The Relationship Nerd
Yep, that’s me you see below in the pages of the brand new Essence Magazine, skinny tie and all.
I, along with five other relationship bloggers, are featured in an article entitled, “The Relationship Rules.” Since I want everyone to pick up a copy for themselves (it’s the one with Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union on the cover), I won’t get into what was discussed. Instead, some context about the discussion itself.
In the issue is a condensed version of what I remember being a two-hour discussion on relationships. Let me be the first to say, two hours is a long time to discuss anything. Presidential debates don’t even last two hours, and they’re actually talking about something important. If it wasn’t for the refreshments they had in steady rotation, I probably would have fallen asleep, not from boredom, but from exhaustion.
Few conversation topics are more mentally and emotionally demanding than ones about relationships, or as I like to say, matters of the heart. At the end of our discussion, my comrades and I did not want to say a word to anyone our vocal chords were so stretched. But I remember walking away, feeling like the conversation we just had, the one not everyone was going to see or hear, was indeed, important.
I never intended to portray myself as some relationship expert, when I started this blog,. I have relationship experience, but expert? No, not I; not ever. I didn’t know what I was doing then, and I don’t know what I’m doing now. All I know is what I’ve done and the lessons learned. As a matter of fact, I care more about sounding like I’m still trying to figure it out than someone who’s solved this most complicated topic.
Needless to say, somewhat reluctantly, people have dubbed me an authority of sorts on love, sex, and relationships. I humbly accept whatever tag given to me, because I understand the game I’m playing, but if I had the power to do so, I would demand everyone refer to me as a Relationship Nerd.
Every passion has its nerd following. There are sports nerds, there are Harry Potter nerds. I am a relationship nerd, someone who cares passionately about relationships. I care about my own, but more importantly, I care about others too, which is why I have this blog.
When I was in eighth grade, our middle school had these things called Valentine Grams. Basically, for something like $5, you got a heart-shaped balloon, some candy, and a card for your crush or girlfriend. If you’d like, you could write something in the card. I had a nice little side hustle, where if you paid me $2, I wrote the note in your card for you. Don’t think I was just trying to write some cute little poetry. I would actually talk to the guys, ask them questions about how they felt about the girl who was receiving their gift. I wanted whatever I wrote to reflect what they felt, not what would sound good.
Some would say these were the tell-tale signs of a kid who would one day grow up to be a romantic, but Romeo I am not. None of this has ever been about romance, nor has it been about sex, as some would love to believe. All of this is about the reason we wake up everyday: To feel something, anything, for someone, anyone, besides ourselves.
When my colleagues and I sat down to talk about all these different relationship and dating scenarios and rules, it became clear to me how much each of us care about this whole relationships thing. I may write this blog about myself, but I publish it, and put it out there for everyone else to enjoy. Most importantly, I write about all of this because I feel it’s what brings out the best writer in me, a fact I must stress to anyone reading.
There are folks who say relationships are easy to write about. On a basic level, it’s easy to write about any subject basically. The hard part about writing anything is writing about it well. The thing I care about most is you all, the readers. I don’t want people who read my blog to feel like they’re wasting their time or their brain cells. I want people to feel like they’re smarter for reading what I write and their lives are that much better for it. We can agree to disagree on any number of topics, but I do hope we can agree what you wrote was well-written (in spite of a couple of small errors here and there) and genuine.
As someone who spends most of his days writing about love and relationships, believe me when I say, this topic can get old, but I believe it never gets stale. Every single day people fall in love, people fall out of love, people get together, people break up, we have sex, we go on dates, we start relationships. All of these things happened to me, and they have happened to you, and as long as those two things are true, I’ll be nerding out on it all.
In the coming days and months, expect to see more of me talking about relationships in some various capacities. The ESSENCE feature is the tip of the iceberg, and I’m very excited to tell you all about the other things coming down the pipeline, soon as they are confirmed. All of them are centered in some way or another, around relationships, and I hope you all follow along and continue to support this blog and the various endeavors I get involved with as a result.