Is it Just Me, Or Are Black Men Less Romantic When It Comes To Dating?
“And then, oh my God, he took me to Central Park, laid down a picnic blanket, and then he had ready-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – it was literally the sweetest thing anyone’s ever done for me!”
My friend was gushing about the whimsical first date she had last week. While I was all heart-eyed along with her, my guy friend was unmoved and asked her one question:
“Is he white?”
“Yeah,” she replied.
He threw his hands up and scoffed as if to say, “How did I know?” Under his breath, he then muttered, “simp.”
My guy friend, a Black man, didn’t have to spell it out for us. It was clear what he was hinting at – in his eyes, it’s more typical of a non-POC man to go through all the trouble to win over a woman’s heart. “Picnics in Central Park? Pfft, he damn sure ain’t black! I ain’t doin’ all that,” was what he was really saying.
I opened my mouth to protest, but looking back at my own dating experiences – from Irish and Italian to Nigerian and Haitian – he might be on to something. There really might be a trend of some Black men, well, “holding back” when it comes to putting their best romantic foot forward.
To be real, it seems as if they’re far more afraid of being “taken advantage of” by women. And so to alleviate that uneasiness, they play this odd game of, “Let’s see if I can get away with giving her next to nothing, but still charm her into giving me everything.”
They don’t want to be vulnerable.
More often than not, I’ve had Black men invite me into their mama’s homes, late at night when she’s sleeping, for a little “Netflix and chill” (ugh, I know the phrase is so passé, but it’s true) – and this is the first date! If I am dumb enough to accept, he’s the victor. There’s no investment on his part at all: I’d be the fool paying for the Uber to sneak inside and, if I open my legs, that’s free punani for him, too.
A W for him and an L for me – well, theoretically. I always RSVP hell no to those types of “first dates” anyway.
But the most absurd part of this is, after I “ghost” em, they swamp me with questions about why I disappeared. When I tell them the truth, they always say, “What?! But I was serious about you.” First of all, bull crap. Secondly, if it is true, what book of stupidity did you read that you thought inviting a woman to your house on a first date was appropriate?
On the other hand, in my experience, fewer (emphasis on “fewer,” not “all,” so as to not generalize) non-POC men – spoiling me with salsa dance lessons, romantic hibachi dates, and tickets to Broadway plays – have this unsound, debilitating fear of women running off saying “peace out sucker!” after milking ’em of all they’ve got.
As a woman who prefers Black men, I find that this one–upmanship mentality to be crippling AF. It’s as if Black men constantly need reassurance that they have the upper hand in terms of who is putting in the least amount effort, but getting the greatest ROI. This dynamic doesn’t bode well for any situationship.
It might just be a coincidence that, in my personal experience, most Black men I’ve encountered have an aversion to being vulnerable and romantic, but if it isn’t just happenstance, one must wonder, “Where the hell does this backwards thinking comes from?”
My friend Amy, a psychology professor whose experience with dating Black men parallels with mine, says it’s a “cultural” thing.
What does she mean by that exactly?
Is it those darned ’90s hood movies that aren’t doing any favors to the malleable young Black male mind when it comes to their perception of women and how they should be treated?
Perhaps it’s those unrealistic hip-hop music videos where the rap artists kick their feet up while video vixens follow ‘em around half-naked?
“That and,” Amy began, “society already takes so much from Black men, so perhaps, as a result, they just can’t fathom giving any more of themselves away,” which she says accounts for the romantic disparity between Black men and non-POCs.
Meh, I don’t know. I mean, I get it. All of us don’t like being vulnerable to an extent – we don’t want to get hurt and we want to protect our hearts. And, of course, there certainly are romantic Black men and non-romantic non-POCs. But I can’t help but notice a greater trend of Black men not wanting to risk it – putting their fragile hearts out on the line – in comparison to non-POCs.
Have you guys noticed it, too?