On Dating a Giver

^^^ #NomNomNominaction

For Josephine & For T.dot.

Oooh, Uh Ohhh Dropped your knot, scooped it up put in my sock… ~e. badu

I turned around and I realized that I am dating a giver.

Someone who never lets my IPA get too low,? who makes sure the waitress brings my water with no ice, who understands that I am a monster until I have that iced coffee in the morning, someone who sent me? a text message last week that said “groceries bought.” #ummp.

This was hard to do at first.

I enjoy my freedom.

As women we are socialized to get with the most affluent, attractive person that we meet.? So when all the niceness was getting thick, I was like wait, does this mean I am WITH this person now?

I thought about it, and I have decided to enjoy the attention AND maintain my autonomy.

For me to enjoy this kind of attention, at my own pace and keep my freedom is new and I often don’t know what I am doing. When I admit that though, I remind myself that I am a human being and that I don’t have to be perfect.

I mean, I spoke at the Black Arts Festival in Philly in May and the man came down to meet me and then coordinated his ticket so we could leave Philly together. Who does this? Really?

Him: Yeah, I’ll come see you. Let me know.

Me: You gone come all the way to Philly to marinate with me?

Him: Yeah, just let me know.


A month ago, speaking to Court Bear, my dating coach and sister, about my desire to run she said, unlace the sneakers, stay still and enjoy it.

It felt good to hear her say that. I mean, the only reason to run from a person treating you nice is because you are scared they are going to leave.

And because I KNOW that I don’t control outcomes, me running would only hurt myself. Not very vulnerable or fearless either.

Speaking to Josephine about it, we were discussing what it means to be desired and just cared for on g.p. and how odd it can feel because as women in general and Black women specifically we are socialized to put everyone else first; Our momma’s, our children, our partners, our jobs.

Never us.

So to be on the receiving end of some care is both comforting and challenging.

Its comforting because its nice when someone makes a snack that YOU like, that YOU can’t wait to eat. Not eating on some obligatory steez, but on some, I REALLY LIKE THIS, nom, nom, nom, and MORE nom.

Its challenging because it has forced me to think about what kind of treatment I have accepted in the past, and the kind of treatment that I will require in the future. There is also the challenge of not comparing how one person treats me versus another, in terms of levels of consideration while dating. I can’t help it sometimes tho’.

You date a giver before?

Were you the giver?

You run? You stay?

How did it feel?

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  1. says

    After dating several men who were givers (and also protectors and nurturers) I could never go back to spending time with man who didn’t have those attributes in him. Those experiences taught me that this is what having a relationship SHOULD be like; giving and nurturing one another, not in a way that threatens each other’s autonomy but in a way that demonstrates “I care for you, your well-being is important to me, and I want to take this journey with you.”

    I see FAR too many women who become uncomfortable when a man takes care of them in this way — money and sex, we’ll take, yeah, but making sure I’ve eaten? Reminding me of my appointments? Being a cheerleader for my ambitions? Many women never had and don’t expect that. But it’s what we need as human beings. And yet we can’t enjoy it until we learn how to accept it.

    Givers FTW. :o)

  2. says


    Thank you for always recalling our talks, they mean so much to me and are helping me heal and grow and go in so many ways. I imagine the most difficult part about dating a giver is the vulnerability required. Its difficult to relinquish the control necessary to enjoy the experience- for me at least. You imagine, what if I become accustomed to this kindness and it goes away? Where will that leave me? I have indeed dated a giver, an artist, who did any and everything he could to make me happy-and only because he just really loved to see me happy. I broke up with him because honestly I don’t know that I felt I was worth all that kindness(you ever look at the old you and praise God for growth? #ummhmm). Now, through 808’s and heartbreaks, I find it difficult to allow someone in that space, not because I don’t feel that I’m worthy- but because I constantly questioning the genuineness of the actions- which I know isn’t a good thing either. I’m searching for that balance. I’m glad you’re being treated well and not too afraid to push it away. You’re awesome and stuff and thangs. =)

  3. says


    My name is Ink and I am a giver. Its HARD giving to yall. But I never get tired of it.

    Yall deserve every bit of what we do.

    We aint trying to run game on you.

    REAL Givers dont need the game. We just need gratitude.

    Consider us philanthropists. Take…say thank you…go be great.

    Be advised…there some Fake givers out this piece. EWWWW. Do.not.want.

  4. says

    Stop it Ed. Ink hit it right on the head with this one. The only things that are necessary are general respect (which is the least to expect) and a thank you when called for. Being a Giver takes a special kind of person, but being a Receiver takes an even more special person – as I have learned.

