In the past couple weeks I’ve read 2 viral (and vital!) breakdowns of exactly what’s wrong with [ostensibly, black] women to keep us single and to keep black men single by association. Because I turned down a date with a good black man to finish rollersetting my hair tonight (as a black woman, I’m hair obsessed and lack spontaneity) I decided it was only right to join the conversation. I’m just trying to uplift our brothers since we don’t support them enough. In anything. Shame on us.
Prerequisite reading: Evan Moore’s The Things that Keep A Woman Single
The Things That Keep This Woman Single Because Dudes Just Can’t Seem to Get Their Shit Together and I Just Dunno About White Dudes Y’all But I Might Try It If He Looks Like Robin Thicke.
(alternate title: Child, Bye.)
1. Your friends and family are poisoning your love life.
Nothing makes a grown woman cringe like a man who insists that his coworkers, Xbox Live friends list, and random people on the internet take on an advisory role in his life in general, much less his dating life. When you invite the opinions of those who either don’t have to live with the consequences of their judgment or who have their own agendas, you’re inviting frustration. How many times has your gym buddy or homegirl who was lowkey trying to hit told you to stay away from a girl who eventually turned out to be great (for someone else) but loved the crazy pothead chick who slept with your best friend… in front of you? And your addle minded ass listened. Be a big boy. Make decisions based on your best judgment. And work on developing a good sense of judgment. If you’re going to seek counsel in others, be judicious about who you ask. Why are you looking to your homegirl who has 4 kids by 5 different daddies for relationship advice? You know that saying “you’re only as successful as the five people you spend the most time with?” If your closest friends are all working real hard on looking cool, with no discernible long-term goals, where do you think you’re going? Be an independent thinker and doer, for your own sake.
2. Get out of your momma’s house.
We get it. It’s a recession. Hell, I live with my mama too; we have a nice lil Grey Gardens type thing going on. But really, how is that going to work long-term for you, sir? For one thing, my mom goes on vacation for like, weeks at a time and I don’t have to lie about who I’m bringing over while she’s getting her groove back in Barbados or whatever the hell she be doing. Because we’re both adults. No adult female with scruples wants to be sneaking into your mom’s house while she’s at work, or hiding in closets when she pops in to let you know breakfast is ready. Every homebound man I’ve dealt with has been about some sneaking around like he’s 16, which makes me think they’re playing out some kind of teenage fantasy or working through some weird ass sexual guilt. If you have to stop in the heat of things to figure out which video game box, in which drawer, you hid your condoms in so that your mom won’t find them when she tidies up your room, I’ve already kinda lost respect for you as a man.
If you’re not even trying to be financially secure enough to have your own place, don’t expect anyone to really try to invest in booing you up for the long term. What, we all gonna live in this split level together? And if you’re 35, at home and not paying any kind of bills, rent, or groceries, how the hell is any woman supposed to envision you providing for a family?
3. Get in shape
Men can generally get away with a few extra pounds better than we can. However, we’re pushing into these thirties and belly fat is a prime indicator of impotence and low stamina. That’s less time I have to deal with your heavy ass sweating on top of me, true, but I actually like sex. If you can’t bring it because you went to the gym… one time… yesterday… and your endurance and energy are now shot for the weekend? And Cialis is a no-go cause you got high blood pressure? Boy, bye.
4. Tone down the God stuff, really
Some of y’all legitimately love the Lord, but if you only spend 2 Sundays a year in church, why are you claiming to want a “God-fearing woman?” For that matter, if you want somebody to do that nasty shit you know you like… you know the thing… ain’t no “good Christian woman” doing that for you before marriage and good luck after. Unless she’s a hypocrite. Who wants a hypocrite?
This has really only ever come up for me in online dating scenarios. (I guess I present as a heathen in real life.) Try removing that search filter and see who comes up. You might even learn something about yourself.
5. Shut up (your thumbs) and get off the phone
Men are social animals. We understand that. But if you can’t get off Facebook or pause the ESPN push notifications long enough to carry or enjoy a conversation, how do you expect anybody to pay your ass any attention? If you’d stay away from boppers and shallow chicks with birdlike qualities, you’d find that there are a whole lot of super-interesting chicks who you can actually connect and carry on a conversation with. Cause we like, have brains and junk too. Y’all hot to get back to your texting ass friends but wait three hours to hit us back up? Are your friends potentially sleeping with you? I’ve never understood that logic.
