Just as every woman must grow from experiences so must every man. This list is dedicated to the fellas. These are a few things that every man should know before the age of 30. If you are over 30 and still do not have it figured out, don’t feel bad, just do better. Please feel free to add on…

1. Good Credit Is A Pathway To Success
Just as I mentioned with the ladies, having good credit can open doors and in some cases make life easier. Do not do the fool and accept all of the many credit card offers you will be receiving as soon as the clock hits midnight on your 18th birthday. You will regret charging those sneakers later.

2. Have Some Grown Man Gear
The latest sneakers are cool but nothing makes a man more sexier than seeing him in a nice suit. Even a nice button down and slacks can be a good look. Throw on some Kenneth Cole shoes or something similar in style and yummy. Jeans and sneakers can be your everyday apparel but know when to dress for the occasion and invest in having that gear on hand for said occasion. Fellas, you have no idea what the ability to dress for the occasion does to a woman. Trust me, it is a good thing. You must be able to switch your “swag” for every instance that life throws at you.

3. You Cannot live in your Momma/Auntie’s Basement Forever
Nothing turns me off more than a big grown a** man still living at home. Why are you 32 still living in your Auntie’s basement? Unless you ran into a financial trouble such as loosing your job, there is no excuse as to why you should not have your own space. Get off the nipple and step out into the world. Sure it can be “big and scary” at times but at some point everyone has to (or at least should have to) do it. Everyone had to get over the fear of leaving the nest and being on their own. I say this especially to the men because in my experience, I have come across more men living at home than women. Sad but true.

4. Making A Baby Is A Joint Responsibility, So Is Caring For One
I am tired of seeing men who make babies and are fortunate enough to be fancy free and footloose because they know that the mother will ultimately handle all of the responsibilities of caring for the child. So they get to live their lives as weekend or every other weekend Daddies and think that they are a part of their child’s lives. Uh no sir. What you are doing is equivalent to babysitting. You do not babysit your own children. I understand that some people are not fortunate enough to bring a child into this world and maintain a stable relationship with their significant other so split parenting has to happen. I’m not hating on that. I am hating on the half- a** Daddies of the world. Seeing your baby one weekend a month does not earn you a cookie. Learn the true responsibility of bringing a child into the world before you do.

5. Learn The Difference Between Quality And Quantity
I noticed that a lot of the younger guys get stuck on this. They think that having various women at their beck and call is what’s up. They think that somehow this makes them “the man” or solidifies their acceptance into pimping. No dear. First of all there is a clear difference in Quantity vs. Quality when dealing with women. Just because you are dealing with 6 women does not mean they are Quality women. So, sure you have plenty of numbers to zoom through on your cell phone but most of the numbers are from women who are not worth two nickels. So in actuality, you are the one playing yourself by wasting your time with all of these various women. If you are attempting to prove that you are cool by engaging in this I have to tell you that you certainly do not look it speaking from a women who possesses a quality point of view. It in fact opens you up to more diseases and other crusties. Especially if you are sleeping with all of these different women. Quality always prevails over quantity in almost everything in life. Learn this soon!

6. You Are Your Responsibility
This generation of younger men seems to be under the illusion that their success in life, their happiness, and their well-being is someone else’s responsibility other than their own. Wrong! You are responsible to yourself first and foremost. It is no one else’s responsibility to assure that you eat, are clothed, have money, etc other than your own once you turn 18. It is not your Aunt’s, your Mom’s, Big sister’s, baby momma’s, girlfriends, etc.. Only yours.

7. Learn When To Walk Away And When To Let Go
Too many times I hear guys complaining about their girlfriends’ being a waste yet they stay with them to only continue to complain about them. Then they become bitter and give hell to all other women after her due to some sick grudge against women they have acquired. When all of that could have been avoided had he learned what it was he desired in a woman and stuck with that. When he came across someone who seemed as if she did not have those qualities, he should WALK AWAY. For instance, if you argue with her constantly and the arguing brings you to the point where you consistently put your hands on her, at what point does it become your responsibility to get out of the situation as much as hers? From the beginning dear.

8. Your Boys Only Know What Is Right For Them
Younger men often find comfort in the acceptance of their decision making from their peers. Even if their peers have nothing going for themselves and have no clue as to what you want out of life. Learn to think for yourself at a young age. I have seen situations time and time again, where a good kid gets involved with not so good kids and they drag him down in life. This could be due to peer pressure, a desire to fit in, etc. Learn at an early age that there is nothing wrong with standing alone in your decisions and maybe sometimes looking like a chump, lame, sucker etc for doing so.

9. Open Yourself To More Than Just Your Block
Step outside of your neighborhood before you turn 30. I am originally from Chicago’s Westside and my problem when dating young urban guys in Chicago was that they were afraid of leaving their neighborhoods. I could not open them up to taking trips, or even going to the Southside versus the Westside because they feared leaving their comfort zone. Thinking like this at such a young age is what leads to stagnant lifestyles and experiences. You never truly know what you could offer the world and what the world could offer you if you never leave from Madison and Pulaski. I’m just sayin…

10. Being Well Endowed Or Great At Sex Does Not Make You A Man
Just because you can swang that thang like nobodies business does not mean you are a man. Nor does it mean that you are ready for the consequences of that behavior. Do not let your penis be the only thing that makes you special. Have more to offer a woman than that alone. You have to step it up because there are plenty of penises to go around. Also, you may not be aware of this but women get penis thrown at them daily so you are not the first to offer it up. Which is why you should have something more than your long stroke to bring to the table when dating or pursuing a woman.

11. Require More Than Just A Good Looking Woman. Dig Deeper.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a bad chick on your arm. However, you cannot let that be the only deciding factor in dating. So she is gorgeous with a big booty and….. If that is all she has to offer you then you might want to keep looking because ultimately you will bore of her. Why waste your time and hers? Determine what qualities you want in a woman outside of the beautiful face and her measurements. It is not difficult to find someone you are attracted to. Don’t be so simple. Remember, beauty is temporary, but stupid is forever. Real talk.

12. Learn Manners
By a certain age, a man should know how to open doors, pull chairs out, not walk five feet ahead of their girlfriends when walking down the street etc.. Social manners are included. No woman wants to go out to dinner with a man that is leaning all over the table with his elbows like he is about to nap. If your mother does not teach you these things then invest in someone else who will. There is someone around you who knows. Perhaps an older man. Trust me.

For more of La’Juanda “LJ” Knight check her out @ yeahshesaidit.com.

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