Just in time for Valentine’s Day, there is a wealth of new relationship books on the market written by some popular celebrities. The latest is R&B crooner Keith Sweat, who has probably helped out many a relationship through his sultry love songs as well as on his nationally syndicated radio show “The Sweat Hotel.” His new book, “Make It Last Forever: The Dos and Don’ts,” named after one of his most popular songs, is out now. Surprisingly, as Sweat himself remains single after a failed marriage to former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Lisa Wu, his book offers some interesting insights to men and women struggling to start or stay in a relationship. We caught up to him in L.A., where he’s currently touring with Charlie Wilson.
BlackAmericaWeb: The relationship book market is getting crowded. What new insights did you think you could bring to the table?
Keith Sweat: I just felt like because I wrote a lot of love songs and I have a syndicated radio show where people call in for apologies and confessions, I guess the next step would be to write a book. A lot of people have problems in their relationships. The number one reason they call me is because so many people have grown up listening to my music. Since I’ve written all these songs, they seek me out as an expert on the situation.
What is the most common relationship problem that people call in about?
The cheating thing is still high and I find after that that, it’s the communication. A lot of people lack the ability to communicate in their relationships. That’s a big one along with the cheating. A lot of women feel like the man doesn’t give her the time or the attention that he used to give her. Men don’t want to feel like they’re punks a lot of the time, even though they might be going through the same scenarios women are. Women are more emotional creatures, as you very well know. It’s easier for them to express what they feel than it is for a man. Men feel like they are weak if they do that. I wouldn’t say that. I think it makes him a stronger man. He’s more confident in himself if he’s able to show his more sensitive side.
There is one thing every relationship book written by men has in common –the importance of sex. Why is that such a big deal?
That’s the way it has been since the beginning of time. When you see something beautiful or attractive that stimulates you, sex takes it to the next level. That’s what takes it from friendship to intimacy. I’m sharing with this young lady and she’s sharing it with me and nobody is allowed to infiltrate this situation. Making love is very important in the relationship. You always have to keep that flame burning. It’s very important for two partners to tell each other how to please each other. If a woman is not satisfied by her man or a man is not satisfied by his woman, they are going to seek that satisfaction elsewhere.
What are some other important “do’s” in a successful relationship?
The way you start a relationship is the way you should continue the relationship. Once you get it or have conquered it, you slack up on it, but once you start something you have to complete it. And talk to me, not at me. Learn how to talk to your man.
What is the biggest relationship “don’t”?
Taking each other for granted. I think a lot of people take their mate for granted and get complacent thinking you don’t have to do the things that you used to do. That’s major mistake. Never take the relationship for granted. When you start slacking, someone else steps up.
What about women in relationships with men who won’t commit?
You can’t change a person. That’s number one. If this person doesn’t want to commit, you can’t make somebody do something they don’t want to do. It might be something that you showed him that makes him not want to commit. It might have scared him and made him want to back up. I’ve seen that happen quite a few times.
Although you’ve created some great music, it doesn’t seem like the best idea to take relationship advice from an R&B singer. They usually always have a bunch of failed relationships and babies all over the place.
Let me say this to you; we all mature as we get older. You gotta remember what the book says. If I didn’t do the “don’t’s”, I couldn’t tell you the “do’s”.
Who’s better to tell you what to do or not to do than someone who has experienced it?
Now how can a single man give good relationship advice?
You don’t have to be married to have a great relationship. The book does not say you have to be married. There are a lot of people who are not married but they have great relationships. Some people say the piece of paper changes things. You can make a great relationship happen in whatever relationship you happen to be in.
Who is the book geared towards?
It’s for people who are having trouble. It’s for people who are trying to make their relationship better and sexier. It’s for people getting into relationships to find out how to keep their relationship.
As just about everyone knows, you were once married to former “Real Housewife of Atlanta” cast member Lisa Wu. Have you remarried since then?
Well, I’m not remarried now. (Laughs) But that was so long ago. It’s crazy when that whole thing came up people were acting like that was yesterday. That was ten years ago! So that was funny and that’s why when that whole thing happened, I was laughing about it.
So are you available? And will you ever remarry?
Yes, most definitely. But as for marriage, that’s up in the air. I mean I’m not against it, but I’m not sure about that. It’s got to be real extra, believe that. (Laughs).
Find out what station you can hear Keith Sweat’s radio show, “The Sweat Hotel”, and where he’s currently at on tour here.