Beyoncé feels like falling in love. Amerie has asked why don’t we fall in love. What about men? I watched Black men showing love on two television shows, Snowfall and The Chi as well as the Creed film series. Black men rarely get the space onscreen to be tender and loving. On each of these shows, the Black men are tough yet melt like butter for their partner. Their partners motivate their passions. A male character on Snowfall proposed to his girlfriend, professing his love to her. A grin rose on his face. A male character on The Chi is learning to love amidst not having examples of loving relationships. His partner is patient and understanding with him. Adonis and Bianca from Creed have grown and evolved in their love and relationship which empowers each other.
For me to show affection, to sound like the lyrics of U Got It Bad, seems corny. Women are supposed to be the ones dreaming of their wedding day and being chosen. Women are supposed to cry through heartbreak. Where are the videos about men giddy that the girl they like said yes to a date? Moments before they propose? Getting ready for their date?
The words cannot just say end the patriarchy on a mug. Many of us also know that men are privy to the patriarchy by upholding tenets of its abhorrent behavior and dangerous beliefs that are also generational. Men need to have a space to express their emotions and be excited about love. Trevor Noah, before he ended his hosting role at The Daily Show, prolifically talked about men and the lack of intimacy. His words are forthright, delving into men wanting connection.
I want to see more points of view from men choosing a place to eat for a date, talking with their friends about love, and buying their person flowers because they feel their person deserves them. I loved this reel of a man buying his friends flowers with the caption most men don’t get their flowers until their funeral. The caption is a stark reminder yet the video evokes joy.
Just as Miley Cyrus is declaring that she can buy herself flowers, a testament in the movement for self-love, where are the anthems for men to express falling in love? Jokes go around about R&B singers who used to fall to their knees in the rain, begging. Those men were an interesting blueprint for how to express love.
My hope is that men expressing their feelings evolves. I have written previously about brotherly love. In a world where men are told that how many women they sleep with determines their worth. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Don’t show emotions. Don’t wear pink. Try telling that to Cam’ron. Live with the antithesis of that. Fall in love, men. Share your love. Hold it close to you.
Two books of reference about men understanding their need to fall in love and dismantle tenets that want to keep them from expressing love are All About Love and The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love, both by bell hooks.
What books would you recommend? How have you seen men express love in relationships and friendships?