Q: “Do you think the reason so many black women are single is because we have ‘I'm strong and independent and happy without a man’-ed ourselves into lives without husbands? I see that many of us still want to be married.” – Yolanda Cooper
A: Many Black women do have the attitude that they’re strong, independent, and happy without a man. Yes, they indeed may be strong and independent, but are they truly happy without a man? The answer for most women, if they are truly honest with themselves, is no. Given the high percentage of Black women who have a college degree or higher, it is clear that they can financially take care of themselves. The reality is, while they can indeed buy what they want and go where they want to go, money does not necessarily buy happiness. Given this fact, you then have a disproportionate number of financially stable, but emotionally unfulfilled, women.
This is not to say that you must have a man to “make you happy,” but men do play a very important role in our lives. Many times, their role is one of companionship as well as lover. Regardless of what their income level may be, men will often compensate in the area of finances by meeting our emotional needs and contributing in other ways to the relationship. Unfortunately, when women have the “I’m strong and independent” attitude, they scare men and push them away. Their short sightedness and lack of patience do not allow for a relationship to fully develop.
Many opportunities for happiness are missed due to attitudes. Many women meet men for the first time with a “must-have” mental checklist of what they want him to “bring to the table.” Therefore, their first encounter with a potential mate becomes an interrogation, wherein the woman is systematically checking things off her list. For many women, especially young women, this list is quite long. (In fact, it resembles a scroll.) But as women become older and wiser, this list shrinks. The requirements drop from “he must have money and be tall and good looking” to “he must be willing to work, at least at home, and have a pulse." What’s worse is when their friends who knew them when their list was long see them with a man from an abbreviated list, and they become quite defensive. Then you hear comments like “At least, I have a man!” This is quite unfortunate, but women must understand that it’s not about what you can do for yourself and by yourself -- it is more about how much of it you want to do for yourself and by yourself. Women must be honest with themselves and understand that they and the other person must bring something to the table -- and that something must be more than attitude. -- Dr. Sherry