Over 70% of all African-American women don't have husbands. That is a tragedy for the entire family, especially the children. The joint social trauma inflicted by a poor educational system, mass incarceration and massive unemployment among black men has come together to create an unsustainable set of social outcomes. That's not to mention the black men who've either chosen to date other men or can't see the beauty of black women.

To obtain a good mate, you must learn how to be a good mate and how to choose a good mate. The idea is that in order to get what you want, you must learn how to give what others want. But you can't effectively give to others if you're only thinking about yourself.

Is there a fear that causes some women to make hasty decisions like staying in unfulfilling relationships that lead to unsuccessful marriages, which end in divorce? Or just the opposite - Are women become so fearful of making the wrong choice, they find themselves surrounded by a moat with no bridge to their final destination. . . Marriage!

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Comment by Tapaul on February 28, 2010 at 10:11pm
The answer to Why are so many black women single is more complicated that it appears. For starters we must classify what is meant by "single". A woman can be single and still in a relationship or ships for that matter, still enjoying her single hood. Ask her is she happy and you may get mixed responses. The question should have been Is marriage still important in the black community because it takes 2. Black women are single because they have very slim pickings, they out earn and employ black men and have taken on the role of mother and father for many years, because young men have no idea on how to be fathers and be in committed relationships. Its no wonder the black woman got the name "strong black woman." This strongness has caused some men to see their own weakness. Insecure men will either reject the strength of this woman hanging on tight to his ego or cling to her like a baby does a child and become another dependent. Strong men will strive to create a team like system or force with this powerful person, so that both parties contribute toward a mutual goal. So many black men are lost, not knowing his true self,thereby not having leadership ability in his home, job or community. Even though the black man has NOT been directed to understand his true self in the school system he is taught how to have sex and make babies. He is taught how to get college loan and credit card debt, he is also taught how to earn and consume which has been his distraction from understanding his true self. kind of makes you wonder who designed the educational structure. Anyhoo..when black men began to understand their true power in spirit, unite and rise up, then will the sistas have more to choose from. Finding a good black man is a mission but not an impossible 1 if you, the woman, believes she can be the love that some man is dying to have. If she believes that in her mind, she loves herself so until she becomes that love that her mate seeks and he is attracted to her by the power of intention..and through her patience and self understanding her true mate will be easily recognized.
Comment by MiamiQ on February 26, 2010 at 11:26pm
Before I leave ( I had my say earlier,somewhere) I read a lot of thought provoking, intelligent, educational comments in here for some well rounded mature adults. If we put all this in a pot and stirred it up we might come up with a formula for betterment and change. In the meantime, I agree with Patricia, Stay within your own circle of influence and operate from home base. There is where your power lies, don't let your energies get all dispersed by this media hype and scare tactics. Man shortage, hell there is a good woman shortage too. I'll bet there is one good man for every good woman. You just have to find the puzzle piece that fits next to yours. Nothing scary going on here, we are not going to run out of time, after all you can only live in the present moment, not tomorrow, not yesterday. So live each day fulfilled and you will attract what is your compliment to your life as a matter of course. It doesn't matter what the statistics are, remember there is a rotation in and out of relationships and you can catch the wave too. Its all a matter of perception...glass half empty, glass half full. Don't settle, Don't worry, Be Happy Gnite All.
Comment by MiamiQ on February 26, 2010 at 11:02pm
Richard McDonald and Debra Wilson if you ever decide to go for the thesis, count me in I would love to participate in the research. I stumbled on an interesting take on this matter, just today, which is probably an outlier. At least I hope it is. White female, long term friend of mine a very jovial, very attractive 'free spirited' lady(reminds me of the 70s), disclosed she looooves black men, that's no secret, she is married to one. The discussion progressed and she disclosed that she particularly prefers married men especially Caribbeans. She has no intentions (at least immediate) of leaving her dark chocolate Caribbean hubby but has a long, long stream of relationships with brothas married and single but prefers married(again). As this conversation progressed it became apparent that this friend, whom I actually like a great deal, has some issues with self esteem and self identity. It appears to me she validates herself somehow through these experiences and it helps her to feel more valuable more important, perhaps even superior. As I recognized this, I noted a couple of things, from the sociological perspective and about the preservation of the black family. I simply told her 'you are a white devil' and we laughed and went on eating lunch at the restaurant we were at. I then said there are black men, several of whom are in my extended family, who will date nothing but white women because they don't want to put up with a lot of the 'stuff'. I also told her, 'you know I don't feel concerned about the brothers who prefer white women because those are often men I would not date even if they didn't. I also said there is a class of brotha's who prefer an 'ebony woman' thats my criteria and I told her those are the men I would date. Its fine to date outside your race, I personally like the man who 'prefers' a black woman. I said all this to say, a genuine relationship where two people care for one another regardless of race is perfectly acceptable in my world. I can and do respect that. I have a grave concern when I see something happening, especially over the long term and with different persons, like my friend in our community. And it matters a lot to me that she reported that some of those married brothers she dealt with fought hard and tried hard not to give in. I wonder just how often this sort of thing occurs when we fault our brothers for chasing white women. I am sure it goes both ways though so lets be fair. In many instances it is only about conquering for some brothas.

