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 contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • 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.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “However, it still doesn’t effectively equate to single life being overrated”

      it does, though. if being a single black man with a job and a passport and shit is touted as being the best thing ever, anything proving it’s not actually the best thing ever makes it overrated

      • LMNOP

        Wait, who is saying that being a single black man is the best thing ever?

        • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

          The single Black men who are over 30, not married, with no children, very educated and with a good paying job…

          • http://www.twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

            I don’t know why but these dudes irritate me. Our priorities are @ss backwards. Like how comforting is that salary with no woman by your side at that age? I just had a convo with a Black man who wanted points for not having an STDs. Boy, BYE!

            • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

              But…but…but…he didn’t have STD’s- he’s a survivor!

              Do you know how difficult it is to be a Black man in the dating scene and not catch something other than a cold?

              It’s hard out hurr on deez skreets, LMAO!!!

              • http://www.twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

                LOL! I feel you boo boo but c’mon. We’re supposed to be disease free, have good jobs, etc but to list that over having a good woman, child, etc. I don’t get it but we all have diff priorities I guess. :-)

              • YeahSo

                *reader’s edit*
                It’s hard out here on these [skeets]… as you were.

                • http://www.twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

                  Well played…well played.

            • MJoy

              i will be saying “Boy, Bye” for the rest of the day. Love this.

            • Mori

              LOL… Nice! Recognition for being STD free….LMAO…WOW!

        • Justmetheguy

          +1 @ LMNOP- That’s what I’m saying. You’d have to agree with the premise that it’s the best thing ever before you could call it overrated. I feel like if you’re playing your cards right and not expecting too much from it, it can be awesome at times and peaceful at others. A win win for someone my age. Everybody’s got a different perspective though…

      • http://facebook.com/Nashira.X ShiraSunshine

        I commend you for taking the time to figure out why you’re not good in relationships. But I hope that you take the time to really evaluate, and not become an asshole or male whore in the process. I’m sure that you don’t want to bring even more unnecessary baggage to your future relationship. I took an entire year off of dating to figure some things out… Hope it works for you!!

    • nillalatte

      Talk about being vague! LOL… How are ya boo? Have you finished your flings with MJoy and Kema? ;)

      • Justmetheguy

        Nilla! I’m good, and I have to admit that Kema currently does has me intrigued. I’m over that siren MJoy though smh… It doesn’t matter about the others though, you know I remember who it all started with. Then I found out you were from down South too?! My heart started singin ;)

        • Kema

          *waves and smiles flirtatiously*

          Hey JMTG!

          • Justmetheguy

            Sup Kema. How u doin sweetheart? I recall hearing that you were into motorcycles. Just wanted to let u know you rev up my engine ;)

            • Breezy

              LMBO..well played JMTG…carry on….lolololol

          • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

            hey SEGZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZY vrooom vroooom!!!!

            • Kema

              Hello!!!!

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

        QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQUEEN!!! sup mama!! :)

        • nillalatte

          It’s all good. Now you tryin to holla at JMTG? What’s up wit dat? He ain’t got no dreads! You actually need Corey. I think y’all would do better. But, let me warn ya… he’s straight up black coffee no sugar, jack no chaser, medicine no honey… get the pic? Mane can be brutal, but you know exactly where he’s coming from. ;)

          • Justmetheguy

            Nilla, she wasn’t talkin bout my bald @ss she was talkin bout my sexy new companion Kema. Corey and Mami would be an interesting pair together lmao! I ain’t tryna sabatoge my homie Jay though. She and him have a very peculiar relationship lmao!

            • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

              oh mi gosh—-> peculiar?! Please expound on that point?!
              and also expound on why Corey and I would be interesting?! I’m always open to more options, but my heart will always be stagnant on he who shall not be mentioned.

          • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

            @ Queen,

            errrm, I hollad at my girl crush KEMA!

            Thanks for Corey, but my heart was only meant for he who shall not be mentioned. I can handle black coffee! I’ll put the cream in it. :)

    • rissercize

      #3 has got to be the WORST thing about being single. Can’t wait for you to go in on that one later, Champ. Many of us have stayed in dysfunctional relationships just to avoid #3. At least from my perspective, this is what men and women have in common when it comes to being older (over 30) and single.

      • Jeannen

        I agree that #3 sux! I do not enjoy dating at all. However, being single has given me the opportunity to learn more about me and do so much needed work on self.

    • K. Hill

      Brother. It’s like I wrote this myself.

  • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

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

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      knowing is half the battle and sh*t

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      You can do whatever the hell you want…kinda…

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        I so like the “kinda” part. :)

        • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

          me, too :D

  • https://twitter.com/#!/cnote220 Cheech

    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

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “a lot of the outside noise disappears in your life when you’re single”

      good way to put it

    • Justmetheguy

      ” 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”

      But that’s what I love about it though. I’m a big fan of myself as well as reality. I don’t need nor want distractions from either….

    • http://www.twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      This is one huge perk about being single. I’ve really had a chance to get to know myself better…plus my life is quiet.

