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Catch Me Elsewhere
The dating question always on the table regardless of race, culture, or class is why do good girls like bad guys? This has started many a discussion—and sometimes even arguments—amongst brown brothers and sisters of all age brackets. Sisters supposedly complain about the lack of good men but only pursue the triflin’ ones. And good brothers allegedly end up feeling rejected or getting hurt by the baggage sisters carry over from these bad men. Most of us have heard this story a thousand and one different ways. So allow me to put a new twist on it.
My first real boyfriend was a cute nerd. He had the mind of a scholar, the body of an athlete, and the upbringing of a good, wholesome boy. He took me out and treated me like a queen. Overall, I think he was and still is a great young man. But I still remember he kissed another girl twice while we dated and that really broke my heart. I forgave him. But then, when he went away to college (I was a year behind him in school), he would tell me stories of a girl pursuing him. And finally on April Fool’s day he called me and said he cheated on me with her. Then he said he was kidding. Then he said he wasn’t. Hurt and confused, I just broke it off right then. He wasn’t a player or a dog; he was just a young man trying to find himself in college while he had a girlfriend back in high school. But the pain felt the same to me—if not worse—because I expected more from him.
I’m going to be absolutely real right now and say what most women won’t: I’d rather be played by a bad guy! As I’ve looked back over my life, I’ve dated all kinds of men. Nerds. Athletes. Street pharmacists. Artists. Religious guys. Non-black guys. And I’ve kept an even more diverse group of men as friends. Through discussions with my men friends and experiences with suitors, I concluded many men play many of the same games at various points in their lives because they’re human. But I think most women expect certain types of behavior from certain types of men. When a woman dates a bad man, she expects him to lie, to cheat, and to pretty much dog her out in one way or another. So she’s mentally prepared for it. And when it happens she can always say, “He wasn’t no good anyways. What was I thinking?” But when a woman dates a good man, she expects him to be honest, faithful, and treat her right. And a good man will mostly follow through with that. But every once in a while, like my nerdy boyfriend, he may not live up to that. So understanding that both kinds of men can and probably will hurt a woman at some point, a younger version of myself reasoned I’d rather be played by a bad guy because at least I’d see it coming!
Many women still walk around with this “better the devil you do know than the devil you don’t” mentality and make poor choices, ironically enough, to protect their hearts.
What do yall think? Have you seen this dynamic play out in your own life?
Photo Credit: madamenoire.com, singleblackmale.org