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Good looks? Check. Good job? Check. Good head on their shoulders? Check. Yet these "good men" say Black women aren't interested in them because of snap judgments we make about their appearance. We'll tell you why these brothers get overlooked-but deserve a second glance.
"I've got a SON."
Occupation: Video editor
When he's not at work: "I play basketball and watch movies."
Nice-guy cred: "I make an effort so you'll feel comfortable around me, even if that means I have to act the clown to lighten up the moment."
He says: "People can see a single guy playing with his son and think one of two things: Aw, that's cute, or I wonder how many other kids he has. Unfortunately, some women think the latter. I'll be honest. There was baby-mama drama with my ex when my son was a year old, but that's not an issue anymore. Still, some women worry about it. Others think that because my son is a priority in my life, they'll come in second. But when a man has a child, it's not necessarily the case that his woman has to take a backseat. She just has to be willing to share the front seat."
He's looking for: "Someone who's laid-back, relaxed and understanding and can take a joke."
"I get tagged as A FRIEND."
When he's not at work: "I really enjoy outdoor concerts or catching live shows at jazz and R&B clubs."
Nice-guy cred: "I'm the guy who'll surprise you with a picnic lunch or a carriage ride in Central Park."
He says: "I hear the same thing all the time from women: 'I thought you just wanted to be friends.' I'm a little shy when it comes to letting a woman know I'm interested in more. When I'm out on a date, I'd rather talk about what you're doing and what's going on in your life than blow myself up. And I don't rush into physical intimacy. But that doesn't mean I don't want to get to know you romantically. Don't sleep on the guy you think just wants to be friends. He could be the man you end up spending the rest of your life with."
He's looking for: "A woman who puts God first in her life but also doesn't take life so seriously."
"I have a BLUE-COLLAR JOB."
Occupation: Truck driver
When he's not at work: "I'm at the gym working out or trying to decorate the apartment I just purchased."
Nice-guy cred: "You can count on me. If I say I'm going to call, I call."
He says: "When I worked for a major music label, I had no problem getting dates. But now that I can be seen stocking grocery store shelves--I'm in food sales and deliver cookies to supermarkets, delis, drugstores--it's different. I once tried to holla at a woman in a store, and she took one look at me and said, 'I don't go out with guys who make less than I do.' Funny thing is, I doubt she was right about how much I make. I own a business franchise. You just can't tell that by looking at my uniform. Simply because someone drives a delivery truck, doesn't mean he's not the owner of that truck-and a lot more."
He's looking for: "Someone with an open mind and a passport so we can see how the other half lives."
"Women think I'm GAY."
Occupation: Airline flight crew
When he's not at work: "I use the fact that I work for an airline to my advantage and travel for fun."
Nice-guy cred: "I'm an expert at the little things. I know how important details are to women. When I care about someone, I find out all of her favorite things and indulge her constantly."
He says: "When I tell a woman I work for an airline flying out of Atlanta, I can almost read her mind. She's thinking: Males in flight crews are notoriously gay, and he flies out of the down-low capital of the United States. Before I even have the chance to hit on her, she has already decided that I'm not interested in women. I'm definitely straight, though. And with all my airline perks, I might be the man of your dreams."
He's looking for: "Someone who's open to being whisked away to sunny Miami when it's raining in New York, a free spirit who will allow me to treat her in a special way and show her what romance is all about."
"I'm really SHORT."
Occupation: Customer-service representative
When he's not at work: "I perform stand-up comedy and deejay at parties and clubs."
Nice-guy cred: "I'm the most loyal person you will ever meet. When I'm interested in a woman, I have eyes for no one else."
He says: "I recently tried online dating and was amazed by the number of women who specify exactly how tall they expect their future partners to be. Even when I've been lucky enough to connect with someone online, she doesn't stick around long enough to see what I have to offer. Once I hit it off with a young lady who didn't realize I was vertically challenged until we met for our first date. She told me flat out that she didn't date short guys. Despite all the things we had in common, that was the end of that. Ladies, if you would just look down, or even straight ahead, you might see what you've been missing."
He's looking for: "Someone independent and fun who doesn't stick to a requirements list for men."
"Women think I'm a THUG."
Occupation: Recent M.B.A. graduate; financial analyst
When he's not at work: "I'm trying to start a record label with some friends."
Nice-guy cred: "I'm a gentleman. That means pulling out chairs, opening the car door, and sending flowers for no reason come standard."
He says: "When I'm not on the clock, I wear baggy pants and will even throw on a fitted cap and do-rag for good measure. But that doesn't mean I'm a thug or an immature representation of hip-hop culture-and all the baggage that goes along with that. My clothes are about one thing: comfort. When I wear my Jordans instead of my khakis, ladies in sexy business suits don't even look my way. If women would only take the time to find out who I really am, they'd see that I'm a good-hearted person."
He's looking for: "A woman who is smart and funny and will inspire me in every way."