Dating As A Black Woman Comes With Its Challenges
By: Brianna Wigfall
Most black women want a black man to love for a lifetime! For years now, black women have expressed how hard it is to find love in the black community. Whether it be in person or on a dating site, black women are not the first choice for many.
“Black woman and Asian men are at the bottom of the dating totem pole when it comes to dating,” actress and producer, Issa Rae, said in a panel on The Nightly Show.
You can see the video here:
In fact, a 2017 study says the number of interracial marriages is increasing significantly and one of the most dramatic patterns occur in black newlyweds.
“Black men are twice as likely as a black woman to have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. This gender gap has been a long-standing one – in 1980, 8% of recently married black men and 3% of their female counterparts were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity.”
This says not only are there not enough black men to go around but a lot of them are marrying into other races. Asian men seem to have it hard too as the study shows that “Just over one-third of Asian newlywed women have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, while 21% of Asian newlywed men do.”
Issa also believes the more educated a black woman is it’s harder to find black love. “The more educated the black woman tends to go the pool of guys are so limited, and they knew that they were a catch. They knew they were educated, they weren’t in jail, they didn’t have kids, and they were like, ‘we have options so work for us’, and that made it unappealing so we tend to feel isolated and feel discouraged from pursuing black love.”
A popular Youtube channel by the name of As Is interviewed black women about their challenges with dating and they also saw a disconnect with dating in college. Not just with black men but with other races as well.
“I went to a predominately white school so that was a little hard. It seemed like the non-black (men) didn’t want to date black girls but then also the black guys didn’t want to date black girls so I was caught between a rock and a hard place,” Amber said, a participant in the video.
Another black woman, Ehis, who had a more diverse group of friends in her undergrad years noticed her dating life was totally different than the friends around her. She noticed the challenges when she wanted to date but didn’t receive the same response as her non-black counterparts.
“We would go to frat parties and I would get approached but it would be evident that they would be approached way more. They would be like be like, ‘Ehis why don’t you date more?’ And I’m like I want to date but it seems as if people see my blackness before they see me as a person.”
After college and into adulthood this issue still remains the same. Jacque Reid, the co-host of New York Live, was also apart of the discussion panel with Issa and explained a ‘quality’ black man to be very rare and hard to find.
“I have standards and I think finding a quality black man is like finding a $100 bill on the sidewalk in Midtown Manhattan. If it’s there it’s not going to stay there long.”
Christina Greer, Assistant Professor at Fordham University, gave a different perspective to the panel as she is a black woman who married a black educated man.
“I want to make sure that people don’t think that black men are unicorns. There are plenty, I won’t say a plethora, but there are some”
Greer says no one is perfect and you may have to fix them up a bit which will depend on how much work your willing to put into a man. She also points out the early discrimination that is placed on black boys which can disqualify them early from being a ‘quality’ black man.
“We know as a fact that in this country black boys in third grade, that’s when teachers start to fear them and they get tracked in remedial and all of a sudden they’re a threat to their teacher, to their classmates, so we’re starting this at a really really young age.”
Because our black men are a target and have been since slavery this counts them out before they’re even given a chance to be a quality man. Also, because a black woman has had to fight for rights, privilege, and to be heard for decades their ‘bossy’ or ‘assertive’ ways seem to intimidate men from looking deeper than their own perceptions.
“People want to look at black women and say that we are bossy but in actuality, we have a vision and we see things,” Jacque said. “To you, I’m being bossy but I’m just trying to give you help with something you dont think you need help with.”
“Don’t immediately see a black woman and automatically assume that she’s one type of way because you dont know, you don’t know her,” Khis said. “Don’t assume because of what society has told you, or what you’ve seen on tv, or what you’ve read in books, or what you’ve seen in music videos, that that’s the type of person that she is because you wouldn’t do that for any other type of woman so there no reason for you to do it with black women.”