(WARNING: There are several dated references in this blog, including Black Eyed Peas/Fergie lyrics used for supposed laughs. Viewer discretion is advised.)
In the middle of a recent conversation with one of my good friends, the conversation inevitably turned towards my dating life — or my lack thereof. At the not-so fresh news of my struggling batting average in the dating game, he had some words of advice he saved until that moment: that my comments on Facebook and my blog may be shying away potential candidates. He said that while he (and friends) knew that my comments and posts are part of my personality, not everyone understand this.
I had not thought about my social media presence deterring ladies from wanting to know me. I’ve always treated my digital words as my mouthpiece for an introverted — nee, genial — man: pointing out the absurdities of life; writing things that amuse me and perhaps anyone else; and occasionally kvetching about my gutter balls on the dating/bowling circuit. I naturally assumed — as society and my parents taught me for their own shits and giggles, apparently — that people would like me for me, and that those adorable traits I possess would extend to those that want to climb up on this brown saddle for an extended ride. (YOU know what I’m talkin’ about: courting. BOOM. Tricked.) Besides, my Facebook is closed off to unknown stalkers (Facebook stalking is so 2008, and kids not stalking via Foursquare are SO 2000-and-late), and I assumed my blog would not be the first place ladies would go to bone up on this here guy.
Brass tacks time: I like to entertain myself; after all, there are only so many ways to keep the 32 voices in my head from anointing death on Ke-dollarsign-ha. But I just assumed that my friends and blog readers were in on the oh-so-lovable joke. And the bitching comes from a place of honesty, an outlet that lets family and loved ones, the friends I have yet to alienate and random strangers that I — hell, a black man — has articulated, complex thoughts that extend beyond material and carnal desires. Long story short: I never thought to write digitally as a primer for a date.
But those last two points are key, as my friend noted that the conflicting messages of out-there absurdities and complaining about my lack of lady luck send messages to single women that I may not be worth the risk — as a potential partner, let alone in their public safety. (Okay, that last one is a bit of a stretch.) And perhaps these women that do fend off their friends’ warnings — the ones good at Googling their friends’ dating partners because they aren’t doing much else — and meet me for coffee/a drink and conversation are put off by my reserved nature and listening eyes. (Okay, I’m struggling to come up with imagery.) Hell, my Facebook/Twitter posts like “Zoosk.com says I can date my way, but there’s no option for ‘awkward hug, stilted conversation and crying in my car for 15 minutes afterwards'” might be serving as air-raid horns for the date from purgatory.
But here’s the thing: I CAN only be me. Men are raised and programmed to function in society in ways to attract mates. While I tried these things myself for several years, perhaps the true self beneath the surface or crippling insecurities revealed me to be a stinky rat. And I don’t like being a stinky rat; hell, I’m still trying to get comfortable with myself after 31.5 years (half birthday last week, y’all!).
And I love and respect where my bud was coming from with the advice, and the notes were noted, but I can only be me at the end of the day. And if that means that none of my dates’ London Bridges ever go down (I think I understand the reference: she’s talking about antiquated architecture, right?), I’m not hell-bent on getting married come hell or high water. My friends and family know who I am and what I have planned for the future, and that special someone will not only get that, they will get me and be that one. Until then, my words will not be aimed at enticing humps or lovely lady lumps.