If dating were a movie, it would be like the film Inception, or Prestige, or Trance or Double Jeopardy or some other really big film that has 5-star plot twist, but is not really understandable. If dating on an HBCU campus were a movie…the film director would soon realize he/she needed to make it a reality show instead because dating at a black college would not be a movie, it would be a reality show. And a really good show.

When dating on an HBCU campus, each campus has its own dynamics. But 9 things will never change:

1In the prime, don’t waste your time

Understand at the collegiate age, the students are in their prime. What does this mean? In most cases, it means young men and young women are experiencing a new environment different from high school, and are adjusting to more freedom. For guys, they prioritize: having fun, being free of obligation, and exploring new things. It is a rightfully selfish time adolescent males and experience.

For women, we prioritize having fun, being free of obligation, and exploring new things. Young women and young women express priorities differently.

Ladies: do not get caught being his exploration of something new. Do not confuse him having fun with you as being in a relationship.

Gents: do not sell a dream, and do not dig to reveal what someone you are interested in desires by pretending to be what she desires.

2Joe Shmoe vs. Mr. President

Ever wonder why girls go for certain types?

I recently overheard a conversation between two guys in Starbucks, and they were trying to figure out how one guy has women throwing themselves at him for sex, and the other gets thrown marriage proposals, arranged marriage, and more serious, permanent offers. I had pointed out, after politely interrupting them, that if a girl is looking for intimacy it is likely she will draw an introverted guy who is an innate gentleman, which has already made her comfortable. Not the ladies man, who is already presumed to have a high body count and tons of options.

One point for the Joe Shmoes out there.

3Time is everything and being proportionate matters

If someone does not respect your time, they do not respect you.

Think of dating as a meal at a picnic: there is a red and white checker-print blanket between you and your date, and the both of you each have a basket. It is not ideal to simply dump your basket out.

It is ideal however to empty the baskets together, i.e. sharing “food” at the same time–if he pulls out the beans, match him with a salad, and if she takes out the potato salad, share the pasta.

4Know your worth

If you have a list of things you may want in a man/woman, have you seriously asked yourself your own worth? What do you bring to the table? Be honest with yourself.

Ladies: you say you want that millionaire, but what have you saved? Yes, you are cute. But what millionaire WANTS a broke woman? You will have more confidence in this type of relationship having your own anyway. So get to saving.

Gents: you say you want a woman that has her own, that “Miss Independent” woman. But do your have your own? Do you still depend on your mother, or have you even moved out of her house yet?

Dorms do not count.

5Nobody wants to wife the girl that has been smashed by all the homies

…and knows the secret escape routes to all the male dorms. NOBODY.

And nobody wants to date the guy who will spit game to a paper bag. Again, NOBODY (no one of quality, at least)!

6WOW…so you are excited that you have met someone in the family?

Cute, but certain members of the family do not count as much as you think. Introductions to brothers and sisters are typically used to make the person being introduced comfortable.

Let your heart skip a beat if/when you meet your significant other’s mother or grandmother.

7Status matters to some people

I know we have all seen those couples that ‘should not’ be together. Then you discover that one is a Nupe or an AKA, and you erase this conception from your little collegiate list of worries because that fact alone gave their relationship justification.


Everybody knows people that date for status purposes. It is not right, but that is life.

8When he or she gets “off line,” he/she will be a bit different…

Expect it and get over it.

Nobody pledges Alpha Phi Alpha to become He Phi He nor Delta Sigma Theta to become She Phi She. Greeks (most, sadly) are going to be ‘different’ than what you remember them as because…they are now Greek.

Jay-Z says it best, nobody works really hard to remain the same.

9Both guys and girls gossip

So if you are sleeping around, SOMEBODY will know.

I would argue that in some ways, contrary to popular belief, information regarding sexual promiscuity spreads at a more rapid pace among males. I believe males have a tendency to be more open when it comes to sharing information regarding women, primarily because they are realistic about the longevity potential for the relationship, and only protect information of females who are not “hoe-ing around” and who they truly like.

Raised in a society that denounces feminism, women are constantly trying fulfill our personal definitions of being a grown woman, and in most cases, because that definition does not include sleeping with the university, we opt to conceal our business.

..Oh and ladies, I am also saying, if you are not dating, and sometimes even if you are, that cool trick that you got from  that ‘cool’ website, and that one time at band camp when you “lost your mind,” more likely than not, he told his boys.

Date responsibly.