes things fun. We also make sure to tell each other what we need. That way there’s no guessing!


To the single lady: I say don’t settle. God has a plan for your life; the right guy is being prepared for you. You never know when you’ll meet him but remember love makes things possible not easy. Meanwhile I say have lots of fun, Guys like women who love life.
We wish the Benton's God's blessings and favour in their marriage.

The Ladies Room is looking to feature married couples or those engaged, we would love to hear your story.
Email [email protected]


Round Table Discussions; Dating Rules

Posted by AfroElle On 11:03 PM 3 thoughts
We  talk to four women about their views on dating rules from who  should pay for the first date to their best and worst date experiences.
Meet the Ladies

  • P.Y.T 27, Engineer, NYC 
  • Lily A., 23, Full time student and Sales Associate, Chicago, IL.
  • Mamba, 21, Barista, Ottawa
  • Sara, 21, Independent Contractor, Haughton, Louisiana

1. As a woman would you walk up to a man and introduce yourself or would you wait to be noticed? Give a reason.

P.Y.T: Not only would I do this, I have done this.  Not often.  But its definitely happened, with favorable results as well.  For me it really depends on the situation, the atmosphere of where we are and my mood.  Some guys really find it attractive to have a woman make a move.  Usually I’ll flash a smile or a “I think your hot” look his way and see if he reciprocates. 

At that point, if I’m feeling ballsy I’ll decide if I want to approach him.  I’ll usually wait a little while before I make my way over and say something feisty to break the ice. One time, on an especially ballsy night I asked this really hot guy “Why the fuck are you wearing a pin stripe suit to the bar?” as a way to break the ice…clearly this could have gone either way…he could have been insulted and walked away or as it turns out he totally ate it up and ultimately asked for my number.

Lily: I've done both. Sometimes I feel adventurous so I'll walk up to someone and introduce myself. More often than not, I will just walk up to the person. I like being assertive.

Mamba: Right now? No way in hell, I'm taken.When I was single...in a heartbeat, but only if the chemistry was right.

Sara: It would really depend on what kind of mood I'm in, but I would most likely walk up and introduce myself. I'm pretty great at starting conversations with random people.

2. Would ask a guy for the first date?

P.Y.T: Well being a member of the online dating community I have asked a guy for a first date.  As for actual human, in person, interaction I have on occasion said to a guy “We should totally grab drinks sometime” as a way to indicate we should go on a date.  They almost always say yes…I think a guy likes having some of the pressure taken off of them.  And by me saying we should grab drinks it makes it very casual and non-threatening.  I do make it a point to try and read the guy though, if he is your traditional type then I usually let him to the asking.

Lily: I would and have. I think some guys are relieved when a girl asks them out. It takes courage to put yourself out there.

Mamba: Big no no. A man should ask, it's all part of the chase.  

Sara: I probably wouldn't specifically ask him out as in "Will you go on a date with me?" but I would ask him out as in "Hey, we should go together to see that movie this weekend!" which is exactly what I did with my now-fiancee.

3. On the first date do you let the man pick you up from home or do you meet in a public place?

P.Y.T : I usually like the meet the guy wherever we are going.  It’s a first date and you never know how its going to go.  Much better to have your own way out of there in case it completely sucks…can you even imagine how much the car ride home would suck if you just spent the last few hours wanting to strangle him from across the table.

Lily: For a first date. I like meeting in a public place. If things go well, then I'll let him take me home. If the night was disastrous, I'll ask a friend to pick me up or take a cab home.

Mamba: Depends on how you meet him. If it's through friends then at home is fine.

Sara:  It depends on how well I know the guy. If it's someone I don't know that well, I like to meet in a public place just in case they're miserably boring - then I can take my car and get out of there. (A lesson I really should have learned before THE LONGEST DATE OF MY LIFE.)

4. Who do you think should pay on the first date?

P.Y.T: This is tough.  I really like the school of thought that whoever does the asking is the one who pays.  Although, no guy I have ever gone out with has allowed me to pay on the first date.  I always pull out my wallet to offer to pay for my half, especially since I tend to feel awkward when people pay for me, but I’m always turned down.  I hope my efforts are appreciated as much as me being taken care of is.

