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It is always interesting to note the varying characters one comes across during their time as a single person who’s actively dating. Dating gives us the opportunity to interview strangers, discovering their interests, desires, impulses and influences. If you date enough, or talk to your friends who are also dating enough, you begin to see recurring character themes along the way. In my experience, and in the experiences of my friends, I’ve found that of all the characters we come across while dating, five stand out as the most universally despised of the bunch. Let’s jump right in:

5. The Mama’s Boy

A mama’s boy is the kind of guy who is so cleaved to his mother’s hip that his relationship with her shapes his expectations and perceptions of the women he encounters. Dating a mama’s boy is difficult for women because not only will you have to compete with his mother for his time and affection, but should you win that competition, you’ll then have to replace her. He’ll often need pep talks about getting his life together, growing up and being a man. He will need to be coddled and have his hand held through each and every phase of the relationship—from where you’re going for dinner on Friday night, to where you’re going on your honeymoon. Men hate mama’s boys because they are at the root of this stereotype-infused  “chicken or egg” debate raging in and around the black community. Black women are stereotyped as angry, possessive and domineering and black men are stereotyped as emasculated, slightly effeminate, and constantly ordered around by the women in his life. So while I’m not interested in getting into that debate, I think we can all agree that real mama’s boys out there, who really are emasculated, effeminate and constantly ordered around by the women in their lives don’t do anything to help end it.

4. Ms. So Self-Conscious

I realize that life can be hard for women in America. Especially women of color.  Our conditioning is conditioned because we’re constantly bombarded with western standards of beauty. Despite this, the truth is, most black men like you just the way you are. Most of us don’t care how you wear your hair as long as you pull it off with style and grace and most of us would prefer to have a little something to hold on to than to not. More than that, in our hearts your looks will always be secondary to your character and personality. All of this is why it’s really difficult to deal with a woman who’s super self-conscious. I don’t mean the kind of woman who thinks she needs to lose five pounds; I mean the kind of woman who attaches all of her self-worth to how she is perceived by men. I mean the kind of woman who twists every single piece of dialogue into some sort of referendum on her overall attractiveness. For men, these women are hard to deal with because self-esteem issues usually breed trust issues, and issues around trust will always prevent a relationship from reaching its full potential. Women who aren’t this self-conscious hate women who are because these are the type of women you can’t trust around your man. If flirting and dressing inappropriately means she gets his attention – so be it. Ask any woman which friend she’s least likely to leave alone with her love and it’ll always be the one with the lowest self-esteem.

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