FYI’s new show #Blacklove follows five black women looking for long-lasting romantic partnerships. They aren’t going it alone, though; they’re all part of a 10-week workshop led by relationship gurus Jack and Damona that will help them identify what they want and how they can find it.
26-year-old Jae has dated both men and women and isn’t sure she’s looking for the man of her dreams. Jae is bisexual, and possibly interested in polyamory as well as older partners. The fact that she’s not as serious about it as the rest of the older single women has them joking that she’s exactly the kind of woman they are competing with men for.
After the first workshop meeting, the other three women agree that they can’t imagine dating women.
“All the stuff as women that we go through like I couldn’t imagine two vaginas,” Monet says. “I have to deal with this one. I can’t deal with two of these.”
The next time they women get together, Jae explains she is dating a 40-year-old man she calls Bentley, after her “favorite car of his.” She just wants to have fun, and the other women think she’s nuts for being OK with the fact that they aren’t exclusive. But this means she is going on dates with other people. She’s set up on a blind date with Rileek, who she says looks younger than the guys she usually goes for. She wants “experienced, global” men and isn’t thrilled when Rileek says he’s 25. As he talks about not being a suit and tie kind of guy; instead liking arcades and video games, Jae is tuned out and turned off.
Jae meets with Damona who questions why she wants someone who makes a lot of money. Jae sees it as finding someone with the same work ethic and is visibly not thrilled about speaking on her past. She gets defensive and says no one would ask middle-class white girls the same questions. Damona explains it’s Jae’s hyper-focus on money that is causing her to ask about her childhood and that she does it with clients of all kinds. Jae gets upset and takes a break, which leads to a conversation about Jae growing up in a working-class South Carolina family. “I just saw everyone around me struggling all the time,” Jae says. Damona just wants Jae to be open to people her own age who are as worldly as she is, have the same amount of drive she does. Jae finally agrees, joking she’ll move her age requirement down to 32.
When Jae shows the photos to the other women, Bentley is described as “an old ass man.”
On the second episode, Jae lists her dealbreakers: bad teeth, possessiveness, low funds, insecurity. Jae wonders if all of the women in the room are considered intimidating because they are black. This week’s theme is not getting in your own way. Meanwhile, Bentley wants to commit and Jae isn’t ready for that. While shopping with her friend JJ, she shares what she’s been learning in the workshop. JJ wonders if Jae is looking for a Daddy. (She says no.)
Jae brings JJ as her date to Monet’s divorce party where the rest of the women ask about Bentley. Jae says he’s letting her do to the workshop and explore what she wants. And on next Tuesday’s episode, it looks like Jae ends up exploring with Nneka Onuorah, the filmmaker behind The Same Difference.
So will things work out for Jae and Nneka? And how will Bentley feel about it? I’ll keep you posted, as I’m thrilled to see bisexual inclusion on this show.
#Blacklove airs Tuesday nights on FYI. Follow Jae on Twitter: @jaeandthecity