Yes, there is a disproportionate amount of black women to black men and that could be why you’re still single but let’s be honest- you are a serial dater and your misfortunes with men are NOT due to the gender imbalance. YOU’RE THE REASON WHY YOU’RE STILL SINGLE! Now before you get angry with me and throw your computer out the window, let me explain.
It is so easy to blame external or inanimate forces for your relational dry spell. No one likes to believe that they are living in a self-created rut. Many black women walk around totally oblivious to the fact that they are responsible for their own relationship failures and if they could just tweak a few things, success would hasten their way.
I’ve given much thought to this topic and I’ve provided the top 10 reasons why a lot of black women are still single. I purposefully spent more time dealing with the most pertinent reasons because of their importance. The list is in order and the goal of the list is to help you look introspectively, discover what applies to you, and correct it so that you can find that ideal match. Please comment and let me know what you think.
1. The “Mr. Right” Complex
Let’s agree that there is no such thing as perfect! Tragically, black women are inundated with images of Boris Kodjoe and thoughts of Derwin from The Game (Pooch Hall…yes Pooch) that they subconsciously expect the guy down the street to have the same appeal. Black women are used to having beauty shop talks about what a man needs to be (Height, weight, income, bone structure etc…). They end up creating a caricature from a Disney film rather than an actual man and then become dogmatic about finding someone with EVERY desired characteristic. Inevitably, when they meet Tyrone from down the street, they become dejected because he falls short of their lofty expectations, even though Tyrone is a really good guy. Ladies, here’s some advice…PRIORITIZE! Write a list of the 10-15 things you want in a guy. Be detailed but reject the tendency to enter into a fairy tale world. Once you write your list, at the top of it write ‘70% – 80%’. If you can find a guy that possesses 70 to 80 percent of your list with two or three qualities in your top ten, YOU’VE FOUND A GREAT CATCH! It would be ridiculous if I rejected 100% of a delicious cake because 20% of it was burned. I’d just discard the 20% and delight my palate with the other 80%. Every human being is a W.I.P. (Work In Progress) and if you learn to prioritize your preferences, you’ll find a man that has most of the qualities you want and a willingness to develop in his deficient areas.
2. Just Can’t Pick ‘Em
The cheater, the deadbeat, the narcissist, the beady-eyed thug- you’ve been through them all. The old saying that good guys finish last is true because you’ve shunned the warm-natured gentile fellows for the riff-raff. Like a moth drawn to a campfire, you gravitate toward the “bad boys”, and you regularly get burned for it. Consider this, a championship college football team is crafted by wooing and scouting the BEST recruits. The head coach scours the country looking for the best talent and he will not rest until he discovers the next Cam Newton (He’s the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Auburn University). He meticulously puts together a winning team by focusing on the value of each individual recruit. Now, think about the last ten guys that you have dated. Think about their strengths, weaknesses, and think about why and how the relationship dissolved. Once you have the ten guys in your mind ask yourself this question, do those ten individuals make up one collective winning team? If your answer is NOT a resounding yes, then you need to do some soul searching. Why are you drawn to guys that don’t match well with you? Why do you consistently pick the loser? Is there some historical event that has skewed your ability to make wise dating choices? Hopefully, you will find the answers to these questions so that your next pick will be the right one.
3. Overly I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T
She-Ra was a cartoon character in the ’80’s with spectacular abilities. She was extremely strong and she wielded a sword that could transform her into an unstoppable super-being. She was the epitome of independent because she didn’t take any crap from anyone. Although She-Ra was intensely fun to watch on TV, I imagine that she wouldn’t be a very fun date. She-Ra wouldn’t allow a man to open the car door and she definitely wouldn’t allow a man to pay for her dinner. She would show up to the date flaunting her ability to suplex robots and communicate with animals and she would belittle her date’s meager human contributions. Did you ever notice that She-Ra never had a man? Maybe you’re still single because you come across as a 21st Century She-Ra. You’ve acquired a great job, college degree, and shiny new sedan by the sweat of your own brow. You never looked to a man to give you anything and you make that clear on every date that you go on. Here’s the problem, most men want a semi-traditional woman. This doesn’t mean that men want a doormat; a semi-traditional woman is woman that is assertive when it’s called for but not too insecure to encourage and welcome a man’s leadership. A semi-traditional woman doesn’t get offended when a man asks her to cook his dinner, yet she expects that he’s going to return the favor sometime later in the week. If a woman rejects a man’s initial acts of chivalry on a date, he interprets it as a clear indication of her overly feminist, girl-centric personality and he quickly becomes disinterested. Remember, the character She-Ra was only an alter ego. She-Ra was actually Princess Adora but she transformed into She-Ra whenever it was time for battle. Ladies, learn how to be She-Ra in battle but a princess in life.
