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Refusing to Date Illiterate Men Doesn’t Make You a Bitch

Refusing to Date Illiterate Men Doesn’t Make You a Bitch

If dating makes my edges itch, then online dating makes me want to put duct tape against my temples and pull against the grain.

It’s been about five months since I’ve used an online dating app. I had my reasons, but the main one was wanting to dress less, go out more and mingle in real life. However, this past week reminded me of one big reason why I stopped swiping: I’m not too keen on the quality of men I’ve connected with online.

Within a couple of days of coming out of retirement, I matched with a man who appeared to be decent. He was in his mid-thirties, tall, handsome and employed. His profile was kind of bare, but men half-ass their online dating profiles the way they half-ass everything else. Don’t ‘Not all men’ me

Soon, he and I started exchanging messages and aside from him coming off as too eager, I also noticed he consistently made the same four typos:

  1. Using ‘too’ wherever ‘to’ should be used.

  2. Not using a single period to break up thoughts.

  3. Not adding a space after the use of a comma.

  4. Ignoring subject-verb agreement.

I know texting is supposed to be the most informal form of written communication. Although I prefer to spell out words and write in full sentences (because we don’t pay for individual texts anymore and Twitter allows 280 characters now), I tolerate u, ur, 2, nvm, etc., begrudgingly. But this ‘too’ instead of ‘to’ business won’t go down on my watch.

I’m no Toni Morrison, and I definitely don’t know if I ever use em dashes correctly, but the Little Rock Nine didn’t integrate Arkansas schools for this. I know that for damn sure.

I had to say something to this 34-year-old man.

Me: Is your phone autocorrecting ‘to’ to ‘too’? It seems like every instance you want to use the word ‘to’, your phone is changing it to ‘too’.

Him: Nah,I just type the way I speak (No periods and spacing after commas, remember?)

Are we straying this far away from God’s light?

I stopped communicating with this man immediately. It would never be a good fit. I hope he finds a nice girl who can navigate through his run-on sentences. You don’t have to be a Poet Laureate, but my goodness.

I can hear my mother right now: “Talia. You’re too hard on these men.”

I can hear men with dirty fingernails: “This is why you don’t have a man.”


Let me be the cool-ass, well-traveled auntie who comes to the cookout in white Tahari capri pants then.

While reflecting on my disgust, I asked myself some questions:

Are you being bougie and elitist? You don’t know his life.

Are you insensitive to the educational inequality that has disproportionately put Black people and poor people at a disadvantage?

Maybe. I’ve been fortunate enough to be the product of two college graduates, attend private schools during my childhood and earn three college degrees. I also went to Kumon twice a week that one summer in 2000.

I should feel bad about writing off “Sorry for your loss,” but I don’t.

For starters, piss-poor grammar bothers me. Why be this annoyed this early?

Secondly, the nurturer in me would be fighting the urge to tutor this man. I’m 28, and I’m done putting men on–even if it’s onto the next reading level. The only people I owe literacy to are my future children.

Next, I’m a prideful person. The worst thing you can do to me is embarrass me. If a screenshot of your styrofoam-plated Chicken Alfredo with the caption “Bon Apple Tea” ends up on the Shade Room, I’m moving to the part of Russia where no one can find me. You know—the part Sarah Palin sees from her front porch.

Most importantly, I don’t have to engage with “Mercury must be in Gatorade, because females is tripping,” or anything else that brings me displeasure. It’s my right. I DO WHAT I WANT.

Accomplished Black women are constantly told by men, other women and Steve Harvey to relax their standards and make themselves smaller to increase their chances of finding a mate. For what? For why?

Every minute in America, there’s an ashy man shouting from the mountaintops what women are and aren’t attractive, and who they will and won’t treat with respect. Why does wanting my man to know the difference between there, their and they’re make me picky? Men stand firm in what they do and don’t want everyday, B. Pipe up, ladies.

Ask for what you want and require what you desire. Whether you need financial stability, chivalry or subject-verb agreement, it’s your world. The men who fall in line can get it. The ones who don’t can get lost.

What’s something seemingly small and petty that you demand from a potential bae? Comment below.

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