To read Part 1: The Real Reasons 70% of Black Women are Single: It’s Not What They’re Telling You! (Part 1)
In Part 1, I stated that we’ve all heard on Oprah, CNN, ABC News, and the Washington Post that 70% of black women are single, and 42% are unmarried. Many news organizations have provided the statistics, but I’ve rarely seen these media outlets offer any real solutions. So, I will begin by offering a few solutions below:
*Please note that everything is NOT for everyone, so some of these suggestions may be right for you and others may not. Be open-minded and feel free to share other suggestions that have worked for you. My suggestions are listed below:
1. Do NOT Settle, but DO Compromise:
I am not suggesting you settle or lower standards, but if you look at “the list” of what you’re looking for a man, there may be some areas in which you can compromise. As an example, does he have to be a certain height, skin color, or education/income level? Can you be satisfied with him if he earns a bit less than you? However, I would not recommend you compromise on the things that are non-negotiable, such as character, morals, and religious beliefs. A man’s character is not tied to his monetary, education or financial status, so be sure to look at “who he is” and not “what he has” if you seriously want to pursue meaningful love relationships.
2. Invest In His Potential:
Now I will begin this suggestion by saying, “proceed with extreme caution!” I have seen women successfully do this and others like myself, have been burned. In fact, when I was in my 20s, I dated a man who made about a third of what I earned and at the end of the relationship, I ended up $80,000 poorer. But if he is a man of good character and morals (which is most important) and you see him making a genuine effort to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially and has solid plans for his life, then INVEST IN HIM. Investing in him means to be his helpmate to help him achieve his goals. This may mean providing some reasonable amount of financial assistance to help him pursue an education or helping him grow spiritually or emotionally. For some women, they will get a return on their investment with a long-term committed relationship with him, but for others, he may still upgrade you when he becomes more financially successful; but that is the chance you take. Be careful of the men who just want to “marry up” and build their wealth and status by marrying you. These types of men are trying to gain wealth and status by any means necessary and will almost always trade you in for a younger, prettier women once they get to a higher level of financial success.
3. Don’t Just Date Brothers, Date Others (Outside Your Race):
For a lot of Black women, one of the most difficult things for them to do is to date outside of their race. There are many reasons Black women tend not to date outside their race; Some Black women want a man that reminds them of their daddy and some feel they are only attracted to Black men. However, with the number of “datable” black men declining, how long are you going to wait for someone who statistically may not be available? If you’re doing all the right things to be sure that you’re ready for a relationship and are still challenged with meeting Black men with compatible lifestyles (social backgrounds, economic status, education levels), then dating outside your race may be a good option for you. Now, who you date of course is a matter of personal preference and I’m not trying to encourage you to stop dating Black men. I know for me, I love and admire Black men so much that my personal preference for Black men would probably always keep me from dating outside my race. However, if you’re challenged with having enough options in men, dating outside your race will expand your dating pool significantly.
4. Move to Cities Where the Men Outnumber the Women:
Even though nationally, women outnumber men, there are some male-dominated cities that have more single men than single women. A few of the best cities to meet single men over 35 include San Jose, California, Salt Lake City, Utah, Arlington, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina. In my eBook, 101 Best Places to Meet Men, I list 101 places where the men generally outnumber the women. In the past, women typically met men in grocery stores, gyms, bars/lounges, church, work, gyms/exercise centers, and car shows. These places are still great options for meeting men, but they have also gotten stale and simply don’t generate the quantity of dates required for women to have enough options. Many single women don’t know the best places for meeting a large quantity of men. So this eBook provides you with 101 places where you can go to increase your chances of meeting more men. A friend of mine is a great fisherman and he spends a considerable amount of time planning the best locations to find fish for that day. It’s the same with dating. If you don’t put yourself in the places to meet more men, you’re never going to find them. You will have to participate in activities and go to places that are dominated by men. These are locations where the men typically outnumber the women. And sistas, if you are living in Atlanta and still complaining about not finding a “good black man” then your dating woes are likely to continue with female to male ratio being something like 20 to 1.
5. Understand What Type of Women Men are Attracted To and Become One:
I know for me, even though I was educated and successful in my career I didn’t have the options in men that I have now at 40. I can really say that I didn’t understand what it took to really attract men in my 20s. What I do know is that when I looked like Condoleezza Rice (i.e., extremely corporate), I had fewer quality men interested in me. I did a beauty transformation and that has been one of the most effective things that has helped me to increase the quality and quantity of men that I attract into my life. I can personally attest to the fact that men are very visual creatures and a woman’s physical appearance is what gets their attention. As a single, successful black woman, I went from 0 dates to many dates by making some changes to my “exterior” to meet, date and marry quality black men. Additionally, if you know women who are happy in married or committed relationships, then pay close attention to them and learn from them. If you think about it, most of us have never been taught how to date to find a compatible partner. There was no college course for it. Yes, many women have received advice from family or friends. We may have taken advice from other single women. But most of us are winging it as we go. There are some women who are obviously better at it than others. I have learned strategies that have worked for other women and they can work for you. As I applied these strategies, my dating and relationship skills improved and I begin to achieve the results that I desired. I’ve consolidated these strategies in my book Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating.