4. Pushing the BIG “C” too soon
I must admit, I’m a sucker for a good romance. I tend to fall early and quickly which is undoubtedly why I ended up married at 18. Most guys are the exact opposite of me. Guys tend to treat commitment like it’s the plague. It’s not that they’re totally opposed to the idea, it’s just that they feel like commitment should be a gradual destination rather than a hurried first stop. Imagine that commitment is an apple. It begins as a hard inedible seed with only the potential to be a desirable fruit. With the right amount of time and dedicated nurturing, the seed will grow into a ripe and delicious treat. No matter how insistent and overbearing you are, you cannot force the apple to grow at a quicker pace. It grows and blossoms on its own. When you try to make a man your husband after the first three-weeks of dating, it leaves a sour taste in his mouth much like an unripened apple would. It’s not that there isn’t the potential for the friendship to blossom into an exclusive dating situation; it’s simply that much nurturing and time is necessary for the relationship to transition from seed-form to ripe for harvesting. I know that you’ve been single for a long time and your clock is ticking louder than it ever has, but just remember, love is like food; a microwaved meal can never measure up to the quality of what comes out of a slow cooker.
5. Making the new guy pay for the old guy’s mistakes
Being bitter and acrimonious is a state of mind. Unfortunately, you’re the governor of that state. Sure, you have a valid reason to be upset. You were lied to, cheated on, abandoned and/or abused. Your ex was a scoundrel and he did unspeakable things to you. He hurt you deeply and you’re still bearing the scars. There’s only one problem, the tumultuous relationship ended when you were in your twenties. You’ve had ten years to heal and you’re still hurting as if the wound was freshly made. Of course you’ll never admit that you haven’t recovered from the breakup, but the evidence of your emotional stagnancy comes out when you meet a new man. The poor guy is unaware of the fact that you have triggers, so when he says, “I think you look nice in red. I’d like to see you wear that color more often”. He’s shocked when you go off on a tirade about how you can’t stand controlling men and how you’ll never let a man manipulate you again. He’s oblivious to the fact that you’re not responding to him, you’re responding to the poor treatment you received at the hands of a previous reckless man. If you’re honest with yourself, you’d have to admit that you’ve developed an adverse reaction to anything that even remotely reminds you of your ex. You have determined that you’re not going to let anyone devalue you the way that he did. Unfortunately, your guarded approach to men makes it hard for you to offer any man a clean slate. You enter a dating situation suspiciously which makes it difficult for you to connect with anyone. Although you’ll never forget what happened to you, you MUST forgive. Your desire to hold a grudge and constantly relive your most painful moments is what’s keeping you from finding love. Men will only endure unfair associations for so long before they decide to find a woman that will give them a fresh chance. Ladies, it’s time to move forward and realize that the new man deserves an opportunity to show you that he’s NOT the old one.
6. Giving up the Goodies Prematurely
The Sega Genesis was a popular game console when I was in middle and high school. It kept me entertained for hours and staved off weekend boredom. The third game that I bought for my Sega system was called Arch Rivals. It was a basketball game that allowed the player to punch and slam the opposing team members. When I bought the game I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to get home and pulverize my computer-generated rivals. I played the game for only three days before I discovered how to beat it. Once I conquered the game, I quickly became disinterested in it and it spent the rest of its life buried underneath clothes in my closet. Dating is a game with the ultimate prize being a committed relationship and maybe even marriage. The way that you play the game will determine how you will be viewed by the gentleman that’s trying to court you. If you give away too much too soon, he will view you as initially exciting but ultimately unfulfilling. If you require that he passes necessary levels in order to receive certain rewards, then he will remain interested and engaged. Now, when I use the word “goodies” I’m not just talking about sex. Of course sex is the ultimate goody, but time, money, and gifts can also be considered goodies. You should calculate how and when you distribute these things. Giving everything away too soon makes you naïve and giving away too much makes you a human ATM machine. Remember, naiveté is the character flaw that keeps women from being taken seriously and an ATM machine wasn’t built to be respected, it was built to be used.
