Relationship expert Demetria Lucas authored the much-needed and aniticpated book of her personal dating tales titled A Belle in Brooklyn: A Single: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. In the post-Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man years, it's reassuring to have a female pen something very honest and true to navigating the maze of relationships from a woman's perspective. Flipping through the pages of Belle's diary (or at least it seems like it), Vixens can find a reflection of themselves in some fashion. VIBE Vixen decided to catch up with DL on her book tour to talk specifics about her journey through the throes of passion, love and lust, as well as get her to drop some dating knowledge on us single girls! -Niki McGloster (@missjournalism)
VIBE VIXEN: What has the ride been like penning your first book?
DEMETRIA LUCAS: It has been whole lot of hard work. This is the most I ever put into doing something in my entire life. When you do features, it’s like 1,500 to 2,500 words and you can knock that out fairly quickly if you need to, but the process to write a book? That’s about 85,000 words. Writing that much and editing at that volume is pretty intense. People always say writing a book is like having a baby, but this is the most intense process. I really feel like I set something into the Earth, but I am super proud of that.
Did you have to force yourself to sit down or did the writing come to you? I know many of these are specific stories of life experiences, so I imagine it would be easier than writing fiction.
No, I didn’t have to force myself to write; it was finding the time to sit down and write. A lot of the book, at least the first draft of it, was written in my Blackberry on the train going to and from work, so I definitely had to make the time. You would think that writing about my life is easy than doing a whole bunch of research, but I put a lot of it out there in the book. I talk about heartbreak, and I talk about some traumatic events; I really wanted people to go there with me [and] that took a lot emotionally out of me.
How did it feel to revisit those emotions especially the night with Dakar and Greg? Did you cry or find yourself shying away from revisiting those emotions as you were writing that part?
I don’t want to give too much away for those who didn’t read the book, but I dealt with that situation in an unconventional way. When I was writing this passage, I realized it was the hardest to write for obvious reasons, [and] I went back to behaving the way I had for so many years before I had the opportunity to confront the issue. In the sense, I usually go out and roam around looking for a party or a club, and if no one wants to go, I’ll go on my own. But I found myself wanting to be around people, wanting to be safe and protected. My mother didn’t think I should include this because she didn’t want me to relive it and people to constantly ask me about it. When I used to tell that story, I never met a woman who didn’t have a story of their own. It’s almost like a very sad and unfortunate rite of womanhood that she had been in a situation where some guy had forced himself on you in varying degrees, so I felt that it was important to talk about. This is a book for women, and this is something women have to deal with.
As a woman, I definitely appreciate your raw honesty. Are there any rules, similar to that common three-month sex rule, that you can offer to women? Some you didn't include in the book?
You should date men through seasons in order to get to know them. I know a lot of women say, 'We’ve been dating for three months and he doesn’t know where its going.' Well, that’s because you don’t know him. In three months, everyone is still in the great representative phase; somewhere around day 91 is when they start to get real. You should try to determine his character and that can be determined during times of adversities. You need to find someone you like, get to know them and see how they are when their money isn’t right or they are having issues with their childrens' mom. To get to know people, take like six months. Another thing is: Women stop asking men what they do. To ask a man doesn’t say anything about who they are; it’s just what they do. Most men, whether they are broke or a baller, expect to be the breadwinner in a relationship. Now whether that is actually going to happen or not is a whole other story. He expects to be able to bring something to the table and to provide for his spouse or his lady. What your expectations are in a relationship don’t translate to men because that isn’t what they are looking for.
What are your thoughts on a woman being the breadwinner in a relationship, do you believe that it totally switches the gender roles in a sense?
It can. I was just reading another really great book about relationships for an interview I was working on. It was talking about how in black relationships, women are the providers. It makes sense because black women obtain college degrees at a rate much higher than men. It can change gender roles. Money in a lot of relationships equates to control. When women make a little bit of money, they want to run wild, [and] men recognize that they have no control when it comes to money, so they try to clamp down in other ways, so it can get a little ugly. If you do want to be with someone and you make more, do not allow money to be the thing that tears you apart. You have to sit down and discuss the expectations especially if you are married, you have to think in terms of us, our money, we, etcetera.
Have you found that there can be a functional A-B hybrid man? [Ed. note: Demetria's theory on A and B type of men can be found in the book.]