If you ask Tionna Smalls the best way to hold on to your man is to let him know you don’t need him.
Love coach Tionna is telling girls to toughen up in her new book, Men Love Abuse. But before you think she’s telling you to haul off and box with your boo, Tionna wants to make it clear that she’s not talking about physical abuse.
"I never advocate for domestic violence," she clarified. "It just simply means that a man likes a challenge. A man doesn’t like a girl that is all in his face. A man doesn’t appreciate a girl that stops her whole life just to make him happy."
The idea for Men Love Abuse came from Tionna’s everyday life. After seeing her get Chilli to think about her love life more realistically on VH1′s "What Chilli Wants," all kinds of folks have been clamoring for her advice.
"Ever since I did ‘What Chilli Wants,’ people approach me all day and they just tell me their love problems," Tionna told S2S. "People were, once again, telling me their problem[s] with men. I said that, ‘You know what y’alls problem is? You don’t understand that men love abuse.’"
After she posted that though on Twitter, there was a flood of re-tweets that stirred up a conversation. There were "guys answering, girls replying." That sparked the idea for her to write up some guidelines for love.
In Tionna’s experience, she noticed that the women who give up everything for a man, wind up alone because they don’t have anything going on for themselves outside of the relationship. A woman can’t be in her beau’s face all the time, and she can’t be at his beck and call.
"Guys like the girl that ignores them. The girl that doesn’t play with them. The girl that has options," she explained. "A man can’t be the main priority of your day. And, with most women, a man is their main priority."
And it wouldn’t be a bad idea for women to have something to keep themselves busy. Working towards your goals is sexy and that means that sometimes your man may have to wait for a minute. "Never let a man have too much access to you," said Tionna. If he’s really into you, he’ll stick around and he’ll be glad for the time that you carve out for him. That’s one way to let him know that he’s a priority in your life, but that he’s not the only thing your in life.
Hope is not lost for nice girls, though. "Men like nice girls. It’s just about how nice are you," she explained. "Are you so nice that you become stupid? It’s a limit that you should have."
Yes, much like a rose, Tionna feels that it’s okay to be sweet but one should use her thorns when necessary. "Some women are just naturally nice, but you’ve got to learn how to turn that b*tch switch on sometimes," said Tionna who advises that being a little tough every now and then is a good way to maintain respect in a relationship.
Tionna stresses, though, that the best way to command respect is to know your worth. "Do you want to know what the main thing is? It’s the self-esteem," Tionna said. "They’re going to treat you, the way you treat yourself."
In fact, Tionna points out that the amount of regard a man gives you, lets you know how he really feels. "A man that loves you, respects you," she explained.
In Men Love Abuse, she also details a few rules that every woman should follow if she wants to get and keep a good relationship that is truly fulfilling for her. For example, Tionna suggests that you should not cook for a man that has not established a relationship with you.
"No title, no chicken," she said. "You don’t cook for a guy that you’re dating. You don’t know nothing about this guy to be sitting here and cooking for him. He needs to earn that. If he wants you to cook for him, he’ll make you his girl."
Tionna also wants women to "save the suck" (we trust that you know what she’s talking about) and make a hasty exit when a man starts texting while you’re on a first date.
Don’t take her advice too far, though. There’s definitely a limit to how bad you can be. "You can’t be too b*tchy," she said. "There’s rules to the game; I don’t want women to walk around here like a raging b*tch. No man wants that either. It’s about balance."
For more of Tionna’s tips about how to get the kind of relationship you really want, pick up Men Love Abuse, in stores now.
But if you’re still lost about your love life, why not just ask Tionna for a little help directly? The love coach will be answering your questions in our upcoming relationship column "Tionna Says."
Send in your questions to TionnaSays@s2smail.com, and see what she’s got to say about your situation.
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