Living in Atlanta, there are no shortage of beautiful Black men with flight benefits. But dating flight attendants is not for the faint at heart. For a long time, I tried to avoid men who worked for airlines. I can only imagine how many people date them with the intention of getting buddy passes and trips across the globe. I did not want to come off as a user. So if I couldn’t reconcile my attraction to the person beyond the flight benefits, I steered clear.
But I’m closing in on 40 faster than ever, so I decided to stop weeding out men who are eligible. Deal with my baggage around flight attendants. Unpack it where necessary. Give some of it to Goodwill. And start seeing these men for who they actually are individually. I had to release my reticence around dating flight attendants. As soon as I did that, one tinder swipe led me to John.
John, obviously, is not his real name, but he was what I was looking for. A hopeful romantic…like me. Thick in so many places…just like I like them. While I normally go for dark skin and dark features, he wore his high-yellow complexion and greenish, blueish, greyish eyes with a confidence I couldn’t ignore. So I swiped right as did he and we began our plans.
As with all flight attendants, I’d imagine, his schedule is this ever changing 3-4-5 day absconds to parts unknown. What I admire about my friends who fly the friendly skies is their ability to get to the money. Feeling lazy, let’s take a shift. Want an impromptu vacay, let me work this flight. They will find the paycheck.
I am Jai The Gentleman and this Dear Black Gay Men Podcast. It’s a short, bullshit-free step out of our comfort zone to talk about all the emotional ups-and-downs along the journey to happiness. Hopefully, this is our weekly reminder of how dope it is to be Black gay men who love Black gay men.
But that hustle does come with its limitations. As I attempted with John, I realized, two distinct reasons why flight attendants are the hardest men to date.
Dating is about creating importance
The process of dating is someone going from stranger, up the ranks of friendship, into the high regard of relationship. The act of going out, being in each other’s space, and understanding each other on a deeper level is the process of creating importance.
Admittedly, once someone is your bae, boo, or you are otherwise entangled, I’d offer that there are things you would do for him. There are concessions you would make to ensure his (and our) happiness. A friend of mine who is married talks about how he intentionally creates time for bae days. Even if they sit at the house, he makes sure to affirm his partner’s importance in his life by giving him unobstructed moments on a regular basis.
That process of dating a flight attendant, however, is difficult when work takes him three timezones away. John didn’t do or not do anything specific to our circumstance. He got up and went to work just as I did. He wanted to spend time with me, just as I did with him. The only barrier was that his work was across 4 states, and two more stamps on a passport. It was hard for me to establish my importance in his life without those moments where we can be in each other’s embrace.
Dating is random
I remember when Joe and I first started dating. We met at a bathhouse so our connection was built on late evenings and random hook-ups that flourished in warm regard for one another. I vividly remember the day he told me that I can’t keep fucking him like this an not date him. Hearing his deep, southern voice whisper that in my ear made my dick jump. That worked because it was already inside him.
Just like with long distance, though, the dating process with a flight attendant can’t be random and organic in the beginning. Dating a flight attendant is less about random moments shared and more about intentionality and focus. But when we barely know each other’s last name, it’s hard to establish clear intention. Let alone to move in that intention’s direction.
Despite what I’ve heard about dating flight attendants, I’ve met nothing but amazing people. Beautiful Black men who are established, career-oriented, and focused. In my experience, they live the life they create for themselves. All being traits I look for in a partner. But climbing that ladder of importance is difficult when there are so many places he could be and so many things he could be doing. How can I ask for you to be here with me on the east side of Atlanta when you could be living your life on the other side of the world?
John and I, of course, did not work. Besides, he’s a gemini and I’ve dated 11 of them, 5 of which were all born on June 11, 1979. But my short time with John taught me that dating only works as much as both people work it. Dating a flight attendant is no easier or harder than dating Joe Schmo, if he is able to focus on what matters. With John, that simply wasn’t me and I’m okay with that.
Talk to you tomorrow.