Dating is a complex topic in itself, one with nuances that can be discussed for hours on end from literally every angle. Compound the mystery of dating with “Dating while Black” and you have a unique set of challenges for any eligible bachelorette to conquer.
As a Black woman, i’ve found dating while Black to be somewhat of an uphill battle. Particularly if you prefer to keep it chocolate. Taking into account things like age, male to female ratios, financial standing, education, interests, and ambition into account; worthy partners are sometimes in short supply. Some decide to take advantage of reverse phone lookup services while using online dating apps to make sure they know what they are meeting better so they can aquire the right partner.
A male friend whom I met attending an HBCU (or as my grandma once called them, where you go to find you a good Black man) once broke down the hard facts of my likelihood in finding a Black man to marry. He used the infographic below to demonstrate how bleak my chances were. I remember being floored by the numbers and him having to order me another tequila.
Perhaps one of the best modern examples of the Black Woman’s struggle to successfully date a Black man has played out on popular BET series Being Mary Jane. While purposefully dramatic and at times ridiculous, Black women across the world could find elements of Mary Jane’s life in which to relate to.
And though fictional the show did pick up on themes drawn from real life, such as discrepancies in education a box many Black women look to check off in their pursuit of a Black man.
According to a National Association of Education Statistics Study as referenced in several recent articles by outlets like The Root and Black America Web.com, Black women earn twice as many degrees in comparison to Black men.
Adding to this sentiment one of my best friends, a dashingly handsome bachelor, with a great job and two degrees suggested his ‘stock’ was increasing with time. He suggested, as women get older their standards decrease, making even mediocre men appear more desirable.
This theory also suggests that men who are already highly desired (those with great jobs, no kids, and cars) become exceptionally valuable. They often use this high value to leverage their choosing power. They essentially get their pick of an already highly successful and impressive female dating pool.
This raises the discussion on compromise and settling. There’s this running perception that somehow to be a Black woman desiring to date a Black man means that you will in some way have to compromise or eventually settle. Some argue women set expectations too high or have an unrealistic list of desired traits.
Essentially, it’s hard out here for a pimp. And by Pimp I mean a mildly successful Black woman with reasonable expectations, and life partner desires. It’s hard but not impossible.
Black love still exists. Blame it on my general rejection of the medias limited exposure of Black love or perhaps my Black parent’s 34-year marriage. It’s not easy, it’s not always immediate, and it’s not impossible.
It all comes down to outlook. I’m a big advocate for making the desires of your heart known to the universe and willing it to in turn deliver. There’s nothing wrong with holding out for your equal cloaked in melanin. He’s out there, even if you decide it so. Focus on your brilliance and honing the things you bring to the table, you want to be ready when he arrives.
What do you think? Share your experiences on dating while Black below!
Contributed by Autumn Gilliam –
Autumn is a Fashion Publicist who loves writing, travel, photography, and advocating for diversity in media. Visit her here !