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Tag Archives: single men

Why Some Men Never Learn

Here’s the scene: Brian (a friend) and I were on a road trip. I’m on my phone. His phone rings, a female’s face pops up on the screen, and he answers. Some time later we both get off the phone and the following conversation ensues.

Brian: I don’t understand you women.
 
Me: What are you talking about?
 
Brian: [scoffs] Calling me talking about another man.
 
Me: Hunh?
 
Brian: I don’t understand y’all. She called me to ask me about her relationship with somebody else. I don’t care nothing about that dude.
 
Me: Okay.
 
Brian: You can’t call me asking about somebody else when you still call me sometimes to tell me you miss me, you want me to come visit, and all that stuff.
 

This conversation went on for a while until, he hit me with the purpose of this blog…

Brian: I mean, as far as I’m concerned, until a woman gets married, I am the only man she has ever been with.
 
Me: Whaaat?!??
 
Brian: …or until she has a baby. [pauses] Nah, not even a baby. Until she gets married. I don’t want to think about her with some other man. Yep, until a woman gets married I am the only one.
 

There’s a lesson in this conversation. As nonsensical as Brian’s foolishness sounded to me, it gave me a clear view into the often twisted male mind. According to Brian’s rule, he will always and forever have an opening with any and every woman in his past, until marriage do them part. Unless some other man stakes an official public claim to her, he will believe that he has a chance to rekindle whatever relationship they once shared.

I have often wondered why some man who I haven’t spoken to, been nice to, or responded to in a length of time (sometimes months, sometimes years) would waste time (both his and mine) by contacting me and attempting to (re)connect. And this answers my question…probably because he’s too damn dumb to realize that he has no chance. Thus, it does no good to be rude or dismissive in hopes that he will catch a clue. The only way some men will leave is if you marry. And here I sit eternally single and apparently an option for any and every man with whom I ever spent time.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Dating, Marriage

 

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Learning to be Open to All Possibilities

Summer 2011 has been an eye (and mind and heart) opener. As much as I would love to one day have a family all my own, I have been known to make the statement that I may never be married…and to believe it.

Somewhere along the years (maybe when I realized that I am the proud owner of a collection of bridesmaids dresses, maybe when I began quickly approaching my 3rd decade, possibly when I acknowledged the fact that my prospects are so dim that they leave me in the dark, or maybe when I recently entered my 3rd decade, I really can’t call it) I actually internalized the thought that a life of singledom may be what is intended for me. Though I hope and pray and pray some more that this is not the case, the version of me that I was in May 2011 did not believe those prayers could be effective.

So here’s what changed: I spent a summer being exposed to men who made me believe in the possibility of love and commitment. Some of these men are people with whom I spent time and some are men I’ve heard about through my girlfriends. The common thread in all of them is that they are grown up, eligible (imagine that! unattached men expressing interest in unattached women…novel, hunh?) black men who are educated, gainfully employed, and open to actually courting a woman. I clearly know that good(ish) men exist, but I was so shocked to actually finally run into them outside of my own social circle.

The result of my summer of overexposure: I’ve grown. I am practicing being completely open to entertaining conversation from eligble men who present themselves in a respectable manner. I’ve had some ‘getting to know you’ conversations and accepted some date invitations that a previous version of myself would not have even considered. I’m sure that I’ll be telling those stories soon and very soon.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Dating, Man Hunt, Marriage, Reflection

 

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Kappa Konclave 2011: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell

Continuing on with the guest blogging theme, my girl Jazzy Belle was ever so gracious to share a glimpse of what went down when the men of Kappa Alpha Psi made their centennial pilgrimage to their fraternity’s birthplace…with an extra special word of caution to any woman who has the pleasure of calling one of these men her boo, husband, plus one, boyfriend, jump off, maintenance man, or any other label with a similar meaning. Read on! _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Last weekend I had the pleasure of partying with the men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. during their Centennial Konclave in Indianapolis.  (First, let me be clear so that you don’t think I’m a Kappa groupie/sweetheart/diamond: I live in the Indianapolis area so there was no travel or major investment required on my part.) So, as I reminisced over the weekend with the Nupes I realized that my weekend can best be described by comparing to the three different types of afterlife experiences. Go with me on this.

