Ask @jozenc:

Jozen C.
Latest answers

What's an accomplishment in writing/journalism/media that you're looking to attain/complete/finish in the next year and how do you think doing it will affect your life, if at all?

PaulCantor

I want to get my book done. I'm still working on the proposal to give to my agent, but that's the major bucket-list item on my career goal at this point. I have no idea how it will affect my life, but hopefully it will elevate my level of normal. Everyone I've talked to who has published a book says it opened up a lot of doors for them, and I hope that's the case with me.

The other thing I've kind of learned about myself as far as journalism goes is I think I'm more comfortable with being a journalist who talks about dating and relationships and covers lifestyle stories. It's given me a deep satisfaction when I've written guides telling people where to go or what to do. That stuff may seem hackey to some people, but not to me. As a reader, there are people I follow who when they say, go check out this place, I go. I appreciate those people and I want people to appreciate me in a similar way.

There's a lot of pressure to be a certain type of writer or to write about "important things." I think I was succumbing to that pressure for a while, frustrated at myself for doing things like dating when there was more important things in the world to worry about. But I've realized, I can be conscious of those things and care about those things, and don't necessarily need to rite about those things. Other people can probably do it better than I can, so I should just let them.

And I think all of that plays into what is my ultimate goal for this year, which is kind of abstract but I'll say it anyway. I want to be comfortable being the writer that I am and within that find ways to improve and get better.

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Have you seen or heard about the show Married at first sight? what are your thoughts on it/ the concept

Yes, I have and I think it's fascinating as well. It's extreme, but in an honest way. The stakes are high and you can tell the participants are really feeling every single moment of the process. Other shows like the Bachelor try to fabricate romance and make dating seem like a fantasy. Married at First Sight seems more like a grand experiemnt in matrimony culture, and that to me is a lot more fascinating.

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You gave great advice which asked the question 'are you rly interested in that person OR interested that they're interested in you?'. i cut myself off cold-turkey from this person bc i actually didnt like how they treated me & THANK YOU. They came back (of course) & i didn't feel anything anymore.

You're welcome. I'm glad to hear you're moving on.

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My friends clown me for the way I pronounce certain words. I'm black and from the east coast. To me it's regular but, when I get around certain folks they try to correct me. I'm a college graduate, but don't want to seem uneducated. Any advice?

I mispronounced words all the time and get teased for it. It doesn't bother me because I'm smart. Mispronouncing words doesn't necessarily mean we're not intelligent. It just means we mispronounce words on occasion. The next time someone corrects you and does so politely, just act fascinated and say, "I didn't know I was saying it wrong all this time. Thanks for that." Then, keep the conversation going.

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Where was this apt in Harlem for under $1k?? Living in Harlem now looking to move

I'm sorry for the late response. You asked this question about 20 days ago, which means you probably have already found a place. In any case, I don't know if you can find any apartment in Harlem under 1K, and if you can, I don't know if you want to live there. I know the building where I moved in when they only were charging under $1k a month has since raised their prices up. Now apartments there start at $1,300 a month. Still, if you want to find something spacious and affordable go further uptown to Washington Heights. There are places that have a lot of room and are affordable. You just have to be willing to venture out a little bit.

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Dating a guy 3 mos. Had rela. talk. He wants to be in a long term but has not asked me yet. We are currently playing "house" doing bf-gf things. How do I fall back until he asks me? I don't want him to get comfy and never upgrade our rela. to the next level

Try being patient. It's been three months and he was open about what he wants, which is to be in a long term relationship. What about that conversation makes you think he wasn't referring to what you two have? I don't get that, but if you really insist on holding out for this title, why don't you talk to him again. Not communicating isn't going to get you anymore answers than if you spoke up, and falling back will get you absolutely nowhere.

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Is it fair to ask s/o to consider moving x-country? I have a great job in San Diego and we've been doing the distance thing for 2 yrs now. $ spent on tix could be a DP on her ring. Feels like we cant save for our future bc we're always paying for flights.

