Editor’s Note: It’s A Man’s World featuring independent male bloggers is intended to go inside the minds of single men and give their unfiltered perspectives on dating and relationships. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not reflect those of ESSENCE or ESSENCE.com.
By Joel S. Randell
As a journalist, one of my favorite trade passions has always been taking part in forums and roundtables. And Belle is my favorite moderator for everything about sex, love and relationships. I had the privilege of sitting in on a men’s round table Belle recently hosted for Essence (December 2009), and the exchange was off the meter! “5 Men. 2 Hours. No Censors.” Ladies, read the story STAT if you haven’t already. You’re sure to find it interesting in the least.
One of the round table’s best discussion topics was the ever-ubiquitous, universal question: “Why are so many Black women single?”
This query has proven more mysterious than “The Di Vinci Code,” and sisters would probably pay stacks of money to have it answered.
Well, ladies, feel free to get your checkbooks out.
Here’s my answer: Sisters believe in fairytales.
Although statistics prove there is, in fact, a ratio disproportion of eligible black men to the same black woman, there are plenty of brothers out here for most sisters. You just have to relax your criteria of “eligible” a bit, ladies. The way I see it, a majority of sisters today have bought wholesale into “Sleeping Beauty” fantasies.
“A brother has to make X amount of money, drive an X-model car, have an X FICO score, at least work at X, not have no damn kids, not be short, take me out to dinner at least three times and the bill BETTER exceed $150, umm, his gear has to be tight with the swagger to match, he has to go to church every Sunday and love the Lord, and he has to treat me like queen of the earth. If dude can’t meet those standards, I can do bad by myself!”
As funny as I’m trying to be above, it’s not a complete exaggeration. Ladies, being unrealistic in your criteria for a man does nothing but further reduce your already disproportionate chances of finding one. Meanwhile, too, you’re missing real opportunities for quality men simply by omission.
Consider Barack and Michelle. When they met, Barack had an advanced degree from Harvard and that’s about it, in terms of material things. He was driving a hooptie and working to uplift disadvantaged people in the hood. Why did she choose him then? He was a good dude. And her choice paid dividends down the road.
So my hard and fast advice to sisters is this: Relax. Stop being so virtually impossible in your criteria for a potential mate. Of course, you shouldn’t “settle for less” than what you’re bringing to the table, but be realistic. Meet a brother on the same playing field that you’re on, don’t be lazy, and be ready to bring your 50 percent.
Otherwise, play Lotto. Your chances of winning verses finding a man under fairytale criteria are about the same.