Five Lessons in Love from Michael Ealy [Diary of the Undateable]

I didn’t expect one of my dreams to come true on Monday afternoon…just a regular afternoon of interning and “Family Guy” reruns, you know? That changed when I was presented an opportunity to meet one of my favorite celebrities, Michael Ealy.

He visited my school for an exclusive press conference to promote Think Like a Man, a “relationship comedy” with an all-star cast. It’s based on comedian Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment. Considering my track record, I doubted that I’d be able to relate to the book, the film or the conversation. But Ealy broke down matters of love, dating and relationships in such a concise and beautiful way. He genuinely wanted the intimate crowd of media reps to understand him and see the movie on April 20.

Seriously, if his movie career and upcoming TV series bores him, Michael (who was an English major!) could easily write his own book. I’d buy it. Until then, I’d like to share the five most important things I took away from the conversation.

Act like a woman, NOT like a man

Surprisingly, Ealy had different views from the movie’s mantra.

“I don’t think a woman can actually think like a man,” he told the press. “I think that’s what makes women dope. They’re thinking like women. [But] in relationships, it would be strategic and wise to understand how a man thinks. That’s what we’re trying to do with this movie.”

Guys gossip too!

“A guy can take some advice from his friends…and that can lead down a really dark tunnel into other problems,” Ealy revealed. “Like an abyss of problems. Understanding that a man is going to talk to his boys, and understanding that his boys will give him some bad advice, I think that helps a woman have a certain amount of understanding and compassion for his bad decisions, too.”

Practice patience

Let’s face it…some guys still have lots of growing up to do. Michael admitted that he was the same way and so is his character, Dominic.

“When I was in my twenties, I wasn’t established at all. I didn’t know how to be a man,” he admitted. “There were a lot of things in hindsight that I was doing wrong. But I was 24! And I think that Dominic represents a younger version than me. But sometimes the way someone treats you matters more than what they can do for you. Does that make sense? Perhaps with a little bit of patience, this person may end up being all you ever wanted and needed.”

If all guys turn out to be like Mike, I know I’d willingly wait.

Undateable starts with Y-O-U

This one hit close to home. Ealy didn’t exactly use the term “undateable,” but that’s definitely what he meant. The truth hurts sometimes…

“If you as an individual are having a hard time dating, look in the mirror. It might not be your standards. It might be your breath. Who knows? I’m joking, but seriously…it might be something that you’re putting out there whether it’s daddy issues or mommy issues. If you’re blaming this guy for what the last guy did, that’s very common also.”

Don’t fall in love in college

“If you could offer one piece of advice to college students about love and relationships, what would it be?” I inquired. He looked at me with a smile, erupted in a rare chuckle and advised me, “Don’t fall in love in college! You’re way too young to be lovey dovey. There’s so much more life out there in the real world. It’s not the end of the world if you break up. You still have plenty of life ahead of you, and you’ll probably fall in love a couple of times before it’s right. You might even get married a couple more times before it’s right. Have fun. Be safe,” he emphasized with a stern look in my direction, eyebrows raised, “but have fun.”

When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.

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