Absolutely, man. Have the talk and make sure you let her know what your intentions are when she moves out there, that you want to begin your future together. Hopefully she feels the same and even though San Diego might not be where she wants to be, let her know that San Diego may not be forever, but you want you two to be forever.

Best of luck man!

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#4 How do u make avocado toast?

One of the most important things about avocado toast is the bread. I use Ezekiel Sesame Sprouted Whole Grain Bread, which you can usually find at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. They keep them in the frozen section. The reason why i like this bread is 1) It's healthy 2) It has a heartiness to it, so it's pretty fortifying.

While you're toasting this bread (which I do on a skillet but you can do in a toaster or toaster oven), peel an avocado in a bowl. One avocado will be enough for two slices of toast. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice, then start mashing it, leaving it somewhat chunky. If you want, add some tomato to this too.

Once your bread is ready, put the slices on a cutting board and start scooping it then spreading it on the toast. It's important you do this while the bread is still hot because the heat softens the avocado, so if you've used one that's fresh out of the refrigerator, it will make this process easier.

When you're done, hit it with a pinch of sea salt, and either cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes, if you want it to have some kick.

Other options are adding goat or feta cheese on it and, if you really want to elevate things, a fried egg. These last two parts are usually how I make my avocado toast. I love it and have eaten this for breakfast twice a week every week of this year.

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#3. Should i bow out gracefully... Stop calling and texting without the anger. Or call him out and say... Your not into me.... Are you seeing someone else? ... The breakup conversation would seem ackward since we are only dating.

Part 3.

You're right. Having a deep talk about this could put him on the defensive and cause him to just discredit your feelings by him simply saying something like, "Well, we're just dating."

I suggest speak to him through your actions and start dating other guys and slowly making yourself less available. Don't look at it as mind games, look at this as a silent statement. When and if he asks why you've been so quiet lately or less available, let him know everything you've told me and see what happens. Hopefully he clears some thing sup for you, because while I can't say he's seeing someone else, everything you told me leads me to believe he has some things in his life that he doesn't want to concern you with until they're handled.

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#2 From your perspective - Why continue to "date" me? Whats the point? He amd i are,over 40...

Part 2

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#1 Been dating this guy for almost a year. He texts and calls regularly. Dec, Jan, Feb, March weve seen each other once per month. Kissing And thats it... Just dates. Ive come to accept that he's not into me enough to fold me into his life. Thought it was work or we were growing into it. But its 1yr

Part 1

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Talking to a guy for 5 months. We talk several times a day. When we go out, it's chill. He's attentive & a gentleman -- nothing sexual. Confused bc occasionally he refers to me as a friend. I'd like to think no one talks to someone that often if they're not interested, but assumptions are dangerous.

You're right. Assumptions are dangerous.

I'm going to ask you the same question I ask anyone who hits me with this type of question. How interested are you in this guy? I mean, seriously, I want to know because from what you've described he sounds like he's done the bare minimum and yet, somehow that's managed to be enough to have you all up in your feelings. I respect those feelings, I just need to know how they got to be so strong for someone who has done so little. Why care so much about a person who has no issue referring to you as a friend? Why aren't you referring to him as a friend too? He's obviously been careful in his approach here. If he's not making any kind of physical advances towards you or any steps to truly be intimate, then he definitely enjoys your company, but he doesn't need your companionship. Believe it or not, some men just like having women as friends and that is probably the case here. Don't assume this, but I encourage you to make an educated guess using the facts he has given you through his actions.

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I'm 26.Ive been in 2 abusive relationships. I know my pattern and I've worked hard to break it thru counseling& my religion. Things trigger me, like someone standing over me during an argument. I met someone & want to be honest about by past w/o putting too much on him. Advice?

First, I want to applaud you for the work you've done to break this pattern of getting into relationships with abusive men. Seriously, I tip my hat to you. I don't know what the word is to describe how I feel about you asking me this question, but it is powerful and heavy and I appreciate you reaching out.

