This next story along the journey of learning lessons from the single black men in my life is that of a man who I like to refer to as PJ, the persistent juvie. This man was the first of all the juvies to enter my life a couple of years ago when I was bombarded with young men who were too far my junior for even my tastes. Well, he’s still around, still persisting, and still 6 years younger than me.PJ and I had the chance to talk a few weeks ago, and I mean seriously talk. I can usually never spend time with PJ or have a conversation with him that doesn’t include him inserting some side comment about the possibility of the two of us becoming a couple. With the understanding that I have decided to never date him, I often encourage PJ to actually pursue and date someone…anyone. His response is always the same: not interested in dating anyone else…blah blah…wants to wait for me to come around…yada yada…will not accept matchmaker help from me of all people…hoo ha…that’s the final word on the subject. Well, this one conversation with PJ was different. He actually opened up to me about his experiences with other women
PJ: I’m not sure why I’m about to talk to you about this…maybe because of your experience and wisdom, I feel like you can offer something…
Me: [good job, PJ. you just called me old]
PJ: It seems like anytime I meet somebody, we end up sleeping together right away…
Me [oh wow…we’re about to have a *real* conversation…such a drastic change from normal. maybe this means he’ll finally stop trying to talk to me. perfecto!]
PJ: It’s like even if we both say that we don’t want to do that, we end up having sex like 2 or 3 days in. It’s crazy it just keeps happening. And then, after that I’m not sure I want to date her. It’s like if I slept with her that quick, everyone else probably does too. You know?
This led to a conversation about how it can be difficult to maintain your morals (or even just your resolve to remain chaste with a particular person) when you are really attracted to a person.
Me: Well, you know, she could be thinking the exact same thing about you. She could think that you’re easy because she was able to sleep with *you* so quickly, so maybe you shouldn’t dismiss people so quickly.
PJ: Dang, I never thought about it like that.
Me: The other thing is that if both people have already said that they don’t want to have sex right away, then it’s also up to both people to stick to that. However, in circumstances where people are moving towards sex, especially for the first time, people often don’t talk. Both people can be waiting for the other person to pull the plug, and both people would likely be okay if the other one said stop…especially since both have already said that they want to wait. However, I think that in those instances, women often look to the man to be a strong voice and to guide things. Think about it like this: If I’ve already told you that I don’t want to have sex then I expect you to respect that and, as the man in this scenario, I want for you to tell me no. And if you don’t tell me no and we have sex when I’d already told you this was something I didn’t want to do, then I’m less likely to want to continue to spend time with you.
PJ: Yeah, I guess so. I really hadn’t ever thought about any of that…that she could think I was easy too. I should be trying to wait for sex…I guess that’s what you’ve been trying to teach me, hunh? [sly grin]
Me: [dismissal of that last comment]
As I reflect back on this conversation with PJ and try to pinpoint what new information it taught me along this journey of (a) accepting men where they are and (b) understanding the obstacles that lie ahead in my quest to date black men, I’m left with this:
- Sometimes the way men view women is just as simplistic as how it has been portrayed in every black-centered B movie ever made. Not to say that men are simplistic beings, but sometimes the thought process really is surface level.
- At times when a man or woman has decided what their intentions are with a potential mate, the end result will be better if that decision is respected…even if said potential mate isn’t aware of said decision. We sould all agree to be ourselves and to be confident and comfortable being ourselves.
NEXT POST: The middle (part 3)