(Note about this video: I found it after I wrote the blog. It’s amazing how these women echoed what I’m saying in this blog.)
So I was having a conversation with a guy friend of mine and we were talking about relationships and the fact that I’m still single, how hard the dating game is…yada yada. He said something that really made a light bulb go off. I had one of Oprah’s a-ha moments. He said, “You are single by choice.” And him knowing me and us having dated before, I thought it was an interesting observation. Plus, I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic with all the talk surrounding the state of black relationships. I’ve been wanting to blog about this for awhile.
I’m sure you’ve heard this numerous times: “There aren’t any available, single black men. They are either in jail, gay, or married.” Is there validity to this statement? Are black men really that few and far between?
I won’t bore you with the stats like the incarceration rate of black males, their lack of education, etc. We all know what the numbers say. But here are some startling statistics I would like to share:
42 percent of black women have never been married, compared to 21 percent of white woman, according to national statistics.
Within the last two generations, marriage rates for African-Americans have dropped significantly. Between 1970 and 2001, the black marriage rate dropped by 34 percent, compared to 17 percent in the general population.
African-American women are also the least likely group to get married in the United States.
While I can’t confirm these statistics, they sound pretty darn accurate to me and they are in line with the trends I’ve been seeing personally and among my black female friends.
So, you may wonder what I think. Do I think that I am single because of a shortage of good, available men (circumstance) or is it because I choose to be?
After the guy made that statement, I thought “hmm, you are right, I do choose to be single.” And I say that because I could be in a relationship if I wanted to. In fact, I think I could even be married. But the question should be: “Would I be happy?” I’m not sure about that.
While, I am aware of the social implications concerning black relationships and I agree that they are valid, I don’t believe that it’s impossible to find a healthy, loving relationship. But let’s be honest, the stats are real and it is hard for black women to date. I’m not saying that all black men are dogs and I’m not saying there aren’t any good ones left. But where are these good, upstanding men? Are they at church? At the club? I meet very few of what I would consider eligible men and I think I’m a pretty social person.
But that’s another point I’d like to make. Ladies, what do we consider “eligible”? A lot of black men say that our expectations of them are unrealistic and unattainable. They say we want someone that looks like Denzel, has Jay-Z’s money, gives good thug loving but is someone they can bring home to mom. I can assure those are NOT my expectations. Are my expectations high? Yes. Are they unrealistic? No. And I believe that the majority of women don’t want all that. They just want a good man. Period.
To sum it up, I think that singledom for a black woman is a combination of choice and circumstance. There are quite a few odds against us but we won’t settle for whatever we can get. Luckily I have faith in God and that he’ll send me someone regardless of the odds. I just have to open enough to receive that blessing and recognize it as such.