I understand, you want to get in front of this BEFORE something triggers an argument between you two. As long as he doesn't know why you may react so strongly to the way he argues, there is potential for things to get messy very quickly. The tricky thing here is knowing when YOU are ready to speak up about these past experiences to people outside of your therapist and spiritual advisor.

I don't know how you determine that definitively, but if you want to gauge your readiness for being more open about these things, here is what I suggest: Reach out to a friend, someone you know and trust who may not know about these past incidents. Tell them you want to talk and share with them these experiences the way you would this guy you're dating. I know it's deep, so I'm hesitant to call it a practice-run, but it is the only way you're going to truly know how ready you are to talk about these things.

Best of luck to you as you continue your journey of healing.

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What do you make of a guy who's been dating a girl exclusively (according to him) for nearly three years, but won't put a title on it because he says he equates "boyfriend-girlfriend" with "one step from marriage", even though he claims to want to marry the girl one day?

This one is tricky, because as someone who is very open about his relationship status and being a boyfriend, I can honestly say your man is right. The standards on boyfriends and girlfriends are pretty much on par with husbands and wives. Now I know my boys who are married will tell me I'm wrong, but I'm just speaking on how I feel. If I want to be my girlfriend's husband, I have to act like her husband and if I'm being honest, that pressure is real.

But the elephant in the room here is the amount of time you're talking about here. Three years is a long time to be with someone and still be adamantly against a title. There's a reason for that and you need to find out why. Maybe he wants to marry you at some point in life, but he doesn't want to act like your husband now. If you don't know what that means, have an honest discussion with him about it to find out.

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or for how long. He was lucky to have my affections, I'm sure about that, I just wondered if his past choices were indicative of other issues. The things you mentioned; fun, safety, intimacy all sound probable & potentially problematic. Standards can erode when you don't feel good about yourself (3)

Part 3. You have valid points all around. And before I even respond to the rest of this, I'd just like to establish for the record that I definitely have insecurities about me being 6'0 tall sometimes. I'm glad you noticed that.

Now, as for the rest of your question or rather, response to my response, I just thought it was extremely judgmental. I should've just told you flat out that no, there is no real psychology to sleeping with unattractive women because, well, it's tough to say anyone thinks someone they slept with is unattractive. Maybe these women didn't match the physical criteria he has to be in a relationship with them, but they definitely matched some criteria he had for him to sleep with them. I have not wanted to sleep with beautiful women who have wanted to sleep with me simply because they had something else about them that turned them off, something you can't describe in physical terms. And I have slept with women who maybe don't meet other people's standards of beauty, but I wanted to sleep with them because there was some unspoken chemistry between us. whatever it is, attraction comes to us in all types of ways. I think that should be respected.

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Nothing in my question merited being insulted by you. Please keep in mind that there are only 300 characters at our disposal. Since men are visual creatures, I found his past partners to be the antithesis of the women he often describes as his ideal. My concern wasn't what he sees in me (2)

Part 2 (and you're right, I apologize for insulting you in this question http://ask.fm/jozenc/answer/127096845724)

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Ha! I wouldn't have to be bright to realize you're obviously insecure about your own height. I mentioned my partner's height because I thought it may have been tied to the unattractive women in his past. I adored being able to look directly into his eyes and was wildly attracted to him. (1)

Part 1 (This is hilarious, btw)

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Matched online with a guy it turns out is the cousin of a good friend of mine. We've met in past & I find him amusing, but arrogant in a way that is a turnoff. I matched w/him on site b/c I didn't recognize his face & literally said "why not" & swiped right b/c of his style. Now he wants a date. I'm

This was six days ago. I hope you went out with him. Just because he was arrogant upon first meeting him doesn't mean that's how he is when he is just with you. Mixed company often calls on us to harness different parts of our personality. So who knows? Maybe in private you'll see all that ego is just a defensive mechanism for some insecurities he has but doesn't sghare until he's ready to be vulnerable around someone. That someone can be you. We never get a second chance to make a first impression, but we sometimes our first impression isn't going to be our best one.