Lily: Who ever asked the other out should pay, or each paying their own share. I think it's perfectly fine for me to pay for a date if I asked the person out. I don't think it's fair that the guy pay every single date.

Mamba: The man! I'm not a gold digger, but any kind of man that doesn't pay for the first date is NOT a man...he's a boy.

Sara: Either the dude or go dutch. I prefer for the man to pay for one thing (for instance, dinner), and I'll pay for the other activity (for instance, movie tickets).

5. What kind of questions are you not supposed to ask on your first date?

P.Y.T : Anything pertaining to past relationships is 100% off the table.  No questions, no debates, no ifs-ands-or buts…do not ever ask about the past on a first date.  What a way to bring down the mood.  You’re on a date with each other because neither of you wants to be with your ex…so keep them out of the picture and focus on each other.  For example, if a guy tries to ask me about my ex on a first date I’ll say something like “If I wanted to think or talk about him I wouldn’t be here with you…so what else would you like to know?”  Save the recaps of your old relationship for your friends and focus on the hottie your with.

Aside from this, I really don’t believe in “supposed to”…you need to take each date individually and see where things go.  See what’s comfortable and don’t worry about what your “supposed to” be saying or doing.  It will become obvious if your more focused on what not to say than if you just speak naturally.

Lily: I never asked about income on a first date. I think that's weird. Never talk about sex on the first date.

Mamba: I can't really think of it... but no heavy hitting subjects like religion or politics. Keep it light and fun.

Sara: How many people have you had sex with?" "What should we name our first child?" "If I were to tie you up to a chair, break both your legs, and force you to sit here with me and love me and be my partner for life, would you be upset?" One question you ALWAYS need to ask on the first date? "When the zombie apocolypse happens, will you try to save me or kill me if I turn into a zombie?"

6. If the date is going all wrong, how do you end it?

P.Y.T: I am completely guilty of using the “Oh my god my friend just got broken up with and she’s devastated…I have to go, I’m soo sorry!”  I felt so pathetic after that I never used it again…one and done.  Now I tend to schedule dates which would be intentionally short as a first date…ices, drinks, coffee…to avoid the need for an excuse.  But in case I need one I usually just say how tired I am and how early I need to be up the next day so I really should get going.

Lily: If there is no way to salvage the night, I'll do the "tv sitcom thing". You know, where they have a friend call them to see how the date is going. And if the night is bad they'll say, "Oh my god you were in an accident?! Which ER are you at? I'm coming right away!".

Mamba: If he is a bad date, I would just walk right out.If he was a nice guy, but there was no chemistry...stick it out.

Sara: "Um, yeah, I'm really tired" *fake yawn"

7. How much should you tell about yourself on your first date?

P.Y.T: Well, no need to give your unabridged autobiography when you first meet a person but like I already said, there really is no “should”.  If the date is going well you will want to see this person again and keep them interested and guessing about you so if you lay the cards out on the table from the get go there is nothing left for them to get to know about you. 

Boring!  And really, if you can get your whole life story out in a first date either your really fucking boring or your completely monopolizing the conversation which is just selfish.   So answer whatever questions are being asked but keep it short and sweet.  First dates are like an interviews, you need to be prepared to talk about yourself and be open and honest without offering too much information...you wouldn’t exactly tell a perspective employer about the time you drank so much tequila you threw up all over the back seat of a cab…so don’t tell your date either (yet!)

Lily: The good thing to do is answer each question asked truthfully.

Mamba: Just enough for him to get a feel for who you are and what you're about.

Sara: You probably shouldn't talk about that time you killed someone on the side of the interstate as a dare.

8. Describe your best and worst date?

P.Y.T: My best date had to be with this guy I met online. We chatted once or twice before getting together and the conversation was great. We had plans to grab drinks and figured if things went well we would take it from there. So we met at the bar and the conversation just flowed. Before I got out we were already planning the second date.

