There are so many articles out there about what’s wrong with black women, why we’re single, why no one wants us, etc. As a black woman, I personally don’t appreciate it or the attention it gets. While we have flaws just like everyone else, we shouldn’t be viewed as undesirable. We are beautiful, we are intelligent, and there are black men (and other ethnicities as well) that adore us. So when someone asks “why aren’t black women getting married”, here are other reasons besides the same ol’ noise.
We’re Not Ready
Marriage is a huge commitment, one of the biggest decisions you make in life. We’re not blind; we see all the people getting engaged and jumping the broom. But we don’t want to rush into a commitment we’re not ready for. We can have multiple reasons for not being ready. Maybe our relationship is still in its infancy, and we want to get to know the man more before pledging to spend the rest of our lives with someone. We take marriage seriously, not lightly. We’ll be ready when we decide we’re ready, and not a moment before hand.
We’re Not Interested
Hey, marriage isn’t for everybody! While it’s a beautiful thing, some of us are not looking to get married at any point. I know several couples who have been together for years, started a family, live together, and have never exchanged vows. And you know what? It works for them. We can be in fulfilling long-term relationships without being someone’s wife. Remember, we’re in the year 2014. We’re not living our grandmothers’ lives anymore. Marriage isn’t every black woman’s ultimate goal.
We’re Career Focused
What’s wrong with focusing on our career rather than a marriage? Books like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has brought to light the things women go through in order to somehow accomplish a work-life balance. What if our jobs are our lives? We shouldn’t be penalized for that. It’s clear that women have to work twice as hard as men just to be seen as equals, earn equal pay, receive promotions, etc. If we’re dedicated to our jobs, some of us have come to the conclusion that we can’t give equal energy to a marriage and our careers, so we made the decision to forego one.
We Did… and it Didn’t Work
What much of the media fails to recognize is that many of us have been married before, and it didn’t work out. They forget to include those of us who got married, and ultimately got divorced. So we’re back on the market, technically, but we’re in no rush to go through the motions the second time around. Yes, we may want to get remarried eventually, but we learned from our mistakes, and our taking our time before saying “I Do” again.
Men Aren’t Ready
Before all the men get upset, hear me out. How many of you have been in a relationship with a woman, and she’s thinking things are going to the next level (meaning marriage) and the thought hasn’t crossed your mind for more than a minute? There are so many men out there who are leading us on and leaving us out to dry. Again, I know several couples who have been together for years, maybe between 7-10, and they’re not even engaged yet. Some men out there are scared of getting married, and it’s frustrating and sad for us. Yeah, we could end the relationship and pursue someone who is marriage minded, but come on ladies, we’re nurturers and fixers, and we hold out hope that one day he’ll change his mind.
Haven’t Met the Right One
My mom has said sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs before you meet your prince. And frankly, there are a lot of frogs out there. I don’t want to say good men are hard to find, but the right man very well could be. What’s right for one woman may not be right for another. We have standards, and they’re going to be different for every person. I’m not saying we have a laundry list of unobtainable and unrealistic things (although some of us may need to remove a few things), but we should all have standards and not settle. So we’re simply not settling! We’re waiting, patiently, for the right man to come along.
So we’re not damaged goods, we’re not bitter, we’re not always the problem. We have our reasons for being single, we have our reasons for being unwed. Respect our decisions, and love us despite our flaws.