  • http://www.twitter.com/karinakaribbean Narsha

    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.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      i could have stretched it to ten but, um, it’s the playoffs

      • http://twitter.com/itztrizz617 Tristan

        !!!!

        • MJoy

          can we just mourn the knicks for a second? Saturday was a bad day…

          • Cali

            Nah… MONDAY was a bad day! Amare is one big DUMMY! LOL! They were looking @ a broom anyway, but that boy did NOT help!

  • R

    ISTJ’s make the worst bosses EVAAARRRRR!

  • R

    INTJ, I mean

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      Really? Why?

      • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

        I co-sign R!

        -Liz’s disgruntled former employee

        • http://lizburr.com Liz

          I’m not this type, was just wondering our of curiosity.

          • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

            I am this type and I seriously want to know why.

    • lotusflower11

      I disagree, I have an INTJ boss and he’s amazing.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      This worries me. I’m an INTJ. I’m in the middle of building a business and, will have a few employees soon. Seriously, why worst bosses?? This whole post also worries me because I’m currently at the end of a 6 year relationship. Yall are depressing the sh*t out of me right now.

      • http://www.twitter.com/Think2Inspire Think2Inspire

        *prepares tissues and hug for Jay*

        • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

          Yeah. Its pretty rough. Mostly because of my AMAZING, in the truest sense of the word, AMAZING 4 year old son. I’m proud of myself for being mature enough to INSIST that it be amicable an uphill battle due to her immaturity . Being single again is one of the things I’m looking forward to. Impeccable timing Champ. Thanks for taking a hot and steamy all over my silver lining.

          • LMNOP

            That’s good, that you are doing an amicable break up
            Also, I think being ssingle with a kid is a little different, because you’re not by yourself as much and you stay pretty busy, so you don’t really have as much time for the existential angst kinds of stuff.

            • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

              Thanks for the positivity but I know myself well enough to know that my existential angst is permanent.

            • Breezy

              I beg to differ…yes you are busy but still you crave…

              • MJoy

                ooooooh my life

          • Justmetheguy

            @ Jay- Man eff that! Don’t let them get you down. That’s bs! The grass is just greener on the other side to ppl. If you have the right mentality and don’t have grand expectations you’ll be fine. It’s a lot of fun when you go about it the right way. If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, I can tell you from experience that being single is a blessing if you approach it from the right perspective. Relationships are what’s overrated imo

            • MJoy

              not if you do it right.

              • Justmetheguy

                ^ lol

          • demondog06

            @ jay- you’ll be alright my dude, single life is not so bad….besides you still have all of your hair….

            • Justmetheguy

              lmao @ demondog06- I swear that’s my default whenever any negro with a full head of hair gets to complaining about ANYTHING related to women lol

          • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

            wow…hmmmmm!

            • Justmetheguy

              @ Mami- I’m kidding fyi. I realize everybody’s got different struggles, but privelege is real and usually underappreciated. Coming from the motherland you should know this lol

              • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

                oh mi gosh!! It posted on the wrong reply oo!!!

                Yes, I know of the struggles. But my wow, hmmmmmmm…comment was meant for my boo!!!

                • Justmetheguy

                  Ahhhh, I see. Carry on

        • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

          @ Think2Inspire

          You can put your tissue and hug away now, I am here!!! Ready to cater!!

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        I don’t think you should take the comment probably experienced with one person so seriously. At the very least, go read up on your personality type and learn about the idiosyncrasies. Whatever could be seen as “bad” could be remedied if you are made aware of it and can do things to counteract it. I learned a whole lot about myself by reading about my personality type in the workplace, in the dating world, etc.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

          True. Some of the good and bad things about my type rang true and others untrue. But thats why I’m interested in learning how one would come to the conclusion that INJT’s make bad bosses. So I can draw my own conclusion.

          • Mena

            Probably the dry sense of humor, depending less on emotions, and being very impatient with emotional people. If anything, (and this is my personality type and I manage 100+) we are extremely fair and reasonable. However, on all of my performance reviews (which i score above average on every year) my boss has always mentioned that I can be abrasive in my dealings with immature employees. This is something that I will constantly need to work on. My patience level for emotional people in the work place is at a 2. I probably say “man up” either out loud or in my head like 20 times a week.

            • Mena

              Don’t depend so much on personality types but simply learn about what you may need to work on. Pretty much what Liz said.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        Naw, we make excellent bosses as we get shyt done.

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      As an INTJ, I say “Boo This Man”!!!!

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      An INTJ would fire you for saying that.

    • Chanelle

      Lies! I would make a great boss……INTJ’s are highly competent

  • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com weethomas

    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. . .

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “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”.

      i dont see how these things are contradictory

      • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com weethomas

        They are not. At least, not directly. I made that “contradictory” statement, then did not follow it up with any examples of what I meant.

        So examples (applicable to me, your mileage may vary) is that I’m deliberately not trying to pursue relationships in order to help me pursue relationships. Another, the more I get reconcile (with myself) what went wrong with ex-gfs, the more they find reasons to contact me. The times when I’m loneliest are the times where others are busiest.

