Al Green, "Tired of Being Alone," Soul Train

I saw the title of the Very Smart Brothas piece “Maybe You’re Single Because You’re Wack” and thought, “Finally! People will read this, change their ways, and finally find love instead of griping about being single.” But, in this call-to-thought, there wasn’t much that could help the people I have known over the years who, in their why-am-I-still-single discourse, swing rapidly back and forth between, “The people I like only like me as a friend,” and “But I’m so awesome!”

For all of us thirty-somethings who are single by choice, there are counterparts who think the grass is greener on the married/settled side.  They hate being single, but they haven’t quite come to terms with the fact that they have some very wack ways that make dating and mating difficult.  Judging by a comparison of the VSB essay to this compiled list, I think these wack ways can be identified and differentiated based on one’s social circle.  The people I know who are dating-mating challenged fall into specific traps of wacktivity that weren’t addressed in the original article, so I gotta take this ball to the hoop.

Despite my love of the Single Life, I found in the VSB piece a major way in which I have been wack. It hit me in the author’s last three sentences:

“Unfortunately, a lot of female friends spend too much time emotionally diddling each other’s clitorises to be real with each other about their wackiness [sic], which doesn’t help matters.
Thankfully, I have the gift of a close circle of friends who, like me, are absolute assholes who have always informed me all [sic] the candor in the world where, when and how I fucked up. I wish for you a similar group of assholes for friends.”

I am wack because when people start complaining about their perpetual Friend Zone ranking — regardless of their gender — I emotionally diddle their feel-good parts. This wackness on my part validates their wackness and keeps them single longer than necessary. (I don’t actually give a f; I’m entertaining myself, here.) Years and years of people talking to me about their desires for dates and mates have contributed to my writing: both of my books so very long ago, a few ambiguous Facebook statuses, and this here blog entry. I have not been able to tell people in a direct way how their wackness is keeping them dateless or mateless. Even when I share this via social media, I will not tag the five people I can think of off the top of my head who need the tough love. But there are more out there.  Many more.

An individual wondering, “Why am I still single?” may not fit into all, but likely into more than one of these wack traps.

1. You think you need a mate or a date, but you really need professional psychological services.

You expect a date/mate to heal your emotional scars and make everything in your life better. There are people and entire professions dedicated to helping people like you ‘git right’ so that you can maintain healthy relationships with others. Heal yourself before attempting to burden someone with your emotional baggage.

2. You try too hard to be a comedian.

When you hear people say, “I want someone with a sense of humor,” you take that shit way too far. Do you want potential dates to laugh at you or do you want them to want to have sex with you? Corny jokes make you appear to be a corny person. Even if you think you’re hilarious (most corny people do), then you still end up in the Friend Zone because you get kept around for laughs. Most people, left to their own natural personalities, can share a laugh and be funny with anyone. Thus, people know when you’re trying too hard.  And it’s not sexy.

3. Your whole aura looks, sounds, smells, feels, and tastes like a wounded puppy who needs attention.

“Where’s your pride? Where’s your dignity?” – Bony T (Chris Rock) in “Boomerang”
When you play Chester to someone’s Spike, all you’ll get is smacked around. A nice person may pat you on the head and throw you a snack, but how can anyone view you as date/mate material? Learn how to be cool and flourish in the Friend Zone. Turn up, grab a drink, smoke ’em if you got ’em. Make yourself comfortable and really get to know the person who put you there. Collect useful information, network, and while you’re there…

4. You need a LIFE.

When you feel left out and/or excluded from a party, event, conversation, or social media tag, you whine about it. Many times, you whine about it publicly. This is keeping you single because potential dates and mates are watching, and they are thinking that if they do date you, they’d be your only source of social inclusion. Your friends don’t want to introduce you to any of their other friends because of that same reason. If one of your friends or potential dates fails to make you feel included in real life or on these internets, SO WHAT?? It’s normal to notice such an oversight and feel a pinch of rejection, but if you had interesting things to do, you wouldn’t have the extra time to say, “You didn’t include me!” Besides, don’t nobody want somebody that nobody else wants.

5. You want to ‘act an ass’ and have someone stick around to take your shit.

Don’t live your life by these wack ass relationship memes floating around. There’s some wack Marilyn Monroe quote circulating that basically boils down to, “I’m a psychopath. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” How about not looking at a potential mate as someone that you can mentally, verbally, and emotionally abuse at your leisure? You want to behave like a spoiled child while fantasizing about someone showering you with the love you must have missed from your parents. See #1. Damn.

6. You need to get your money/career/life goals together before attempting to join your life with someone else’s.

I know, I know. Your sister-in-law baby cousin Tracy was broke and found love anyway. Right, right, love will conquer all, according to Lionel Richie. Consider the hundreds of pop, R&B, and hip hop songs that pit us against each other based on how much money we make, and recognize how that screws up dating for a lot of people. But I’m sayin’… wackness is messing up people’s priorities. Get your life. Get yourself together. I’m not saying that everyone should be aiming for a six-figure salary. I’m saying that some people are broke-broke with no goals and no action toward a successful future. The broke-broke people who fall into any of the other wack traps on this list should prioritize some self-work before trying to get a date/mate.

7. You keep going after people who are out of your league.

I have heard more than one married person insist that their spouse was out of their league before they started dating. That’s a cute thing to say to keep the spark alive, but it’s hardly ever really true. Or when it is true, one person is clearly getting the short end of the stick in the relationship, and no one would want to trade places with that one. Sometimes, one person has money and basically buys themselves a physically attractive person. If the person could be bought, then what league were they really in? Truth is, some people don’t mind an exchange of services masquerading as a… whatever they wanna call it. Still, this is another illusion that is keeping you in a wack frame of mind. Many who suffer from various forms of wackness go after people whose personalities, lifestyles, interests, and other things are just not compatible with theirs. See #6 if you insist on making a fool of yourself time and time again. But hey, some people get addicted to the heartbreak pattern. See #1.

8. You don’t care enough about your physical appearance.

We all want to date and mate with people who love us for ourselves. But, come on. With improper hygiene or obvious lack of concern for your physical appearance, who wants to get naked with you? Some things can’t be helped, but MANY things CAN be. Care about yourself. I can’t say it any better than the original Junkyard Band, Fat Albert’s crew, did with “Soap and Water.” If you’re not careful, you may learn something before it’s done. Hey, hey, hey!

9. You go left-field sexual too soon.

Again, trying too hard. The sexual attraction will be realized in its own time. If you have reason to believe the sexual attraction is already there, then there is no need to send unsolicited pictures of your body parts or sexually suggestive pictures early on. You don’t need to turn every conversation into a sexual one. Even if someone starts off physically attracted to you, they may lose any serious interest if you keep diverting their attention to your imagined bedroom awesomeness before they really get to know you.

10. You’re too nice.

Some people get annoyed at people who are too nice. They find nice people to be boring and/or they see niceness as something to be taken advantage of, not appreciated. While you think that you are being easy to get along with, the other person is looking for some spunk in your personality.  Nice people can find other nice people to date and mate, but so many times, nice people fall into wackness trap #7 where they want someone who is out of their personality league.


If YOU share this, the people you know who are suffering from these wack ways will likely do one of two things: 1) dismiss this as NOT pertaining to them, OR 2) suspect that it pertains to them and be wack enough to actually ASK you if it does.  Those are ways #11 and #12 that their wackness is keeping them single. There are certainly hundreds of thousands more wack traps that correspond to the hundreds of thousands of people who are much too obviously tired of being alone.  But will you be the a$$hole friend and break it on down or will you be wack like me?