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The Real Reasons 70% of Black Women are Single: It’s Not What They’re Telling You! (Part 1)

We’ve all heard on Oprah, CNN, ABC News, and the Washington Post that 70% of black women are single, and 42% are unmarried. Even though many news organizations have provided the statistics I mentioned above, I’ve rarely seen these media outlets offer any real solutions. In fact, I’ve yet to hear anyone really explain the REAL reasons so many black women are single, as its much more complicated than the “numbers.” I personally don’t believe in allowing the media to exploit this issue and give an appearance that Black people have issues and challenges that we cannot solve on our own. As a single, successful black women, I refuse to allow the media to make me feel bad or desperate about the plight of the “single black female,” especially given the personal and professional success sistas have made in a male-dominated world. So, Black men and women, WE can facilitate our own discussion on this challenge and identify real solutions that work for us.

I’ll begin by offering a 2-part article to address this challenge. In Part 1, I will discuss the real reasons why so many Black women are single…because you know the media isn’t telling the whole story :-) and in Part 2: I will offer 10 practical solutions for women who are looking to find a “good man.” Please feel free to share other suggestions!

The Real Reasons So Many Black Women are Single:

*Note: Some of the reasons could apply to women that are not black, but the focus of this article is on Black women because that’s all we keep hearing about in the media these days.

There are many factors that have lead to why so many Black women are single, but I believe the most significant factors are listed below:

1. The Black Man Shortage (as I read on www.Essence.com):

42% of Black women are unmarried. 70% of professional Black women are single. The numbers don’t lie and there is a real gap between “datable” Black women and men. Even if there is some degree of inaccuracy in the numbers, if you just talk to Black women, many will agree that there are some challenges finding a “good black man, ” that is… one that is not behind bars, gay, or with other races. I’m also fully aware of this challenge due to the number of Black women who write me about it every week. So, the statistics do play a role in this challenge, but it does not tell the whole story. Please read on!

2. Too Many Black Women Have Bought Into the Stereotypes On Who They Are:

The perception that Black women are hard to get along with, mean, bitchy, argumentative, bitter, etc. has become a reality for too many black women. I know, because I used to be that way (and still have relapses on occasion:-) but irrational behavior and constantly “going off” on people, especially your man, is not an attractive quality to have when trying to maintain a relationship with a man. I had to LEARN that just because I was running things at work, didn’t mean I was going to run things with my man. So, I had to “check my attitude” at the door when dealing with my black man. Maybe a man really needs to be the head of the household, and if you don’t trust that he can be, then leave him alone and move on. A wise man once told me that anything with two heads is a monster, so only 1 can be head of the household, and for me, I prefer it to be my man. Sistas, we know we have carried too much of the financial and emotional burden of raising our families alone, but we should use that to draw strength from and not allow that to make us emotionally weaker. I remember being in my 20s at a management consulting firm I worked for and this brother told me that I would definitely make Partner but no one would ever like me because I was so damn mean, and I actually was naïve enough to take that as a compliment; not realizing that my “meanness and bitchiness” had spilled over into my personal life and keeping me from attracting and keeping good men in my life.

3. Many Black Women Have Made a Conscious Decision To Be Single:

I know you’re saying yea right. But this is actually true. I know personally for me, I have been married before, but I prefer to be single, especially since I don’t want to have children. Personally, I am not looking to get married again, but I’m not opposed to the idea either. If I meet someone who makes me feel that being married to them is better than my freedom and the luxuries of my single life, then I would consider getting married again. The most important thing to me is to have quality, meaningful relationships with men with similar dreams, goals and interests in life. People fall in love and marry because it’s the tradition. Men and women have been getting married since before recorded history. Until recently, America was the most “married” nation in the world. But now many ask, “Do I have to be married to live happily ever after?” In today’s society, people have a strong desire to simply be happy, whether that means being married or unmarried. Being single is not synonymous with being “alone”. Many single people do have a meaningful love relationship in their life. Society makes people think that end goal of two people who love each other is a “traditional monogamous marriage” but I don’t believe everyone fits that model. Whoever said dating has to end in marriage? If marriages were so great, why do more than half of them end in divorce? So, there are really some women who are happy being single….Seriously!

4. Black Men Don’t See Many of the Qualities That They So Much Admire in Their Mothers and Grandmothers:

To say it’s just a shortage of black men is only a small part of the problem, but as Black women we have to re-evaluate who we are and who we’ve become today. Black men don’t see the strong, quiet strength of their mothers and grandmothers; neither the homemaking/cooking skills either. In my book Why I Love Men, I have a section called “Never Underestimate the Relationship Between a Man and His Mother” that discusses this further. A wise woman understands the precious bond between a man and his mother. You’re not going to change it nor would you want to. A mother is very proud of her son, especially if he’s a good man. His mother values him. His mom and grandmother has loved him unconditionally all his life, and well, you, not so long. If you want a smooth relationship with a Black man, be sure you understand WHY he loves his mom so much and it will help you build a stronger relationship with him. And, if you don’t know why he admires and loves his mom so much, ask him. In fact, a huge red flag for me is when a guy doesn’t have any relationship with his mother, and she is still living. Or if he speaks to his mother in a disrespectful or harsh manner, he will likely treat you the same way.

