Valentine’s Day is near and there are a lot of sistas left out in the cold on the day of love. Black women are the least coupled and least dated of all races and the problem is getting worse. Is online dating the answer? Black men have embraced interracial dating. Is it time for black women to do the same?
Why are black women single?
First, few single black women said they were looking for long-term relationships (LTRs). But single black men, almost 43 percent according to a 2013 National Public Radio poll, said they are looking for a long-term partner. A Yale University study found that 42 percent of African-American women in the United States were unmarried.
NPR surveyed African-American singles between 18 and 49 years who were divorced, widowed or never married on a wide variety of topics. These questions touched on communities, finance and dating. The question we are most interested in is, are you currently seeking a long-term romantic commitment?
The majority of African-American men and women, 57 percent, said they were not looking for a LTR. So the question must be asked, are single black people even interested in a LTR? It would appear not.
There is no shortages of theories about this phenomenon. Some black women blame interracial dating while others say a racist criminal justice system that imprisons black men in horrendous numbers is to blame. Still others blame drugs, disease, economic factors, gay black men being on the “down-low” and even black churches for keeping black women single.
Some black women believe that the skills learned to be a successful professional do not equate to being a successful mate. J.J. Smith a black woman and a dating and relationship expert says “Our credentials don’t attract men.” Smith published a potent list of reasons why black women are single on the BlackNewsOne.com website.
What is happening to black relationships?
Black men and women struggle to relate and communicate with one another. As a result black women are finding it hard to find a worthy mate. Why? The U.S. Census revealed that there are 1.8 million more black women than black men. Black women graduate high school and college at a greater rate than black men. Black women are also more likely to be employed in professional occupations than black men and are higher income earners.
And when they do meet a black man of interest they have to deal with his emotional or past challenges with another black woman and vice-versa. As a black man myself I have dated women whom I have had to deal with the damage and garbage the last brother left her with.
Black women on the other hand will say, “I’m not going to raise a grown man.” Black women will become turned off when the man seems unable to “handle his business.” A black woman shuts down quickly when she feels like she’s starting to settle or lower her standards in the relationship. For strong black women their guard goes up and they begin to move away, quickly if necessary. There is advice for black men dealing with strong black women .
Economic and educational differences between black men and women create problems managing power and expectations in a relationship. Does a black woman need to be submissive to her man? Is a black man’s pride threatened by a strong, educated, assertive black woman? The issues and questions are powerful and often answered only in individual situations.
Is online dating the answer?
Black women have it tough even on the Internet. According to OKCupid.com men replied to e-mails sent by African-American women less often than notes sent by women of other races. Men, including black men, respond to African-American women at about a 20 percent lower rate than others.
Ama Yawson founder of LoveEssence.com said “I don’t think we should take these statistics too seriously. Black people who go to a main stream site like OKCupid.com aren’t necessarily black people who are interested in meeting other black people online.”
Some black women who venture into online dating for the first time admit they refrain from sending e-mails to men fearing they may not get a response. But that’s not to say that black women are being rejected across all dating sites. Other dating sites such as BlackPeopleMeet.com are where black women find themselves in greater demand. Men from all races join African-American dating sites to meet single black women.
But strangely some black women said they receive more messages from black men on interracial dating sites than they do from men of other races. Experts say that black women who are interested in meeting a mate need to cast a wider net. Don’t limit your search or profile to a single website when looking for love. Black women are also encouraged to not let the negative information about your chances at finding love online discourage you.
Ron Worthy, Executive Director of BlackPeopleMeet.com, said that the black singles dating market is fast growing and effective. “In an ever wired society, online dating has become recognized as one of the most effective ways for people to meet and black singles are one of the fastest growing populations in this segment. As the population migrates from urban centers to suburban settings, an online community acts as a common meeting ground, a place to gather and find each other. Compared to traditional methods of meeting other singles, online dating offers the greatest pool of potential relationship partners, and its certainly the most affordable option in today’s difficult economy.”
Should black women date interracially?
Research indicates that this may not be a good option either. Segregation thrives in online romance. Researchers at the UC Berkeley found that it is highly unlikely that whites initiate contact with black people.
The UC Berkeley study revealed that 80 percent of communication initiated by whites went to other whites with only 3 percent going to African-Americans. Black people were ten times more likely to contact whites. And black men were more likely to contact white women than black but only slightly.
The study revealed black women were the least likely of all groups to be contacted. But the study also revealed that although black women were more likely than white women to contact a man of another race their primary choice was black men.
Is it even a choice?
Even though black men are dating interracially, black women seem to be forbidden the same choice. It seems that black people are not accepting of black women dating other races. Even fictional characters are not immune to criticism. Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, the central character in the television series ‘Scandal‘ is routinely attacked online for having a fictional affair with the show’s married, white president of the United States.
“People don’t understand. They think it’s no big deal, but it is,” said Christelyn Karazin, co-author with Janice Roshalle Littlejohn of the book “Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed.”
“Black men date or marry interracially at more than double the level women do,” she said. They are given a pass. They can date anyone they want to — black women, white women.”
But do black women want to date white men? What are the reasons black women don’t choose to date outside their race?
So what is a sister going to do? Damned if you do! Damned if you don’t! When it comes to romance, relationships, sex and life black women are in a nearly impossible position.
Black women understand beyond anything I can write here what is happening. And if you think they are going to just give up you would be wrong.
Now you know