My worst date…hard to really just pick one…and I feel like if I do it would be unfair to all the guys who were equally as heinous. So to most accurately answer this question I will describe some of the things that make a date awful. For one thing when a guy has nothing to say. I am a talkative outgoing person so it’s important for me to be with someone who is a good conversationalist. I have been on too many dates where I get one word answers back or hear so much stupid shit coming out of a guys mouth that it took every ounce of self control not to laugh hysterically in their face. Also, someone who is too touchy feely and doesn’t respect boundaries is not going to get a positive review…I’m not against kissing on the first date if things are going really well…I am, however, against someone being so ignorant that they believe me sitting there with my arms and legs crossed and my body clearly turned in the other direction somehow means I want them to touch me or try to kiss me.

Lily: My best date was last year. We went to the art museum before dinner. At dinner we had an awesome table, we talked as if we had known each other for years. I didn't feel weird about eating salmon (nothing else seemed appetizing on the menu). It was beautiful. After dinner we went to the symphony, which I usually find boring, but it was amazing with him. Unfortunately, things didn't work out, but we're still good friends.

My worst date was a few years back. It was so bad it made me cry when I got home. I had theater class with this guy, and he asked me out on a date. For class we had to go to a play and after the play he invited me out to lunch. It started out fine. We had a nice conversation, and we talked about our hopes and dreams. It was my 20th birthday, so he went up to our waitress and asked for a sundae. 10 minutes later, she came back with a sundae with a candle singing happy birthday. "Happy birthday, dear Elizabeth! Happy birthday to you!" What? My date thought my name was Elizabeth? And on my birthday? Not to mention, I had to pay because the place we went to didn't accept credit cards, and he promised to pay me back. 3 years later, I'm still waiting for my payment.

Mamba: Best: My Boyfriend and I used to live in different cities. Whenever he would come up I would show him my favorite places in the city and then we would do corny things like paddle boating. It was fun because it was like showing him more about me.
Worst: Honestly, I've never had a bad date. I've had a really awkward date...the guy was a sweetheart, but I just wasn't feeling it.

Sara: Worst? The longest date ever. It lasted from 9 in the morning until 11 at night, and I wanted to stab myself in the face THE ENTIRE TIME. Best? My first date with my now-fiancee.

9. Is it okay to call a man after your first date or should he make the first move?

P.Y.T: While I admit to making the first move after a date…usually with a text to say I had a great time…I’m traditional so I really enjoy and appreciate when a guy makes the effort to contact me.  I don’t see anything wrong with the girl contacting the guy but just be smart about it so you don’t come on too strong or make yourself look desperate.

Lily:  I've never been good with this. I don't want to seem desperate to a guy. But I also don't want to seem uninterested to a guy I'm interested in. But if it's been a week and I haven't heard anything, I might text them or email them saying, "hey, I had a great time the other day! Just wanted to see how you're doing".

Mamba: He'll call you if he's into you.

Sara: It's okay to call a man. If he likes talking on the phone, that is. I hate talking on the phone so I am more of a texter than a caller. And there is nothing wrong with texting after a first date as long as you aren't approaching stalker territory.

10. When do you think is the right time to discuss an ex?

P.Y.T: Never?  But that’s clearly unrealistic it.  Everyone has a past and everyone is addicted to talking and asking about it.  So inevitably the ex conversation will happen.  Id say to try and postpone any serious ex conversations till the two of you have gone out a couple of times…by that point you probably wouldn’t even care so much…but before that is just unnecessary.

Lily:  I try not to bring up an ex, unless I'm specifically asked about them. If I'm not asked about them, I just leave them where they are: in the past. I do hate being on a date, and the entire conversation is about my date's ex.

Mamba: At least 3 dates in. At leasttt.

Sara: You should NEVER discuss past encounters you had with an ex. If you do talk about an
ex, don't mention names. Relay the anecdote quickly and move on. Otherwise you should fear the wrath of WOMAN.

11. When should be the first kiss?

P.Y.T: Whenever it feels right!  I've kissed in the middle of a first date, the end, on the second date.  You need to just live in the moment for this one, plain and simple.

Lily:  When it feels right. Sometimes, the first date feels right. You just know. Sometimes the third date feels right.

Mamba: With tongue, maybe third date.

Sara: Whenever you want it to be. Personally, I want to be kissed after a first date if there's been a vibe all night.

