I have known Dan for a little less than 4 years now. I must say, people can surprise you. For about a year now, we had joked around that we were love doctors and had all the answers. I thought I had him figured out until he insisted that I interview him for my summer series. I must admit, this piece is a bit long. I didn’t want to short hand his thoughts and opinions by cutting our conversation in half. I love honest conversations.
Joy: How would you define a relationship?
Dan: The way two people are related to one another, there are a bunch of different types of relationships: family, friends, someone you dislike, boyfriend & girlfriend, f!ck buddy, friends with benefits, engaged, husband & wife, physical, emotional and sexual .
Joy: Can you tell me a little about the whole physical, emotional and sexual "Dynamic"? Do you think all three are important in an exclusive relationship? Can a romantic relationship sustain without one of the three?
Dan: Any one the three relationship types are difficult to sustain. They take two people being on the same page with what the other person expects. Romantic relationships can sustain, but it will not grow. You can sustain anything, but growth is how you make something flourish. Sustenance will just keep it alive, and you'll end up going through motions and/or looking for the missing part of your romantic relationship elsewhere
You have physical relationships were people just don't like being a lone, this doesn't necessarily mean that they are sleeping with anyone. But they are never really by themselves, they are somewhat dependent on others being around. When someone is not longer able to be physically close to them that relationship can fade. (Out of site out of mind).Emotional relationships can be between friends or people who are more than friends. It's not really about anything physical or sexual attention, but the two people rely on one another for emotional support. Not just when things are going bad, but when things are good. Someone to celebrate or cry with.Sexual relationships are often mixed up. You'll rarely find two people who are physically attracted to each other and neither one of them wants more than just sex. As much as people try to play it down, sex is a supposed to be a passionate and intimate thing. So when it just becomes something to do, someone usually catches feelings and someone usually loses interest.
Joy: Do you believe that it is important to have expectations in exclusive relationship, from the other person or from yourself?
Dan: Both, I believe if you don't know what to expect of yourself then you really don't know what to expect from anyone else. You teach people how to treat you by what you allow. There is nothing in a relationship that can be one-sided.
Joy: What are your personal expectations?
Dan: I would expect something from everyone; some will fill one category more than others. There is a bar set and standards are expected, but effort is appreciated. For me to get into a romantic relationship with a girl she has to be above what I expect. My standards are super high or anything, but I want to see qualities and things about her that will make me better.
Physically, I expect someone I'm attracted to, someone who physically is into something I am into, whether it is dancing, playing a sport, or just walking around or just spending time with one another and not doing anything. Someone I can sit in silence with and just enjoy their company.Emotionally, I expect more from me than from my partner. Honestly for all of my standards I feel like I expect more of myself because if she meets my standards why should I not go past that emotionally I expect her to be there. I'm not one of those people that will go through something and then reach out for help. I’ll deal with it myself and if someone is there I might get it off my chest. I know it’s a bad habit because people can't read minds, but once she is that close to me she'll be able to tell something is wrong by my behavior.
Joy: What about your expectations for yourself?
Dan: Expectations for myself are to be whatever she needs, cheerleader, friend, person to tell you to shut the f!ck up etc etc?
Joy: Why you don't share your emotions at first?
Dan: I'm a selective introvert and I'm selectively anti social. I love people but I would rather be by myself. When something traumatic happens I don't see how I could possibly lean on someone else if I can’t stand up a little by myself first. For me to lean on a person I have to really trust them and that trust is usually earned over time. We have to be in an open dialogue for me to express myself. I can't bring myself to pick up the phone and talk to someone when something is going on...I can only do that with my immediate family. To other people I can come off as such a strong confident person, but when you get to know me you realize I'm sensitive. Although I am confident, the people Ii love are very close to my heart.
Joy: Do you believe there are certain steps that you should take before embarking on a exclusive relationship? Or getting close to someone? How do you know you made the right choice?
Dan: You don't know if the person is the right person or not. Time, in my opinion is the most important thing in any relationship. I have to spend a lot of time with a person and really get to know them to fall in love. I fall in love with positive aspects of people character and I learn to accept the negative ones.
Joy: Do you talk to your friends or family before staring a new exclusive relationship?
