Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Lists, Theory & Essay

Why Being A Single Man Is Kind Of Overrated


Pic only chosen because I thought it was funny that this image was the first thing to pop up when googling "single black man"

While most will probably remember 2012 as the “Year Of The YOLO” (and by “most” I mean “like seven people“), it holds special significance for me because it’ll likely be the first year since 2002 where I spent the entire year single. I haven’t completed a full calender year yet — May will make it seven months since the former Lady Champ and I decided to go our separate ways — but because I seem to enjoy doing random anthropological experiments on myself for absolutely no reason (and because I’m an INTJ and INTJs apparently suck at relationships), I’m confident that I’ll make it to 2013 without having to change my Facebook relationship status again.

Anyway, if I could sum up my seven months of singledom in one word, it would most likely be “interesting.” I’ve met some “interesting” people, done some “interesting” things, made some “interesting” decisions, and, most importantly, thought some “interesting” thoughts. The most “interesting” of these “interesting” thoughts? Being a single man is kind of overrated.

Now, as I stated on the day where I wrote about orgasms, “overrated” doesn’t mean “bad.” In fact, as the careers of Tupac and Derrick Rose continue to prove, something can be very, very good — even great — and still be overrated. I’ve enjoyed being single, and will likely continue to enjoy it. But, while it seems like many assume that being a single man (a single Black man, at that) is nothing but an utopic stream of easy popsicles, cold pancakes, and syrupy p*ssy, there are a few downsides.

1. It can be very lonely

As a person who wanted to be single, is a natural introvert, and generally enjoys doing things by himself, I’m surprised by how, for lack of a better term, “noticeable” the solitude and loneliness of singledom can be. Even when seeing multiple people and/or having tons of friends, being single means that you are…single, by yourself, and there may be times when you want to have someone around but there will be no one that you want to be around readily available to be around.

Then, to add insult to injury, if you’re an angsty motherf*cker like me, you’ll start thinking things like “Wait. I’m a single man. A single Black man. My dad named me after Dolemite. Shaka Zulu is my second cousin. People who’ve never even met me call me “Champ” for chrissakes. Why the f*ck do I feel lonely right now?” which’ll make it even worse.

2. You have to wear condoms. And, wearing condoms sucks

If you’re one of the 137 people left on Earth who always has protected sex — even if in a long-term, monogamous relationship — just skip this section and move on to #3. Also, I’ve left a plate of gotdamn sugar cookies at the end of this post as a reward for your duty. Please eat them with a gotdamn smile.

If you’re not one of these people, you should be able to relate to how frustrating it’s been to go from condom-less sex to having to worry about having gotdamn condoms all the damn time. And, even if you’re not actively having sex, “Do I have condoms?” and “Since I don’t have condoms, is there somewhere close where I can buy them?” always has to be on your mind.

Also, from a logistical perspective, they’re a hassle to put on, they smell like a pack of slutty balloons, and “sex with condoms” will always be the Mike Conley of coitus.

There is always the alternative — just don’t wear condoms while single, either — but I think one Cromartie per generation is enough.

(Btw, is it just me, or has the price of condoms spiked dramatically in the past four years? I was last single in 2008, and I don’t remember a box of condoms costing as much as it does to fill a gas tank. Does this qualify as a “first world problem?” If a Black blogger bitches about condoms in the woods, would Kanye’s missing draws make a sound?) 

As much as condoms suck, they don’t suck as much as…

3. Having to participate in the dating game

In a paradox so annoying that I almost didn’t mention it today because I plan on spending an entire day on this sole topic soon, I love meeting new, interesting women but I hate the process that usually goes along with meeting new, interesting women.

I understand (and appreciate) the purpose of the process, but knowing why it’s necessary doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy it.

4. The superficial romantic connections synonymous with singledom gets old

Ironically, the best thing about being a single man — possessing the ability to have myriad short, commitment-free relationships AT THE SAME DAMN TIME!!! — ends up being one of the worst after enough time has passed.

This actually hasn’t happened to me yet. I guess I’m still in the single honeymoon phrase. But, I’m certain it will, and the thought of this happening is already depressing me.

Actually, this entire list is getting depressing. ***Making note to self to make sure tomorrow’s post is about the playoffs or strippers or something***

5. You start to realize some, um, “unpositive” things about yourself

I’ve been in three long-term — “long term” = “monogamous relationship lasting at least a year” — relationships as an adult. Each of these relationships failed, and my wanting to be single was the main catalyst behind each of these failures. Now, because I’ve always been a guy who did all the “right on paper” relationship things — I’ve never cheated, never physically or verbally abused any girlfriends, always followed the chivalry handbooks, etc — I’ve always assumed that I’m good at being a partner. But, these last few months have made me realize that I have some real deficiencies in the relationship department — personality quirks that have subtly sabotaged each relationship I’ve been in.

I wouldn’t quite call myself a trojan horse — the sabotage isn’t intentional (at least it’s not consciously intentional) — but I’m just not very good at this relationship thing right now, and I intend to spend the rest of 2012 trying to figure out why.

That’s it for me today. Fellas — single or coupled up — how do you feel about the concept of singledom? Is it all the beer commercials make it out to be, or do you agree that it may be slightly overrated? Also, ladies, are the “single man problems” expressed today at all similar to any “single woman problems?”

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • Justmetheguy

    I agree with most of this (number 3 is as questionable as it is vague). However, it still doesn’t effectively equate to single life being overrated. Perhaps relationships could be underrated….but then again it’s all about timing and what stage in life you’re at.

  • Interesting. I’ve wondered a time or two how single men felt about being single.

  • Lol, I do agree with all of these especially number 3. I feel like a lot of the outside noise disappears in your life when you’re single so you have more of an opportunity to think and you tend to realize some things about yourself

  • Wish you gave a few more, concrete reasons… but the effort is appreciated. :o) I’ve been curious about if guys ever get a little ‘tired’ of the 3 P’s (lol…pancakes) without a C in there… for well-suited companionship.

  • R

    ISTJ’s make the worst bosses EVAAARRRRR!

  • R

    INTJ, I mean

  • I want to go back to the kamakula days of writing an entire post response in my comment, but I think I will hold back for today.

    Singledom can be very contradictory. As a single man who doesn’t want to be single, a couple things that dominate my thoughts when they turn to women is “why are the women who I want not interested” and “what is it that draws unavailable women to try and befriend me”. In the past, I’ve tended to continue chasing after the former and ignore the latter.

    Now (well, I started two weeks ago and it’s already yielded some. . . unforgettable experiences), I’m going to take a step back and deprioritize trying to find/start a relationship and actually make friends and try to learn more about myself. I may also start taking Krav Maga just to be safe. . .

  • Crystal

    Well find you a nice ENFP type girl, lol. I’m an ENFP and I’ve found my INTJ….lol, while I am not the crazy person who made him take a personality test, but coincidentally his personality is the exact match for mine….plus other things in common, faith, movies, and sarcasm, but no personality clashes here. Or even major arguments. Go, and find the yang to your yang!

  • Captain Awesome

    We want to be them and they want to be us.

  • QG

    I can agree to all three but I would like to add one; being single, especially as a Black man, is not that challenging. As a result, it can be seen as overrated because its the easier thing to do with no real satisfying results.

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