For Love, Keep An Open Mind and Heart
We must remain open-minded and openhearted to the possibility of LOVE. It has no color! If we are willing to open ourselves to those who may be genuinely interested in us, the possibilities are endless. We can’t assume that we know who may be interested in us or who may be available.
I'm reflecting on one of the many conversations I've had over the years with a dear friend. One summer at least 10 years ago, I was at this friend’s house telling her about yet another of my attempts at a failed relationship that was ending with disappointment. She made a comment that I've never forgotten. "George, the problem is that you've been loving everybody. You have to find someone who is going to love you back,” she told me. As I have dated since she uttered those words to me, they resound in my head when I find myself overly compromising in situations that just don't feel good to me. I often say to myself, "Well maybe if I do this... Maybe if I do that… Maybe I should not have shared my good news. Maybe... Maybe... Maybe it is broken? And maybe...? Just maybe... I should be open to all possibilities, meaning partners of otherethnicities.
I would wonder what my people would think or say. I come from a family that accepts me and my desires. They will lovingly accept whomever I bring around. However, when it comes to black folks in general, it is like an unspoken understanding – not because we're racist, but because of our ancestors’ struggles. If you have a family like mine, five generations strong, the struggle wasn't that long ago. (And Lord knows that with Trump in office, the struggle is still very much real.) As times and minds have somewhat progressed, cultural ideologies are shifting, and culturally diverse couples are the "new norm."
As a gay black man who has been successful since my early 20s, I realize that I'm in a struggle quite similar to that of my black sisters who are challenged when it comes to finding the type of love that many of us desire with a potential black mate. Unfortunately, many black women are out-educating and out-earning the black man; in some cases this poses major issues in their pursuit of finding a potential loving partner. For me, working in a field where illusion becomes the reality for which potential partners think I am, it can be even more difficult. Personally, I prefer to meet and date men who have no idea or interest (beyond it making me joyful) in what I do for a living. I've been at this crossroad for many seasons in my life.
I am still good friends with my first boyfriend (not that I've had many). He often says to me, "George, I don't think that an American man can truly appreciate you." Of course I'm like "Whatever!” He listens to my redundant drama, my back-and-forth rhetoric about “he loves me... he loves me not.” I often say to him: “You found love and two children. Why can't I... in America?!”
Remain open-minded, George Robert.
- Stop looking and even waiting for a "black man.” Should one come along, remain open. However, place him right along with the rest.
- Date someone who admittedly is willing and available to date you back. You should NEVER have to guess at what's going on between you and the object of your affection.
- Love yourself enough (now I'm pretty good at this) to remain alone until the RIGHT one comes along. Remain Georgeous, he's coming!
Interesting how life works. Recently, I was working in Europe, and I challenged myself. I heard my first boyfriend’s voice in my head saying: “Just get out there. Don't just sit up there in your hotel room or go to the spa. You're Georgeous. They will like/love you. And most importantly, they'll treat you right.” So, while in Belgium, I got FIERCE! I got out and I met a very charming guy. We had a wonderful two weeks, my entire stint. He showed me every cultural site there was to see, many of which I filmed for you to experience as well. And when I wanted to shop, he engaged me for one store and then said, "If you're going to shop, I'm going to work." Well, as you can tell from all the footage, that ended my shopping spree (sorry Chaka!) and I opted to fully explore Belgium. Then one day we were getting off an elevator and he said, "You're so different." Immediately I thought to myself, "Oh Lord, I've heard this before. This must be the end of it." But I smiled and coyly asked, “Do you like it?” He didn't respond. A couple of days, several conversations and a number of experiences later, I received a random text.
"I don't know what you felt while I said you were ‘different’ ...
You are completely different from me (in habits, clothes, appearance) but probably not that much in principles.
I like who you are!
You are YOU!
And that is how it should be!"
I smiled and thought: “BINGO! You know, maybe, just maybe, my friend is right." So I asked my new friend if he'd mind me sharing some of our dialogue with you on BeGeorgeous, and if I can share our picture, in an attempt to get you to be open as well.
He said please do! Then he asked to see some of my writings and further complimented me. THIS is how I like to be treated! How about you?
Let me be clear: I don't know where this is going. We are thousands of miles apart (thank God for airplanes). However, what I do know is that I have been reminded of exactly how someone who likes me is suppose to treat me. I do know that what I've been settling for simply will not do as I move forward in my life. My friend and I have made definitive plans to see each other in the next month. Only time and future experiences will reveal what potentially awaits us.
I am remaining open to the possibility of the contentment and joy that we are ALL looking for in a significant other. What choice will you make?