Monday, May 18, 2009
My dating life can be summed up in one word: sad. In fact, I don’t have a dating life. Currently I’m not dating anyone and I haven’t been on a date in several years. Confession: The Angry Independent has never had a girlfriend/relationship, never been kissed, and has never even asked a woman out…and I’m in my mid 30’s. Yes, I know…. Pathetic. I guess that means that I pretty much fall into the category of “loser”. Most men would have already blown their brains out by now. But that’s not an option for me (although some would probably disagree). This is all tied to my racial identity, my tendency to be a homebody, and my lack of resources. I’m also a little picky when it comes to the kinds of women who I would date.
I’m generally not attracted to Black women…physically, mentally or otherwise. I typically don’t have much in common with them. To be honest, I don’t think I could deal with most Black women…and I don’t have any interest in going down that road….although I don’t exclude the possibility of meeting and dating one. There are always exceptions. Excluding anyone based on race alone would be stupid on my part. I’m just emphasizing that if it happens….it would be more by accident than by any mission driven kind of effort. And i'm not saying that there aren't any great Black women out there... there definitely are. But they are few. And for whatever reason, I don't get along as well with Black women. I have written before about some of my interracial dating experiences and some of the issues that drove me in that direction.
And Black women generally aren’t attracted to me because I’ve never been arrested, I can hold down a steady job, won’t abuse them, am considered “nice”, and I hate ebonics. In other words, I don’t fit the image of what a “Black Man” is supposed to be….and I don’t act the way that the image says I am supposed to act. I’m just not considered “sexy” to them. I’m more James Taylor, Sharon Jones, Dave Matthews, Classic Motown, Rock & Jazz than modern R&B and Rap. I guess I don’t fit the mold. For some strange reason, certain women are attracted to violence, B.S., heartache, and irresponsible behavior. If you aren’t a meathead with “protective qualities” (meaning if you aren’t musclebound with tattoos and you haven’t been to prison) then you aren’t seen as authentic --as authentically Black or as a “real“ man -- and you just aren’t considered very attractive in a certain community. Black women are like social masochists in a way. I will never understand it. But it is what it is.
I have a whole series on this blog about the Black female subculture (yes it is distinct) and the kinds of men that they tend to be attracted to. Now of course not all Black women fall into that category… but I would say…from common sense, general observations and anecdotal evidence that at least a small majority between ages 20 & 40 probably fall into that group. Anyone who still doubts this phenomenon is in a serious state of denial.
That’s one side of the coin that I have to face. The other side is that I don’t tend to have it any easier with non-Black women. I tend to be more attracted to non-Black women, but they generally aren’t attracted to me. I typically don’t fit what they are looking for in terms of race and socio-economics. The financial part of that probably has a lot to do with it…. But that is strongly tied to race.
What am I getting at? How does a Black Man date when the options are so limited?
When dealing with non-Black women I often run into the dreaded “white men only” problem. These are primarily White, Asian, Hispanic, & East Indian women…but in a few cases I have encountered this from Black women - those few who I did have an interest in.
Back in the early 2000’s I was brave enough to post a profile on a few online dating services. I would use online services because they were convenient and because I don’t go to places such as nightclubs or bars to find dates. I’ve never set foot in one…and don’t plan to. I hate the nightclub culture. There’s nothing & no one in a nightclub that I want - period!
But what I typically found on the online services is that all the women who I would contact or would signal an interest in would almost uniformly mention in their profiles or would confirm in their responses that they were only interested in white men or that they could not/would not date a Black man. It got so bad that I eventually realized that if I wanted a chance to meet someone… I would have to remove any indication of my race from my profile. But leaving the race category blank only led to more aggravation. It only created a situation where I would waste time emailing someone back and forth (successfully) over a number of days, only to be stabbed in the chest when I would be forced to reveal my race, usually before a date or meeting.
“Oh, by the way… I just want to make sure you know that I’m Black”. “You do know that I’m a Black guy right?”
“Sorry… I don’t date Black guys”.
“You seem nice, but my family would not approve of me dating a Black man. I will have to cancel for tomorrow night. Sorry for the confusion. Good luck in your search.”
“No need to contact me again. I don’t deal with Black guys”.
You get the idea.
This became a constant problem. It became such a pain in the ass that I gave up dating only after one Summer & decided to concentrate on School/work. I didn’t want to deal with all the aggravation involved in the dating game.
And it goes back to why I don’t approach women and never have. It’s primarily because I have never believed that I was good enough to actually prevail and win the hunt so to speak… or to “get the girl” (at least not the women who interest me). “Not good enough” refers to not only being the wrong ethnicity, but it also refers to not having reached a level of socio-economic status that would allow me to compensate. This is why I’m single, have always been single, and will likely die single. Men have to be good at “the chase” and it’s something that I don’t even have the desire to do.
I most often got these responses from Asian women. I don’t know if this was because I interacted with more Asian women online (or don’t think I did) or because racial prejudice was more prevalent in that group….. who knows?
But what’s behind the “White Men Only” phenomenon? Few people are willing to do sociological studies on interracial dating to answer that kind of question because it may be too taboo, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that race tends to be associated with socio-economics.
White, Hispanic, and especially Asian women (and yes a few Black women) see White men as a symbol of money, a symbol of success, and a symbol of stability & financial security (the primary thing that women seek and the way that men are measured by women). In all the important areas….White men seem to be the better choice…. It’s just natural selection in a way. White men are associated with all that’s good.
Black men, on the other hand, tend to be associated with all that’s bad. Black men tend to be associated with crime, irresponsibility, a lack of values, sexual aggressiveness, poor education, and as a whole being lower on the socio-economic ladder.
The heart of the story is that my dating options will always be limited. I have always seen my race almost as a disability when it comes to dating…and dating freedom. It’s like a prison for me. Add socio-economics to the mix and I feel even more handicapped by race. It‘s constraining. I always feel like I’m in sort of a racial Purgatory. I don’t feel at home or at peace in Black Culture. In fact, I don’t identify with Black Culture. The Culture annoys me (that’s the nice way of putting it). And I have never felt accepted or welcomed by any other group. I‘ve never been able to “fit in” with any particular Culture or group. I don’t have an attraction to Black women (generally speaking) and they don’t have any attraction to me because I don’t fit their image of “Black Manhood”. And White, Asian, and Hispanic women aren’t interested because I’m not White & I can’t compete with what a White man can provide for them (in terms of money, social status, a trophy, looks, as a family provider, as financial security, etc). There are Asian-American families who consider their daughters to be successful if they meet and marry a White guy (craziness!!!). They may not say that publicly…but that’s the general thinking process for some Asians.
That leaves me socially confined. I’ve always felt like a prisoner in my own skin.
When and if I try dating again in a few years (once my financial fortunes improve) my options are still going to be extremely limited. But then again… we are in the age of Obama and attitudes about race are supposedly changing… so I guess I’ll have to wait and see if there is some sort of improvement. Some people believe that Black is in fashion….I have heard and read comments to that effect. But I don’t really buy into that…and I don’t believe the rise of a political figure could really translate into an improvement in the realm of dating relationships… the level of tolerance needed to accept a Black President is different from the level of tolerance needed to actually bring someone home and have someone in your life who is of a different race. These are two different things.