12. When should the first meeting of friends take place?

P.Y.T: Personally, I don’t like the idea of introducing my friends to all these guys that may not stick around.  Usually I wait until I know I’ll be bringing him around more than once…I feel by that point he and I are more comfortable around each other which makes it easier when either of you are meeting each other’s friends.   Meeting friends can be nerve-wracking so if the two of you are at least past that initial, awkward getting to know you phase it makes things a little more enjoyable.

Lily: I think within the first month. My friends are very important to me, and if a guy is going to be in my life, I want my friends to know him and vice versa.

Mamba: 2 months

Sara: A month or so after you start dating. And it should be in a casual setting.

13. When do you meet parents?

P.Y.T: I haven’t had to worry about this one in a while.  My last relationship was with someone I was incredibly good friends with prior to dating so meeting parents already happened.  I know my sister introduced her boyfriend to my parents after they were dating for a few months.  I think depending how things are going no sooner then 3-6mths would be appropriate. 

Lily: With in the first 6 months, but not within the first three. Maybe even a year into the relationship.

Mamba:  My parents are old fashioned, so I've got to make sure he's worth it. It took me like 8 months.

Sara: At the wedding

14. Do you think dating rules have changed, and if so, how?  

P.Y.T: The word rules bothers me just as much as the word should.  I feel like anyone who tries to date by following rules is just dumb.  Dating is something that depends on an individual…there is no cookie cutter formula to how you find your person. 

Talk to 10 people and you will get 10 different stories.  You may find some things in common but the path they took will be different then you will.  Trying to follow a rule will just leave you upset and wondering what you’re doing wrong when things don’t work out…and frankly, the only thing you are doing wrong is trying to follow a rule!!! 

I do, however, believe there are trends in dating and I absolutely believe those have changed.  For example…more people than ever are dating online.  Just a few years ago this had such a negative stigma attached to it and now almost every person i know does it.  Also, everyone sends text messages these days.  Whether it’s to ask how your day is going, tell you they are thinking of you or to ask you on a date…a text seems to be the dating substitute for an actual conversation.

Lily:  I think so. I think that things like "the man pays" or "the man asks you out" are no longer the norm. I think if you want to be in a relationship with someone it should be equal. A way to show this equality a woman must take the role of  asking someone out.

Mamba: Yes, but women have to remember... just because we have the right to be outspoken and more forward they have to remember that men like the chase. They want to feel like you're a catch and they want to feel like they are the man. Men are always going to be men.

Sara: Definitely. Women can do more now, and that's pretty nice. Except for the whole helping pay thing. That part sucks.


Man Talk: Dating Rules

Posted by AfroElle On 10:36 PM 0 thoughts

Six men, one round table discussion and a whole lot of rules, rules and more dating rules. We get their views on issues like how the feel when a woman approaches them, when they feel is the right time to introduce their significant others to family and friends and a whole lot more.

Meet the Men
Gerald , 26,Nairobi, Kenya, Communication consultant-Advertising
Ken, 28, Nairobi, Kenya, IT Manager
Ibss, 28, Benin, Social Worker
Alex, 26, Nairobi,Kenya, Enterprenuer
Teddy, 25, Nairobi, Kenya, Businessman
Anthony, 25, Virginia, Teacher

1.As a man how do you feel when a woman walks up to you and introduces themselves as interested in you?

Gerald: When a woman comes up to me, its always a mixed feeling-of-course I feel flattered at first, then ask myself now what. but i usually feel like they have done this to numerous other guys and i am not the first one.

Ken: I would be pleasantly surprised and see if we can go get to know each other's interests,basically if we can get along.

Ibss: There is no problem with me. After all she's just come to talk to me as interested. It can be on any field.

Alex: Flattered!!!I have always wondered how women gauge a guy’s hotness. I would be flattered.

Teddy: I get excited. I like independent women going for what they want. I also want to hear how they would do it- the approaching part. I feel really appreciated though at some point I may feel I was kind of slow so she took the first step.

Anthony: It would actually make me feel alot more confident and that I'm in control. I know that sounds a little brash but let me clear it up. Women always feel more powerful as if they hold your fate in their hands when you approach them. I would feel the same way. I welcome any woman to approach me, not just for that explanation but because if I don't notice you right off the back then you should come and get me. Besides men are usually to scared to approach a woman.

