Are All Single Black Gay Men Bitter?

There are a few words that are routinely thrown around when describing characters in the black gay dating scene. Single, bitter and jaded are a few of them. Unfortunately, these characteristics are easier to find than an Atlanta party promoter.

As a mid-20-something year-old black gay man trying to date while maneuvering through social networking sites like Jack’d, drunken nights at the bar leading to early mornings and missed connections at the gas station, I still believe that love is a beautiful thing and we can learn a lot by allowing that special someone into our lives. Being back on the dating scene, I have met so many guys who have a hard time admitting deep down inside what they’re looking for in a relationship. These guys use the phrase “just looking for friends” as a mechanism to deflect that they are looking for more than just friends, but are afraid to take that dive into commitment. It pisses me off to hear so many of us giving up on love at such a young age. Quite frankly, it’s a total turn off when I meet someone with that philosophy. Putting negative energy out there definitely does not encourage me to get to know you more.

Don’t get me wrong: I still don’t believe that marriage is for everyone (gay, straight or bi). However, I don’t think that anyone who does not want to be in committed relationship can do so. Monogamy for two men can be a gamble if both men aren’t totally committed to it. But it does seem like there is a trendy disdain about romance in our community that seems buried in pungent scars from being burned in the past by trifling negroes.

Too often we get consumed by mantras like “all men are dogs” or “gays cannot be faithful.” The lack of real examples of what a successful gay relationship looks like contributes to this paradigm. Even after taking a quick evaluation of my friends and their relationships, I wouldn’t define many of their situations as  ideal or something I long for; however, it’s not my relationship to be in or to judge.

History alludes to a very telling story of black men having difficulty learning how to love and cope in society. Since our journey across the Middle Passage, these effects on the black family have led to the blurred absence of good black men. The outcomes have led to more black men in prison, lower high school graduation rates and even emotional inconsistencies. During the time when slave masters began breeding curly-haired mixed babies or when Papa was a rolling stone, examples of a good black man quickly became a fairy tale.  Imagine two guys from this lineage trying to make things work. Shit gets difficult; but if relationships were that easy, we all would be in one and there would be no need for this post. You’re not going to get it right on the first, second or third try.

We all carry baggage from past and current relationships. We all come with tons of anecdotes full of heartbreak and pain. Telling yourself that you’re not going to put it all out there or you’ve given up on love is not fooling anyone but yourself. If you don’t want a relationship, why go through the motions of connecting with someone? Although stating your intentions are only to have sex can carry negative connotations within itself, if you’re looking for more and not honest with yourself – or him – that’s all you deserve.

Most of us fall victim to not looking for what we want but what to the other person wants. If he says he’s looking for a fuck buddy, we have no problem becoming that while denying ourselves of so much more. We forgo and hide our desires because we don’t put our own interests first. Taking a backseat to your heart will only keep you riding around aimlessly in the passenger seat while someone is doing all the driving for us – and the gas is too damn high.

If you like someone, there is no reason in running. I know that trying to create a good balance to show you’re interested is hard because you don’t want to turn the person off; however, starting with ideas of failed relationships and anti-love doesn’t make it easier. Don’t bamboozle yourself into thinking that it is going to draw someone closer to you because it will not. A man wants to know you are interested and engaged, not trying to overcome barriers of mending your broken heart. Too much disconnection will only motivate him to connect with someone else – no pun intended.

So you want to live the life of being a single, bitter black gay man? Be cautious because you will block someone from loving you.

Though desperation is never a good look on anyone, I never understood why so many gays have negative feelings towards those who are still in search of the perfect mate. At the end of the day, we all deserve someone to love. I know I feel great when I am wanted and have someone in my corner. More than that, it feels amazing knowing where my next piece of guaranteed ass is coming from.

Drew-Shane Daniels is the editor-in-chief of MUSED. He is also a contributing writer for other sites to help pay his student loans. And a branding and content strategist. He loves tacos, dark liquor and Dr. Pepper.

  • Matthew G.

    This makes dating even worst for gay men. We can put out so much negative energy and requirements. Even though I have given up on the idea of two men being faithful and happy, I still try to date when I’m in a good mood. It’s an everlasting battle I have with myself and heart. Great post, Drew!

    • Bruce Thompson

      It can get better Matthew! We just haven’t had the positive, affirming models to learn the art and science of cultivating healthy, life-affirming, loving, hot relationships between men, especially “men of color.”

      • Guest

        Why would you need “models” to show you how to effectively live you life?

      • BougieHippie

        Why would you need “models” to effectively lead your own life?

        • EnlightenOne

          Two different issues. Leading your own life is about you though leading an effective life, relationships can not be avoided. Emotional and social skills required and visions of the nature of relationships are needed – role models.

