These days, inquiring minds are turning to Twitter to get dating advice from Tyrese Gibson and Joseph Simmons, aka Rev Run of Run-D.M.C. It’s where the Fast & Furious 6 actor spars with the Biblical-based bathtub tweeter about how women can find lasting love, even though so many men are masters of manipulation and mind games. Even Gibson, a single father, isn’t necessarily convinced it’s even possible.
“It’s not every man; I would be wrong to generalize and say every man has these kinds of intentions,” says Gibson, who's frank about his former dating ways. “Having a 5-year-old daughter, I’ve tapped into a certain sensitivity that I normally never paid attention to, and I hope my daughter never ran into me when I was younger.”
In the new dating book Manology: Secrets of Your Man’s Mind Revealed, the two tackle hot topics like infidelity, effective arguing and the ever-elusive question of “When is too soon to sleep with someone?” They each draw from their own relationship experiences and separate book successes: Simmons released an affirmations anthology Words of Wisdom and a parenting handbook Take Back Your Family (which he co-authored with his wife Justine) while Gibson wrote the self-help hardcover How to Get Out of Your Own Way.
“You can look at it as how to catch and keep a man: Tyrese will show you how to catch him, and my point of view will show you how to keep him,” says Simmons, a father of six children whom he first introduced on MTV’s hit reality show Run’s House.
The following is a condensed combination of THR's chats with Simmons and Gibson on their relationship mistakes, harsh advice for women, and inevitable comparisons to Steve Harvey’s own straight-talk dating book:
The Hollywood Reporter: With such different dating backgrounds and beliefs, how did you two approach this book project?
Joseph Simmons: I wasn’t looking for him to totally agree with me. My views were coming from a Biblical standpoint, a settled man, and he’s coming from the way he thinks a woman should treat him [and] the difficulties of understanding being completely faithful. I knew his point was gonna matter a lot to women, and I knew my point was going to matter, so there was never an upset like, “You shouldn’t be thinking that.” It never came to that point. I knew we were making a good book, so I was happy to have his opinion. He could’ve made it alone and not with me – two separate books.
Tyrese Gibson: We’re not trying to purposely get under people’s skin and piss them off, we’re just trying [to be] as honest as we possibly can and, more than anything, for the ladies, we’re trying to give them the heads up about what’s around the corner before they get there. …As many books that we want to sell: if you have a weak stomach, if you would rather be oblivious to the truth and the harsh reality of what we [men] do and how we do it – the manipulation, the games that we play, the lies, the demons, the backstabbing, the heartache, the pain, all of this stuff that happens ... certain parts of the book, it’s just so uncomfortable to read, it might not be for you. It takes a certain kind of woman that has a strong stomach and they really want to know the truth.
THR: How does this book differ from Steve Harvey’s successful Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man?
Simmons: Number one: there’s two of us. Duh! That’s like, what’s the difference between a cheeseburger and a double cheeseburger? There’s more! You’re getting more info, you’re getting two different points of view. I have a different life than Steve Harvey, Tyrese had a different life than Steve Harvey. Everyone has their ideas of what they’ve gone through in relationships. We’re not Steve Harvey, but we do have relationships. It’s different because we’re different.
Gibson: If Steve Harvey’s book was not a success, if his movie was not a success, it would’ve never created an interest for me and Rev to come in and do a redo. We would be crazy to not pay our respects for the success that Steve’s book had! It created an audience [for] the straight talk coming from a man’s perspective. ... We had an interview with Steve Harvey recently in Chicago on his show, and he said himself: “Ladies, I read this book. If you think my book gave you the heads up and looked out for you, you got another thing coming. They’re giving away all the secrets; they’re giving away stuff I haven’t even gotten into on any level!”
THR: What is one big mistake women often make in a relationship’s earliest stage?
