The Dating Game

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He’s Just Not that Into You (Best Date I’ve Ever Been On)

We talked online on and off for months. It wasn’t until I randomly realized he lived near me that I asked him out on a date. We set a day, but two night earlier I got a random text asking if I wanted to hang out then. I was ill prepared, but decided to say yes anyway because I really wanted to meet him.

I drove to his place and picked him up. You could tell he was nervous. He kinda just stared at me in the passenger seat. You could tell he had never met someone so sure of himself. I laughed.

“So where do you want to go eat?”

We drive to one of his spots to get chicken, his favorite food. We go back to his place and talk for a little while eating. He was exactly as I had expected. I couldn’t stop staring at his bottom lip. I wanted to jump on him right there.

He turned on the TV, doesn’t say anything. He goes through the On Demand choices and decides on Love and Basketball without consulting me. Did he put it on because I was Black? I wondered.

Funny story: At the time I’d never seen the movie. In fact, as the Nia Long stan I am, I was boycotting all those Sanna Lathan romantic comedies from the early 2000s because I felt she was encroaching on Nia’s castings. I only saw Something New because Simon Baker half naked was too good to pass up.

Ironically if you’ve seen the movie, you know it’s basically about these friends who became lovers then didn’t speak for a long stretch of time. And that’s kind of what happened. After the movie, I wanted to fool around, but he wasn’t game. The day of our actual date, he cancelled last min. I would seem him around, but we never really debriefed after that. I don’t think I was up to his beauty standards (he has a particular look he likes in Black men and I didn’t fit into it.), but I still appreciate the time we spent that night. Despite being a non-starter, I loved the bitchy/affectionate banter we had. I’m a homebody; silly nights like that with a boyfriend are all I really want.

Praise and Worship Service (Best Non-Date I’ve Ever Been On)

Also met online after a “hey, you live close by” type of situation. He wanted to meet for coffee, but I think it was an ambush for dinner.

“I’m hungry.”

I took him to my favorite soul food spot in the hood. Honestly the best conversation I’ve had in years. Our work is similar, but we were also able to connect outside of career talk.

It was such a beautiful night, we decided to walk back home. I was sloshed at this point. We pass by a church and the singing draws him in. They have the door open and we watch for a while. His smile is brimming from ear to ear, transported to another world.

I, was beginning to sober up and got more and more upset as I reflected on how random the night was.

“If there were no social media, would we have met?”

He looked bewildered, not knowing where this was coming from.

“You don’t go to the clubs, I don’t go to church…would our paths have even crossed?”

He didn’t know what to say. And truth is it wasn’t so much about him as much as it was about how I meet men in general.

We arrived back at my block and I think he wanted to be invited in. I was over it.
A. I haven’t bottomed in nearly a decade
B. Even when I did, I don’t get fucked on the first date
C. He already had several situations going on, I wasn’t going to be another notch on his belt

He has this tall, dark and handsome look going on and he can form sentences so I’m thinking he has offers all the time and doesn’t know how to court someone at my level. We’ve touched base since then, but I think he wanted to be chased.

I don’t chase after men.

I was so invested in getting a boyfriend a few years back and honestly I’m not sure why. Looking at the gay men I know in relationships, many of them don’t seem happy fulfilled. I’ve realized many men want a daddy, to resolve daddy issues, a mentor, or just want someone to take care of them.

I’m looking for a partner.
An equal.
Someone who inspires me.

But that’s not the game most gay men are playing these days. These two examples of non-starter situations that had so much potential, it’s clear I need to rethink some things.

If you’ve ever watched The Dating Game, you know how this goes: I may not have all the information I want at my disposal, but decisions need to be made. There’s always winners and losers, but I take solace in knowing what works for me and what doesn’t. Lord knows that’s half the battle.

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