Eligible, Black, Male, and Hopelessly Single

Contrary to popular belief, there are a slew of black guys between 21 and 35 who want a relationship but can’t find the right match.

Midway through Chasing Amy—the 1997 romantic comedy that made everyone think Kevin Smith was the next Woody Allen when he really just turned out to be Nicholas Sparks with Tourette’s—there’s a scene where Banky (Jason Lee) is trying to convince his best friend Holden (Ben Affleck) that the woman Holden has fallen in love with, Alyssa (played by a surprisingly fetching Joey Lauren Adams), is still a lesbian (she “became” straight after meeting Holden) and will eventually leave Holden and break his heart.

To punctuate his point, Banky draws a picture where the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, a “typical” man-hating lesbian, and a “male-affectionate” lesbian (representing Alyssa) are at opposite ends of a four-way road. In the middle of the road is a $100 bill, and he asks Holden which of the four would get the $100 bill first.

Holden: The man-hating dyke.
Banky: Good. Why?
Holden: I don’t know.
Banky: [shouting] Because the other three are figments of your f**king imagination!

♦◊♦

I’m reminded of this scene every time I remind people that the dating game isn’t exactly smooth sailing for every 21- to 35-year-old black man. Between the statistics showing that there’s something like 179,000 black women to every eligible black male in each desirable metropolitan area, the studies proving that black women are perpetually out-everything-ing black men, and the ubiquitous stories about condom-challenged brothas like New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromardie—guys who seem to be single-handedly attempting to re-populate the island from Lost—I’m sure that if I told a random dating-aged sista that there are actually black guys out there who genuinely want to be in a relationship (with a black woman!) but have trouble finding the right match, she’d probably tell me that they were a figment of my f**king imagination too.

Her skepticism would be justified. Hyperbole aside, according to the U.S. Census, while only 24% of white women and 23% of Asian women have never been married, a staggering 45% of black women have never walked down the aisle, a fact that’s mainly due to the lack of eligible black male options.

But if so, if these somewhat star-crossed men were mere figments of my imagination, I guess that was a bunch of bespectacled ghosts I saw at a Foreign Exchange concert a few weekends ago, mouthing each of Phonte’s lyrics while scanning the crowd to find the type of muse that would make a man write “Greater Than the Sun.” That must be an apparition who sends me a text message at least once a week, asking if my girlfriend has any newly single homegirls looking to “build with a brotha.” And I definitely must’ve dreamt up the dozens of game nights, weekly wing specials, and house parties I’ve attended in the past several years, the dozens of conversations I’ve had with the dozens of single men also in attendance, guys desperately seeking “their own Michelle [Obama].”

“The cards are stacked in favor of guys, but not every guy is in a place to take advantage of the number discrepancy,” says Berook, a 24-year-old who, between singing in his church’s choir, rooting for the Redskins, and memorizing entire Kevin Hart routines, somehow finds time to work towards a Ph.D. in bio-medical engineering.

Not bad for a ghost.

♦◊♦

Berook’s statement reflected a trend I’ve noticed among the educated men in my social and occupational circles: a trend split into racial lines. I’m sure it wouldn’t shock anyone’s system to hear that while the majority of the 25- to 40-year-old white men I know are married, the majority of the brothas in that age range are single or dating with no marriage plans in the near future. But, while the commonly believed reason for this discrepancy is that most brothas are anti-marriage and monogamy, this couldn’t be further from the case. Often, they just haven’t found a compatible match, or they’re self-aware enough to realize that they still need to work on themselves before bringing another person in their lives.

Shawn, 27, a gregarious director of marketing for burgeoning nonprofit Sponsor Change (these sure are some busy-ass ghosts), expounds:

Yeah, I want to have a wife and kids and all that. But, I need to get my shit together first. Most of the sistas I meet want to date “ready-made” brothas, and while I’m on that track, I ain’t making Audi money yet.

