“I want children. I want to get married,” says Dulcé Sloan. The comedian, former The Daily Show correspondent and new author is clear on her desires for the future while being honest about the realities of the present. “I didn’t think at 40 I would be this single.”
Such honesty floods the pages of her debut book Hello, Friends! The work explores chasing your destiny, flitting from day job to day job and looking for love with humor. The most relatable moments come from her openness recounting dating experiences and lessons learned from them; from boycotting “broke d–k” to rejecting resentment for making more than a past partner.
“It happened to me when I was making $17 an hour,” Sloan says. “Until we change the entire narrative of a society, that’s gonna happen. Men are either going to resent us for making more money than them, or you’re going to have a manchild in your house.”
Debates be damned, Sloan is standing firm in her desire to be equally yoked with a man when it comes to finances.
“We’re telling women that it’s okay to now be financially responsible for men, and that is not okay. It’s not. I’ve met Gloria Steinem that is not what the f–k feminism is,” she jokes, while also being serious. “There’s no reason that you should be asking me to take care of a grown a– man. It’s ridiculous. It is not feminism. It is not liberating to pay for a man. It is not. We cannot start doing this. We can’t.”
Sloan also delves into what it’s like dating as a plus-size woman, sidestepping the toxic notion that her choices are limited.
“People expect me to just talk to whoever because I should be happy that someone’s even speaking to me,” Sloan says, recalling a guy suggesting that as he pursued her. The GLAAD-award nominee bristled at the memory and the man. “He had no job and no place to live,” she says. “The audacity.”
In her memoir, we’re taken to awkward post-coital encounters, auto shop debacles, auditions, and annoying doctor’s visits. In one story, she recalls complaining to a man about being tired of reaching out to him first, to which he replied, “Why would I call you when I know you’re going to call me?”
Sloan says such occurrences have helped to shift her perspective and practices in the dating game and she believes that her transparency can help other women, too.
“I had to stop calling him because he was not going to call me,” she says. “He was like, ‘Well she’s doing the work.’” Now, anyone interested in Sloan’s light has to earn it. She’s put boundaries in place and it’s been a game changer.
“I’m being nicer to myself and so I put up with less bullsh-t,” she explains. “I am a generous person, I’m a kind person, I’m a loving person, but I’m also very protective of myself.”
But with a changed perspective, efforts to look out for herself don’t hamper the fun she’s having getting to know different suitors at once. She encourages other women to do the same.
“As Black women especially, you cannot tell Black men that you were dealing with someone else because they will call you a h-e and all kinds of rude things to your face,” she says. “But I’ve had White female friends who are like, ‘Of course I’m dating multiple guys. I’m not in a relationship.’”
“If you’re not in a committed relationship then you should be dating multiple people, period,” she adds.
In addition to sharing her vulnerability and sense of humor with readers of Hello, Friends!, she’s looking forward to sharing that with the right partner down the line. Before, she dated in fear. Now, she’s excited about the future and enjoying it with someone who is deserving of her. As a fan of The Gilded Age, she’s waiting for her own George Russell. She wants a partner who can meet her at her level and participate in creating a connection built to last.
“As much as I can talk about the bad things,” says Sloan, “I’m looking forward to talking one day about the good things.”
Hello, Friends! Stories of Dating, Destiny & Day Jobs is now available where books are sold.