‘Insecure’: Why a lot of us are sleepin’ on the Taureans out here!

OPINION: Taurean came through with that “I got you” energy on 100!

Credit: Screenshot/HBO Max

I’ll be the first to admit that when Molly and Taurean held that hug for a second too long during the conference trip, I knew exactly what the Insecure writers were up to, and I wasn’t feeling it. 

If I’m being completely honest, Taurean gave me blerd (black nerd) vibes. And even though I’m all here for that old school, Taye-Diggs-in-The-Best-Man type of blerd—the type that can chop it up with you intellectually while still laying down massive sex appeal—my brain was just not making that connection with Taurean.

Even in last week’s episode when everyone was excited to help Molly figure out how to craft the perfect text to Taurean, I was unmoved by this potential love interest. I was just there for the messy drama that is the Lawrence-Issa-Nathan triangle. (And judging from y’all’s tweets, I know I wasn’t the only one.) In fact, every time the writers focused on Molly and Taurean, I just wanted them to snip that wasted screen time from the episode and reallocate that time to Issa and Lawrence. (Side note: The fact that we love messy love over stable love lets me know, we ain’t sh*t.)

Needless to say, Taurean just wasn’t doing it for me. 

But the moment that delivery woman showed up with wings and wine (Okaaaay, Taurean!), my perspective shifted. 

Every single moment of care that Taurean displayed this entire season emerged into clear focus for me after that. I’d forgotten how he’d been there for Molly at work when she was trying to be superwoman. I’d overlooked the listening ear he gave so she could talk about her mom’s ill health. Forgot the alleyoop he provided during their conference presentation. And I completely sidestepped how thoughtful he was for grabbing her a swag bag from the conference session she missed. 

And then, here he comes again, without hesitation, sending her both the support and space she needed in one wine=and=wings delivery. (Can we just take a moment and give Taurean the courtside Drake standing ovation.)

That type of care is priceless. And it really got me thinking about my initial reaction to Taurean, and it begs the question: What are we really looking for in a partner? What really matters most to us in these ratchet dating streets?

My mom, happily married for 30-plus years, is always saying to me and my homegirls that picking a man is like going to a market and shopping for ready-made bags of fruit, but every bag has a few pieces of spoiled fruit in it. She says that each of us has the freedom to pick whichever bag we want containing whatever combination of fresh and spoiled fruit that we can live with (i.e., the bag with spoiled grapes and fresh mangoes or fresh pineapples but spoiled mangoes), but no matter how long and hard we look, we won’t find a bag that doesn’t contain both fresh and spoiled fruit. (Some more than others.) 

She emphasizes that the question isn’t, “where are the bags with no spoiled fruit? That’s a pipe dream. The question is, what type of fruit do I prefer fresh and what kind of spoiled fruit can I deal with? Do you want fresh pineapples and strawberries and can deal with spoiled oranges? Or do you need fresh oranges and could deal with spoiled pineapples? We decide what matters most and what matters least. 

I love my mom’s fruit analogy because Instagram and celebrity culture will have us out here thinking that we can have everything. A bag with absolutely no spoiled fruit. A man who has everything we want and nothing we don’t want. But the reality is that there’s not a single person on this Earth that has everything we want and nothing we don’t. Even our own mothers (God bless their hearts) have traits that sometimes drive us up a wall! But we still love them. We simply hold in high esteem the traits in them that we value the most and we accept the things that might annoy us or get on our nerves. 

Men are no different. We are not getting 100 percent of the things we want. (And newsflash, we won’t be 100 percent of everything they want either.) We are all out here valuing the things that are most important to us and accepting the flaws or unwanted traits that are less important to us. (And being a blerd just might actually be less important to some of y’all than you’ve been allowed to believe.)

To ensure that we are placing the appropriate value on what we truly want and need in our search for a partner, we have to be clear about what’s most important in our lives. Too often, we don’t honestly assess what actually matters most to us and allow that to guide our dating process. 

Instead, we often give a lot of superficial wish list items higher ranking on the scoreboard than we should. Sometimes something as simple as someone’s lack of swag weighs as heavy as whether they are a good person. (Often, they can’t even get in the door off that initial lack of swag alone.) 

Which brings me back to Taurean. Quite plainly, he is not dripping in swag. But where is swag in our hierarchy of the wants that actually matter? Is it at the top of the list? Middle? Bottom? We each get to decide that for ourselves, but we have to ask ourselves whether we are actually weighing our list accurately according to how important these things are given the entirety of our lives; Or are we trying to land us the type of man that other women will drool over? (Is their drool that important?) Are we letting things that should just be extras on our list rank as high as our most important priorities? 

And I’m not pointing any fingers. I have my own stories! I used to be hung up on only dating extremely funny men. Then a wise friend said to me, “Girl, if you don’t go to a comedy show and laugh together.” She was joking, but that was real. Funny is still on my list, but I no longer allow it to not hold more weight than it should and that has allowed me to connect with some amazing men who I wouldn’t have given a chance otherwise. (And honestly, most men are funny when you’re vibing on the same wavelength.) 

Credit: Screenshot/HBO Max

I say all of this to say that many of us are not weighing our lists properly. We are giving more weight to things that should probably just be considered bonuses in the equation. It’s not until you experience a bad relationship that you begin to really have a deep appreciation for what matters. It’s not until you see how easy it is for full-grown adults to walk around and not be considerate or kind or thoughtful that you begin to realize how precious those traits are. 

Kindness and care matter. Someone supporting you matters. Someone being thoughtful matters. Someone treating you like a priority matters. Someone caring for our whole spirit matters. That’s not something that you can always see on a first date or a first encounter with someone. You get a feel for those things over time. So be open to seeing more from a person than what initially meets the eye. 

Let’s not close the door to the possibility of beautiful love just because it didn’t come drippin’ in all the swag that we wanted. Is swag the must-have fruit in your bag? If so, that’s your prerogative to go ahead and move past a guy like Taurean. But I think for many people, it’s not; yet the Taureans of the world still get the last drop of our attention. 

Now, I’m not an advocate for dating anyone who you don’t find attractive. (Never that.) Attraction is real, and I believe there’s something spiritual about the magic of attraction. But don’t get attraction confused with societal standards. Be in tune with what turns you on. If a Taurean doesn’t do it, then you have your answer. 

I’m also not advocating for settling. We all need to feel good about our choices. I’m advocating for being clear about your priorities and being free enough to act on those rather than what society tries to convince you your ideal man should look, act, and be like. 

Taurean came through with that “action is my love language” type of courtship. I’m not mad at it. In fact, I think a lot of men could learn from it. So, my only wish is for every woman to be free enough from societal expectations to see the value that this kind of courtship and man provides. The world places enough limitations on us, let this not be one of them. 

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