    I would swear that the first thing I gave a woman was running shoes once I became interested in them. But, as I get older, I learn to *shrug* and keep it move it. I am who I am. If they can’t deal, peace. Once less thing I have to worry about. Everyone needs a cheerleader, it doesn’t always have to be “the woman.”

  5. Renina says

    Hi Stefan,

    What does this mean?
    “but being a Receiver takes an even more special person ? as I have learned.”
    How did you learn it?

    What does this mean?
    “I would swear that the first thing I gave a woman was running shoes once I became interested in them.”

    Thank you for your comment.


  6. says

    ?but being a Receiver takes an even more special person ? as I have learned.? – like you (or the subject of your blog, if not you specifically) most women are not used to being with a Giver. Even those who have experienced it before tend to be weary at first.

    ?I would swear that the first thing I gave a woman was running shoes once I became interested in them.? – see previous comment. Most women’s (most people’s, probably) reaction to something they’re not familiar with is to run from it. If she and I can get passed that part, it usually works out well for a while. At least until the giving is taken advantage of.

  7. jonzey says

    yay neens for taking off the sneakers.

    i am hoping to meet one of those myself real soon. and i also hope i have the good sense to appreciate it and recognize it and get comfortable with the newness of it all. and when it happens i will be calling you for advice. 😉

  8. Renina says

    @Stefan…Ahhhh Ok.

    most women are not used to being with a Giver. Even those who have experienced it before tend to be weary at first.
    For me, it entails the foremost opportunity to practice “I don’t control outcomes” which I try to work on on the regular.
    I have known givers, and I also know manipulators and because patriarchy socializes women to give ourselves to people who give us shit, is a new way of navigation for me.

    Most women?s (most people?s, probably) reaction to something they?re not familiar with is to run from it. If she and I can get passed that part, it usually works out well for a while.
    I don’t run intrinsically, even tho I am a runner (torn cartilige running the BK bridge) and if you gave ME running shoes I would have hugged you b/c my only pair cost a $80 which was expensive, but I was doin 9 miles a week, so Um. yeah. <<< Side bar for reals. Bear with me.

    I am naturally inquisitive and curious, so I won't run, unless I am unclear as to what the persons intentions are and If
    I feel like accepting the gift is indicative of a relationship classification that I am uncomfortable with. ie…If I accept this from you then, are you going to bug the shit out of me?

  9. says

    @Renina Yea, intentions are always the sticky part. Truth be told, we can never really know beyond a shadow of a doubt what another person’s intentions are. The best we can do is take what they’ve shown us, add in our own biases and preconceptions, and run (9 miles or more) with that.

  10. ayo says

    *court bear in the house*

    wow. how nice to be included amoung your ruminations…

    on dating your giver: i just liked to hear in your voice how his kindness sounded on you. we all want/need/deserve/require some of that from time to time… and how often do we get to *like and respect* the person giving it out? #win

    for me, dating a giver is intristically tied to self worth. black women…women…humans…have been doing so much without eachother that we told ourselves, we can do it without this need to be thought of in this way – given to. and yes, we can, but it feels so much better to be vindicated and grow in that space where you are validated by outward expressions love. idk, some of us don’t know how to water ourselves muchless get watered, ya know. it requires both acceptance AND self love. …wish i had somebody worth taking MY sneakers off for.

    now intentions… that’s a whole ‘nother thang.

  11. Renina says

    See. Ya’ll see her comment. This is why this woman is my dating coach. She keeps me from running and CAN confirm that I need to run like the dickens. I trust her. Even when she challenges me and I want to curse her out. I Love and trust her.

  12. Alicia says

    I really enjoyed reading this because I am dating a giver currently and while sometimes I hear concerns about finding a trustworthy man, now that I feel I have one I’m worried that he is doing too much. He is CONSISTENTLY there for me whatever I need on the daily basis I have never been let down. I was raised to be a strong independent woman. My mother does not want me to ever depend on a man for finances, emotional stability, or anything else because when they are gone you are left with nothing. My challenge now is that I’m worried my giver may feel like he has given enough and not received. We do go half on things it’s not like he is wining and dining me but he dedicates alot of time and energy to get to me and to be with me. I expressed this to him and he replied that he feels like it is his duty to look out for me because he cares for me, and even though I do not have the same resources that he has to give to me, he says I give him plenty that he cannot put a price on. We both help eachother out and I am always grinding trying to better myself, so the main thing for me is to never get complacent and keep hustling because if I work hard for myself I’ll be okay.