This feeling alludes to the common stereotype of the successful black women and her unrealistic and uncompromising standards—think any character Gabrielle Union has ever played—an idea Berook quickly shoots down:

It’s not that sistas’ standards are too high. If I had an already successful daughter, I’d want her to date an already successful man. From a personal standpoint, though, I wouldn’t even want to enter a serious relationship unless I had my shit together.

And having your shit together means what exactly?

As a man, I’d feel a certain way if I had a girlfriend but I wasn’t able to take care of her. Nothing special, but you’d like to be able to at least go the movies every weekend and buy her nice things. Yeah, I’m in school now and working towards something. but I’ve actually stopped dating a woman I was interested in because I wasn’t where I needed to be financially. It’s a pride thing.

It’s a pride thing, indeed, Berook continues, a black-pride thing:

Seems like white men don’t feel “grown” until they start families, but we [black men] don’t seem to want to start families until we feel “grown” enough.

♦◊♦

While this train of thinking does seem like a big fat pile of excuse, the numbers back it up. A recent U.S. Census report—“Number, Timing and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009”—shows that Americans across all racial lines are waiting longer to marry.

The Boston Globe‘s Peter Schwarm reports:

The median age at first marriage last year was 28 years for men, and 26 for women, up slightly from 2009. The rising age reflects a long-term trend. In 1980, the median age for men was just under 25, and 22 for women.

One can easily infer that the increased financial security that usually comes with increased age is a prominent factor in these decisions. I’m sure the recession has its grubby little hands in this pot as well. The hysteria that has come with it has induced a racially transcendent reluctance to make any matrimonial plans. Can’t say “I do” with confidence if you’re scared that the Zales goons are coming next week to repossess the wedding bands. Perhaps these figments of my imagination are ahead of the relationship curve and just haven’t quite realized it yet.

It’s fitting that both Shawn and Berook work in science- and tech-heavy fields, occupational paths black males rarely choose. I guess neither of them can ever quite escape the fact that they’re not supposed to exist. They’re also both aware that their lifestyles and career paths maybe not be as sexy as others’, a fact that definitely affects their prospects, says Shawn:

Not everybody grew up in a two-parent household. In fact, most of us haven’t. Because of that, we learn how to date and how to identify “good” men and women from TV. There is an association of success with a certain type of man, a certain type of occupation, and the more low-key guys tend to get overlooked.

The danger with feeling overlooked and undervalued is its gateway to overcompensation, a path Shawn’s trying to avoid:

You don’t want to be a sucker. Yeah, you might need to do some extra to get a chick, but if your input-to-output ratio isn’t the same, you’re a sucker because you’re devaluing yourself. You’re not true to yourself. Samson (from the Bible) was a sucker. Ain’t no way no woman should have convinced him to cut his hair. He should have just continued being him, the way he always was. Maybe you won’t get every woman you’re attracted to, but at least you’ll still have your integrity.

In the last 10 or so minutes of Chasing Amy, we find out that Banky was right (Alyssa did eventually break up with Holden and break his heart) and wrong (Alyssa wasn’t a “typical” man-hating lesbian) at the same time. Like Alyssa, the eligible black male who just can’t quite find his Michelle exists, and his existence is a bit too nuanced and variable to accurately summarize on a sheet of paper.

One thing is certain, though: they’re definitely not figments of my f**king imagination.

—Photo: thomas-leuthard

About Damon Young

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of VerySmartBrothas.com. Their first book Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime is available at Amazon.com

Comments

  1. MissMoni says:

    I know I’m way late on reading this article, (almost a full yr late!) and I’m considered successful: single black Christian woman, 33, no kids, BA in computer science, home owner, great credit, student loan-free, car paid off, making good money, yet living well below my means! I’m low maintenance, (no fake nails, weave, etc) can’t care less about labels, and have both an emergency fund, as well as a travel account. I’ve set foot in 16 countries on 5 Continents, (all paid for by me; not military/job) and will be going to Dubai this fall. I’m a well rounded girl, who, besides traveling, loves to cook/bake, crochet, sew, and create pottery.