6. Learn to Love the Single Life and Forget About Marriage:
If you are unhappy single, you will likely be unhappy married, except you can then blame your spouse instead of yourself for your unhappiness. It’s important to learn to be happy while you’re single. Single women are beginning to realize that they actually have a lot of time to create a meaningful life for themselves, and they are deciding to pursue their dreams. Being single is not a problem, but an opportunity to reinvest in your life and your spiritual growth. Maximize your career, interests, hobbies and relationships while you’re single, and make that time the best days of your life. Many single women jump in and out of relationships because they don’t want to be alone. There is a major difference between being “lonely” and “aloneness.” Know that you may be alone, but you don’t have to be lonely in life. Alone is defined as separate, apart, unique or unequaled. In contrast, being lonely is defined as lacking friendly companionship. If you have a full life of family, friends and dates, you don’t have to lack companionship in your life and, therefore, you don’t have to be lonely. Being single and alone can be a wonderful experience. It’s the perfect time for adventure, fun, romance, self-discovery and renewal. Enjoy your single life and work on your personal happiness and enjoying the wonderful friends and family in your life.
7. Look at the “Woman in the Mirror”:
If you look at the way the media portrays this issue, it seems like the obvious question is “what’s wrong with the Black men and why aren’t they available for Black women?” but we can’t entirely blame Black men and we shouldn’t let Black women off the hook either. Earlier I said that a “datable” Black man is one that is not behind bars, gay, or with other races. But women should also ask themselves are they “datable” or better yet, do they know what makes a woman “datable” to a man? It’s easy to pass blame onto Black men, but for me, I believe in taking personal accountability for my challenges in life. In my 20s I had horrible dating experiences and attracted men that were all wrong for me. So, I decided to get off my butt and make some changes to my “exterior” and “interior” to attract the type of men that I desired. I realized that it’s our EXTERIOR that gets a man’s attention (smile, look, personality, non-bitchy attitude, confidence and overall attractiveness) and our INTERIOR (our love for God, family, friends, being honest, supportive, respectful, emotionally stable, goal-oriented) that keeps a man coming back for more. As a single, successful black woman, I went from 0 dates to many dates by making some changes to my “exterior” AND “interior” to meet, date and marry quality black men. In my book, Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating, I describe the 8 steps of my beauty transformation (with before and after pics) that allowed to maximize my physical features without cosmetic surgery.
8. Develop Friendships with Heterosexual Men:
Single women spend way too much time with other single women. One thing I have learned over the last 10 years is how to “date and relate” to men, which is why I say women need to hang out and develop friendships with heterosexual men in order to better understand them. So why not start hanging out with guys? If you spend time around men and observe their behavior, you’ll have a much better idea of what they think about women. This will help you better understand what’s going on when you are interacting with a man and getting to know him. As an example, if you want to know what men find sexy in women, check out the sexy magazines that guys read, such as Playboy, Maxim and King. Also, try to get immersed in guy things, such as sports and cars. This will help you engage with a man when you’re getting to know him. It is important to be “friends with your man” so begin now by learning to better relate to your male friends. Now, if you want to have a girls’ night out, by all means do so, and enjoy the company of your sistas. But you should limit the number of women you hang out with in one setting when you want to meet new men. The number one reason for this is that men will be less inclined to approach you if you’re with a larger group. Men have a fear of being rejected, and it’s even worse to be rejected in front of several women. Try to hang out with one woman at best when you’re “man hunting,” and even if you do hang out with one woman, don’t stay glued to her all night. Just plan on connecting at a pre-arranged time but mingle alone. You will be much more approachable to men if you are by yourself. If you are out to meet men with a bunch of women, free yourself from the pack, be confident and go mingle alone. Give this strategy a try, and I think you’ll see that it increases the number of men you meet while you’re out.
9. Accept Your Open Relationship or Move On!
Some of us are in open relationships right now and we just don’t call it that because the term ‘open relationship’ is still taboo. But, we are in a relationship with a man that we know sees another woman. Instead of trying to catch him in a lie or cheating, why don’t we just accept the relationship for what it is or MOVE ON to a man who’s interested in a monogamous relationship with you. Either enjoy the time with him by making sure it’s meaningful quality time and don’t stress over who he may see when he’s not with you or JUST MOVE ON! Life is too short to be stressing all the time! To determine if open relationships are right for you, you will need to do lot of soul-searching and self-analysis to come to your own conclusion. You’ll need to consider what you believe about monogamy and open relationships (check out my eBook, Open Relationships: Are They Right For You?) And let’s face it, many women are already in open relationships, but they just pretend they don’t know about the “other woman.” It’s important to be honest about what you really need from a relationship, such as, do you need commitment or monogamy or both, either way, it’s always great to make our relationships more honest, loving and ethical.
10. Spend Equal or More Time Pursuing “Love Success” as We Do Pursuing “Career Success” While We Still Have Our Youth and Looks.
I keep hearing Black women talk about their success as it relates to career and money, but as it relates to dating and marriage, those are not a woman’s strongest assets (her age, looks and fertility are). Every successful, wealthy alpha male I know doesn’t care about a woman’s career/financial success because he has that already. He wants a young, attractive woman, and intelligence is also a plus, but higher education/great career are not that important to him as women think it is. Figure out what else do men like, such as great homemaker skills, GREAT sex, being supportive, listening, believing in him. Can he see you as the mother of his children? My point is that Black men are still getting married today, so find out what type of women they are marrying and become one. If marriage/having a family is important to you, you may want spend less time pursuing your career goals, and spend more time pursuing/developing meaningful love relationships while you’re young, perky and fertile:-)
So, those are my suggestions and feel free to share yours!
JJ Smith (www.JJSmithOnline.com) is a nutritionist and certified weight-management specialist who has been featured on The Montel Williams Show, The Jamie Foxx Show and on the NBC, FOX, CBS and CW networks. Her advice has also been featured in the pages of Glamour, Essence, and Ladies Home Journal. Since reclaiming her health, losing weight, and discovering a “second youth” in her forties, bestselling author JJ Smith has become the voice of inspiration to women who want to lose weight, be healthy, and get their sexy back! JJ may be contacted by email at email@example.com and on Twitter: jjsmithonline and Facebook Page: RealTalkJJ