The Anatomy of a Trini Man and the Way to his Heart

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“They’re vain, womanizing, lying, cheating, narcissistic, misogynistic, pigs.”

You name it. I’ve heard it all.

“Trini men no good girl, go get yuhself a German or some Nigerian doctor. They go treat you real, real nice!”

But wait, hold up – my Trini fellas can’t all be that bad. In fact, after living in the States for as long as I have, you learn to have a new appreciation for the Trinidadian man. I missed the warmth in their tone, the energy in their smile, and the rhythm in how they move to music.

The classic Trini man is undeniably charismatic, and it’s no wonder that women try to figure him out, and just how the heck do you get to his heart  (And no, it isn’t always through his stomach!).

Looking at the complex specimen that we have – the Trinidadian male – we can only hope to break the surface of this multi-faceted creature.

Let us start with our subject as a young, seven-year-old-boy, where innocence is usually still intact. Still interested in their toys and getting dirty, this group is genuinely confused when young girls hit them, knock them down on the playground, try to kiss them or just plain annoy them. The boys have no idea that this is actually flirting (I know it sounds strange, but it’s true. I personally still “punch” a guy in the shoulder on a date, it’s my way of saying, “I like you”).

We get to the stage of teen years. Ah, the teen years… full of raging hormones, sweat glands, and misplaced emotion. As a wise chantwell once sang: “We doh watch face, only waist”, and for some, this is quite true. What teenaged boy out there doesn’t like a woman who could throw waist? Now, is what I am saying seem to be based purely on the superficial? Yes. But let’s face it – no woman puts on her bubbly laugh, and slips on a pair of sexy personality ‘jus so’. We use hair, makeup and accessories to attract the opposite sex, and yes, men see the hair, the face, the breasts, the legs, and the waist. Whether you agree with me or not, the physical is priority in a teenaged, Trinidadian boy’s life, and it can’t be easy to be objective, when you live in a party island, surrounded by beautiful women.

“I’m not saying in order to gain the attention of a man, one must strut around damn near naked”

I’m not saying in order to gain the attention of a man, one must strut around damn near naked. While all of us can think of at least one lady in our lives who does this, the attention she gets usually remains superficial and short-lived. At this stage, few can truly win his heart, as he is just plain superficial himself. He is only just beginning to explore other areas of himself – physically, mentally and spiritually (well, at least some boys are).

And then the boy becomes a man. At this point, I’ve noticed men stand at a crossroads. They choose to continue being attracted to the superficial, wanting the hottest chick, the latest car, or weight lifting like there’s no tomorrow (I’ve seen some of them in the gym at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night! Clearly, they have no social life! Of course, the fact that I am there at that time suggests that I don’t either…). or they choose to mature in their thinking. They look more towards their future and ponder on whether they want to settle down, and perhaps find that special woman to start a family with, or they make that decision to remain a confirmed bachelor. Then there are those who straddle both sides of the fence, trying ‘to have they cake and eat it too’. They want to settle down and think they can do so with the hot chick or they settle down with ‘wifey’, but their eye wanders and they keep flirting with ‘hot chick’ – constantly putting their marriage in danger.

I decided to talk to some Trini men to get their feedback as to what attracts them to women, who ultimately win their hearts. All my male friends have said they are attracted to a confident woman.

One said: “A smart, confident woman will win me over every time”.

“What really attracts me [to] a woman is confidence… a woman must be confident in her own skin; even if she’s not the ‘model type’ confidence is what attracts me most”, said another.

“If you are not exuding confidence… the attention won’t last.”

If you are not exuding confidence (I don’t care if you look like Angelina Jolie) the attention won’t last. Many of the guys I spoke to also talk about loving a woman’s personality. For them you have to come to the table with something to say. The whole ‘shy girl act’ can be cute, but ladies ‘come wit it!’ Have something to say. Talk about things of substance. It doesn’t have to be calculus or groundbreaking politics (I for one have no interest in either subject matter). To me, having personality is simply knowing yourself.

Simple things also matter to some men. You love cooking; he loves eating, so take that opportunity to invite him for dinner (please don’t do like me, and invite the man for some cooking and you don’t know how to cook! I still hesitating on confirming that date!).

If you’re a diva singer and he adores you – take that guy to open mic and sing a love song for him. Dare to dream. Start a business. Cut all your hair off; maybe learn to surf. Bottom-line is this: interesting women meet interesting men. All the men I’ve talked to want a woman who is adventurous. I’m not saying they want you to curse at the police, but just remember, standing up for yourself, trying something new, and being comfortable with who you are is very attractive. And apparently, Trini guys are into that.  The Trini man, it seems, wants a complete woman, as a companion, and finding your way to his heart happens right when you find yourself.