Heaven

This is obvious. There were tens of thousands of Black men who attended college all crammed in about five city blocks. What’s more is that this is Indianapolis, Indiana. So unlike DC, Atlanta, or any other city that matters, there are FAR fewer women here. The ratio of men to women is like 5,000 to one. Okay not really, but there are Crimson and Creme men everywhere. Tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, fat ones, light ones, dark ones were there for the picking. For once in my life in a (mainly) heterosexual environment I could sing the song “It’s Raining Men! HALLELUJAH”

But it was great, because since Kappa Konclave was some weird Twilight Zone where women were rare, dudes were hella chatty without being annoyingly thirsty. All the parties were free for women and dudes just wanted to chat and flirt. All around wins.  Kappa Man Malcolm told me “I hope you’re enjoying yourself because you’ll never be around so many Nupes with so few women ever again.” I’m sure he’s right.

 In addition to the general abundance of men, I had a personal highlight. I was finally able to catch up with a Kappa that I met years ago. Let’s call him Kappa Man Tariq. I remembered that dude was cute but I didn’t remember him being that fine and sexy. Good Lord. Fortunately, he lives in the place where I’m relocating so it’s worth staying in touch with that one. I mean he was incredibly sexy… swoon

Purgatory

Okay. So there are tens of thousands of Black men roaming the three streets that make up downtown Indy. That’s the quantity factor, now let’s look at the quality factor. Three out of four Kappas were married. The fourth was gay or in a committed relationship. That means that 100% of the Kappas were unavailable to you for purchase. If you thought you were going to traipse the streets of Konclave and get chose, you may have been disappointed. My new friend, Kappa Man Corey, said it best, “if you came here trying to get chose, you gonna leave mad.” Well said, Kappa man Corey.

He’s right though. You’re meeting these men out of the context of their daily lives. Most of them left their significant others home to try and relive their undergraduate hedonism with their line brothers. Serious courtship and girlfriend recruitment is the antithesis of all of that. I was clear about this from the outset, so I enjoyed my window-shopping experience. Chatted it up, danced it up, drank it up, flirted it up, and then went home alone.

Hell

When I say “hell” I don’t mean it in the sense that anything about the weekend was torturous. I mean hell in terms of where people are going because of all the sinning they were doing! So there was daytime Konclave where you saw the brothers strolling the streets, gripping each other up, and hollering at cute girls. We get that.  That’s PG-rated. Everyday life experience.

But then…there’s Konclave after dark. Another friend, Kappa Man Antwan was telling me about strippers in hospitality suites and all kinds of adult recreation. Now while I didn’t witness that, I was out and about on Saturday night and suddenly that delightful ratio of 5,000 men to 1 woman seemed a lot more even. By Saturday busloads of prostitutes magically arrived in Indianapolis. And trust, I’m not assuming they were working women, I know they were working women. Girl crew and I witnessed transactions going down all around us! We even overheard a chick on the phone saying “Girl you need to get here and make some money cuz we fuckin & suckin everything this weekend!’ That’s whoa. By late Saturday night gone were the daytime Kappas and here were the nighttime Nupes.

Well that’s my recap. I had a pretty damn good time. Saw friends and family and bonded with my girls. It was an all around win.

Oh and ladies, if your man was at Konclave you might want to suggest he get tested before you let him stick his cane anywhere near you. I’m here to help.

Author: Jazzy Belle

 
 

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Lessons on Dating…from Salsa

Dancing v. Dating

I went salsa dancing last weekend. About halfway through the night, I decided that the art salsa dancing–the technique, the atmosphere, everything about it–parallels the art of dating. 

I don’t go salsa dancing a lot, but all of the salsa clubs I’ve been to are restaurants/bars by day and sultry dance venues by night. Some people come coupled up and remain that way for the entire night, but there are quite a bit people who show up either alone or in groups. Most of the men who show up single are good salsa dancers and want to enjoy a night of twirling women across the floor. Some of the men are too snobby to dance with women like me who clearly don’t have the technique to keep up the entire time, while others will take a chance on anyone just for an opportunity to show their stuff on the floor. Anyhoo,  I think salsa provides several lessons on dating if you pay attention. 