    And, with all of these attributes and more, I’m willing to stand by a man in pursuit of his dreams. He doesn’t have to make more, or even the same as me, as long as he’s walking out his passion. In school? Cool! I support you! (Not financially…I’m no sugar mama! Lol)

    But I’m ready for someone who is ready for me. So my 1st question to you is: where are these men hiding?!? They could be in the dc area, but I haven’t come across any. My 2nd question for you is: when is the next game night!?! Im willing to drive, fly, paddle out your way to attend! (I’m serious!) And I can bring a car full of similar catches with me! (Birds of a feather…)

    • BE CAREFUL MENTIONING ALL THAT..SOME MAY TRY TO PICK YOU UP JUST BECAUSE OF ALL YOU MENTIONED-BUT FROM ONE SISTAH TO ANOTHER-I CAN DEF APPRECIATE ANOTHER EDUCATED SUCCESSFUL SISTAH…stay positive-blessed

  2. MissMoni says:

    I know I’m way late on reading this article, (almost a full yr late!) but I’m considered successful: 33, no kids, BA in computer science, home owner, great credit, student loan-free, car paid off, making good money, yet living well below my means! I’m low maintenance, can’t care less about labels, and have both an emergency fund, as well as a travel account. I’ve set foot in 16 countries on
    5 Continents, and will be going to Dubai this fall. I’m a well rounded girl, who, besides traveling, loves to cook, bake, crochet, sew, and create pottery.

    And, I’m willing to stand by a man in pursuit of his dreams. He doesn’t have to make more, or even the same as me, as long as he’s walking out his passion. In school? Cool! I support you! (Not financially…I’m no sugar mama! Lol)
    But I’m ready for someone who is ready for me.
    So my question for you is: when is the next game night!?! Im willing to drive, fly, paddle out your way to attend! (Somewhat seriously!) And I can bring a car full of similar catches with me! (Birds of a feather…)

  3. I loved your article post.Really thank you! Will read on…

  4. This was an interesting and introspective read. I must admit, at times, I look around and say “where are these eligible men he speaks of!?” But, when it’s all said and done; I’m on the same page as Shawn; gotta get myself together first. In my social circle, my friends and I are realizing and accepting the fact that there is work to be done personally, before seeking such a serious commitment as marriage. But it doesn’t mean we can’t be working at both! Ideally, I’d want to work on a lifetime “while” I’m building spiritual, emotional, and financial empires; I think that’s a fair compromise. Why does it need to be either or? 🙂

  5. Its All Gravy says:

    After reading the article then reading some comments,

    The only solutions I can offer for both sides:

    1) Stop the finger-pointing.
    2) Stop the “me me me” shit.
    3) Turn the TV off.

    Hope this helps

    • I do looove me…lol..but I want to love someone else, also…and..I work more than i watch..TV..sooo what else?

  6. Fabulous Fae says:

    BUMP IT…START A DATING SERVICE!!!
    It really is a shame that there are eligible men, looking for eligible women, and they can’t make a love connection. C’mon champ…be the black Patti Stanger (that’s a guy…and not Jewish…and maybe even nicer!). Ok, forget the Patti reference but don’t forget the idea. Get that matchmaker money and help out the cause.

  7. alyssaj1236 says:

    This is very interesting. I didn’t think brothas with their shit together wanted to settle down.

  8. i'd like to meet some ghosts says:

    I maintain hope that a good, Christian, employed, educated black man is out there..single..and interested in me. It’s been my experience that the _available_ variety of these fellas are indeed ghosts, at least in Washington, DC. I acknowledge that I can be skeptical when most men approach me…I’m working on being more relaxed. However, Cat calling gets old, and I’m not the type of thirsty chic to flag down a man just because he’s single and seems to meet the basic qualifications…and it almost seems as though that is what a woman has to do nowadays to stand out. :-/

  9. wellokaythen says:

    There’s something I’m missing here, something I don’t quite understand in terms of argument. It’s probably something totally obvious staring at me in the face, but:

    It’s not clear how being financially strapped or trying to build a career means a man isn’t in a good place to commit to a long-term relationship. I can understand not wanting to take on added responsibility of being a parent or supporting other people, but that doesn’t that mean a busy guy can’t ever be in a committed relationship at all. Is the argument here that sometimes men are too busy to be monogamous? Not sure how that works.