2.What do you feel about a woman asking you out on the first date?

Gerald: If its a woman that I have admired and has some form of attraction towards, then it feels good since i dont have to go the trouble of asking her out. However it's very different when its a woman you've met for the first time; a lot of qstns usually runs through my head , like, what's her agenda? of all the men out there, why me? is she after something? Most of the time I never go to these dates, call me old school.

Ken: I would be proud of her,it takes a lot for a lady to initiate the first step

Ibss: Well it depends on the kind of relationship i have with the lady. If she is close then there is no problem otherwise i will find it weird.

Alex: If she is hot (read I asked for her number then she threw the idea) I’d be interested. If she is desirable in another man’s eyes, I would be hesitant.

Teddy: I think its okay. I would so go, it doesnt mean she is loose or anything. Infact I would brand her as a go getter.

Anthony: Hey its 2010, This is the millennium of women holding more power, I do personally need to feel like a man, so even if they pick the first date, I still have to be the gentleman to pay, hold doors and pull out chairs.

3.On the first date,do you pick up the woman from home or do you meet in a public place?

Gerald: On the first date, we definitely meet in a public place-however ideally a coffee shop since this is not too noisy and not too personal as well. here you get a chance to talk and know her.

Ken: You meet in a public place since as a first date you are yet to know her.

Ibss: We will meet in a public place

Alex: I'm old fashioned so I’ll def drop her home or at least offer even if date goes south or she is up tight, as for meeting depends if she believes in chivalry or not. is he does, i'll pick her from home, if not a public place-build trust.

Teddy: A public place; equal grounds,it makes both parties feel comfortable with no tension

Anthony: First date you meet in a public place. I'm sure no one wants to give away their address and their home location on the first date. Only exception is if their will be drinking involve.

4.Who do you think should pay on the first date?

Gerald: Most definitely I will pay on the fist date; you obviously want to leave an impression on your date.

Ken: My ego will not allow you to pay on the first day!!

Ibss: I always pay; unless she's the one who invited me and insists on paying.

Alex: The guy only if she is a cultured woman.

Teddy: I think being the man I should pay even if she insists though i find it appealing her paying but I'm the man and I should be the provider so it symbolizes that I should and can be able to take care of her.

Anthony: The man, I'm a tad bit more old school and I realize alot of the answer may be you should pay for your own, but that would defeat the purpose of a date to me. Its not to impress a woman by flashing around how much you have, its just the right thing to do, your trying to show that woman a good time.

5.What kind of questions are you not supposed to ask on your first date?

Gerald: The first date is usually an "ice breaker", so whatever we talk about shouldn't be too deep/serious. questions like; where do you work? which campus/college? where do you hang out? type of movies etc. Just general stuff.

Ken: MMhhh...questions that elicit long silences frm either party,basically anything that will offend both.

Ibss:I'd avoid personal questions and/ or embarrassing ones.

Alex: How much money do you make? What is your purpose in life? stuff about your parent.

Teddy: How much she earns, her relationship experiences and her exes, how old she is,does she snore at night .

Anthony: Sex questions is a no no in my book. Yes I'm a guy, Yes I think of sex, but you don't want to go into a date full steam breaking out on the topic. Bringing up exe's; No one wants to hear, "Oh, my ex use to do that", or "My last bf/gf......" Not only is that annoying but its rude. I don't want to pay for their mistakes, but atleast get to know me before you pull out the comparison chart.

6.If the date is going all wrong, how do you end it?

Gerald: One thing that has always worked for me if a date is going wrong is that I usually fake a call, then i excuse myself citing urgent matters to attend to; and that will be the end of me and her :-)

Ken: The mysterious emergency from home!

Ibss: It depends on the state of the date. If you just don't feel the date you tell her.

Alex: Send a text message for credit balance then when you receive, say how you have to do get medicine for your parents and you need to rush home.

Teddy: Two options; come clean or come up with an excuse like a fake call.

Anthony: I'm not one to lie, so honesty is the best policy, but do it subtly. Just close it out after you finish dinner or whatever activity you were doing. No need of being rude and making excuses like "my brother is stuck in a ditch, I have to drive my forklift to get him out" Thats lame and tacky.

7.How much should you tell about yourself on your first date?

