More on whack dating advice for black women
Guess who’s bizzack for the Twenty Tizzle…er Tenizzle…um…yeah let’s put incorporating extrazneous Z’s in words ala Snoop Dogg on the list of things we should leave in the last decade.
Anyway back in 2009 I wrote a post about my feelings on all the talk that’s been going around lately (and by lately I mean for the past 3 or so decades) about the supposed marriagable black man shortage and the dismal outlook for black women who wish to marry a black man. Unfortunately this looks like an issue (whether real or imagined) that will carry over into this new decade as well.
In my post I made a promise to write a follow-up where I touched on the advice that people give us (black women) regarding this matter. (I actually wrote a post a little while back about rethinking the dating advice we’ve been given but today I’m touching on some different stuff). The specific advice I said I was gonna touch on were the #1 and #2 offenders in whack advice we single black women are constantly given. #1 being lower your standards/stop being so picky and #2 being date outside your race. This advice isn’t particularly whack just for whacknesses sake per se, but if this is the best you have to offer it’s pretty whack.
Let’s start with offender #1
Try lowering your standards/don’t be so picky
Okay so precisely which standard are they suggesting that we lower?
Income, height, looks, maturity, spirituality, education, presence of chemistry, presence of teeth, general hygiene?
I suppose the characteristics that are important in a mate vary from person to person. I can only speak for myself, and I don’t have a list of specific predefined bars that a guy has to meet in order for me to date him, I just want to feel compatible with him and be attracted to him. I’d also like him to have the personality traits that are conducive to a healthy happy relationship/partnership but that should go without saying. I look for people who I can relate to and who are most likely able to relate to me. For example, because I value education I tend not to date guys who didn’t value getting an education. If I date a guy who’s vocabulary doesn’t go past 8th grade level we’re probably gonna have fights every time I use a word with three syllables or more because he’s gonna say I’m “getting smart” with him again. I don’t need that kind of drama.
No one can tell another person who they’ll be happy being with. None of the people advising bougie Bonita to give broke-a$$ Benny a chance is gonna be there to help when they get into a fight because Bonita wants to go to the South of France for vacation and Benny is only willing venture as far as his cousin-nems crib in Jersey where they can drive over to Atlantic city for a day on the nickle slots.
It’s just a matter of figuring out what’s really important to you and no one else can decide that for you. I could go on about this advice….but I just got bored with that topic…so
on to #2:
Date Outside Your Race
I just love this little tidbit of advice. They make it sound like it’s just as easy as pie for a black woman to find a like minded white (or other man) who is cool with bringing a woman with a pressing comb home to mama. I for one haven’t been turning down an onslaught of advances from white or other non-black men. (Well okay there were a few, but most of them were guys I wouldn’t date regardless of race. i.e. the older drunk white dude at the black club because he can’t get enough of the sisters, and the Wegro dude who I kept running into wearing the FUBU sweatsuits who would holler at me everytime he saw me with no recollection that he had tried to holler several times before).
For one thing, in order to date non-black guys I have to place myself among them in a setting that would encourage personal information exchange. Due to my taste in entertainment I don’t often find myself in these types of settings. On the rare occasion that I do find myself in a bar or other local spot frequented by people of other races I’m usually very close to invisible to most of the guys there. Granted I have had some white guys make small talk with me at the bar on occasion but that rarely (by rarely I mean never) goes beyond small talk. I’ve never had one of these guys actually request my number or offer theirs. But this is okay because I’ve never encountered one of these guys who I felt the kind of vibe with that would make we want future interaction either.
Which brings me back to my first point. I like to date guys I feel compatible with. If I found a guy of another race who I truly felt compatible with I’d have no problem dating him.
Okay I’m kinda lying about having NO problem dating them. Dating them generally comes with a bevy of problems that I just wouldn’t have if I dated someone black (and lord knows dating has enough problems on its own), but if the feelings were strong enough I would be willing to overlook those problems. What problems you might ask?
Well here are a few problems that I have heard quoted by other black sistas and a few of my own with dating a white guy (i’m focusing on white guys since dealing with all of the others would be a very long and complex post that I would have very little basis for since I’m not nearly as familiar with all the different “other’s” culture)
1. You always have the question in the back of your mind “Is he dating me because he has some kind of jungle booty fantasy or is he really interested in me as a person?” (Okay I’ll admit that this is a somewhat irrational fear for me since there isn’t much that’s jungle about my booty, But I like to dream that I’m just a few turkey sandwiches away from growing a coveted jungle booty)
2. Dancing…granted a lot of black guys can’t muster up more than a two-step but at least most black guys can two step on beat…..most white guys not so much
3. Thin lips
4. Having to explain cultural references. Just by living in America we all get a fair amount of exposure to white culture. But black culture is mostly portrayed through stereotypical images and from the perspective of the token black person in film and television. The explaining of cultural references could still go both ways, of course, because even though I live in America and observe peculiar white behavior on a regular basis, I still can’t seem to wrap my head around the desire to participate in extreme sports or to climb mountains in the snow.
5. Mushy hands (seriously why are so many white guys hands so mushy???)
6. Maybe it’s just me but I have a slight fear that by dating a white guy Id be somehow betraying my great great great great grandmother who was likely raped by a white slavemaster at some point resulting in my lightish skin color. Then again my lightish skin color could be due to the rest of my blacaucinativeamerican heritage. Who knows but the fear would still be in my mind.
7. pink p*nises
These are just a few of the potential issues we could face as a couple, but the fact still remains that just getting to this coupledom with a white guy is probably even more complicated than actually getting to coupledom period for a black woman (heck any woman) in DC.
I could add a third bit of whack advice to this list. It was a tidbit dropped by America’s favorite (twice divorced) relationship “expert” Steve Harvey. He suggested that black women date older men. So let me get this straight……because black men are determined not to abandon the sowing of their wild oats until they are officially the old cat in the club, black women have to resort to dating your grey haired cat daddy friends to have a chance at reproduction within the bounds of marriage before our eggs dry up. No thank you very much. Some women might like dating older men, but I for one prefer dating guys within a few years of my own age. Up to a ten year age gap I might consider (although 5-10 years older is REALLY pushing it for me) but anything more than that and I’m brushing up on dating my dad’s peers and that’s just gross. I could add that bit of advice to my list but somehow adding it feels like validating advice from Steve Harvey and the progressive woman inside of me just can’t do that in good conscious.
What all of these bits of advice imply for black women is that marrying one of your peers is a long shot at best. They’re trying to tell us that our only hope if we actually want to get married is dating someone in a different socioeconomic bracket, age bracket, or race. I for one have much much love for black men and refuse to give up on them quite that easily. I only want one (and I want the one that finds me to think I’m as awesome and I hope to think he is) and I’m not in much of a rush (I have an oat or two left to sow too). So while I’m open to expanding my horizons, I refuse to do it out of the sense of panic that the media is creating for some of us.