Single.... I love it, after being a single Mom, this single is my first best time for self love. I do have a particular sort of gent in my head and my heart, I may have found him but there's no hurry, I am enjoying the process...we'll see. In the meantime, I say I'm never bored because I'm not boring and there are so many ways to love fully and completely. I have a man I have loved dearly for over 10 years but we are platonic. Still he is one of the greatest loves of my life. Spend an afternoon with a child or a senior citizen, even a pet, for some men, a woman can't hold a candle to their dog. Its so fulfilling, that unconditional love when you learn how to use it. Peace love and blessings.
Comment by Carolyn Gray on February 23, 2010 at 12:38pm
Oronde,

Thanks so much for the positive feedback. I really appreciate it. Being happily married is a day-by-day walk, which requires commitment. My husband will tell you I am a royal pain in the you know, but as Chris Tucker said in a movie, "I do what I can do when I can do it." :-) I think that is what it is all about -- doing what we can to make relationships work and to help our special person know that they are loved and valued. So black women can find a man to marry and be happy with. It may take prayer, an open heart and eyes, and compromise, but IT CAN HAPPEN!

Let me add one more thing... I think women can't be afraid to say "Next" when they know they are not being loved and valued -- too many of us waste precious time on men we know are not going to marry us. So I say keep it moving if you are not getting what you deserve. Life is too short for foolishness!

All the best,
Carolyn Gray

All the best everyone!
Comment by Oronde Myers on February 16, 2010 at 10:38pm
Carolyn Gray,

I really enjoyed reading your entry. You have displayed many rare and valuable traits that contribute to the happiness of your individual self and your marriage. You're obviously not a "weak" woman but a rational and caring one. I think that women today could learn alot from your example. You have my respect and admiration, I wish much happiness to you and your family.
Comment by Carolyn Gray on February 7, 2010 at 1:02am
Hi Michael,

I am a soon-to-be 44 year old black woman. I was raised in the projects of Augusta, GA in a single-parent home. For years I heard my mom and other women lament that "all men are dogs" or "men ain't no good". For a time I believed that, especially since I did not have many positive examples of marriage or of men doing what they were supposed to in my life (being sexually molested at 9 didn't help either). However, watching television shows and reading romance novels (a neighbor used to give me her leftover books) gave me hope for something different.

By 19 I was already done with men trying to use you for all they could get, so I decided I would no longer date anyone who was not marriage material. I even wrote a letter to God telling him what I wanted in a husband. My goal was to be married by 25. My dreams were a degree, a "good" job and a husband by 25. I feel blessed to have reached that goal, and I have been married for over 18 years and have two beautiful sons.

Even though I achieved this goal, my husband and I often joke that you have to really want to be married to stay married, and it is a good thing that we really love each other. I know I am no picnic to be married to after growing up without a man in the home (this has caused me to be a "little" headstrong and prickly) and after being sexually molested. Be that as it may, we have made it work and are very happy. So it can be done-- finding a good man and making it work.

The only thing that I would say to black women who want to be married is that I met my husband in college, when he had no money and still lived at home. His car didn't have heat, and the upholstery hung so low that I had to ride around with my hands raised so it wouldn't mess up my hair. He didn't have the means I wanted my husband to have at the time, but I believed in his potential, and because I have big dreams, I rolled up my sleeves and got in the trenches along side him to work for the things we both wanted. I never stopped believing in him, and I believe men need that. That is how it has been throughout the marriage. We work together.

One area where some women often give me a hard time is the fact that even though I grew up without a father and am strong-willed by nature, I value my husband's opinion and I tend to "ask" things instead of "tell" him. Don't tell anyone, but until very recently, I would have the car dealership call my husband with repair estimates/recommendations or I would tell them I would call them back after I talk to my husband. I am not embarrassed to say, "Let me talk to my husband first." I won't make large purchases without asking his opinion, and if he feels strongly about me doing/buying something, I don't do it! Also, he likes my hair long, so I keep it long. He likes my hair black, so I keep it black. He doesn't like fake hair or nails, so I keep it real. He likes me to dress feminine and show a little leg, so I do it.

