Let’s Talk About The P-Word

Written by Nicole


Society at large has gotten away with believing that black women should accept any morsel of attention thrown her way. If a black woman dares to voice a preference in her mating market, there will be no shortage of would-be rejects clamoring to let her know “we didn’t want you anyway”, and other black women joining in the onslaught, vying to get picked.  Case in point – the furor that sprang up after B. Simone said she doesn’t want a 9-5 kind of guy. All because of her preference.


Black women having preferences in the relationship market seems to be a bad thing in some people’s minds. As such, I am writing a piece about my own personal preferences that would send a man to the reject pile. And these are not petty things like he leaves the seat up. These are things which are innate, inherent, and cannot be changed. These are my preferences and men who do not meet them, should I ever return to the dating market, would remain chosen by someone else.


With that said, here is my list of preferences I have, that just so happen to be biologically hard wired.

I would never date a man who:


  • Was shorter than me

    I am a humble 5’4”. It’s an average height for sure. The shortest man I’ve entertained was 5’11. I cannot be taller that my man when I’m wearing heels, and I make no apologies for that. As I am of average height, I would like for any potential children to benefit from the possibility of being taller thanks to my partner’s genetics. I take children very seriously, and I want to make sure I do everything possible to give them a leg up in the world if and when they arrive. And that even means passing on short guys.

  • Had ugly fingers

    I have a thing for hands. It is often the first thing I notice about someone, male or female. I routinely compliment women on their hands. One time I encouraged a random stranger to look into hand modelling because her hands were so pretty. I love hands with long, slender fingers and well groomed, non-bitten nails. Some women may find calloused, burly hands as a turn-on, whereas I don’t care for it.

    Worse yet, I also could not ever deal with a man with short nail beds. I can’t do it. I find them revolting and can’t imagine myself holding hands or being caressed by a man with tiny little fingernails. Nope. And like all my other reasons on this list, nothing can be done about it, and while it may be a small, inconsequential thing for some, it is a huge deal breaker for me. If I can’t love all of you, then that does us both a disservice.

  • Had children

    Though not biological in the sense of the other reasons on the list, you can’t exactly return a kid to the storks. I would never date a man who has children of his own. He could be father of the century and could be otherwise perfect. But for me, having children makes him perfect…for someone else, not me. As a (presently) childless woman myself, I have no interest in playing step-mom and dealing with the unique challenges that comes with closely dealing with someone else’s kids. And if I was to reenter the dating market for whatever reason, I would rather just stay by myself than entertain a dad, no matter how good he was.

  • Had a bad health history

    Here’s a relevant story. Before my husband and I got married, we obviously got all the requisite blood tests recommended for newlyweds. But I also made sure I got a health history going back to his grandparents. While knowing what does and doesn’t run in his family is no guarantee of having a healthy bloodline, if there was a history of life limiting diagnoses, I would have to move on. I am risk averse in every way, and it carries over to my reproductive choices.

  • Was infected

    In a similar vein to the above, I would never entertain someone who was HIV-positive. Condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis have made wonderful strides in preventing the transmission of the virus, and hopefully one day a cure is found. However, when it comes to my health, I make no apologies for denying access to those who might compromise it. Period.

I also have other deal breakers unrelated to things that can’t be helped after the fact, like having any kind of jail record, or tattoos. I am not attracted to Jailbird Joe or Tatted-Up Taylor, no matter the other positive attributes he may have.


Am I saying that men with these qualities or characteristics are undeserving of love and deserve to die alone and miserable? Absolutely not. There is a lid for every pot. That lid just won’t be me. I cannot love men who have these qualities, and no matter how shallow or prejudiced or petty or mean these reasons may be to you, they are important to me. No further explanation is needed. Ordinarily I do not announce these preferences, I just automatically exclude men who check these boxes. One reason that black women are not “allowed” to have preferences, is because we blab them too much. Moving in stealth is key.

Similarly, I have no problems being rejected by male suitors for something out of my control. Like I said, if I can’t bring myself to love all of you, or vice versa, we need not be together. And since I have every right to restrict who I do and don’t entertain, I make no apologies for eliminating contenders like the above, and more, from my dating pool. And no amount of vitriol directed my way will ever change that.

Black women exist in a world where expressing any kind of preference is not allowed by the community at large. If a black woman wants to be a wife to a wealthy man and rules out the blue collar contingent – gold digger.
Stay at home mother – lazy.
Interracially partnered – bedw**ch.
Alone – lesbian (how that tracks, I don’t know).

And so on. Black women are not a monolith, until one steps out of line, that is. Mind you, nonblack women can and do have all these preferences, but they don’t get the same level of vitriol spewed at them. Why is that? Furthermore, black males have long expressed their preference for nonblack women, for far longer than black women, and with a wider spread. They even go so far as to say how they would never entertain black women at all. How come they can express their preferences (to which they are wholly entitled), with a side of degrading black women, without anyone saying a whole lot about it?


For all the ferocity black women get told with to Choose Better, one would think the community at large would encourage us to have even pickier, harsher preferences. The preference debate is just the other side of the Choose Better coin – black women should choose better, as long as the Tyrone, Daquan and Harquavious telling her to choose better, despite not being that better choice themselves, is still somehow included. The more preferences black women have, whether they are petty like some of mine, or a lot more stringent, the better the community will look.


Until then, have your many preferences, keep those standards high, and remember, you don’t owe anyone but yourself an explanation.


Do you have preferences that are biologically predetermined? If so, do you ever feel the need to defend your stance to those who disagree? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Nicole, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.

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