I live in Chicago, recently named the worst place in America to be single. Like I needed an article for that? Having lived through some horrible dates, horrible boyfriends, I am VERY aware. I dated a handsome and sweet idiot, an unemployed no sex drive guy, and the couldnt get over his ex wife, ever, ever, emotionally unavailable dude. But when I travel?
My experience with men of other cultures has been different and often better. American culture is wrought with laidbackness. It is in the fashion. The Grammys constantly see men sauntering on stage in baggy jeans and sneakers. And it is in the approach. It is 20 text messages to ask you out five weeks after you meet. Even if the date goes well, it is another two weeks before a requested second date. Maybe when I was 16, but at 40, Im too old for this detached aloofness.
Dating at homesigh. My experience is pretty lame. The men that approach me dont have it togetherjob, baggage, body, grooming. They are just generally whack. If a man lives in his mothers basement and has four kids by four different women, he is totally into me. If a man is a handsome engineer, especially if hes Black, and single hes either completely uninterested in me or an absolute ass..or often.. both.
Im a dark skinned Black woman and in America, I am hardly seen as an ideal beauty. Im in few commercials, music videos, fashion magazines. This reflects how desirable my look is. Serena Williams was voted Athlete of the Year by Sports Illustrated and America got angry because they felt a horse over an actual person should have won. In America horse is ▶ than dark Black woman that has won every major tournament she has played in often multiple times. She is also paid less than impotent white female competitors in endorsements. In America my stock is low as hellIm penny stock after the market crash.
But when I travel, I am Apple stock. I am a tech company IPO. I am first round of investor funding secured. Moving around in other places there seems to be an infinite supply of men and I feel like a blonde white girl at the ESPY Awards. So. Many. Options. Many of these men are handsome, charming, employed, eager, and then the accents? *swoon*
Of course there are still assholes, attempting to cheat on wives or interested only in sex. But there are just so many choices, you can easily side step the douche bags. You can have romantic dinners and interesting conversation over coffee. You can be exposed to interesting bars and cafes. You can have a passionate kiss and mind blowing sex or just meet this really cool guy that will always join you for an espresso to teach you the language and practice his English.
I try not to be naive and am aware of my Americaness and its privilege. If you talk to African women and men living abroad, their stories are often very different. Imperialism, colonialism, war, and other atrocities have made them frequent immigrants and they are disdained in many places. Sucks. But I have an American look which means I am Black with no obvious country of origin and chubby. I have an American accent, a blue passport, and only an occasional need for a visa. American Black is preferred.
I havent been everywhere, but of the places I have traveled, the men are so much more willing to woo. They are aggressive and will ask you out. They will text and call and try to see you again. I am often overwhelmed only because I am not used to being chased and pursued. It is a heady rush.
So, yes. My passport is getting tired. I date a lot because I will squeeze as many encounters as possible into a short stay, even having two dates a day. I meet more men in a week abroad than in six months at home. In countries where women that look like me are in advertising campaign ads and magazines and mannequins in stores, I am less a Black woman and more a woman that happens to be Black. And that is pretty cool.