By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
THE success of this year’s “Straight Talk, No Chaser” event has organisers considering whether to switch things up from an all-male panel to one featuring only women for the next instalment of their relationship seminar.
Last Saturday’s event at the British Colonial Hilton featured raw, uncensored conversations regarding matters of the heart and relationships. The all-male panel, which included Marcus Laing (married), Farrell Goff (married), Kovah Duncombe (committed), Ritchard Ritchie (single), Ryan Davis (single) and Tony Grant (single), gave their insight into what men really think about courtship, commitment and cheating.
The panellists were drilled on issues such as: “What goes on in the mind of men during the dating process?”, “What does a man look for in a woman he commits to?”, “ What goes on in the mind of a man when he decides to cheat?”, and more.
The men mustered enough courage to be very frank when they were asked, “What goes in the mind of men during the dating process?”
Tony Grant said: “All men want to have sex. In the beginning stages the initial thought is sex, but then we see where it goes.”
Ryan Davis added that men are not like women in that women sometimes have a strategic plan and a checklist of requirements that must be met before they even go on an actual date with a man. He said when a man meets a woman for the first time he puts her into a category.
“Category A could be someone who is just a one-night stand and that is it. She cannot even come up the stairs at my house. Category B is that woman who could be a good friend but also a friend with benefits. Category C could be a woman who has all the qualities of a keeper,” he said.
The panellists shared similar views on what they look for in a woman they want to commit to. They agreed that when they are looking to commit they look for someone who they are most compatible with and someone who they believe they can also have a healthy companionship with.
“Straight Talk, No Chaser” was presented by the Together Apart relationship company and was hosted by New York-based entertainer, educator and entrepreneur Chris Kazi Rolle, along with Leah Rose, a former media personality and marketing executive.
Mr Rolle served as the in-house expert providing practical advice to the audience in between the series of Q&A rounds.
A professional matchmaker and relationship coach, Mr Rolle has been featured on VH1, CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
During the event, Mr Rolle shared a little about his background of how he was born at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau to a Jamaican immigrant, abandoned at the age of six months and then placed in the Children’s Emergency Hostel. After living in different foster homes here on the island, at age 14 he was reunited with his biological mother in the United States. The reunion was short-lived, however, and he found himself homeless on the streets of Brooklyn, New York.
“As a result of everything I went through with my mother I grew up with a lot of issues, and those issues spilled over in my relationships. I took advantage and mistreated a lot of women in my past. But the reason why I am hosting this event today is because I want to now empower women. I strongly believe that when you empower women you empower a nation,” he said.
Ms Rose said after the event, audience members told her that they have benefitted from the information that was shared.
“We were very grateful for the response from the public. It is encouraging to see women taking the time to invest in themselves and their relationships by attending an event like this. There were even some couples in the audience which inspired us to consider hosting an event with a female panel and possibly a mixed audience to broaden the conversation,” she said.
“We wanted to facilitate a conversation between men and women in the Bahamas that allowed women to hear directly from the hearts and minds of men. The panellists were direct and honest in keeping with the theme of the event, providing the ladies with ‘straight talk’ on dating, commitment and cheating. As the hostess, I am sure that the audience got an insightful earful that I hope will empower them, as much as I was, in their future relationship decisions.”
Mr Rolle said: “My goal is to provide attendees with the deeper understanding of how men think. Given the feedback, mission accomplished. Women were appreciative of the raw, uncensored truth for once.”