  • Jonathan

    I think any gay man longing to be in a decent healthy MONOGAMOUS relationship can possible come off as bitter. In a perfect world people would be who they say they are. But unfortunately this isn’t true. Most men are dogs. Especially our generation of men. Gay and Straight. They have way to many options and way to many means and access to these options. I’m sure lingering in the back of any mans mind when beginning to get serious with a man is cheating. So lets be real… Most Men cheat. MEN know that. And nobody wants to be cheated on. So i’m sure that causes some kind of bitterness to gay man because we all know how it is. I personally have accepted that there is a very big chance i’m going to die alone with a small dog because i’m willing to deal with alot of things but i will NOT deal with cheating in a relationship EVER again. Its to stressful and exhausting. And I’m at peace with that.

    • Cold Fire

      WAY TO GO SWEETY! you do not have to be a door mat. That is a personal decision. You should not also have to open up your relationship and have traffic like the interstate just to keep a man.

    • Moi

      Well as a man who has cheated and love the hell out of my ex. I don’t think I’m a dog. I let some circumstances get the best of me and instead of communicating I got caught up. I would do ANYTHING to take back what has happened. Because I never really doubted what I wanted to accomplish with him. My bitterness toward dating is that I want him back and I don’t see myself getting as far as we did with anyone else. I am dead wrong for what I did, but I’m not a dog or a horrible individual. And not every man who cheats is a horrible individual, there are some good guys down there who need a chance.

      • kayman

        Well, my advice to you is not to repeat your past mistakes, keyword “mistake”, and also let your ex go. If he wants you back then he will come back to you eventually. I’ve dated a person that fucked up their past relationships just like you did and I have to let him go. I don’t hate him but he has displayed he lacks the communication skills and maturity to open his mouth when he wasn’t satisfied with stuff. I dumped him because of his inability to communicate properly.

        My advice to you is now you know you ought to open your mouth and communicate what you are feeling to that other person rather than play pretending like everything is “perfect”. Don’t ever repeat this mistake, know this, and live by this.

        • Bruce Thompson

          Not a “mistake!” Putting on a blue and black sock is. I do agree that effective “communication skills and maturity” required to cultivate, sustain, and nurture a “loving, monogamous” relationship no matter the orientation of the couple. “Love” is not enough!

      • Bruce Thompson

        Yes, you are a “dog” for cheating, but you don’t have to remain that way. Begin with what does love and “love the hell out of my ex” mean. Reflect on if “lov[ing] the hell out of my ex” wasn’t enough not to cheat what is needed and how do you cultivate that into the foundation of your relationship whether with him or the next. I can be reached at if you are so moved.

      • Jonathan

        i would respond but Bruce said everything i wanted to. If love didn’t keep you from cheating, well then everything else is null and void. You’re a dog buddy.

    • MedullaOblungata

      I’m with you Johnathan!! 100%. All I need is my small dog. Anyone got a English Bulldog for sale? lol!!

    • Amari Builtmore

      Your first sentence “I think any gay man longing to be in a decent healthy MONOGAMOUS relationship can possible come off as bitter.” I want to say if you do not foster habits that equitable of this relationship and it is clearly stated as a MONOGAMOUS relationship oh there will be some breaking of the word MONOGAMOUS and someone will feel betrayed of trust. But the funny is putting your trust in someone is allowing yourself to feel under the the possible trust entrusted to someone to be violated. But it is the ability to understand that issues rise where the keeping of principal will be broken having the ability to understand no matter how many times it happens that mercy should be shared and a clear reality that some people falter at somethings while others tend to float on by. We all have areas that should they both be exposed and come under fire at the same time finger pointing, blaming and the underlying terms of the relationship never viewed as important. So the object is to clearly allow the truth come into your heart that we are growing with each other and learning self with someone in our corner and yes I may hurt you along the way but clearly while it may feel like I am against you trust in me I am not. I am doing all I can for us to depend on the truth to be our constant. Not the infractions to it. This is ground breaking relationship builder that allows for you to understand that shit happens and makes him not a dog…

  • Rebekah Mikealson

    this is the truth… I totally agree

  • Hassan

    Great article! Thank You, thank you, THANK YOU. Wow……speechless….(thank you)

  • Shan Lakes

    LOVING the post. We as gay men do hold on to past relationship and it NOT fair to ourselves or the new candidate. We have ALL been hurt in the past but we must learn and grow from it. I’m single and i love it but would to be in a loving committed relationship. I will not hold new man countable for a past FOOL!!! I know what i WANTa relationship and want i DON’T want. I think we should ALL be open to the possibilities that r out. Know who u r and u will be FINE.