5. Black Women Have Spent Their Best Years Pursuing Their Education and Career Goals not Realizing that Their Strongest Assets (e.g., Looks, Fertility) Decrease With Age:

I know this may be unpopular, but it is the truth. A woman who wants to have a family should capitalize on her looks, age, and fertility while she is young instead of only focusing on chasing the high-powered career. I believe (and of course I could be wrong) that a man would more likely be with a young, fine woman that is less educated and makes him feel good (in terms of stroking his ego) then an average looking woman with a great career and education.) If marriage and having children is important to you, you may want to NOT focus as much time on pursuing your career goals, but spend more time pursuing and developing meaningful love relationships while you’re young, perky and fertileJ If you want a husband and family, you have to pursue it with the same focus and attention you did to achieve your career goals, and by all means, don’t let you looks, fashion sense, and overall attractiveness go downhill. Note: In my book, Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating, I share insider secrets, practical advice and techniques that any woman can use to maximize her physical beauty without cosmetic surgery, because as shallow as it may sound, how physically attractive you are is very important to men, and should also be to you if you are seriously looking to attract and keep a man.

6. Black Men Struggle More Than Any Other Group of People in Society and in the Workplace:

You have to ask why are there so many black men in prison and under-educated? Why is the unemployment rate so high for black males? Why is the suicide rate so high for black males? Why are so many black men absent in their child’s life? Why are black males struggling more than other group of people? We have to better understand the struggles of Black men to really increase the number of “datable” black men…and I’m no expert on the answers to these questions and I know when I’m out of my lane, but there are others who have studied Black males and written on this topic and could surely provide some answers to these questions.

7. Black Women Haven’t Adjusted to the New Hypercompetitive Dating Environment That Exists Today:

Many of the traditional rules of courtship don’t exist, for better or for worse, Black women have to do things differently to attract and maintain a long-term relationship with a man. And, 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. In Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating, I’ve consolidated the best strategies that I have learned from friends, relatives and my own experiences and frankly some of the best practical advice that I have ever received and successfully applied to attract the type of men I wanted in my life and they did show up. These strategies have worked for others and they can work for you. You can’t continue doing the same thing and expect different results. It is time to change your approach to dating!

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 info@jjsmithonline.com and on Twitter: jjsmithonline and Facebook Page: RealTalkJJ

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10 Things Black Women Should Do To Find a “Good Man” (Part 2)

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 info@jjsmithonline.com and on Twitter: jjsmithonline and Facebook Page: RealTalkJJ

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Top 8 Things to Never Say on a First Date!

The first date is one of the most important events in a new relationship. First dates are important because they can either make a man eager to see you again or make him run for the highway. Know that your communication is key to making him interested in seeing you again.

Considering the location of the first date is one of the most critical decisions that need to be made. The first date location will affect the way you interact with each other so be sure to find an environment where you’ll both feel relaxed and comfortable. The other critical factor in a successful first date is your conversation, which should be light and upbeat to complete the overall first date experience.

When communicating on a first date, it is important to let a guy get to know you before you begin to share too many details about your views and your past. For most of us, the rough times in our lives have allowed us to grow and become the people we are today. However, until someone gets to know you, they may not understand or may pass judgments on some your past mistakes. Here are some tips for what NOT to talk about on your first date:

  • Getting Married: It scares men to get married to someone they love. This is definitely not a conversation he wants to have with a woman he barely knows.
  • Your Kids: You love your kids and they interest you. However, to a man, this just indicates increased responsibility or baby daddy drama
  • Your Horrible Childhood: Don’t seek pity for injustices in your past; it will make you appear hurt, wounded and in need of healing.
  • Ex-Boyfriends: This is a no-win situation. If you say something positive about an ex-boyfriend, a man will feel threatened or discouraged. If you say how he cheated on you constantly, he will think you are weak and a pushover. The truth is that there’s no good outcome likely to result from talking about an ex on the first date.
  • Politics: People are generally passionate about their political beliefs, and these conversations can wait until later.
  • Death or Depressing Events: Do I even need to explain why you shouldn’t talk about death or depressing news? Emotionally charged topics such as death are too heavy to discuss on a first date. The goal is to keep the conversation upbeat and light and death and depressing events just brings everyone down.
  • Sex: If you start a conversation about sex, the guy will take it over and won’t be able to focus on any other topic for the rest of the night. There needs to be some things that are mysterious about you. Talking details about sex takes some of the intrigue and mystique away from the actual sexual encounter.
  • Therapy or Rehab: He doesn’t need to know how well your therapy or rehab sessions are going. He also doesn’t need to know that you had a nervous breakdown (if you did), at least not on the first date.

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 info@jjsmithonline.com and on Twitter: jjsmithonline and Facebook Page: RealTalkJJ

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