        Some of them seem cosmic, synchronicity, or coincidence. Others are likely not contradictions, just things I need to understand.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “So examples (applicable to me, your mileage may vary) is that I’m deliberately not trying to pursue relationships in order to help me pursue relationships. Another, the more I get reconcile (with myself) what went wrong with ex-gfs, the more they find reasons to contact me. The times when I’m loneliest are the times where others are busiest.”

          ok. makes sense and sh*t

        • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

          Well, the thing is that you don’t really have a belief system…that’s why you have all these contradictions. You see, women have a default belief system from birth – p**sy is power, and men are dogs, act accordingly. When you have a belief system, you end up having principles, and that makes you more confident, because you always have a foundation to go back to when things get complicated in relationships. The problem with women’s default belief system is that it’s secondhand, and they didn’t create it for themselves, thus when it’s under great stress, it crumbles.

          You don’t need to find out more about yourself, as much as you have to take a look as to what has been true about your life with women, what has worked and what has not worked and apply it and create a belief system. A belief system takes away the contradictions, it takes away the uncertainties in your mind, and let’s you be more focused in the moment, which is essential when dealing with women. And the more organic the belief system, the more solid and easier it is to use. If your belief system is wrong, you will either fail and no woman will want to be with you, or a woman will come around and make you want to change the original belief system you had.

          • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com weethomas

            Hmm, I feel you but I don’t feel it is for me.

            Success for me is minimizing the number of future romantic relationships that I have (ultimate success being that my next LTR is my last). So for me, what I want does not have the space for lots of trial and error. So for me, I’m better off taking time to learn more through self study and reflection, than an exhaustive search of what I should hold as the ultimate importance with respect to women.

            • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

              But how does self-reflection guarantee that you will get what you want, unless, you’re saying that in all your relationships that failed in the past, you were the culprit and the women were victimless?

              • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com weethomas

                No guarantees. Self reflection doesn’t mean I was completely at fault and it is more about learning what went wrong in my relationships. I want to understand their beginnings as well. Understanding is perhaps impossible, but I want a better grasp of it.

                There is no guarantee the other method will work as well. But I know without a doubt I’d be a much happier person my way than the other. Trying and discarding different things, especially if it fails and I go through woman after woman would feel like I was just casually pursuing relationships. I’d end up unhappy, bitter, and hate myself.

    • nillalatte

      Your post reminds of the movie “Hitch.” He helps men get out of their own way to attract the woman they desire.

      • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com weethomas

        I wish it were that simple. To use a fishing metaphor, Hitch helped guys from the point after they’d already hooked the catch, but would always fail at reeling them in. I’m still figuring out why certain fish seem to prefer my bait, but never when I’m out actually trying to catch anything.

        • Editgirl

          Do you mean you caught fish when you were in a relationships? As in, women tried to pursue you when you weren’t looking (i.e. in a relationship) but now they don’t?

          Um, because I can tell you the answer to that.

          • Justmetheguy

            @ Editgirl- I don’t think he means that. I think he means that the women he’s not attracted to tend to be more attracted to him, while the women he wants don’t seem to be into what he’s bringing to the table.

            • Kema

              He’s doing something… He has to evaluate how he treats the women he is not interested in and then begin treating the ones he is interested in the same way.

              • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

                Thank you…

              • Justmetheguy

                See, I felt that way but didn’t feel like arguing with women who would’ve accused me of telling him to act like an @sshole, but since a woman said it it’s all good and I’ll co-sign. Specially since said woman is the apple bottom of my eye ;) I swear she gets sexier and sexier by the hour

                • Kema

                  ” apple bottom of my eye”

                  *swoons* such poetry!

                  • Breezy

                    LOLOLOL…stop being easy Kema…lol…that was not poetry…lololol.

                    • Justmetheguy

                      @ Breezy- Yoooo! What is this ^ I thought we were homies! Smdh

                    • Breezy

                      JMTG we are homies but that ain’t poetry…lololololol….ya’ll crack me up. By the way you need to go downthread and save ya old e-boo from Stewie’s wrath. Its hot down there.

    • Editgirl

      Finally a man admitting that he doesn’t want to be single and that getting a relationship is difficult. SO, proved my point about how arbitrary dates are stupid.

    • Editgirl

      I’m confused. You just became single two weeks ago, weethomas?

      • http://mrweethomas.wordpress.com weethomas

        No, 4 months ago. But it was only about a month ago that I truly felt ready to “date” again and then I decided that perhaps I needed to change things up and spend time being single figuring some more things out about myself if I wanted to do a better job in the relationship search.

    • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

      “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.”

      I’m not a guy and this is what permeates my mind every single day, to the point of obsession and depression.

  • 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!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      i’m good. thanks, though!

  • Captain Awesome

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

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      That’s about the size of it…

  • https://twitter.com/#!/_DonQ_ 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.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      being single may not be challenging, but i can imagine a challenge emerging when we no longer want to be single

    • http://www.twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      True. Relationships are a lot of work. Some men avoid this like the plague however after a while, how satisfying is it?