A Player Leaves the Game

« previous episode | next episode »

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Jozen Cummings hopes that he's had his last first date. (Jozen Cummings)

Jozen Cummings can’t get any woman he wants. But for a while there, the New York Post's dating reporter was doing pretty well for himself. He used to take out multiple women a day: one for coffee, another for lunch, and another for dinner. He left the rest of the night open for a wild card.

But as a kid, he'd watch his single mom stare at the phone, waiting for a man to call. They often didn't. He knew he didn't want to be one of those men. For a long time, he was.

Now that he's found the woman he plans to spend the rest of his life with, he knows he can't treat her that way. 

So there are challenges ahead. For example, all that dating he did wrecked his financial life. He also made some pretty bad decisions — like cheating — that ruined past relationships. Because his father couldn't keep a relationship together, he's had to learn what it means to be a committed partner on his own. 

Jozen and I talked about how what life was like as a confident ladies' man, what he learned from his father’s death, and what he hopes for after bachelorhood ends.


The first girl he liked didn’t like him back:

You definitely remember the first. Roxanne, this girl in my second grade class. I started off coloring pictures for her at home and leaving them at her desk. I’ll never forget one day, the person sitting next to me tapped me on my shoulder and said turn around, Roxanne is trying to get your attention. And I turned around and she just mouthed the words, 'I don’t like you.' And I was just like, Oh man. I was so upset, and so hurt....And that stayed with me. And you just don’t forget that feeling. And what’s funny is that no matter what age it comes, it feels the same.

Jozen Cummings in middle school.

 How he learned to be confident:

I worked the deli section of a restaurant, which was right next to the host stand. And we had a bunch of pretty hosts. And all of them were about — if I was 16 they were 18. [One of them said], you know Jozen, the number one thing that you have to have as a man is confidence. It doesn’t matter how you look to anybody, but people can see whether you’re confident. So you have to be confident if you want to get anywhere with girls. And that’s when I just kind of told myself, well, okay, get confident.

 He doesn’t want to die alone like his father:

None of [the mothers of his children] showed up to his funeral. What that showed me was that you can love someone, but you can also put them out of your life. And I just thought that, here was my father, a man who was loved, but nobody really wanted to be there.

On dating black women when you're multiracial:

I feel like for a while, I subscribed to this idea that I was actually being like, doing a noble thing. Like that I liked black women was somehow progressive….I grew out of that. And that’s when I, once I let that go, that’s when I started becoming more open to dating anybody....I used to feel like very much that they were a gateway, or they strengthened my identity.

Why he’s getting his finances in order:

What I see with Gina is somebody who will love me, and ride for me, like be by my side. But I don’t want her to have to take responsibility for decisions that I made before she came into my life. And my finances are a reflection of that. And I’m really trying to get myself into a better place, because I want to take care of her.

You can read a full transcript of our interview, and visit Jozen's blog, Until I Get Married, for regular updates on his love life.

    Music Playlist
  1. Take a Ride - Death, Sex & Money Theme
    Artist: The Reverend John Delore and Steve Lewis
  2. Drops Of Water In the Ocean
    Artist: Broke For Free
  3. BWN Discotheque
    Artist: Jack Ventimiglia, BMI
    Label: BWN Music
  4. Still Not a Player (Instrumental)
    Artist: Big Pun
    Label: Sony


Jozen Cummings

Hosted by:

Anna Sale

Comments [14]

Cassie from UK

I don't get why this narcissist is getting airtime. He's not particularly erudite or insightful, and actually painful to listen to sometimes. Comes across as very immature and ignorant. 0/10

May. 05 2015 09:56 AM

I appreciated this podcast. I dated someone once who reminds me of this guy. His story about really loving one girl, but treating her like dirt, and realizing the cost of his actions really hit home with me. I don't think the guy I dated was a player to the same extent Jozen was, but he had a lot of growing up to do. It's always interesting to get a peek into what may have been going through his mind. In the end, his actions led me to believe that there was no way he could really love me, no matter how sincere it seemed when he said it, so I broke it off.