Fortunately our tastes are very similar, so these requests are not a stretch. However, the few times I have mentioned to women (black women especially) that I need to talk to him first before I can make plans for a trip or make a large purchase or mention that a hair cut/color they are recommending would not be something he would like, they (even one of his sisters) are like, "Why do you have to ask?" They say things like, "It's your hair", "You are grown", "It's your money too", or "That's why I keep my own money." This is where I think a lot of ladies miss it... Sure it is my hair, but he has to look at it, and I want to make sure he is still looking at me and my hair, especially after being together over 20 years! Also, often the decisions that I am trying to make aren't even worth upsetting the peace in my house. Finally, being married with kids for a long time, there are enough battles to fight, so I would say pick your battles wisely.

The point of my long comment is that marriage requires teamwork/concessions, but men like/need to lead in their home, and in my experience, I think men like to know that their women respect them and their opinions... I think it is how they are wired, and when we as women can't be vulnerable enough to consult with them on the things that we are facing, it can be a blow to the ego. Saying something as simple as "Honey, I would like to go on a trip to Las Vegas next month to a conference, do you have anything going on that might conflict with that?" I think this approach does more to help keep you married than anything. Also, calling your honey pet names helps set the tone for your marriage/relationship too. Instead of "telling" my husband what I am going to do, I ask him what he thinks or ask for suggestions on what could be done differently for a compromise. Most times I get what I want, but he seems to appreciate the respect that comes with my asking -- I think it says, "You are the man, so I am coming to you." He may get on my nerves at times, but HE IS THE MAN -- MY MAN.

Some women may think I am weak, but my husband treats me like the queen I am as a result and puts up with more of my foolishness than he probably would otherwise. So I think single black women can be married if they want to be. They may need to widen their options in terms of who they will consider as husband material (although my husband is black, that was not my criteria )in terms of ethnicity/education/material success (get someone who has similar goals, beliefs and work ethics though) and then make sure once you find a good man, you are vulnerable enough to let him be the man. My biggest lessons learned over the past 20 years -- A man has to be the man, or at least you have to make sure you do your part to help him feel like it. Oh one other thing, husbands don't complete you or make you happy -- those things are between you and God. :-) So as Jesse said, "Keep Hope Alive", and work on yourself as you wait for your Mr. Right because he is out there somewhere!

Best Regards & God Bless,
Carolyn Gray
www.carolyngrayinternational.com
Comment by Tracy Yvonne Miller on February 2, 2010 at 3:38pm
Well...after having been divorced from a man that I shouldve never married and I will not say that it is all his fault. There were signs along the way but I will admit it, I thought he would see what a good woman I am and change...NOT....I made more than him, it didn't matter I loved him and believed him. Everything was in my name, it didn't matter I loved him...but when he continued to take my heart and misuse it then that was the deal breaker....I am single because now that I've been healed from that marriage which ended 7 years ago...I am learning to listen to what a man is telling me....and I am waiting on the one who is telling me the right things...
Comment by Babylove 40 on February 2, 2010 at 2:55pm
oh I almost forgot my father was a Pan -Afrcanist and I'M thinking about crossing over. The brother are getting tackier by the day
Comment by Babylove 40 on February 2, 2010 at 2:53pm
Well I listen to this subject on the drive home and was itching to make a comment. First of all I want to say I love my black men I beleive the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice. but I do have a problem I ahve dated man from the penthouse to the outhouse. I not to picky just have a peice of job( some type of hustle), your own place (not down in your parents basement). It doesn't make a difference if you have GED or a PHD just give me the respect I deserve. I can dust you off and clean you up just give me my respect. The younger chicks thinks to little of themselves so when a brother steps to a older mature and edducated sister she got to be a snob or suck up. That's why Im single! I have a grooup of female frends in their late 20's; early 30's I try to tell them it is okay to be by yourself that's the only way you can weed out the garbage.
Comment by Richard McDonald on January 29, 2010 at 11:04pm
Shelly, I am not an advocate of Sisters Settling." A man has to be a man, and we have to bring something of substance to the table. I will comment that a few to many Sisters, bring nothing but there bodies to the table. In that case, the Brother is settling or paying to play.

When we speak of long term relationships, that could and should lead to marriage, serious shortcomings, whatever they are, results in time wasted. It would be the luck of a Sister to compromise something and come up with an adult male, and not a man.

Sisters should have a standard along with some compasion, but that's different. Brother are not immune to poor choices in women, resulting in them turning into heartless players. My sympathy for sisters is two fold. One, all my children are women, and I would like to see progressive Black men holding on to a sister, over any other race . I too, am very tempted, at this point to go outside of the dark and lovley the , but I'm hanging on to a promise, so I'm on hold.

Good for you, you found a Brother to love. Keep him happy and satisfied. Tell him I said, keep an eye on his prize and don't let anything turn his head. God bless you both.


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