Gerald: Do not reveal a lot about yourself on the first date. let it be as casual as possible. you want to remain mysterious, its the only way to keep your date interested on a second date

Ken: It depends on how comfortable you feel talking with the date,for some,you can talk the whole night long.For others,you listen!!

Ibss: Nothing much. I don't open up much on first dates

Alex: “Four strengths and half a weakness” in every conversation topic

Teddy: Just a little information. I like being mysterious, create suspense make her want to meet you again. Let her talk though women like men who listen. Make sure you are funny too.

Anthony: Humans are glaciers, we only show about 10% of ourselves to people we are just getting to know. I don't think your whole life story should come out on the first date, rather talk on your first date should be more about interest and things you like to do. Possibly a few dreams and aspirations.

8.Describe your best and worst date?

Gerald: My best date was with my one time x girlfriend. I had always wanted her and when she finally accepted to go on a date with me, I was relieved to find out that we had so much in common. we talked for hours.

My worst date ironically was my first date with my current girlfriend :-). we were so nervous that we uttered merely 3 words to each other, to make it worse she had a dentist appointment and i had to rush back to the office. the 2nd one was BETTER.

Ken: My best date; I met her in a bus sitted next to my pal,we chanced to meet later on when she found me at the said pal's place.She invited us for a drink,then we found ourselves talking as if there was no one else in that room!!We talked about everything and nothing in particular!There was just something...

Ibss: The worst date was when I got stood up by a lady on the first date and she never talked to me again. The best was... Can't even describe.

Alex: Best: valentines 2003 my first date with my high school sweetheart. I bought her perfume, chocolate and hired a cub that i picked her form their home that took us to getaway spot where we dined.

Worst: July 2008>>>she (my date) came with her sister

Teddy: Best: she came over to my place we made lunch together,made porpcons, watched a movie then bonded as we drank coffee.

Worst date :met at an icecream palour and my ex was there she saw me came and she didnt want to go. Before she left she made sure she mentioned we used to go out together.

Anthony: Best Date: I went on a date with a girl I went to high school with, but we never talked and barely knew each other. 7 years later we met at a party exchanged numbers, and went on a date 3 weeks after. All we did was sit in a restaurant and talk, talk as if we have known eachother and been friends forever.

The best dates are the ones where you just have chemistry with a person, and you can start up a conversation about dirt and it turn into an 30 minute laugh fest about how dirt is interesting.

Worst Date: We just had nothing in common. The awkward silence was almost unbearable. what makes it worst we were in a bar a lot going on, there was plenty of funny moments happening around us to where we could of laughed together and discussed what happened but we didn't. Whats worst is that I drove her from her car (parked in another parking lot) to where we ended up going for the night. Longest 7 minute drive ever!

9.Do you feel its okay for a woman to be the one who calls first after your first date?

Gerald: It doesnt matter who call first after the date, so, yes, its okay for a woman to do it.It is SIMPLE, whether i call first or she does, if i like her that will not change anything.

Ken: I have no problem with that,I do not beleive in thes rules we ascribe to that a man has to do this,a woman that.I mean,if you felt something for the other,Do it!!I would not think any less of you.

Ibss: Whoever calls is OK. I will look forward to call her just to hear about her but if she calls before i pick my phone, then it's all good. There is no preference.

Alex: The one who reaches home last after the date calls first if they are really interested. So if the guy is going home and the lady isn’t then it’s okay for the lady to call and vice versa.

Teddy: Well I'd rather call first.I can judge from her talk if she had a good time and if she would be willing to go for another date with me and if she doesnt want anything more I would also tell from that call.

Anthony: Yes, but only because guys have a stigma of being to needy or pushy if were calling first after the first date. In my opinion it is the guys job to impress the woman on that first date, therefore she has the power to let me know, if i did a good job or not, and that comes from being the first to call/text. From there I can do my duties of arranging a second date.

10.When do you think is the right time to discuss an ex?

Gerald: Its never the right time to discuss an ex, EVER.However, if it ever comes up, then it should be after numerous dates and when both of you are comfortable enough about one another.

Ken: Anytime.

