When I first started dating in Pittsburgh, I only encountered guys who were like me, transplants. Not from here and not staying here. The more people I get to know, the more local activities I participate in and I've started dating around the way dudes.
Imagine every negative stereotype that's associated with a dude who you consider to be local:
Baby Mama Drama - Check.
Close-minded - Check.
Passportless - Check.
Boring - Check.
Basic - Check. Check. Check.
Due to the levels of poverty [and racism] in Pittsburgh, I feel sad when I encounter around the way dudes who actually like me. Once I start to talk to them I always find that their perspective is shaped by their experiences and the experience of being a black man in this city is not easy.
On the one hand, I want to turn down their advances because I already know we don't have enough in common to make it work. On the other hand, I dream of being the protagonist in a Tyler Perry movie where the business woman is woo-ed by the UPS worker (I really do. I think the sex might be worth the drama).
But I don't have a team of writers coming up with a tear-jerking love story for me. I actually have to make decisions that benefit my mind, body, heart, spirit, soul and wallet when it comes to these men.
I'm going to keep trying and keep reporting back, but so far when I date around-the-way dudes, we both lose.