25+, Black, College-Educated and DATING

For some unknown reason, dating for today’s young black professional has become a struggle.  I, myself, have dated quite a bit and have also heard countless stories from my girl and guy friends about the current dating situation. As a result of my experiences, I have decided to do a quick post on dating. NOTE: I do not claim to be an expert. My perceptions come solely from my experiences and the experiences of those around me. I know this has been done many times before and I plan to focus on some of my new and unique views on the topic.  I hope you enjoy the post and that it’s provocative enough to get some comments going…

The Single 25 + Man- Who is he?

  •  He thinks he’s a commodity-  Media commentators, who shall not be mentioned cough Steve Harvey, have convinced everyone, including black males and females, that black relationships are in trouble.  They say that the numbers don’t add up.  “Due to incarceration, etc, etc…”  I, personally, think it’s a bit of an exaggeration.  However, I think that this media message does affect black males in the dating world.  I think they are less likely to be patient and persistent with a woman and more likely to find a deal breaker early and quickly move on to the next.
  • He’s not necessarily a manly man – “Look at me.. Now look at your man..” I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of back lash on this one.  But the image of the reliable, strong, loyal man has been lost.  Today, men think that traditional dating and courting is a waste of time.  Unfortunately, a lot of the males in our generation did not grow up with father figures and many of them take social cues from other guys around them and from television.  I believe that a man should be the head of the household.  But today, many men are more concerned about becoming moguls and successful than becoming the rock of a family.
  • He’s skeptical about marriage and wants to prolong settling down- I think there are a combination of factors that make men skeptical about settling down.  Just about every man I’ve dated or known as a friend has at some point quoted the divorce rate.  I mean, it’s real.  It’s almost as if they feel that they are powerless in preventing it.  There is a heavy pressure to pick the “right one” and a lot of times this pressure can be somewhat blinding.

The Single 25 + Woman- Who is she?

  •  She’s way to independent and equally stubborn- By almost thirty 25, we have worked hard, broke through barriers and glass ceilings to achieve success, dated a bunch of bustas, and have already decided that we want all of what’s best in life.  We become set in our ways.  We think we know everything.  Then, we meet a man who doesn’t want to take you to a fancy restaurant on the first date?  He comes up in your apartment and puts his hat on your table?  He’s trying to tell you what to order for lunch?  “Oh hell no” would be the response from most 25+ educated women.
  • She has irrationally high expectations- We grew up watching the Cosby Show, A Different World, Fresh Prince of Bel Air- shows that present affluent, college-educated black people living in perfect harmony.  We are also expecting Prince Charming to show up outside our windows on a white horse like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman.  We know what we want in a man, but most of us have know clue of how to find it.
  • We vary in readiness to settle down, but everyone assumes we’re all ready to settle down-   Yes, some women are desperate, but definitely not all.  Lots of women these days do not want to or ever plan to marry.

Going Forward

 No, ladies, I am not going to end this series on a bitter, pessimistic note about how black people are in trouble and the world is going to end.  The dating situation is what it is.  Nonetheless, there is hope.  In light of all of the above, here are some tips for you as you go forward in the dating world.

Think outside the box– The person for you may not be who you expect.

Don’t settle–  If you are looking for the right person, don’t give up or make unhealthy concessions.

Write it down–  What are the ‘must have’ qualities that you would like to find in a partner?  Write out a list of these qualities.  Try to think deeper than the regular superficial things like job, looks, education.  Instead, think about fundamental values that are important to you.  What kind of partner will complement who you are?  Sometimes, making a list helps to give you direction and order in the dating chaos.

Actions speak louder than words–  I have met some crazies on these streets.   Don’t be bamboozled by the facade.  Look at what your date does for you… even on the first date.  Does he pull your chair? Does he actually listen to you? Is he honest when you ask questions?  These actions can give you insight into who he really is.

Love yourself first– Take care of you.  Do things that make you happy.  Work out.  Hang out with your girls.  Life is too great to spend all of your time worrying about being single.  Besides, Beyonce said it best, “you need to have your own life before you become someone else’s wife!”  Figure out who you are and self explore and everything else will fall into place.

Happy spring flinging!

-The Classic Diva