Interviewed by Cesca Janece Waterfield
La Dawn Black contributes her down-to-earth love, sex and relationships advice to Essence and Glamour magazines, as well as to Match.com and is the author of three books, including a relationship how-to, a sex guide, and a collection of stories. She leads relationship seminars in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta and more and hosts “The Love Zone” on 92Q in Baltimore/Washington D.C. leading hot discussion in a syndicated show.
The strongest confirmation that LaDawn knows love’s lingo? She’s been married for 12 years “to a wonderful guy,” she says, and they have a 9 year-old son. “I went through a lot of the bad guys to get to a good one,” she laughs.
So if you’re ready for a spring fling or for the real deal, take heart, and listen to LaDawn.
I’m your best girlfriend. If you have some really deep issues that need medical attention, go see a doctor. But if you just need some good common sense girlfriend advice, definitely I’m the person for you. My advice comes out of my experience. A lot of the things that my listeners and my readers reach out to me about, I’ve been through. So I like to tell them how I got to the other side.
When I do love advice, the challenges are very different in each city. A lot of women are dealing with the issue of having partners or husbands that are locked up. How do you deal with that situation? Do you hang in and support? Or do you move on and find someone else? The other thing, we have a lot of women who are college-educated who are looking for brothers that are college-educated and having a hard time. A lot of our brothers wear uniforms and they work hard with their hands. What do you do if you’re a sister who has a Master’s degree or you’re a doctor or a lawyer and [you meet] a brother who has a great job, but doesn’t have the level of education that you do?
The Love Question
The biggest one is how to get men to commit. Women are having no problem finding men to date. But how to you make that jump to seeing each other, to seeing each other exclusively, to making this thing a solid relationship?
So What’s the Answer?
We as women don’t always listen to men. We go into a relationship with all the things that we want. But men pretty much will tell you what they’re willing to give. A lot of times when I talk to people, when we really dig into their issues, you’ll find out that the man has told her what he thinks about these situations and that she’s trying to change him. A man will come into a relationship and say, ‘I don’t want anything serious.’ Well, that’s probably not the man who wants to be your boyfriend. A man who has been divorced or who just got out of a relationship is probably not looking to get serious. Men come into a relationship knowing what they want out of it and very rarely are they willing to change. We as women just need to get the clues.
‘It’s All About Control’
We as women have a great amount of control in relationships. Men will tell you all the time when they’re honest that a woman controls the pace and also the future of the relationship. I think we’ve forgotten that. Instead of having that fake, inflated sense of self, you can have that subtle influence on the relationship and make it yours.
Love’s Organ: the Mind
When I do my seminars, I ask women, ‘What type of man do you want?’ But when you actually question a woman what is a good man for you, they can’t really break it down. When we actually draw up what is a good man for them, it’s amazing all these wonderful men they bypass during the day. We don’t see these men, because for some reason, they’re not what society says we should have as the ideal mate. The mind really controls what you get out of a relationship.
Juggling Books, Radio, TV and Stage
It’s a lot of fun for me. I really want to be a multi-media personality. It’s just about getting the message out there that good love is possible. A lot of it has to do with how you view love. Especially with women, a lot of times the limits that we place on our relationships are really self-imposed and if you just view it differently, a lot of times you’ll get the love that you want.
LaDawn’s Top 3 Tips for a Spring Fling
1) Your love life is in your control. Don’t give it up. If there’s something that you want out of a relationship, ask for it. You’ll be amazed that people will tell you they can give it, or they can’t. It’s the quickest way to not waste your time.
2) Be open. A lot of times we miss love opportunities because we have such a fixed idea of what we’re supposed to have in our life. You’ll be surprised: You’re thinking tall, dark and handsome. Your Prince Charming guy may actually be short, light and okay-looking, but he may be the perfect man for you. Be open to new people and new experiences.
3) Do not give up on love. I run into men and women all the time who haven’t met their ideal match. A lot of it is just their [attitude] is so bad. I wouldn’t want to talk to you either if I met you out! Believe in love and really be open and honest and ready for someone new. Don’t be jaded; let all of that old baggage go.