    If it’s a question of time commitment, is being with one woman more time consuming than playing the field? Maybe in individual high maintenance cases, but that’s hardly a universal rule.

  10. No Guy In Particular says:

    Just putting this out there, for what it’s worth: I wonder what impression it gives to women to refer to oneself as a “brotha.” Perfectly valid word to use for yourself, claim whatever proud powerful word you want for yourself, but I’m just wondering if may be counterproductive. When I read that, it reminds me of when a white guy refers to himself as a “dude” — it may not give the impression of someone who can be serious-minded. I can’t speak for any women, but I’m guessing the word does not necessarily send a message of “marriage material.”

  11. EllehicM says:

    Well thanks for shedding light on the man’s side. This really makes sense, because from 25-32 I was with a dude and he wasn’t taking it to the next level. Part of the reason is because he didn’t feel like he was in that place financially, etc. He didn’t have his ish together. Problem is tho…I tried to build with him, invested in him, but he was too immature to respect that and make it work. Pride is a MF and really men need to respect the woman who is willing to go from Nothing to Something with them. How many years of my life was that?

    • In your case the guy you were with had become an issue of ignorance more than an issue of pride. He might not realize it, but a lot of adults really don’t learn this until they are middle aged. But eventually you can’t keep putting love to the side. Also this isn’t a uniquely black american thing. I have many asian friends who have ran into this problem. They worked hard their whole lives. Studied hard. Then push comes to shove they have a hard time with relationships. I had a few friends who had their entire lives planned out even when they were getting married. Well when that time came I had troubles trying to even get to the first date. This is a more common issue than people give it credit for. You have an entire generation of young adults that grew up their entire lives being pushed and told to focus and the ones that did these things missed out on learning a lot of interpersonal skills. This seems to be an issue in America specifically because I have noticed in other countries people give time to live life and enjoy. People focus on one another, etc etc. Many places young adults are comfortable with just living life instead of constantly working. The only time in some places it is appropriate to work hard is when you have a direction otherwise it is seen as something in vain. I think in the US we generally push ourselves to the limits without realizing our true goals in life, and we are forced into doing this from a very young age. Those of us that don’t do this young miss out on a lot, and that is the dilemma of our society.

  12. I forgot to leave a comment…

    Champ will be fine… I love it when BM have their pick of the litter, but call life at their own terms…

    What women define as eligible is what they want after they have done their wh*ring & their beauty starts fading…

    BM have dating struggles because they have been sold a bill of goods…

    Once they get the right information about women… They will adjust…

    Thanks for shedding light on a problem that has been ignored for a long time…

  13. I am lucky enough to have a number of older male friends who are all married. Some advice they have all shared, “Don’t wait till you get all your own stuff set to then get married. If you have a good woman by your side then yall build together”. Seems like that is the hurdle many trip over now. Too busy trying to reach all their own ambition first and by the time they are ready to settle down the pickings are slim. The mates that best matched them have been snatched up by the people that were willing to build WITH their mate.

    • exactly. Dude working on his PhD in the article and feeling all special is a coward and selfish. Too busy chasing money and status to build a real relationship with a girl that was worth it, and probly broke her heart and had her feeling like no matter how good she is men don’t want her anyway cause she got kicked to the curb! It’s all about me, me, me. People need to let go of being all about SELF and that is the major problem, focus on making one woman a priority in your life and learn to balance a busy life with a personal life cause the only people who should not be busy at all times are the dead ones.

