When it comes to happy, successful couples in the Hip-Hop world, only a few stand as shining examples. There have been a lot of Hip-Hop hook-ups and a few marriages; however, not all of them last. Perhaps it is because of the glare of the cameras; perhaps it’s the constant criticism. But, it also may be due to the fact that men and women (even celebrities) often have a hard time understanding each other.
Dr. Ian Smith, a friend of this site, talked to AllHipHop.com about his new book, The Truth About Men: The Secret Side of the Opposite Sex. We hope that he sends a few autographed copies out to some of our favorite Hip-Hop girlfriends. As a matter of fact, let’s get him a walk-on role on “Love & Hip-Hop”.
AllHipHop.com: As it relates The Truth About Men... I tweeted, "Reading Dr. Ian's new book, The Truth About Men, truth... men... isn't that an oxymoron?"
Dr. Ian Smith: This is exactly why I wrote the book. The communication between us is really horrible and getting in the way of us having great relationships. In The Truth About Men, I’m saying things that guys want to say to their women but won’t say. Basically, these are the things your man actually wants you to know, but simply won’t tell you. Why? Because some of these things are uncomfortable, difficult to bring up, and embarrassing. Guys will discuss them with each other in a locker room or at a bar, but they don’t do it directly with their women.
This is what leads to poor communication and creates problems and tension in a relationship that can be avoided. Lots of guys are happy I wrote this book and are even buying it and sharing with their woman and saying, “What do you think about this part of the book?” It has become a great conversation starter.
AllHipHop.com: What will this book do for women who live by the idea that "All men are dogs" or in real 'hood vernacular, "n*ggas ain't sh*t." ?
Dr. Ian Smith: This book will explain that men are not right a lot of the times, and that men have idiosyncrasies that don’t seem to make sense, but there are a lot of men who are not “dogs,” who are not interested in having multiple partners at once who are simply misunderstood. Women who read this book will better understand the core of their men and will gain a greater understanding of what motivates them in relationships. There will always be a percentage of men (and women) who are not desirable for a long-term relationship. This book can help you weed them out.
AllHipHop.com: No slight to Steve, but should woman really have to act like a lady, but think like a man?
Dr. Ian Smith: I think that men and women think a lot alike already in certain circumstances and not in others. Women and men do have common ground when it comes to wanting a healthy relationship, enjoying sex, and not wanting to be judged by someone else’s baggage that they bring to the relationship. But there are also areas where we don’t always see eye-to-eye, whether it’s how fast the relationship should progress physically, when is the right time to walk down the aisle, or issues surrounding physical intimacy. It’s not that women have to think like men, but my book says it matters a whole lot when women can better understand the way a man thinks. I also believe that men should also do a better job understanding the way women think.
AllHipHop.com: Was there a particular thing, person, or incident that motivated you to write this book?
Dr. Ian Smith: I have so many female friends who are fun, smart, attractive, and successful, and every time we get together they complain about not being able to find “Mr. Right.” I couldn’t understand why these women who in my opinion would make great partners, were continuously single. Then I realized that there were things guys were saying to them or doing to them that they were not understanding.
I started giving them advice to help them interpret these thing,s and suddenly a light bulb went off in their heads. They said to me that these were the answers they not only needed, but other women needed as well. They said that I should put all of these answers in a book, because lots of women across the country found themselves in a similar state of confusion and despair when it came to men.
AllHipHop.com: Did you worry for a second that people would think, Dr. Ian? The "Fat Smash Doctor"? What does HE know about relationships?
Dr. Ian Smith: Not at all. I wrote this book from a man’s perspective and based on lots of research. The book is full of data and studies and surveys that are quite surprising in many respects. Women who have read the book have written me and have said how they were happy to read the truth and to have some of the myths dispelled that they have been believing for a long time and had gotten in the way of thinking correctly about men.
Also, helping thousands and thousands of women lose weight over the years, I have been asked about relationships and men ad infinitum. Emotional issues with regard to relationships can play a major role in someone’s struggles with weight loss. I’ve given tons of insight to these women not just about calories and physical fitness, but what their man was thinking and why he wasn’t doing what they wanted him to do. Many of these women loved my answers and advice and encouraged me to compile it all in a book for others to enjoy.
AllHipHop.com: Is there a correlation between physical health and healthy relationships?
Dr. Ian Smith: To some degree. People who are into physical health tend to have the traits and perspective to help them have a healthy relationship. What it takes to keep up the physical is often part of what it takes to forge a good romantic relationship. Trust, perseverance, optimism, and goal-setting are just some of the common traits.
AllHipHop.com: In today's age of technology, do you think that people tend to have a false sense of intimacy? By that I mean, texting and Facebook statuses require less of an investment than even a phone call does to build a relationship.
Dr. Ian Smith: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the use of technology in relationships, as long as both parties agree to use it. The problem comes when one of the partners wants more telephone or in-person time, and the other keeps texting rather than investing more energy and time in other means of communication.
Women tend to complain about this more than men. I tell women that if they’re not okay with the amount of texting or FB’ing a guy is doing, let him know. If he doesn’t change, then he might not be the right fit. As much as I like new technology, I must say nothing beats a face-to-face, where you can look into someone’s eyes and touch the back of their hand. That’s just the old romantic in me that will never go away, regardless of how crazy exciting the technology becomes.
AllHipHop.com: Was there anything that you left out of the book? Something that you had second thoughts about adding?
Dr. Ian Smith: No. I put in all that I wanted for this book. I do, however, believe there could be a book two. That would center around the famous checklist that women have. Should you have one and if you do, when is it too long, and what are the right things to have on it?
AllHipHop.com: I noticed that you didn't really talk about cheating. Why do men cheat?
Dr. Ian Smith: There’s no one answer. Why do women cheat? People have their reasons, and trying to generalize them, I think, trivializes some of the major reasons why infidelity occurs. There are lots of layers when it comes to this issue, and it should be its own book.
AllHipHop.com: In the era of the "hook-up" or the "jump-off," is a relationship book still relevant for the Hip-Hop generation?
Dr. Ian Smith: More than ever. Most men don’t want long-term relationships with a “jump-off,” and most jump-offs don’t want to always be the other woman. While playing that role might be okay with a person in a short term situation, most women don’t want to spend the rest of their life as someone’s side dessert. They, too, want to be the entrée. This book will help women get a better grasp of this situation and open up to them the minds of men beyond their thoughts of physical desires. The Hip-Hop generation is searching for true love and healthy relationships just like any other generation. This is a universal desire, regardless of time or lifestyle differences.
Biba Adams is a Sr. Staff Writer and Book Editor of AllHipHop.com. Dr. Ian’s Fat Smash Diet book helped Biba lose 12 pounds. Follow her on Twitter (@BibatheDiva).
Dr. Ian Smith is a physician and author of eight books. He has appeared on "Celebrity Fit Club", "The View", and is a correspondent for NBC News. Follow him on Twitter (@doctoriansmith).