Certified heartthrob, Lamman Rucker, is not just a pretty face with an amazing body (although, we wouldn’t mind if he was). Close friend Jacque Reid ranted and raved about Lamman and his humble disposition and we were blessed with the chance to tap into the wise man, who not only boasts an incredible physique, but an intelligent, thought-provoking stance on romance and relationships. With his starring role in Tyler Perry’s upcoming sequel, “Why Did I Get Married Too?,” we picked this bachelor’s brain on some of the hot topics in Black love. Come take a seat on Rucker’s couch and let’s start this session.
What advice do you have for guys wanting to help their significant others develop a healthier lifestyle without coming across as being overly critical?
Lamman: Everything is a negotiation. Everything is a little bit of give and take. For some guys, they also have to understand this woman’s lifestyle, this woman’s schedule, her age, and the fact that her body might be different than when you met her. As my dad likes to say, you get more with sugar than you do with salt. It’s a combination of not trying to be slick or manipulative - but the power of persuasion is always through love. It’s always through saying things in a loving way as best you can from a true place. Although, there may be some selfishness in it.
So, people need to be completely honest.
Lamman: I think people just have to be honest and say, ‘You know, baby, you’re a beautiful woman and I love your body, but you know you could do more. You’d even feel better if you did more for yourself.’ It’s not just about physically being shaped differently, because you don’t want people to feel like they’re inadequate. At the same time, it’s a conversation that I really think people need to have with each other like, ‘Even though I think you’re an incredible person and I’m committed to you, the reality still is I also want to continue to be attracted to you. I want you to continue to be attracted to me.’ As superficial as they sound, we need to make sure that we both make a mutual commitment to maintaining that. Even though it’s a delicate territory to tread that water and not want to hurt anybody’s feelings, to some degree, I think it’s just a matter of figuring out what the right tone is, and what the right language is based on the person that you’re with. I don’t think not having it is the solution.
True. Sometimes, people like to put all of the effort on their partner’s shoulders with no help. That’s not completely fair, don’t you think?
Lamman: It can’t just be, ‘Ok, I’m here. I’m doing this. I’m on this treadmill all by myself, just so that I can continue to keep this woman’s attention.’ No. It’s a different way that you can be intimate. It’s a different way that you can challenge each other. It can be very fulfilling and really enhance the relationship if you look at it as something that’s not a negative criticism of you, but a way that you can improve your health. I mean, I’m not trying to have an invalid, or have you lying around in a wheelchair mad soon because you were too lazy to get up, and I was too scared to tell you to get up. There has to be some mutual accountability.
Speaking of different ways to challenge each other, what are some of your ideas for unique dates?
Lamman: I’m going to try to not give you all the jewels of my game (he laughs). For me, I’ve never been a person with a lot of money, and a friend was teasing me the other day like, ‘Lamman, you’re a good looking guy, and you’re smart and you’re tall, so you ain’t gotta have no money.’ Although there might be a degree of validity in that, the reality is that I’ve been passed over for guys who had more [money] or looked better. Maybe they had a car and I didn’t. That never really mattered to me. I just respected my limitations. I was always real about it, but there are so many things you can do with no damn money.
What are some of the best dates you’ve been on?
Lamman: Some of the best dates I’ve ever been on have been dates to the park. Do you know how many women have fallen in love with me after we spent a day on a freaking swing? Sometimes stuff is just that simple. What I’ve learned is that what most women really want deep down inside, is time, to get to know you, and your undivided attention. They want it to be about them for a little while. What better way to do that than for it to just be the two of you all. No movies; you can’t even talk during the movies! There’s nothing more fun than just walking through town or maybe going to a community-based festival. How much does that cost? Nothing! You laugh. You giggle. You crack jokes. Dance in the street. If you allow for it to be an adventure that has multiple layers to it, it could be like five different events in one date, as opposed to just dinner and a movie. That’s wack! There are only two things! Honestly, I don’t care about the “thing,” I just care about spending time with her.
How can we better the communication between Black men and Black women?
Lamman: I think a lot of it is that people always want to point fingers and blame this and blame that, and say, ‘We ain’t got what we want because of you.’ I was talking to a friend about this the other day and I said, ‘Ok, even if what you are saying might have some degree of truth to it, what’s your sh*t smell like?’ That’s the conversation that people seem to not want to have. What do you need to do to get your act together? People are so focused on all this negative stuff, they’re not being accountable for their own crap, their own ugliness, their own nastiness, and the work that they need to do to be a better person. I believe that sometimes you get what you put out there. People also make poor choices. They do all of this complaining and they’re not accountable for the fact that they made a poor choice. Don’t blame him for being crappy. You stayed in that place and allowed that person to chew and gnaw at your spirit and you chewed and gnawed at theirs. That’s the first thing – be accountable for the work that you need to do on yourself before you go pointing the finger.
Secondly, people aren’t really talking about the stuff that they actually need to be talking about. I don’t know how in the world people can be in a relationship with somebody and not know some of the stuff they consider themselves to have found out later. What the hell were y’all talking about? Yes, there are people who are deceptive, and their “representative” shows up, but if they continue to perpetuate this facade with you over a long period of time, you may be encouraging it.
Let’s talk about the importance of having a good relationship with yourself.
Lamman: Here’s how it goes. It’s your relationship with God, your relationship with yourself, and your relationship with other people. Most people don’t have any of the three. Some have only one if they’re lucky. I think you become highly evolved when you have all three. That’s the problem as well. People are focusing on their relationships with other people, before the other two. If you don’t have a good relationship with yourself and make it to “self-acceptance,” it will just manifest itself everywhere else. You need a spiritual foundation. Something that allows you to see how you connect to the rest of the universe. It’s simple stuff, but it’s hard.
You’re single, right?
You’re a really well-rounded, happy guy, so what can you share about your lifestyle that might help other singles who aren’t content in their current state?
Lamman: I have a very good relationship with myself. I have a good idea of what I want; what I’ll stand for, what I won’t stand for. I’m aware of my gifts and the things that need improvement. I know that I’m a work in progress, but at the same time, you can’t tell me that I’m not a phenomenal man. My relationship with God is very strong. I’m always soul searching and trying to identify what I’m doing here. I think, ‘How is God working through me?’ and ‘How am I supposed to be touching people’s lives?’ My life always has direction. I’m always busy. I’m never not encouraged.
Amen to that. What’s your take on the “my life isn’t complete until I’m married” notion?
Lamman: I’ve been in some incredible relationships with some phenomenal women. I’ve also had my challenges with them. People look at marriage as the reward for something. Or, your life in love isn’t successful until you’re married. That’s part of the problem too. There’s this judgment that people place on themselves. They think, ‘There must be something wrong with me because I’m not married yet,’ and ‘I must have an unsuccessful love life because I don’t have a wife or husband.’ I’ve also heard that a lot of women don’t feel fully validated as a woman until they become someone’s mother and someone’s wife. If they’re not able to accomplish one or both of those things, then they’ve somehow “fallen short” of what their worth is as a woman. My response to that is I know that whatever God has for me…that’s what it’s gonna be!
Say that, Lamman!
Lamman Rucker Gives Tips to Having a Healthy Mind, Body & Soul
Lamman is currently featured in the NYC off-Broadway play, “Black Angels Over Tuskegee,” featuring The Black Gents of Hollywood – a joint ventured production company that Rucker and friends are using to redefine the Black male’s image in Hollywood. New shows are being added each week and the production is currently running through March 22. Ticket Information: Telecharge: 1-800-432-7250 or 212-239-6200, www.telecharge.com