Dan: Yea, my sister, my mom and Sena always know who I'm seriously talking too.I wear my heart on my sleeve; the older I get the more I start to put it into my hand so I can decide who gets it and who doesn’t. So crushes or girls I'm just talking to don't get mentioned. But if we're spending a lot together by default they'll find out cause I'm always talking to them.
Joy: Like do you let your friends and family help you decide when the negative is greater than positive?
Dan: I believe my sister is my guardian angel. If she sees something I don't about a female I might not go with it initially, but over time I end up seeing what she sees.
Joy: Do you believe love can be temporary? What separates like from love but time? Do you believe that love never ends its just takes a new form? Or does love really end?
Dan: Yea, love is just a strong ass emotion. Love has nothing to do with it…I mean it does, respect and being considerate are the utmost important. Relationships last because of commitments and respect, that is where our generation is f!cking up. Love is an emotion and you can’t base your relationship off of that, because you'll dislike the person your with at times. But if you know their intentions are good and you know that they wouldn't intentionally disrespect you, you should be able to move forward from certain things. But people get their feelings hurt and falling out of love.
Joy: Can you love more than one person... like at the same time?
Dan:Na. My love is my time and effort, it's special. If I gave it to everyone, it wouldn't be special. If I'm in love with someone I don't see why I shouldn't be able to be with them if we are both alive and I wouldn't wanna be with anyone else if I was in love with someone.
Joy: I thought you said love is an emotion. maybe you love one person but respect and want to commit to another.
Dan: It is an emotion, but it is also a commitment. You just don't love someone when things are alright.
Joy: Do you believe in open relationships?
Dan: Hell f!ckin no! I might as well be single. So ima be with you and you going to be with whomever else you want and ima do the same thing? I just seem like a waste of time.
Joy: You don't believe that you can have a great emotional, sexual and physical relationship with person A and just simply enjoy sex with person B?
Dan: Will person A know about this?
Dan: If person A is cool with you f!ckin person B and ok with it more power to them. So how will that person feel when person A is f!ckin someone else too?
Joy: Person A is ok with it also because she knows that you guys have that bigger connection.
Dan: So at what point will that relationship be monogamous or will it just stay open. habits form very fast.
Joy: Stay open
Dan: Na cant do all that... guess I'm selfish, I'm not about to share.
Joy: Do you believe in taking breaks in relationships?
Dan: Na. that is wack as shyt.
Joy: You will never say lets go on a 3 month break or something?
Dan: 3 months and do what?
Dan:So I'm supposed to be single for 3 months and then come back to the same issue we were having before? In that time I'm single we could be working whatever is the issue out? I believe in leave me the f!ck a lone for a couple of days. If I'm mad and I need my space, but if I break up for 3 months ima collect some bodies (laughs)
Joy: How do you solve issues? Are you the kind of person who needs space or do you need to talk it out right then and there?
Dan: Talk about whatever it is. If we both need time to cool out so be it. But I don't see why we shouldn't address it.
Joy: Do you become silent when your pissed or do you yell?
Dan: I talk very loudly. When I stop talking its all bad.
Joy: Who is your love doctor when you need advice (cough cough) ?
Dan: (laughs) my sister or Sena…. and you (laughs)
Joy: You're just said that (laughs) you never really ask me.
Dan: I don't really ask for advice. I spend a lot of time by myself and i usually sort things out.
Joy: Have you ever written a poem or are you a love letter kind of guy?
Dan: I'm a write down how I feel about you and give it to you type.
Joy: What is the craziest thing a girl has ever done to get your attention?
Dan: Attention to talk to her?
Dan:Talk nothing forreal. Girls never really think I'm interested in them because I'm so laid back. So a lot of them are hesitant to say something.
Joy: You need to learn to speak up
Dan: Cause that's who I am
Joy: So girls have to make all the moves?
Dan: I'm not one of these n!ggas that tries to hit everything moving and go out of my way to pretend to be interested in you.
No they don't. But I feel like we have to be friends before anything else first, that's why I never have bad break ups. Once we get to know each other they know how I am.
Joy: What if you are interested. You just sit and wait?
Dan: I've been called the nicest, most polite and kindhearted asshole someone has ever met before.
Joy: (laughs) ok