Question of the Week

Question of the Week: “How do you handle black men who cockblock when you are trying to swirl at social events?”

Many tips suggest that bw should expand our horizons and focus on attending events that are not “black only” if we want to swirl. So that when we attend these events, we would have a chance with mingling with other groups of people and hopefully our presence there signals our interest in being open to others. However, sometimes when I go to these events, and there are other black people there, the bm there immediately or eventually try to talk to me. This is when I become conflicted.

I don’t mind them talking to me, but I came to the event to swirl. lol. I feel like if other rainbeaus see me talking to other bm at these events, they will be even more afraid to approach because it will seem like I’m not open to others. However, if I am mean to the bm who talk to me, it will mess up my approachable/friendly vibes for the night and other men will see me do this and not want to approach because I will look mean. Is there a polite way to limit these kinds of conversations when I’m looking to swirl? Sometimes I think when BM do this they are “cockblocking.” I don’t know if it’s intentional or subconscious but I feel like they are trying to prevent other men from talking to me (because of course bw must be loyal to them only), while they get to talk to anyone race of women they want. I remember one bm even told me when I was out at a mostly white bar, that he’s not into ww. He only likes black girls. I’m like, then why are you here? The only black girls here are my friend and me. If you really wanted to meet bw, you would have gone to a different bar. I call bs. lol. (Like when I want to meet bm, I go to the black only events.) This has happened several times when I go out with some of my black girl friends to diverse events. We enter a non-black only bar, and the black men there immediately harass us and won’t leave us alone or let anyone talk to us for the rest of the night. It ruins my mood for whole night and of course I won’t be meeting anyone because of they just made me upset, which doesn’t make me approachable.

Or even on a more positive note, sometimes I go to diverse places with my black friends, and I feel pressure to not spend time with them if I want to swirl at this event because I’m afraid it will signal to other men that I’m a NBABM-W. But when I go out with my non-black friends to diverse events, I don’t feel this pressure.

Guys: If you see a bw you are interested in talking to other bm at an event, would it make you hesitant to approach her later on? What if she was there with a black girlfriend vs a non black girlfriend? Are you more likely to talk to her in one case vs another?

Ladies: Do you ever feel pressure to avoid talking to/hanging around certain people when you want to swirl at an event? How do you hint that you are still open to dating others at multicultural events even when other blacks gravitate towards you to mingle? (Or when the few bm at these events want to pester you and won’t leave you alone if you are not interested, how do you politely reject them/make them go away and still maintain your open/friendly/classy vibes for the night?)

Dear CC,

Okay, it looks like this writer wants contributions for the entire BB&W crew, rainbeaus included. So I’ll start with me take. You guys throw your .2 in and maybe we can make some sense. 😉

Two things may be going on here. The first one is pretty benign. In social settings people of similar phenotypes often gravitate toward each other when other “unknowns” are present. Black people tend to do this A LOT. It is so ingrained. I swear, I’ll go to the Wal*Mart, walk by 324 white ladies and say “hello” to the one black woman. I come from country stock–black folks always speak to each other. The second reason could be that black men are running this interference because they feel some sort of territorialism. But, I would only assume that was the case if you were chatting it up with a rainbeau and a dude just cut in and starts macking to you and pretending that man you were talking to is invisible.

In the future, you might want to summon your inner Emily Post and employ the acceptable way to dump a party guest who’s precluding you from mingling. You can do three things:

*Ask where the “facilities” are and then excuse yourself

*If you see someone you know nearby, grab them and bring them into the conversation by making an introduction. After they start making small talk, stealthily sneak off.

*Find a natural conclusion to the conversation. Then simply say, “It was nice speaking with you. Have fun!”


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