As I was watching the new HBO series “Insecure” I was inspired by the scene where Lawrence, the boyfriend of the main character Issa, is at the bank cashing one of his unemployment checks. He’s having a conversation with a female teller with whom he seems to be familiar. After Lawrence tells her about his failed interview, she proceeds to give him words of encouragement. She describes him as a “good black man”. This is the point in which my light bulb went off. I have been pondering this subject for a while now. Who gets to decide what classifies as a good man/woman? And…… What are the characteristics? According to the character on the show a “good black man” would be someone who went to college, has some savings in the bank, working or trying to find work to make something of themselves, and has no kids.
Of course all of these things sound ideal, especially to someone who has or is currently dealing with a partner further down on the spectrum (or just plain lonely). But is that all that it takes to be “good”? The Lawrence that we were first introduced to on the first couple of episodes of the show appeared to be closer to “bum” status. We saw him moping on the couch after forgetting the plans for his girlfriend’s birthday. Issa expressed some resentment towards him and their relationship because he seemed disconnected and unexciting from being unemployed for a while after a failed app launch. And let’s not forget to mention the fact that he had not been “putting it down” in the bedroom. So when we look at things from this point of view, does Lawrence seem like a Good Black Man?
As a single girl myself I’ve encountered different types of guys. I use all of these encounters as learning experiences to learn more about myself and what I’m looking for. I have come across men that are of course not ready for relationships and only want to play games. I have come across those that like to give you the “tests” which means that they will play games with you while they are trying to figure out if you are worthy of their affection. Then there are those that are SUPER ready for commitment and will try to lock you down from the gate. There are also men that are extra sensitive and emotional. All of that to say, each type of these men may meet the “Good Black Man” criteria as listed above, but their personality may or may not mesh well with yours. Chemistry in my opinion is vital to a relationship. You may be able to check off all the boxes on the “Good Man” list but if you don’t vibe with your partner, then you may be trying to reinvent the wheel and force a round peg into a square hole.
At the ripe age of 35, I’m looking for more than just a list of cliché qualities. Because trust me I have tried to stick to the list, and they are usually like bumps on a log!! The man that is for me has to be able to communicate effectively (or at least try), be emotionally and socially compatible with me, and have a genuine interest in who I am. I have learned that when you are given what you need, you are more likely to give your partner what they need in return. So I encourage people to take the time to get to know yourself so that when you ask the universe for your mate, you will be able to put the correct energy out so that you will attract what you need. Don’t get caught up in listening to others tell you what a good catch should look like. This is definitely one time where peer pressure should not apply. I am also aware that chemistry may change during the life of the relationship. So at this point you would need to make a personal judgement call for yourself and ask “What’s more important, characteristics or chemistry”? And that’s only a question that you can answer for yourself. So hopefully by the time you have to ask this question you will know yourself well enough to keep your happiness as the priority.
Henney, Queen Of Questions
Creative. Introspective. Reflective.
Full if inquisition. Never wanting just one answer but every answer possible. Living life on her own terms and sharing her perspective with the world.
On Twitter @questions_queen