Contributor Dom Brown reflects on the latest episode of Black Love and ponders if it’s time for her and more women to take more of an active role in approaching men.
Every time I watch Black Love it gives me hope. I’m 31, I live in L.A., and dating here is like trying to learn 11th grade physics all over again. It is oftentimes confusing, most times stressful, and can be an overall distraction. But, while watching episode two of the show’s latest season, I had a light bulb moment. Should I be shooting my shot to find my husband?
No judgment here, but I was shocked to hear Mecca Elliot say she went after her husband. She and Michael Elliot — the screenwriter behind classic films for the culture like Brown Sugar, Like Mike, and Just Wright — have been married for four years. In the episode, she shares how they first met on an app. They spoke for a few months, and after the conversation started to die, she decided to send a bikini pic to keep his attention. She then traveled to Miami for the American Black Film Festival, where Michael was teaching a master class that year, and sat in the first row in a bright red dress to catch his eye. Sis was bold, but she got her man!
Should I be shooting my shot to find my husband?
Mecca’s story reminded me of my close friend. She slides in guys’ DMs all the time, and more times than not, they respond to her. She hasn’t seriously dated a guy who she’s pursued, but she has been on a few dates and made tons of new friends by being so forward. I’ve never had the courage to go for it like that, but recently I’ve been hearing more and more stories about women who’ve made the first pass at a man and it worked out favorably.
I can’t help but to wonder, is this the secret sauce that I’m missing? I can’t recall a time that I have ever approached a man. While I have made myself available and done things to let him know I am interested, I’ve never actively pursued a guy. Once I’ve shown interest, I put the ball in his court and if he doesn’t shoot, I leave it alone. That’s just always been my style.
I was raised to believe that men go after what they want and a woman should let him approach her and take the lead. I wouldn’t say a man should chase, but he should be pursuing and courting the woman to express interest. Once it’s established that he’s interested, from there I think it’s okay for the woman to invite him out on dates and help move the relationship along, but the man should set the tone.
While watching the episode, I really saw a lot of myself in Egypt Sherrod’s story. I haven’t yet given up on love, but I’ve become so guarded that any guy who tries to date me will have to deliver the world on a silver platter for me to take him seriously. I’ve experienced a ton of trauma with men stemming from my childhood and the several toxic men I’ve encountered, but listening to Egypt’s story re-energized my desire to keep an open mind on romantic relationships and the “package” my spouse may come in.
With my new “open mind,” I’m starting to think I should be shooting my shot. But, I have one reservation…I would hate to be perceived as thirsty or too aggressive.
See, sliding into a guy’s DMs is tricky for me. I’ve never shot my shot online, but I have gone to a guy’s profile and liked several photos. I’ll get his attention online, but I will not make the first move. I often wonder if that is a turn off for men. A woman looks thirsty when she is too available and trying too hard. When it is obvious that you are going above and beyond to get a man’s attention, it’s too much. I feel like you should be yourself, let him know you are interested, and see how he responds. I would categorize someone, man or woman, as thirsty if they are overly engaging someone who is clearly uninterested and has not responded favorably. I want to be submissive in my relationship and I think the first step is letting the man lead from the beginning.
I’m curious to see how men feel about women who “shoot their shot.” Do they think we are thirsty? Fellas, respond in the comments!
Black love is a beautiful thing to see. It’s crazy because I’ve been hearing more and more stories about women taking the lead in their relationships and actually getting the fairytales they want. I guess I’m warming up to the idea of just going for it and asking a guy out, but give a sista some time. For now, I’m sticking to my guns.
Be sure to tune in to Black Love on Saturdays at 9/8c on OWN! Also, binge watch seasons 1 and 2 on Amazon and Urban Movie Channel.