I read this article on Tuesday and I’ve been kinda sad ever since. The gist is that black women are the most unmarried group in America. In fact, 70% of black women are unmarried and apparently this statistic holds true across socioeconomic statuses. The author argues that black women would gain more leverage with black men if they were more open to dating outside of their race. In other words, lots of awesome women are competing for a smaller pool of awesome black men, making it difficult for black women to find suitable partners. Looking for non-black mates, according to the author, would offer black women better options for marriage.
This sucks. I don’t wanna give my love life a death sentence because of a silly article, but this shit really did set a gloomy tone for my week. Every month, another white friend of mine gets into a relationship, gets engaged, gets married, or announces a pregnancy. They try to reassure me that one day my time will come (which, by the way, I hate when happily coupled people try to reassure me about my singleness OR try to identify the things I’m doing wrong that are keeping me single…STFU, please). But what the hell do they know? White women who got married at age 23 have NO clue what it’s like navigating the single life as a black woman, isolating me even further.
I’m a realist. I mean, I’m all about hope, but damn. I HATE people who live in la-la land and I refuse to be that girl. There is a high chance I will remain unmarried for a significant amount of time, if not forever. A 70% chance, apparently. This is a part of my reality as a black woman. And just as black women experience higher rates of breast cancer and HIV-infection and should make their life decisions accordingly, I need to accept that black women are the largest unmarried group in America and guard my heart accordingly.
So what will guarding my heart look like? Maybe squashing out that belief in my mind that my life will REALLY start when I meet a good man, because that may never happen. Perhaps finding some amazing black girlfriends who can relate to my experience. Buying a house if/when I want to on my own. Getting a dog and learning how to take care of him — on my own. Continuing to vacation alone. Basically, living an authentic life by remaining true to my awesome, black, natural self. Because no matter which men may or may not find me desirable, I am just that — awesome.
I, like many other awesome women I know (of all races!), deserve great things in my life. When we hear statistics telling us there’s a large chance we may never find someone, we can respond in one of two ways. We can cling to the first (and probably awful) man who comes along because of fear. Or we can commit ourselves to living good lives, despite what the statistics say, because we know our worth and don’t need anyone or anything adding to or taking away from our worth. I’m choosing the latter. Because the opposite of fear is love. And I choose to love myself at all costs.
**image found here