I just stumbled across a tweet that first gave me pause, then struck up a memory and then made me wonder if any of you had similar stories or experiences to share. So the tweet, read as follows.
Grown men won’t mess with a particular woman unless he feels he has other grown men’s approval? pic.twitter.com/bu9woz1bis
— ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ (@drphilDONTEhue) March 10, 2017
I saw a couple of responses to it from other men, who denied the claim. Someone mentioned that he’d never read it in his rule book. Another man said that his only concern from his friends was that they hadn’t had sex with his new boo. (Ray J’s “She Smashed the Homies” immediately popped into my head.) But before I saw any of these responses, the tweet reminded me of a story that was passed on to me in college.
I went to a PWI, so you either know or know of most of the Black people on campus. That familiarity can also extend to your personal business and dating relationships if you’re not careful. Which is how a friend of a friend discovered this dude, who we’ll call Nathan, was dating– or talking to–a woman we’ll call Mystique.
Let me paint this picture. While we were only freshmen on campus at the time, it doesn’t take but a few months to scope out all of the potential prospects. And Nathan was one of them. He was boyishly handsome, funny, artistically gifted and pretty intelligent as well. I know I looked and I know I wasn’t the only one. Like something out of a high school movie, Nathan wasn’t just popular with the ladies, he was well respected with the men on campus as well. I only saw Nathan in passing though, so much of what I know about him today, I would learn years later, before we graduated.
But back to our freshman year, a friend of a friend reported that Nathan was seen increasingly around campus with Mystique. This wasn’t like a friendly hang. These two weren’t going on group dates or outings, they were by themselves and for a young man like Nathan, not only did this signify something, it was news to be shared and reported. And this news was pretty much verified. This friend of a friend was very close to Mystique and she was able to confirm that our eyes were not deceiving us, that we were really witnessing a budding romance.
Things were progressing so nicely with Nathan and Mystique that it was time she meet the friends. Meeting the friends is not as much of a production as it can be in the real, grown up world. In college, you essentially live with your friends, so you’re bound to run into them sometime. But since Nathan and Mystique had been able to keep things on the low for so long, this was a big deal, particularly with Nathan’s reputation on campus.
If you’re thinking that the introduction to the friends marked a turning point in their relationship, it did. They turned a corner and found that they had come to the end of the road. Things ended so suddenly and so abruptly that the friend of a friend had questions–or really one question, in particular, what happened?!
Mystique wasn’t exactly sure either but she did believe his friends played a role. After they’d met and she asked what they’d said about her, Nathan admitted that they said that they didn’t picture him with a girl like that. But at the time he kind of laughed it off like it was a non-issue and certainly not something for her to worry about. So she didn’t. But when Nathan started taking more and more time to reply to her texts, or when he’d cancel plans at the last minute, before disappearing all together, she could only assume that the friends had something, if not everything, to do with it.
Sad story really.
But it made me wonder if this whole phenomena of dudes dumping women because their male friends don’t approve happens in real life. Have you ever seen or heard of such a thing?
Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.