Lesson #1: Play the field and wait your turn. In the salsa club, men initiate the dancing relationship. Regardless of a woman’s skill level on the floor, the single men generally only dance one song with a woman before thanking her (weird, but nice) and either leading her off the dance floor or simply parting ways. This, however, does not mean these men are ready to take a break; they will immediately find a new partner for the next song. I realized that some of the men had identified a handful of women with whom they were dancing. Before coming back to woman  number 1, they would cycle through women numbers 2 through 5. They had a personal order of operations they were following, and it involved giving floor/playing time to every other woman on the roster before returning to the first. It didn’t matter if #2 was more skilled than the others; she got one song and had to wait her turn in the cycle.

Lesson #2: Put me in, Coach! Being twirled around the floor is thrilling and addicting. Once you’ve had a taste, you’ll likely want more. I found myself so desperate for my next hit of the dance floor, that I was willing and able to endure the pain and agony of undesirable traits like the hot, stank breath of Mr. Twinkle Toes/Attack Your Nose. Oddly enough, even Mr. TTAYN had a full dance card. [sidenote: he must have caught a clue somewhere along the line, because by my third time in the rotation, he was chewing on breath mints] If the dance floor was a playing field, the men would be the coaches. They decide who gets playing time….and 90% of the men I danced with reminded me that the object of the game (dancing) is to “have fun.” Like dating,  the goal is to play the field and experience your options

Are your friends gossip girls?

Lesson #3: Stop following behind your hatin’ ass girlfriends. Women who were hovering together in groups were less likely to be asked to dance, and less likely to accept an invitation to dance. There was one group of women who sat at a table chatting (and, according to their nonverbal cues, judging everyone else). Rather than accepting invitations to dance, they would decline and snicker as men left their table. I’m certain they were dissecting everything that was wrong with each person in the club, rather than interacting with people other than those who rode in the car with them. Even if one of the women at the table wanted to dance, she may have been deterred by the thought of her friends’ ridicule after the song ended and she was inevitably thanked for the dance and led back to her group. Sometimes we have to put the chatter of the peanut gallery out of mind in order to move forward.

Lesson #4: Let a man be a man. In salsa, the man leads and the woman needs to be sensitive enough to his subtle cues in order to successfully follow his lead. The whole following thing is difficult for me. I have these two warring personalities inside of me–one has a desire to control my path in life and the other wants to go with the flow and experience each surprise twist and turn as the future unfolds–that make me a less than stellar salsa dancer. As long as I focus on following I can go with the flow, but as soon as I get antsy I try to take over the lead. And guess what happens when I don’t follow…I lose the beat and both me and my partner have to work to get ourselves back on track. When I let the man lead, several things happen: he looks out for us and ensures that we don’t have any collisions with other people, I can relax and have fun, he tunes in to my discomfort and tension and does his best to quell those things. So I plan to try this same thing when dating…let the man lead, follow his lead, enjoy myself and expect that things will run pretty smoothly without my input.

Lesson #5: Chemistry is apparent. It is clear when two people are vibing. Even if they dance off beat, they do it in sync with one another. It so happens that some men are better leaders than others, and some women are better leaders than followers. Whatever traits each person brings to the dance floor/dating relationship, the couple has to find a balance if they’re going to move in the same direction at the same pace.

1+1=2

Lesson #6: It takes two to tango. Dancing, like dating, is an intimate two person activity. Even though the men may be playing the field a little, they need a partner in order to dance/date. And here’s the thing: it only takes two people. One person can neither salsa dance nor date by themselves. Likewise, if there are more than two people involved, the attempt at dancing/dating will not be successful.

Lesson #7: Experience definitely matters. While some men allowed me to dance right into the path of other couples, the more experienced dancers were able navigate the dance floor, steering me away from possible collisions and towards the safer, more open sections of the floor. Dancing with an inexperienced “leader” made me hesitant to follow the lead of the next man I encountered. I found that the ebb and flow of experience levels made it difficult for me to blindly follow, as I sometimes had to share the lead role. Like dating, some men are more experienced, and thus better able to take the lead than others. When dating a man whose leadership skills are underdeveloped, it may be necessary to take the helm from time to time.

There you have it–seven lessons on dating from salsa. They say everything you need to know about life, you learn in kindergarten. Well damn that…I learned it all while spinning (sometimes gracefully, sometimes not) across the floor of a hot salsa club.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Dating, Reflection

 

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