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Y I don't like texting first - but then recently, he said he likes me enough to where he wouldn't mind hearing from me more. I just don't know if the sex changes that. Ugh. I hate dating.

Part 3 (and answer)

This question was sent to me six days ago. Hopefully you two have hashed things out. He's texted you and your worries have somewhat quieted down, but if he hasn't been as responsive as you want him to be, maybe you should talk to him and let him know your dilemma.

In these early phases of a relationship, we try too hard to satisfy the other person. You need to chill on that. This isn't just about him, this is also about you. Trying to protect yourself from him liking you less is a fool's errand. It sounds like he likes you and you two had sex, why are you waiting for him to tell you what's next? Ask yourself how you want to proceed. Do you want to see him again? Make some plans, even if it's just for sex, tell him you'd like him to come over later in the week.

My point here is, make the move you want to make.

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Here the relationship was going, but he's been open and told me he likes me, doesn't want to hurt me, etc. I don't know how to proceed - or if this one day of non communication is the start of something (he's been kind of consistent so far). Also - he mentioned that he needs his space, which is wh

Part 2

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Been dating guy for 3 months. He didn't really make a move til out sixth date. We has sex a week after that, on Sunday. I heard from him after, and he seemed to enjoy...but didn't text yesterday. Yes, I know. It's one day. But do things change after sex? Never done this before. We didn't establish w

Part 1

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Years ago you said you lived alone in Harlem. I don't know if that's still the case, but I'm curious to know why you are/were adamant about being roommate free? I'm not judging--living alone is my preference, too. I'm just curious. Also, have you ever had to defend this decision? My cousin chided me

I live with my girlfriend now, but before she moved in last November, I had lived alone for the better part of 9 years. There was another girlfriend I lived with for a year in 2007 or 2008, but yeah for the most part it's just been me.

I don't know if I was ever adamant about living roommate free. To be honest, I probably should not have been so stubborn about it especially after I was unemployed for the better part of three years. But once you live alone, getting a roommate almost seems like a step-back even though it means no such thing. I also was coming out of an ideal roommate situation that I knew I couldn't replicate. Add to that I actually found a one-bedroom apartment in Harlem for under 1K a month, and well, I decided I was going to make it work the best I could, which still remains difficult.

And no, I've never had to defend the decision.

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Do I really need to know why are relationship ended in order to accept it and move on?

Not right away. Time reveals all truths. As you move on, the answer will reveal itself one way or another and in more ways than you may be thinking.

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27, 9 yr relationship, Newly single, very much an introvert and homebody. Almost on the extreme side. So not much of a social person unless approached. With that said How would you suggest I go about dating?

Start an OkCupid account, join Tinder, and start letting your friends know you're ready to see what is out there. Tell them if they have any coworkers, friends, or family they might want to set you up with, you're game.

But whichever way you approach, keep your mind right and focus on having fun. Even if you are looking to get back into something serious, don't make every date about that. Your mind should be on enjoying this new chapter to the best of your ability so make sure the goal on every single date you have is to have as much fun as possible.

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A boy that I really like keeps asking me for sex. And I want him to like me too but i'm not ready for sex yet. He says he likes me, and we dated once, but I denied him sex again and he broke up with me. he continues to flirt with me, but its nothing to serious. I'm head over heels and idk what to do

Don't let your feelings for this boy compromise the feelings you have for yourself. Liking someone is nice, that's no reason to have sex with them. Them liking you is also no reason to have sex with them. The thing about sex is it's a lot of fun and feels really good when YOU are ready to do it. That is what is important here, so if you're not ready, you're not going to enjoy it. Wait until you're ready to have sex and don't do it a moment sooner.

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About Jozen C.:

Creator of the blog Until I Get Married/New York Post dating reporter/The Root contributing editor/Music and pop culture critic. Hapa man.

New York City