When Your Prince Turns Into A Punk: Could You Continue To Date A Man If He’s Proven Himself To Be A Coward?

January 3, 2013  |  



Could you continue to date a man once he has been discovered to be a coward?

I ask this question after a lazy, uninspired New Years Day in which I spent the day underneath a heavy blanket, watching a film – or three – via Netflix. One of the movies I took in was this complete yawn about a young white engaged couple and their guide traveling across the Caucasus Mountains in central Europe. I’m not going to tell you the name of the movie, because I’m about to give a major spoiler about the film, which basically centered around watching white people hike and talk about boring things for 90-minutes. Seriously, I would only recommend watching this one only if you have trouble sleeping. Anyway, midway through their trek, the couple was approached by three men with a gun. As their guide and the gunmen exchange words in their native tongue, the boyfriend/fiancé, for whatever reason, decides to interject himself in their conversation and ends up with a face full of gun. Being the fast-action hero, the fiancé instinctively hides behind his lady. But then quickly recoups his balls and moves in front of her.

Needless to say, the boyfriend’s instinctive act of self-preservation, albeit only a few seconds, created some awkwardness between the two, with the girlfriend giving her fiancé a well-earned wall of silence. I imagine that if she could, she would have cursed him out and stomped away. But she was in the mountains, literally in the middle of nowhere, so she had to see this trip out with him. I won’t ruin the rest of the film for you, but let’s just say it involves more walking and boring talking. While the film itself left lots more to be desired, I will say that I’ve been thinking about that particular scene since viewing it. I don’t know if presented with the same situation of being shoved in front of a gun by my boyfriend, if I would have had a reaction much different than the female character. How could you not feel betrayed?

A couple of years ago, I was hanging out, having drinks with a male friend of mine at one of the local bars/lounges. We were talking and sort of flirting (not too much though because he had a girlfriend at the time), when I must have said something he took as being offensive (whereas I’m just speaking my true mind). He smirked, shook his head and confessed, “You are real controversial, you know that? See, that’s why I couldn’t date you because I can see me having to get into lots of fights. And I’m a bit of a coward…”

First off, how this conversation deviated into him playing out a hypothetical relationship between him and I is beyond me. I mean, I thought about it once too, and like him, I have tons of reasons why I rejected the idea in my mind as well. I didn’t feel the need to tell him that. But more to the point, there is nothing attractive about a man admitting to being a coward. And now I have another reason why I couldn’t date my male friend.

I make no apologies for placing high value on my partner’s ability to make me feel safe and protected. He doesn’t have to be Michael Jai White; shirtless, greased-up and karate kicking dudes up and down the block. I mean, that might be nice, but a sista isn’t going to hold you to that. I just need to know you will have my back. Like an ex-boyfriend of mine, who appeared really close to getting his butt kicked after trying to defend my honor from some disrespectful and foul-mouthed brute. His confidence was shook and in the car ride home he asked me, point blank, if I thought he was a punk. I told him no, but I will admit that inside, I felt a little differently about him. Different as in, if I’m ever in trouble, I should call 911 instead of him. But I got over it quickly and actually appreciated him more for at least attempting to put a disrespectful someone in their place. To me, that’s a sign of a true gentleman.

I get it; fight or flight is a well-documented part of human life. And that means that everybody has punked out at something during some point in their lives. But you can’t be dropping babies and hopping over balconies, leaving your family behind during movie theater shootings, a la this father of the year in 2012, or in the case of this film, having your natural instinct mean pushing me in front of the barrel a gun. I think a guy who even subconsciously puts you in the line of danger deserves to be banned from seeing your ladybits for the rest of his life.

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