Michael B. Jordan Wonders: What Is Dating, Really?

Don’t we all.

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Street Style 2016

Among all the things Michael B. Jordan can do well—fashion, for example, and acting—one would not count talking about his dating life. The latest example? When, as part of a profile for GQ’s Men of the Year issue, Jordan, ambulant thirst trap, is asked about his relationship status, the Creed and Black Panther star retreats inside the gray Stadium Goods hoodie he’s wearing, physically shrinking away from the question. “I don’t even know how you’re going to write this,” he tells GQ. “I’m so nervous even talking about this.”

But talk about it he does. First, he says his “career is awesome” and that he is “very mature and advanced at a lot of areas of life.” But then, he concedes, his personal life—his dating life, more specifically—is one of more unsure footing. “I don’t really know what dating is,” he says.

There have, of course, been the rumors that have followed him over the past few years: He was spotted leaving the Met Gala at the same time as Kendall Jenner, so they must be dating; he tweeted at his Black Panther costar Lupita Nyong’o, so ditto; a thirsty fan broke her retainer watching him in Black Panther, so he simply helped her out with the orthodontia bills; he even “sought advice” from none other than Will Smith about how to navigate the apparent rumors that he only dates white women, or that he’s gay. (The former rumor comes up again in the new GQ interview: “It just turned into this whole other thing that it wasn’t,” he describes.)

Still, as Jordan tells it, there’s no truth to any of the above rumors. “I could meet you, right now, boom, right here. Me and you sitting here chilling, whatever,” he says. “Somebody could be over there, see this. And all of a sudden, you’re my girl now.”

“How do you go anywhere normal, chill, just getting to know somebody that you just met, that you may not—may or may not—hit it off at all?” he wonders. “That part of dating is tough.” He concedes that “options” are out there. (As he said in a 2015 interview with the magazine, after starring in Creed, he wouldn’t have to “do too much work](” to get a date if he so desired, but “the females,” he said, “will always be there.”) Jordan earned his breakout role in The Wire more than 15 years ago, and since then, as he told Vanity Fair earlier this year, he’s had to learn how to conduct his personal life very publicly on his own. “There’s nobody that really helped me,” he said. (Except Will Smith.) So forgive him for taking his time figuring out what, exactly, dating is.