Ibss: There is no right time to discuss an ex. It just comes out as you talk

Alex: First date-at least the memorable one;That you know how high the bar is

Teddy: Not on the first date, after a while unless she insists! Your ex is your past and she has nothing to do with her. It shouldn't look like you are doing comparisons like you want her to fill your exes shoes. I want something new, if I wanted my ex I wouldnt be with her.

Anthony: There is no right time to discuss an ex. The only time to even mention an ex is when asked a specific question pertaining to the ex such as; Have you ever been cheated on? Who gave you this...? What was your worst ex eperience?

11.When should be the first kiss?

Gerald: The first kiss shouldn't be timed, this come naturally i believe. I know I have kissed even before going on the first date :-)

Ken: That too!!You can never plan for these things,if you both are feeling it.

Ibss: It depends on how fast the relationship grows. Because kissing someone comes with you asking them out.

Alex: When you run out of stories or are comfortable with the plain and ordinary

Anthony: The 3rd date. The first date is feeling each other out. The second date is a confirmation that a relationship with this person could possibly work out. The third date would be perfect to spark and start off a new relationship.

12.When should the first meeting of friends take place?

Gerald: The first meeting of friends should come after both of you have clearly established that the 'thing' is a long time thing. that you have a future; short or long, regardless. may be after 5 dates.

Ken: As soon as possible...show me your friends,I will know who you are and what influiences you.

Ibss: The moment you officially start going out

Alex: After you have done a couple of dates including going to an event where the only other person you know is your date

Teddy: 2-3 months you will have known how she is and what kind of friends i would introduce her to.

Anthony: After a solid 2 weeks of seeing each other, then you should incorporate friends. Friends have a big influence on a blossoming relationship, and its important to find out if they are able interact and get along with your friends and vice versa. Its hard to have a relationship if you can't get along with any of each others friends.

13.When do you meet parents?

Gerald: Parents? that's a different topic all together :-). you never meet parents unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure that she/he is worth it!!

Ken: Always a tough one for me,mmhh...when you are in it for the long haul.

Ibss: That depends on how the parents behave and see the relationship. It can be 3 months after you start dating

Alex: After you have had some fights and worked it out and you are intuitively thinking of spending the rest of your days together

Teddy: Mostly never,unless we are engaged. Life happens and my parents may like her and we break up and I get another girlfriend , so my parents will wonder what happened.

Anthony: After the 3rd month mark. I feel like you will atleast know you can make it up to a year if you pass the 3 month mark, and that should be good enough to meet the parents with because the relationship is getting serious.

14.Do you think dating rules have changed, and if so, how?

Gerald: Yes, dating rules have changed. but come to think of it, what were really the 'rules'? nowadays women are more aggressive nowadays; going for what they want!!

Ken: The scenario I see is one of physical attraction with little inter personal communication,leading to mispalced expectations. I would love to go back to the days where you got to know someone for who they are,not for what you think thay have.

Ibss: Some rules have changed. There are many new worldly things that have clogged us. (e.g: sex)

Alex: I think the dating experience is the same regardless of time, age, rules, social status..eg the feeling my lady will have when I take her out to buy her a cup of tea for 5/- if we both lived in the ghetto is the same as if I bought her a glass of wine for 5k if we are suburban. But yes they have changed. Couples are more experimental.

Teddy: Yes! Older women chasing aftee younger men. Women sharing a man and they are okay with it,special arrangements like friends with benefits! The old schook kinda love is dying, the joy of the chase is not there anymore and that is so sad.

Anthony: Naturally, as humans evolve so does the laws of dating. There is actually more pressure on the woman in my opinion. Not only are men waiting for their answers and actions, they also now hold more of the cards when it comes to making contact or planning out aspects of the dating. So it went from Men holding those cards to having more of a shared hand with women.
Photo source


AfroElle Magazine

Tag Cloud

Featured Couple Reviews Singular Fashion&Style Ladies Talk Featured Article Finances Marriage 101 Sisterpreneur Phenomenal Woman Faith

Join the Community

About Me

My Photo
AfroElle is an online destination for women of Afro-descent around the world.AfroElle's overall aim is to provide content for black women around the world and for them to find empowerment and encouraged to lead fulfilled lives through this magazine style blog.
View my complete profile

Look Around