7. Beauty but no Substance
Every head turned as she entered the grocery store. Her curvaceous body seemed to glide up and down each isle. The chestnut tiling only accentuated the color of her skin and her flowing black hair swayed rhythmically with each step she took. She was gorgeous and she was approaching Walter with a bewildered look on her face. “Excuse me sir,” she began, “I was wondering if you could help me.” Walter gulped with anxiety as he gazed helplessly into her amber eyes, “Sure” he stammered. “I’ve been searching this store for nearly 30 minutes and I can’t seem to find the earl,” she said. Walter’s look of infatuation quickly turned into puzzlement, “You’re looking for what?” “I’m looking for the earl and I can’t find it anywhere.” At this point, Walter could no longer hide his perplexity; he squinted as he tried desperately to figure out what earl was. “Ma’am,” Walter started, “I have no idea what earl is.” She thought for a moment and responded, “You know, earl. I’m looking for cooking earl. I’m trying to fry chicken and I need cooking earl to do it.” As hard as he tried, Walter couldn’t ignore the hilarity of the moment. He busted out in laughter as he asked, “Are you talking about cooking oil?” The woman grinned in pleasure, “Yes, that’s what I said- earl.” Walter pointed to isle 7, “It’s right down there ma’am.” She winked at Walter and walked briskly toward isle 7. Walter chuckled to himself as he thought about the unlikely encounter. The woman was so beautiful but her beauty only covered the tragic fact that she was brainless. It looked as though she spent ample amounts of time and money on her looks but judging by her grammar, she probably hadn’t read a book since high school. “It’s a shame,” Walter whispered under his breath, “She could’ve been the one.” Enough said!
8. The Know- it- All
Normally, men are pegged as the gender with the infallibility-complex but with the advent of the women’s lib movement, women have increasingly become the know-it-alls. It’s not uncommon for a childless and single black woman to offer marital and parenting advice to her married girlfriend. In black beauty shops all across the country women cackle about what men are and aren’t. They fail to realize that they really know nothing about men and what they do know is so skewed that it borders on irrelevant. Unfortunately, in beauty shops (and in barbershops) unenlightened conversation is encouraged rather than condemned. The seemingly harmless banter that takes place quickly becomes ingrained beliefs and those beliefs become entrenched opinions. The problem exists when a man shares an objective truth about himself or men in general and before he completes his sentence you rudely interrupt by saying, “Oh no, that’s not true.” See, he knows it’s true! How does he know it’s true? He’s a man! Yet you argue incessantly because you think your beliefs are right and his are misguided. Do you see the problem? The only solution to this problem is to speak authoritatively ONLY about what you’re knowledgeable on. If you know fashion, speak about fashion. If you know sports, dazzle him with your precise football analysis. Don’t take a hardline stance on what you’re not absolutely sure you know about. A man appreciates a woman that is intellectually curious and open to learn. Ladies, this might be a hard pill to swallow, but your mamma, grandmamma, and aunty are not the best sources of male education. If these honorable women have been your sole teachers on male issues then it’s time to be reeducated. The best way to learn about men is to listen to one.
9. A Less Than Stellar History
The fact that double standards exists is a sad reality in our society. The most unfortunate double-standard happens when a promiscuous man is viewed as a hero and a promiscuous woman is viewed as a whore. I wish we could abolish double-standards altogether but unfortunately, they are what they are. Secretly, every single man harbors a desire for his future wife to be able to validly wear her white wedding gown. He cringes when he meets a wonderful prospect only to later find out that she’s been around the block. Ladies, let me be candid, no man wants to be committed to a woman that has slept with half the state. He might have his temporary fun with such a woman, but he will never settle down with her. Everyone has things in their past that they’re not necessarily proud of. If you have had multiple sexual encounters, my best advice is to divulge this information once trust has been established in the relationship. Avoid the sex conversation until you are convinced that he won’t judge you unfairly. It’s a sad commentary on our society when an oversexed man can find love easier than his female counterpart, but unfortunately that’s the reality. Don’t share your past until you’re absolutely sure that he can handle it.
10. My friend, my brother, my mamma said…
This reason is the exact opposite of reason #3. Women that suffer from ‘Everybody Else Said Syndrome’ view the input of others as law. Critical decisions aren’t made without the approval of a certain person or group of people and every sentence is prefaced by, “My friend/brother/mamma said…”. A forward-looking man will NEVER settle down with a woman that thinks with someone else’s brain. He realizes that during the casual dating phase of the relationship it might be okay for her to reach out to others, but in marriage this tendency is detrimental. In marriage, both parties must be willing to settle their own issues in house. Actually, the Bible says that a married couple should cleave to one another and become one flesh. A woman that is overly dependent on another person or other people will never be able to fulfill that mandate. Ladies, I know you value your homegirl’s opinion and you hang off of every word your mother says, but if you want to find a man, you’re going to have to learn the value of self-consultation. You will never be a man’s kitten if you’re committed to being someone else’s parrot.