Gayle King shares her love for Black men and her experience dating

When it comes to dating, Gayle King explains how her longtime friendship with Oprah has been deemed “intimidating.”

There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but when you’re someone like Gayle King, the pickings can start to feel slim. Recently, the journalist sat down with the hosts of The Pivot Podcast, where they discussed King’s love life. When asked if dating is hard with her level of success, King shared her reality in the dating world. 

“​​What’s difficult is that people say, ‘Oh, you’re so intimidating,’” she shared. “Somebody said to me once, ‘Gayle, look at your shoes … look at your bag, look at your coat. You’re friends with Oprah [Winfrey].’ A guy looks at that and says, ‘I can’t compete with that.’ But my thing is, it’s not a matter of competing. I’m not looking for someone to compete.” 

While some suitors may feel threatened by King’s relationship with Winfrey, who just turned 70, King explained that she’s looking for someone who “has a sense of humor, who’s very secure, who’s not intimidated by whatever all of this is” and, most importantly, someone who sees her for who she is as a person. But like most daters, King, 69, has her share of dating horror stories, which in her case involved a man making an uncomfortable request.

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Gayle King attends as Byron Allen & theGrio celebrate her at the Washington D.C. Gala following the White House Correspondents Dinner at the National Museum of African American History & Culture on April 29, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Richard Chapin Downs Jr./Getty Images)

“I went on a date. I was really excited, very excited about it,” she said. “We’d gone out maybe two months and then he said he really needed to talk to me. He wanted to have a private conversation…[he said,] ‘Do you think you could lend me $4,000?’ I’m like, oh God. You know what Oprah said, ‘God, I would have felt better if he had said $40,000.” 

“I was so crushed because he was somebody who was making, you know, six figures, successful. And when I said, you know, could I ask what it’s for? He said, Yeah, it was for a child support issue and to pay a payment on some furniture. [And I said to myself] ‘Oh God, this is just getting worse.’” 

Long story short, King did end up lending him the money, which he paid her back but ultimately she explained she “didn’t feel the same” afterward.  

“So in answer to your question, is it difficult to date?” King said. “Yes, I think so.” 

The veteran broadcaster opened up about other dating stories, including one with a man who pronounced shrimp scampi as “scrimpt scampi.” She also went into more detail about her dating preferences. 

I really am attracted to men of color. I just am. I love how a Black man says motherf—er [and] baby. […] There’s something about the way a Black man says it, I’m just attracted to that. They gotta have something else too, though,” she shared. “What really is most attractive to me is a sense of humor. Kindness, you always get me with kindness. I like to see how they interact with other people. Somebody you can take to the White House and the backyard barbecue who fits in with both and is comfortable in their own skin. Intelligence really matters to me. Proper grammar really matters to me and somebody who can make you laugh.” 

Now King has not been single her whole life. She was once married to William Bumpus, with whom she shares her daughter Kirby and son Will. However, the pair divorced in 1993 after the journalist caught her then-husband cheating. 

“He was a great husband, she told the podcast hosts. “He had a problem with monogamy [which is] never good in a marriage, infidelity, just throwing it out there. Never good, cheater, cheater pumpkin eaters [are] never good.” 

While King continues her search for Mr. Right, she shared her favorite pick-up line with the men of the podcast. 

“A friend of mine said, ‘I went to the doctor, the doctor said the vitamins aren’t doing so good,’” she said. So you meet somebody, and you go ‘The doctor said I need vitamin you.’”

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