Put two single, female friends in a room and the subject of men is bound to come up. The ups and downs of being single are well-documented (or imagined) in countless movies, television shows, books and magazine articles. The plight of the single black female in the adventure known as dating gets particular attention because of sobering statistics that say black women are the least likely demographic group in the US to marry. The percentage of married black women in this country has fallen to a mere 36.1 percent. That’s some pretty heavy stuff and it’s most daunting to black women, especially educated black women, who feel like their dating pool is particularly short and shallow. Some people blame education for the low percentage of black women who marry,but I say there’s something else at work here.
As an educated black woman myself, I can definitively state that educated is not a synonym for man-hating, condescending or asshole-ish. Some cling to the theory that educated black women tend to look down on the brothas and we can’t find or keep a man because we are too stuck-up and mean, basically. Wrong. If a woman is obnoxious or really elitist or whatever, that’s just who she is. Her college degree did not make her that way. Those were traits that already existed. I know plenty of wonderful, nice, educated black women who definitely do not fall into the stiff, emasculating stereotype that single black women sometimes get thrown into.
So what’s with the free-falling marriage rates? I don’t think it’s the education making women become too “self-sufficient” to attract a man, I think it’s an evolving view of marriage and relationships from both men and women. The divorce rate has been hovering around 50% for years now and it’s not because our grandparents were just really good at picking good mates. Today, we have a very real understanding that sometimes marriage is a mistake and you don’t necessarily have to suffer through a lifetime of being miserable because of that mistake. Today, we are apprehensive about committment. We don’t want to contribute to the heart-breaking number of single-parent homes. We are selective and we should be. Yeah, there are far too many baby mamas and baby daddys, but marriage isn’t necessarily the answer for those folks. Often times, there are things waaaaay before marriage age that took place to put those people in the situation they ended up in.
I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful, fabulous man who I married last year. At 27.9 years old, I was mature enough and knew myself well enough to know that he was (and is) the real deal. There was no settling involved. I love myself too much to “settle” for a life partner. To my single sistas, do you. Don’t let negative talk get you down. Everything happens precisely as it is supposed to. As long as you are doing your very best to be your very best, you are doing the right thing and take time to enjoy life. Having a degree or not having a degree….whatever. Let’s not judge someone based on educational pedigree, let’s just live and love, ya know. Breathe girl, breathe!