      Men need to examine why it is so easy for them to make the excuses in the face of women WANTING to be with them. smh College while working on your first bachelor’s is the time many find a mate. Especially at HBCU’s you will never again in your life see so many eligible young black men and women in one place at one time. White people party the first couple years and are in relationships headed toward marriage by the last couple years or soon out of college…that’s why their marriage rates are higher they get the dating or whoring around out of their system way faster and move on to grown up things. Black guys are partying it up straight into their 30s very often and using the “I’m too busy building this great life” excuse…when what it really is, is they are chasing status and very likely feel they can pull a BETTER woman when they get to the top of the food chain than whatever decent ones they are pulling now.

      smh Then we wonder why decent women end up with not so decent men. The so called decent ones have every excuse in the book why they don’t have time for anything but sex. Why do the black men and women in 3rd world countries manage, no matter how rich or poor, to have relationships with the opposite sex throughout their adult lives but the blacks in America use money and every other barrier they can find to stay so distant from each other? Put the women first men and they just might feel valued by you. Cause right now all this article, while it’s enlightening as to the inner fears and aspirations of the men here, tells me, is that men here value material things over and above the reality of a close relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Money matters yes, get money, we all love being with someone who can afford to step out the house once in a while, but do not let money and all that comes with it be your God. It’s not money that’s bad, it’s the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil. Learn to balance your life. And yes, stop trying to afford the Stacey Dash/Alicia Keys/Megan Fox girls of the world. Cause if you have to wait til 10 and 20 years down the road to be ready for the girl you want, you are batting way out of your league! Get with the girl that loves you at the income and ability you are at now and shower HER with the results of your success not some chick that just came on the scene AFTER the hard work was done! But is it a woman they really want or a status, a trophy to overcompensate for the stereotypes and racism and insecurities (which we all have, mind you, but women don’t let that stop them from a relationship) and show “I’ve arrived!”? Hm I wonder.

      • StopwiththeBS says:

        @EloquenceInc

        Co-sign on everything you wrote. I never believed that mess that black men were scarce or in limited supply no matter how many studies or anti-black family propaganda are forced down our throats. These black men just aren’t trying to get married or settled down because they WILL wait 10, 15, 20 years (hell some may wait 25!) for their stock to supposedly increase and they can snatch up that gorgeous trophy wife. I’m 36, been married and divorced, and I have dated or tend to meet many men in their late 30’s, 40’s and almost hitting 50 who have never been married. Some, thankfully, have no kids. What does that say? They have been waiting for something or someone and in my opinion you guessed right- they want the Halle’s, Stacey’s or Alicia’s to parade around on their arm (if they even want a sistagirl at all).

        All of us are in a state of mass confusion given the fact that our communities are disintegrating from economic and social issues, men AND women are so mistakenly entitled, and the media images and messages we receive promote a false, unattainable reality. Sickens me how easily people toss integrity, morals and common goals and values to the side for a pretty face or nice body. Yes, we have as a modern, American society become EXTREMELY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY superficial almost to the level of psychopathy. Which explains why black and brown people in other third world countries are marrying and we are not. Their goal is to build a family/legacy for future generations and create lasting unions. Some of us can’t even get past a few months. We are too interested in impressing (outdoing) others with our gold and glittery lifestyles that present fake a** happiness than wanting to create any kind of history with anyone. So sad and both sexes are too blame, IMO, because of our inability to connect past the facade.

        • @Eloquence & @StopWithTheBS

          I am AMAZED how you can forget how women have contributed to BM in this mode of perpetual singledom…

          1. BW having kids with deadbeats… Keep in mind she chose these men to sleep with…
          2. Overweight
          3. Attitudinal/Confrontational
          4. Wh*res, spending their dating prime sl*tting it up with men who have no intention of commitment…

          I don’t mind you calling men to the carpet… Just remember that women choose what they will & won’t from men…

          And men react to whatever works to get into your pants…

          I am happy that the Damon Young’s of the world have the world as their oyster…

          As soon as he arrives, he has women telling him what he should & shouldn’t do with his accomplishments…

          Truly classy black women, would be rooting for their men, no matter choice he makes…
          romantically…

          Did it ever occur to you what the man’s feelings & desires are… If it doesn’t align up with yours… He a douche…

          BW, you do it to yourself… And the way it is going, IT IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE!!!