    • Bruce Thompson

      Like your comment SHAN!

  • Anti_Intellect

    I’m concerned anytime monogamy and marriage is thrown around as a requirement and not an opinion. There are many ways to date and love and organization relationships. We need to move away from the singular notion that a relationship has to look like X in order for it to be valid.

    • Bruce Thompson

      It has to “look like X in order for it to be valid” if that’s what you need. It becomes a problem when two are not “on the same page” so to speak.

    • David Smith

      I am concerned anytime monogamy and marriage is rejected as the basis on which to build a lifelong partnership. If I am going to share my life, my heart, my bed, and my money with a man, he better know better than to be scamming strange on the side. If he has time to do that, he has time to be helping me build a stronger, better relationship and life for us.

  • Tastefully Nasty

    I don’t think they are all bitter. It’s just the bitter ones that make the most noise.

    • Bruce Thompson

      In my humble opinion, I would say hurt rather than “bitter.” And they need to be HEARD not so much making “noise!” That’s the value of this discussion, and why I have taken the liberty to post here more than I have at any other blog.

      • Drew-Shane

        I think hurt and bitter have different meanings and situations attached to different paradigms/lifestyles. The emotions, guilt and resentment highlights the hurt that leads bitterness. I def. think it’s on a different level.

        Thanks @facebook-1487685997:disqus! We appreciate the comments and feedback. It’s all about having healthy discussions- that we desperately need with each other.

  • Verified Adonis

    Interesting subject… I agree that it’s difficult to find someone that really wants a monogamous relationship because from my personal experience, they’re either looking for “just friends” I.E. Fuck buddies or will string you along claiming to want commitment. I haven’t totally given up on finding someone, but being totally honest with myself, it definitely seems bleak.

    • Bruce Thompson

      I empathize with you. The Good News: You only need ONE! If you pay attention you will know if he is “monogamous material!”

      • FloridaMan

        Yes, you are correct. The thing is when they can’t let go of the other person they call “ex” and want to hold onto you as well. I can do bad all by myself at 44.

  • Will

    I think this is the case for a lot of people for two main, possibly overlapping reasons. There are some that become bitter and jaded because, as individuals have a hard time learning from our experiences; experiences that we expect to be long-term and indefinite when they are in all actuality not guaranteed. We need to learn and reflect on our relationship experiences and learn from them, and also, not get terribly attached to the idea of being in a relationship as something that is meant to last. Emphasize relationship dynamics and understand how you actually relate to the other person and not just assume that a boyfriend should do x,y, and z. And most importantly, accept responsibility. Giving someone the complete and utter power to break you will only cause you to hold it against anyone else that comes along in the future. Deal with your own personal issue(s) and accept responsibility, or at least acknowledge your role in what has transpired. It is never one person’s fault when two people are involved.

    • kayman

      You eerily sounds exactly like somebody I know… Hmmm…

      • Will

        Haha. Is that so? And, who might that person be?

        • kayman

          Yeah, you do. If you whom I think you are you live on the Southside of Atlanta, and your name is the same as your screen name. That is all…

        • Will

          Nope. I’m not anywhere near Georgia my friend.

  • Kopperhead

    Great article….too bad the homosexuals who need to read it ____ won’t..

  • Africanscribe

    I do think it’s sad if there are guys out there in their mid-20s who have already given up on the idea of being in a long-term and monogamous relationship. It doesn’t bode well. I’m not sure about being bitter or angry but at the ripe “old” age of 50, I do understand about being frustrated and exhausted. I’ve only been in one successful relationship in all my years. It lasted almost 7 years and sadly, my partner died. But still. The fact that I’ve been unable to find another once since is unsettling to say the least. Is it because “all men are dogs” as the popular saying goes, that black gay men are all crazy as someone once suggested to me, or could it be that the problem is me?

    Either way, I’ve decided that enough is enough. On my 50th birthday I officially stopped looking, stopped hoping and stopped dreaming. Am I angry? No. Am I bitter? Absolutely not. But like I said, I am tired. I also don’t know how much longer I have left on this planet and have decided that there are other, equally fulfilling and interesting things I could be spending my time and exerting my emotional energy on than searching for a man who may well never be found.

    Nice article, by the way. I really enjoyed reading it.

    • FloridaMan

      First of all my sympathy regarding your partner. I am 44 and it is a game out there. You are being the honest faithful one and you getting played all along the thing called relationship. I live in Orlando Florida and I make sure I stay to myself.

      • Africanscribe

        Thank you, FloridaMan. I have a feeling there are quite a few men out there like you and I. Pity we don’t all wear signs or glow in the dark, eh?

