Entertainment

He Says, She Says Relationship Panel

Tue., Aug. 9, 2011 7:15 AM EDT
by Zondra Hughes

The panelists

Six Black Men took on the Six Brown Chicks on the “He Says, She Says” relationship panel that took place during the Black Women’s Expo held at Chicago’s McCormick Place over the weekend.

Exactly when a man should propose marriage, or rather, how long a woman should wait for an engagement, was just one of several questions posed during the panel.

The male panelists, consisting of rolling out publisher Munson Steed, DJ Vince Adams, author Kobie Randolph, radio host and filmmaker Chris Nolen, professional networking strategist Dwayne Hirsch, and hip-hop entrepreneur Carl West, collectively gave the (overwhelmingly) female audience a revealing perspective about what black men think about love and relationships.

Back to the question — how long should a couple date before they get engaged? Panelist Kobie Randolph told the audience that he could take about three years to determine if he wants to marry someone, and after the marriage, nothing is likely to change between them. So in other words, love shouldn’t have a time line.

“What do you ladies think, that when we jump the broom some magic fairy dust of love will sprinkle over our heads?” Randolph argued. “The love is going to be the same. So if I’m with you for three years, you’re probably going to be my wife.”

The women in the audience heard the word “probably” loud and clear and it caused a stir.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, panelist Chris Nolen told women not to wait at all; to make their desires known early on in the relationship.

“It’s all about timing and what that man wants at that particular time, if that man is at a time in his life that he wants to get married when he’s dating you, you could. If he isn’t —  you’re not. Stay in your lane. And as soon as you’re dating, tell that brother what the hell you want up front. If he’s not down with it, bounce.”

Six Brown Chick Gina B. added, “I don’t necessarily need to be married, I’m more concerned with the quality of the relationship. I think people are focused on getting engaged, the big party they’re going to have, the fact that I can now say that somebody thought enough of me to propose to me, but really, the foundation of the relationship needs to be there. We’re not thinking about that, we’re looking at the time frame, and that’s the wrong thing.”

He Says, She Says panelists were later surprised with personalized gifts from Adorable Designs that included ice cream and gourmet chocolate strawberries.
Photos by Bernard Williams

Video: Commitment and Relationship Terms

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