Essence advice columnist and comedian Finesse Mitchell prescribes practical relationship advice for Black women in his new book
Haven't quite solved that mystery known as man? Former Saturday Night Live comic Finesse Mitchell wants to clue you in with his new self-help tome, Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much: A Brother's Take on Dating and Mating for Sistas (Simon & Schuster, $22). Here's a sneak peek at the funnyman's sage advice.
ESSENCE: What inspired you to write a dating book for Black women?
Finesse Mitchell: I have so many single, beautiful, smart, female friends who don't have anybody. They always ask, "Dang, what does it take to get a man?" This book is for the woman who believes she's done nothing wrong, and it's all the dude's fault. It's also for the woman who's in a relationship and wants to keep things consistently good with her man. Because men just can't verbalize in a relationship. You two could be on the same page, but you're reading different lines.
ESSENCE: How effective do you think your advice has been?
F.M.: Everyone says that I'm real and I'm funny. But one time a girl told me, "I tried your advice and you were wrong." I said, "Look, I don't know how you said it or what you wore when you said it, but you can't put that all on me!"
ESSENCE: What would you say is the biggest mistake Black women make in relationships?
F.M.: You change. And while we all change, men like things simple. There was something about you when we first started dating that I liked, so when a year into the relationship you change that core of who you used to be-maybe you were freaky or you used to go out a lot, but not anymore-now, things are, well, complicated.
ESSENCE: In the book you've got a list of Surefire Cool Down Tips in case things get too hot and heavy with a new man. How long should a woman wait before having sex?
F.M.: I'm a fan of letting things happen naturally. As adults, I don't think there's a time limit to when you can become intimate. But the minute you decide you like that person, then it's not just sex. If you want to avoid having sex too soon, ask that man how his mama is doing and I promise you he won't go anywhere near you.
ESSENCE: What's the best way to keep a man interested?
F.M.: If a dude notices that a woman ain't pressed or she's genuine and not playing games, he's going to try to do something about that. It's about giving him space and at the same time not being neglectful. Just be real without being a "bug-a-boo," Boo!
ESSENCE: What advice do you have for women looking for love?
F.M.: Some women treat the bums and good guys the same because they can't separate past letdowns from new beginnings-and that ain't right. The good guy doesn't know what he has to do for your attention. So I'd say consider giving a good guy a break.
Whose advice do you trust more when it comes to men, your girlfriend s or another man's? Sound off below!