I also appreciated what Jozen had to say about African American women not needing men to have a sense of self-worth. I don't know if this is true of African American women or not, but I do know that a lot of young Caucasian women DO set their self-worth on the opinions of their male peers. That needs to stop. I hope I can raise my daughter to find her self-worth elsewhere.

Feb. 04 2015 10:49 AM

I don't get all the negative comments. Tough crowd I guess. Maybe listen to it all the way through since the best content was toward the end. I appreciated the honesty and how he changed his life around for the better. He realized he was turning into his Father and he doesn't want history to repeat itself. I enjoyed this one just as much as the others. Always a good listen and I think it's interesting that all the content isn't always the same. Cheers!

Jan. 15 2015 10:18 AM
Taylor H. from United States

I really enjoyed listening to Jozen's experience and perspective on dating - especially as a young woman going through the (the often hellish) dating pool myself. I had to laugh and give a sigh of relief, when Jozen explained the many different reasons why he in the past may not have called a girl he was in to. Million dollar question answered.

Not sure why other commentators think that this episode was not "content." All stories have value.

Dec. 12 2014 01:00 PM
Michael from Durham, NC

I can't help but thinking the baggage Jozen refers to would have been a whole lot less if he hadn't slept with the women he dated. Surprise, marriage isn't about sex. It is a fully committed relationship and sex while dating muddies your picture of the other person. Sex is meant to bond two people together. When it is treated casually it will feel you leaving wrecked.

Nov. 21 2014 11:27 AM
Aa from WI

i think he said some really interesting things, particularly near the end (which some people, it appears, didn't bother to listen through to), about having to mess things up real good before getting to a point where you realize you might actually want to commit, even though it is scary. i don't know. i found some points of identity with this one. it looked fluffy from the outside, but everyone can identify with relationship issues. maybe it depends on where you are, yourself.

Oct. 14 2014 02:46 PM

Anna - I appreciate your podcast and I will continue to listen. I had to tap out when he started talking about black women. Maybe get back to him in a couple of years?

Sep. 05 2014 02:57 PM
Steve5280 from Melbourne Australia via Denver Colorado

I love this show, but this episode is completely inane. I'm a black man from a middle class background who has been married for 22 years. This guy Jozdn is young and immature. He has absolutely no idea what he is talking about, and the mark of his youth is that he thinks he has things figured out when he doesn't have a clue. Ridiculous. Please don't interview ignorant people like this. I had to stop listening. Jozdn Cummings is idiotic.

Aug. 29 2014 11:28 AM
Shey B from SF, NO Mans Land

Though many may disagree... I loved the fact that you reached outside the usual anglo problems and embraced a more open talking space. JOZEN - I loved what you had to say about black women. I believe there plenty of misconceptions regarding this topic but in the end of it I want to hear of women like me in the dating space.

-Olivia Pope

Aug. 24 2014 06:43 PM
Tess from Boston

Not worthy content. Usually love and enjoy your content. Not this one. Please be more selective in future, this came off as the braggings of an immature man-boy.

Aug. 18 2014 11:20 AM

I used to work with this guy (but knew him very vaguely) so I was sort of curious to hear this pod-cast. But honestly even I lost interest pretty soon... I agree with other posters, this is really not real content. Essentially he was immature and may have grown up somewhat. Or is trying to. How boring.

Aug. 15 2014 04:54 PM
Andy from Philly

If this is content, anything is content. How low are your standards? Vey low.

Aug. 14 2014 11:21 AM
Ron from Bronx

Seriously why put this guy on the air? Nothing wrong with him but what the... Why? This conversation is just not worth broadcasting to many people. Maybe interesting to overhear at a bar. Maybe. Mostly, who cares?

Aug. 13 2014 10:43 PM
Looks like


Aug. 13 2014 09:04 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.