          • StopwiththeBS says:

            “So sad and both sexes are too blame, IMO, because of our inability to connect past the facade.”

            @Adonis

            What part of the above statement didn’t you understand? I think it CLEARLY states both sexes are to blame??? The funny thing is, your list makes BM as culpable as BW.

            Who are they having kids out of wedlock with??? Not each other!

            No men are walking around overweight and still dressing like they are in high school when they are 45???

            Oh no, none of the BM I’ve ever met have attitudes or are in-your-face arrogant and confrontational if you dare call them out on their disgusting, juvenile and just plain disrespectful behavior!

            And aren’t the men sleeping with these so-called “Whores” also whores and sluts??? Or is it okay for them to sleep around because of that age-old double standard???

            Truly classy BM won’t expect women to be docile, subservient concubines with no voice but want a women who gives and expects the same amount of love, respect and support he gives her.

            I will agree that some BW have made their own nasty, stinking bed by years of allowing too many BM to treat them like crap and now we all have to sleep in it.

          • I HAD HAD ONE CHILD AT 17 BY A DEADBEAT DAD..I VOWED TO NOT HAVE ANYMORE CHILDREN UNTIL I MEET MY FIANCE OR HUSBAND…IT WAS DIFFICULT BECAUSE I WAS VERY YOUNG, AND BASICALLY GREW UP WITH MY SON..HE IS A WONDERFUL YOUNG MAN..I HAVE GROWN TO BE A WOMAN TO REFUSES TO BE SLUTTY, SLEEPING AROUND, AND PREFER A MAN WHO CAN STIMULATE MY BODY THROUGH HIS INTELLECT, MORALS, AND HS VALUE SYSTEM……UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE BEEN SINGLE FOR A WHILE BECAUSE OF WHO I AM, AND WHAT I STAND FOR….WHEN THERE ARE OTHER BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WHO ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH VALUES, MORALS, ETC..ITS EASY FOR ALOT OF MEN TO CHOSE THAT OVER THE OTHER…BLACK WOMAN ARE PORTRAYED SO AWFUL IN MEDIA, MUSIC, AND SOCIETY AS A RESULT…AS WOMEN WHO HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THEMSELVES, AND LITTLE FOR OTHERS..ALSO, THERE ARE A MAJORITY OF MEN WHO PREFER THIS…I JUST LONG FOR SOMEONE I HAVE NOT RUN INTO YET..NOT A KANYE, A JAYZ, not saying i don’t like their music..I JUST DON’T WANT TO DATE A RAPPER OR ITS WANNABE…Many treat women like collectibles and groupies..lol….WHERE ARE ALL THE GOOD GUYS AT???:(

        • From my stand point it depends on the circumstances. I’ve spent the last 5 years of my young adult life traveling the world. Sure I chose that path to get my degree, Inow have it, and my ambitions to see the world trump anything else. to be honest. People like myself don’t complain about the lack of long term relationship. I find the author to be a bit selfish. I have dated many women of many nationalities. I found that AFrican women are well awesome to date, but I found that black american women are also wholesome people to date. to be honest you should only be serious with the person that you find makes you happy and you them happy. Other than that. All that other material shit doesn’t matter, and I don’t date women that are that material. With that being said my life is a bit unstable with moving around a lot. If marriage comes up it will only be because I am with someone that is probably going to be into the same thing. I don’t mind having kids that are TCKs(third cultured kids).

