Discussions, articles and research regarding why black women aren't getting married in this day and age are numerous. Over the course of the past two days however, I've been inundated with the topic more than ever. Clutch's online magazine has an article entitled "Call Me A Fool for Love: I Heart Black Men", which details why this particular author will by no means marry outside of her race no matter how limited in number black men may be. The current issue of Essence (September 2011) harps on the topic by including an excerpt from an author (a black man) who believes if black women date outside their race, the playing fields would even out. That way, Black men wouldn't have so much power in this dating game.
This dire 'black marriage' topic has been all over the media for some time now, but I never really paid much attention to it because 1.) I'm married and 2.) I always think I'm the exception to the rule and therefore the crap doesn't apply to me. But this week, I take issue...
So here are the reasons I've heard why it's so hard for black women to get married:
- There are more black women than black men, and therefore the pickings are slim for black women
- A large percentage of our black men are either in jail or not on the level that we as black women want them to be on
- Black women are too picky and their lists are too long
- The few successful black men who are available are not ready to settle down because they know they are in minority and therefore have an abundance of women to pick from
- Black women are not submissive enough, too independent and too focused on their careers/passions
- Our future generations think that marriage is for white people due to what they see in their homes source
- Black women want to commit at a time when Black men are usually playing the field
- More and more black men are marrying outside of the race
Soo.....Umm. Please pardon me, but I need help. Someone please tell me, why does this have to be so complicated? Why does it have to be so hard? I don't understand. Do I not understand because I'm already married? I mean really, what gives? Maybe I'm biased but this conundrum Totally baffles me; at least enough to the point where I don't understand why all the hoopla.
Stick with me.
You wanna know what I did to get married? It was simple really. When I felt I was ready and I knew I wanted a husband, I made a list of all the things I wanted in a man. Over time, I revised that list considering that I had to be reasonable of what to expect. I changed words like 'college-educated' to 'hard-working' and 'intelligent'. I crossed out 'good dresser' and wrote 'open-minded', 'reasonable', and 'humble'. Instead of 'music/arts lover', I went with 'caring/wholeheartedly interested in me'. If he's interested in me, he won't X out the things I care about. After re-writing my list probably about 3 times over the course of 6 months, I ran the entire gamut past my mom (I had 10 points on my list) and she asked me the best question that she could have ever asked. "Are you all of those things?" I honestly knew that I wasn't so I took the next year to work on myself...to turn myself into the type of woman that a man would want to marry. I knew a man would want to marry a woman who knew how to throw at least 5 different meals together, so I taught myself to cook more. I knew that the type of man I wanted would want a woman who was calm and responsible, so I de-cluttered my life and got rid of baggage, including exes I talked to occassionaly. I knew that I wanted a spiritual man, so I worked on my spirituality fervently. I knew that a husband wants a wife that's confident, has interests and can carry a conversation, so I practiced that when out with friends. I worked on transforming into someone with wife-like qualities. And then I prayed for dear life more times than I care to mention. Ha! The most important element on top of everything else was faith. And when I least expected it, BAM, here came this spiritually mature, handsome, calm, humble, caring, smart man. I would be remiss if I didn't say that I didn't see him for me at first. I was hung up on his age. My aunt, who's also married to a younger man, looked at me with a crazy face and yelled at me, "Uh uh! That wasn't on your list!" I chastised myself in my head for not adding that before, and then accepted that she was right.
Is it wrong to say that it's possible some black women aren't humble enough or ready to have a husband? (I always believed that if Jehovah hadn't blessed me with a husband, it was because I wasn't ready yet.) Why do I always hear black women (or women in general) talk about what he doesn't have or what he did wrong or that he's not good enough? When do we talk about what WE need to work on and what WE don't have? I worked HARD to become wife-like! I listened to what men wanted (I actually took a poll on my blog), and I worked to make sure someone would want ME (without compromising the foundation of who I am of course). Are other black women doing the same?
It looks like I figured out why I'm annoyed. I'm tired of hearing the woe-to-black-single-women-who-want-to-get-married story. Take your life in your hands and make it happen. If the statistics and reasons for declining marriages among the black race are true, Become The Exception. Make it happen, captain! Ain't nothing to it but to do it! (Sorry if I'm a little riled up. Those articles I read this week got my feathers ruffled! sheesh!)
Now if you single ladies (or married) want to teach me a thing or two and express your differing opinion, I'm all ears. I'd love to hear it. Maybe I'm just a married woman who doesn't get it. I know I don't have all the answers. The floor is yours.