Karen Francisco

Karen 'Phoenix' Francisco is many things. A writer, singer, songwriter, actress, filmmaker, image consultant, and motivational speaker. Back in Trinidad since leaving New York City where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Film Production and Screenwriting at Brooklyn College, you can always find her at any popular karaoke/open mic, singing her butt off.

  • Isaac Rudder

    LOVE it kar! love it!

  • moe mitchell

    as a trin-merican i have a foot in both cultutres. raised in the states, surrounded by trini culture. i agree with your assessment of the man at the crossroads. i’ve been there. i think, for women, it’s important that they choose a man that has the same emotional aspirations. so, if you choose the dude who is still interested in playing with … See Moreboy’s toy’s, you should also be on that level. don’t expect him to “wife” you. women must be honest about who a man is in the present.. instead of investing everything in how he could be.

  • Nick

    See. Simple stuff. Men prefer the direct route. No complications. No diabolical emotional twists. Just be you. Be all of you and I’ll be me. That we can definitely share.

  • Adele

    you bring up a lot of good points, I think this can apply for all men, not just the ones from your neck of the woods..

    Well done!

  • Renee Mangroo

    Nice article!

    Would love to see a second piece added on to this one, getting a Trini woman’s view/perspective of a Trini man and not just an overall view.

    Keep up the good work chick!!!!!!

  • Tolu

    Confidence is important for real, the question is at what age do these guys become “men”

  • JWal

    In my experience, they do want all those things but when they get it trini men a so tempted by the shallow and the superficial they stray…as they say, ” The grass is always greener on the other side”
    I myself have had my fill of trini boyfriends,trini fiances even a trini husband. But ill be trying my luck else where from now on =) I’ve finished fighting the good trini man fight.

  • Sunshine

    I’ve never dated a Trini man, but somehow I believe they want way more from a woman than just a healthy dose of self-confidence. Like JWal stated, “they do want all those things but when they get it trini men a so tempted by the shallow and the superficial they stray” – Acutally, I think this pertains to men across all races and cultural backgrounds. In addition to self confidence and smarts, you have to be good-looking, dress a certain way, have culinary skills AND be a freak and spiritually aware all at the same time. I wish the men interviewed for the article were more honest.

  • TNTboi

    I want the chick in the picture with the seeming objectivity of the woman that wrote this article!!

  • leah de souza

    Good points but just remember ladies…don’t give more than you are getting. In other words, no problem with bending over backwards as suggested, once you are getting the same in return. It’s about reciprocity, not about winning a competition.

    Good luck.

  • Untitled

    Trini men have hearts…since when?

    Ok, I’m joking about the aforementioned statement. I think we ‘soughta’ make excuses for Trini guys. No disrepect to the writer of the article; I’m speaking in general terms.

    For years -and I haven’t been on this earth for many years- I’ve been hearing the more ‘mature’ adult women discuss, criticize, complain about, [a few have praised], and negelect, et cetera, et cetera… these “Trini” men.

    At the end of every discussion, they’d have more bad things to say than good about these men and their “anatomy”.

    My views on some statements made in the piece, reflect similarly to those of Sunshine and JWal.

    For every ‘tough nut’ Chick that there is, there are more than double that amount who are willing to be someone their “Trini” man can appreciate. Or, to speak without being misinterprted, there are those who are willing to either be confident, learn surfing, cook up a storm…*sigh*…and the list goes on.

    I don’t mind being reminded of, or even advised, about the way in which it’s believed to approach what can sometimes be labelled as a socially challenging feat but, the guys have to hold their end too. They seem to not be very good at holding their end.

    And if I’m to do this, ensuring that I get the same in return, but he’s not holding his end. Wouldn’t it make more sense to not waste my time and bend over backwards…for a “Trini” man?

  • Jason M

    personally i need the whole package
    1. beautiful
    2. good physical
    3. good personality
    4. confidence

    u need 2 get 4 ticks in all these areas 2 really get my attention even though i turn my head when shortest skirt is passing.

    I think I need 2 do 1 or u can do 1 defending male for cheating and realise that in today’s world it is harder to remain faithful than cheat. I have my reasons why i said that, but what do you think?
    I also think that women are becoming the new “men” (not physically of course, well some are. lol) but in there approach to life and their rising infidelity and society’s acceptance of it.

    I love what you are doin Karen, you are my motivation

  • sexyjo

    guy- cute,soft spoken,some feminine qualities and emotional
    fella- handsome,outspoken,adventurous,emotional in the dark
    dude-handsome,bold,confident,smooth with some rough edges,

    hey i live here in trini and i see these types of men everyday. i agree that a girl need to have attitude (confident)and not any nastitude(plain ole). these tpes of male all have in common are women in there lives. dey all look at that phsique. but what really counts is the inside. some women do hav more and are highly qualified. but can any of thse men handle a woman with attitude,a true outgoin personality and a well rounded worker in and out of the house?
    i dare to find that man.