This feature by our Editorial Director, Drew-Shane Daniels, really sparked a lot of thought for me. As someone who is not single and hasn’t been for awhile, it was interesting to read about the other side. I also hear people complain about the lack of great men out there and I never understood the negativity. This put all of that in perspective and I know we all can relate – single or not, bitter or not.
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.