6. Get out of the club… now!
You are not on campus anymore. Being in a club four or five nights per week is not a good look. No woman with personal assets and/or a good job wants a man that has to have the DUI lawyer on speed dial. There are many ways to meet women without dressing up like an extra from a Jay-Z video and partying like its 1999. (That one was easy!)
*Unless you want an aforementioned bopper. Then by all means, locate the nearest referee-print leggings and let that bird cook. She might even go to church with you Sunday morning.
7. Your Facebook page is your worst enemy.
In the social media age, your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram reveal a lot about you. Here are three things that are deal breakers with the ladies:
First, if you have 3000 domestic Foursquare checkins and are the mayor of anyplace other than an actual city, stop. The fact that you really want people to know where you are that badly, all the time, makes you look hella insecure. That you’re THAT hype to be checking in everywhere but you ain’t even leaving town (or going farther than Atlanta) makes you look kinda… basic. At least get a passport and level up so all that humble bragging can count for something.
Second, put some chill on. No woman wants to deal with a dude who’s tried and failed to run through her entire social circle and stays liking every attention begging “don’t I look cute today?” thirst trap post. You look desperate, or hoish, or both. That’s exactly what we as women want — a dude whose dick pics we’ve already seen in our girlfriends’ phones (equally unsolicited to make it worse.)
Third, control your emotions. Nothing says potential stalker/felon like a man who lashes out constantly in frustration over the women he dates, his coworkers or boss, waitresses being too slow in restaurants, how “boring” his city of residency is, people “offending” him on his FB page… if a dude’s trigger is that light and his aggression that deep, he’s gonna take it out on the nearest malleable person in his sights. And I ain’t trying to make that me.
8. Carry yourself like someone who actually likes women.
Attitude is everything. The last thing a woman wants to add to her life is a man who is mean, combative, bitter, slutty, or misogynistic. If you have unresolved mommy/daddy/self-esteem issues, get counseling. A woman is not a punching bag or a psychologist. You want somebody who’ll hold you down? You may need to be held down on a couch while Ilyana fixes your life. Most insurance plans cover therapy now.
If every third word out of your mouth is about how dumb/manipulative/confusing/tiresome women are, or you brag about how you “treat ’em like you treat ’em” as though they’re trophies, why would a woman want you dragging her down? Some may gravitate to your bad boy attitude for a fling or take pity on your wounded puppy dog antics, but no one wants to stick around with that for the long haul. Women internalize our issues. Men generally take them out on other people. Although you’ll definitely find someone with self-esteem low enough to take it on, nobody really wants to be that person.
9. Know your role
Your role as a man and a human being is to be clear about your intentions and act with integrity. If you’re not trying to do one or either, you’re going to have some problems. Lying, game-playing and being a jerk in general are the best ways to end up wiping Krylon paint off your car doors (dish soap works!) Make a decision about what you want and be consistent in it. Don’t set deliberately fuzzy boundaries or pretend you want more (or less) of a relationship than you’re willing to give, then gaslight the woman you’re dealing with when she seeks clarity. If you’re playing a chick to the sideline, don’t start acting shady in public when she renegotiates a better package with a winning team.
Basically, instead of thinking of women as some separate species to be maintained with games and machinations, think about them as human beings that have similar mental faculties and emotional range as yours. Would you pull whatever flaky, waffly, entitled bullshit you’re pulling on her with your job and expect to get away with it? Exactly.
10. Temper your expectations.
We know your mother raised you and your four siblings by herself, with no help from your daddy[s], while managing to hold down three full time jobs and look like Pam Grier every day, which enabled her to bag your stepdad and keep him the happiest man alive. Right? Riiiiiiggghhht. But if she was so perfect, why’d your old man leave her to marry that dude you can’t stand to this day? I’m just saying… you’re chasing a fantasy.
You want someone young, fit and beautiful to keep the kitchen full and the house spotless, raise your children to be neuroscientists, hold you down through whatever fuckery you bring to the table, be educated and interesting enough to dazzle your friends and colleagues, respect you as HNIC in the household, have a good job and her own money so she doesn’t have to “depend on you”, and be ready to throw it back for you tired ass 5 nights a week. It ain’t happenin’ bruh. Or it might, but you’ve got to provide something more substantial than good dick and dirty socks to get all that. If you want a Michelle in your life, I’d think you need to at least aspire to Barack, right? It’s all about reciprocity. Be the man you’d need to be to deserve the woman you’d want. And remember your flawed ass ain’t perfect.
Just because a woman expects to be treated with a baseline level of respect doesn’t mean she’s trying to control, stifle or smother you. It means your parents and/or kindergarten curriculum failed to instill some basic values in you. Do better.