        • FloridaMan

          That is so true.

  • ANON1

    Black PEOPLE dont date enough! And Black gays dont date at all! We hook up. That way we dont have to even fool ourselves into the possibility that we might actually like the person and find it reciprocated. Gays get their hearts broken at 19 and 23, and now they’ve decided that theyre done w love. SMH..

    Ive done short stints on most of the sites and while I can find a hookup in 5 seconds, try to chat w someone and maybe even meet up for a platonic drink, and you get every excuse in the books. Too many ‘relationships’ begin from online hookups. Thats a bad recipe if u ask me. You can do a much better job of gauging basic interest in someone by having a drink an then going home separately, than by your first interaction being sex. Its frustrating trying to for real date among a group of jaded 20/30somethings (such an oxymoron) who simply want hookups to guard their feelings. Its this frustration that leaves lots of good guys in relationships w their dogs.

  • Sac

    – habits …built up do not foster good ones when in a

    – “when it comes time for … committed relationship they are not able to do so
    because of habits.” ”

    – “Plain and simple habits build character character
    leads to your destiny plain and simple”

    Above, are 3 quotes from what Moi wrote that I think are profound for understanding our current state. It takes some thought and pondering, but by the time we’ve met the next prospective candidate, we are just that much further from the ‘dream’ of a committed relationship, because it has turned into just that – a dream. Many of us have by now forfeited the ability. We gave that up, but continue to look back and want it in some ideal sense. (King Kappa, below, reinforces this as well)

    EXAMPLE: Your now 34, you meet ‘Mr. Right’, you’re head-over-heals, (but neurology tells us that feeling lasts 2-5 years, then it has to be more about relationship/trust/commitment) (sorry for that sidetrack, but it’s relevant too). Now a friend of yours calls and says he’s going to be in town. Just so happens your partner is out of town. You have the best intentions. Your go get your dinner and drink with him (good friends), but this is the guy that you also had sex with any time you two were together (habit). You sit on the sofa watching a movie, only two drinks in, but suddenly there is sex. That was the habit you fostered for 15 years. It’s who you became. It’s now your character. You may even tell yourself that this didn’t count, “I mean, I’ve been with him so many times, it’s not like it was some new experience, and I’d NEVER cheat with someone new”. We rationalize, our habits have built our character, and now we are who we are.

    Enjoyed this post. Even though I was late to the table.

  • tje

    I have a question. If I am masculine and out how in the world can i meet someone because I feel like love doesnt know that I exist. I put myself out there to come up empty handed and ignored. How can i find love if im not meeting anyone?

  • FloridaMan

    I am not experiencing that life of that 45, but I am 44 years old. I never was into cheating and becoming a mattress for several men. I have chosen to be single because you can’t find any real honest guys who want to be monogamous. You are correct King Kappa and they are trying to get what they can and still lying.

  • TrueWords

    I AGREE…black men do not date enough…it can be sex and more sex and then NOTHING

  • Atl-romantic

    Man whoever wrote this post is absolutely correct. I know I’ve done some of those things mentioned above, ugh. I live in Atlanta and dudes, especially us, can’t open up and say how one feels but runs instead. I would love to talk to the person who posted this,

  • Zaidi

    Thanks to the AIDS epidemic, looking at the ‘candy’ through the window, and not being able to touch it, isn’t as fun as it was when you could have it freely by the handful. To be young and gay these days, you have to be cautious and disciplined, or saving it for that special someone.

  • Slimtee2

    I apologize in advance because I am making this about me as I rarely talk about myself to anyone. I am in my mid 40’s, single, and a loner. I am learning to accept that I will probably remain single in this lifetime. Most of us think we are different, and don’t fit in, but in my case it’s really really true. Anyone who tried to get close to me has continuously told me I was different (and strange) and then they vanish. I hangout with a few black gay couples every now and then and I am very proud of them. I currently live in So Cal and I lived in Atlanta for awhile. I just don’t fit in with a lot of black people and I have made endless efforts throughout my life to try and fit in, but I just don’t. And the bruthas that find me attractive, are usually nowhere near my type, but I don’t let that stop me from carrying on a conversation with them. Some of them have even became close acquaintances. I get lonely sometimes, but don’t most people? Yes, I would like a boyfriend, but I don’t think it’s in the cards. I don’t think bitter is the word I would use for single black gay men, maybe just afraid of rejection, protecting themselves from harm, and for some of us, just simply insecure for who we are as gay men. We are disconnected as people and seem not to like each other. When I was in my 20’s, many other young bruthas were just bluntly rude to me and to each other, but their behavior towards white men were not as disrespectful and there was very little rudeness. We just don’t like ourselves is the true problem…