Gibson: They talk too much. It’s simple: ladies, I love you to death, but shut up. Stop telling random guys that you meet all your business. You don’t know what’s gonna happen in this particular relationship: he might be sexy, tall, charming and charismatic. But all of the drama – dysfunction from your childhood, all of the abusive relationships, being cheated on and lied to, going into details about what didn’t work from your relationships in the past – becomes too much information. You look at that as, I’m supposed to be sitting here and talking and getting to know this man, [which] includes me telling him all my business. Like, shut it up already!...So what ends up happening, is I got one more person with all my secrets, all of my business, and I don’t really know if I’m gonna be with him. You’re trying to emotionally hook him in, and all he wants to do is have sex with you, if that’s the case. So just keep it simple, have fun, laugh, enjoy yourself, but just shut up! I know that sounds harsh as hell, but stop talking so much when you first meet people.
Simmons: I like the way Beyonce and Jay-Z played out: they came together, but I believe in my mind, Beyonce stayed on her game. She stayed dancing, making her videos, she kept it moving; she gave him attention, but she gave her career a lot of attention too. ... So for me, stay focused. In the Bible, the book of Ruth talks about Ruth and Boaz. I talk about this in the book, that Ruth was out in the field, doing her thing, and when King Boaz came to town, all of the women were like, “Oh my god, Boaz is here!” She just, “I acknowledge he’s a big tall, handsome man, yeah. But I got work to do and I’m not playing it like I don’t notice him, but definitely gotta finish up my job.” And he took note of her, and this young lady captured the king by staying on her job. Sometimes, you have to just – not to a point where he thinks, oh she’s trying to act like she doesn’t notice me. No, that’s too much; you do that, then you’ll lose him completely. But at least stay on your grind of what you were doing. Love yourself first before you invite somebody else into your world to love with you. Don’t get too caught up in going from not knowing a person to giving all your energy to them.
THR: What’s a big relationship mistake that you’ve made?
Simmons: I always say, listen to the whispers so you don’t have to hear the screams. I think if you get too caught up in not hearing the little things that she needs, you can really ruin the relationship. A woman doesn’t always tell you everything that’s going on but if you can keep your ears open, you’ll hear little things, which I hear from my wife that I try to get on top of immediately so that I don’t have to get in a lot of trouble later. ... For me, I’ve learned, and I’m still learning – because you know, men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it’s true – a man is ready to go in and just have sex, and a woman wants to be talked to, cuddled. Do something! Jesus! Warm up the bedroom first! Light a candle! Play some music! Do something! A man is not like that. So for me, it happens to me so often that my brain has to remember, slow this thing down. That’s pretty bad for me and I’ve been married a long time and I’m learning it still, and I understand it. I have to regroup when my first sexual antenna goes up – whoops! Slow down, mister.
Gibson: I’ve made the mistake of letting certain men get too close to my girlfriend that I was dating, because with comfort comes disrespect, and also with comfort comes if you’re doing something sneaky, you’re trying to keep certain things away from your girl, but she creates a comfort with your boys that allowed you slipping up, and you’re caring for her well-being so to speak. They end up telling her things that I may have wanted to keep away from her at the time. ...What I tend to do is just say look, just stay away from my girl. I don’t care if you’re offended about it; it’s not about you. That’s my girl, and we have our own understanding, and I don’t want anything slipping through the cracks.
THR: How would you warn the men to prepare for the women who will read Manology and be able to guard themselves from all the games?
Gibson: A guy tweeted me and he said, “I’m going right now to buy Rev Run and Tyrese’s book”.. .he wants to know how many of our secrets did Rev and Tyrese expose so that he can sharpen his game up. It becomes an opposite effect! ...The only warning is when they read this book, then they’re gonna be that much more protective of their hearts, their spirits and what they know. They’re not gonna be oblivious of the games and the manipulation and the man-gician, all of the above that are out there because they know what they know. Knowledge is power – and not just within the relationship, just in general.
Simmons: Manology is a manual so ladies don’t get manipulated. So for me, if you’re doing the right thing in the first place, you won’t have to worry about her understanding your games. If you’re playing games, this book will definitely get you in trouble, but the bottom line is you shouldn’t be playing games anyway. I always think: why get in a relationship if you can just be single? Stop playing the games. You want to be single, you win! Go ahead, you the man! You’re single, you have no problem. So why pull somebody’s heart into something and drive yourself and them crazy when you can just stay single?
Manology: Secrets of Your Man’s Mind Revealed is now available in stores.