    • I think this is a good point. Im a lady and of mixed background (Jamaican/English/Irish), Ive dated both black and white. I had a GOOD man who was Columbian whilst at uni. I broke up with I’m because I felt like I needed to develop my own identity away from the relationship, I wasn’t mature enough for it I believe. I was also emotionally messed up from my childhood, so I went into the arms a Narcissist, that relationship taught me so much. I went on to date ALOT of guys. I am now 27. I sometimes think what if? If I would of stayed with that guy, because we were headed for marriage. I have struggled and survived and sometimes thrived, but I don’t have much a supportive family and during my time with him I thrived because of his love and support. I thought that I needed to be alone to become who I am, but Im not sure that is strictly true and I would say to those guys who think they need to ‘be’ a certain way before building a LTR with a lady that it can be done. But it does require a level of maturity, I didn’t have it then I think. Ive now been through years of therapy, depression, had career success and fails. I am now in a relationship with a man 10 years my senior. I don’t think about his age much now, but in the beginning I did.
      I found that the guys my age or just 3 years older are all ‘dilly dallying’ around. They are all living in that grey area between blackened white. Not saying yes not saying no. Sometimes they just haven’t found that girl, sometimes they all suffer from grass is greener.
      I predict that they all get to their late thirties and they haven’t done any work on themselves personally and gobble up whoever’s left….
      My perspective isn’t commenting on race really, because Ive dated all of the races and they all seemed to have individual unique issues to do with class and race. BUT
      I have found that in London the black guys have this way to approaching women, well into their adulthood that is frankly, CHUUUPID. The ones who seem to stop that behaviour are the ones who are either highly introverted or the ones who diversify their social groups (as in hanging out with whites and that). Just repeating my experience. don’t shot me.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Love the post! I honestly feel that if a man feels he does not have things “together” (ex. finances)….a serious relationship is put on hold.

  15. Boom616 says:

    I completely understand the guys who say they need to get their shit together. But how long does that take? The article quotes guys who are 20-something–that’s the age when you’re still trying to get your shit together lol (same for women). But how much shit are you trying to “get together” at age 34 and 35..or just over 30? The line has to be drawn somewhere. I personally am talking to a guy who is 25 and in school…he’s working towards something. I didn’t write him off because the guy seems to be headed somewhere and at least has a plan. All that “I want to take care of you” stuff is nice but I expect that to come once the guy gets to wherever it is he’s trying to go.

  16. When I was reading this article, I was thinking about “what if a couple builds together?” When my husband and I got together, I was 23 and a retail manger, he was 25 and a home inspector. Good enough for then. As we started building our family, our goals changed. I got my doctorate in pharmacy, he became a journeyman welder. It was difficult, but we did it by supporting each other. It’s possible. And before my sister reads this and knows it’s me, yes, he is white but that’s not the point. The point is, people are not always “ready-made.” If both of you have the drive, you’ll be successful.

  17. simply put says:

    I’m more interested in this notion of “compatible match.” What does this look like for most guys? I’m very interested to know. Does “compatible” include a specific laundry list of needs and wants from a woman and those women lacking a minor few items from said list not being considered as potential mates? Maybe my own experience has made me skeptical that “compatible” does not really mean just that, but I continue to find it hard to believe that these brothers are struggling to find “compatible” mates.

    That being said, I also understand what it means to feel passed over for whatever reason and how that makes you question the unexplainable dating ratios that research and media outlets bang into our heads constantly. Seems like our business has been on a global platform for discussion, and that makes it even harder for us to relate to each other, i.e. Black men and women. Why does it appear to be so hard for Black men and women to “kumbayah” on something as common as getting together and building lives together?

  18. I read this last week. Just getting ’round to commenting. I know a lot of guys in this same boat and while I know equally eligible women, it is not as simple as saying you are a good guy and she is a good women and make the match. This issue is just complex. I have dated a few good men (no Tom Cruise) but they just weren’t the good man for me. Sometimes I wish it were simpler but… *shrugs*
    It’s funny because I never thought much about the whole need to “have your stuff together” thing that Black men say (and yes I have heard it). I appreciate the new perspective. My cousin just got married this weekend but I think it would have happened sooner if he felt he was in a better financial place last year. Made me think.
    Thanks

  19. This is a great article…I have been saying that there are plenty of good brothas out here that I just haven’t found yet for years now. I would say that a lot of women can’t see potenial that exists in our men quite frequently. That’s one reason why they discount good men when he could have been their perfect match, then get mad when Tyrone goes and gets with Becky because she wasn’t trippin that he worked at Walmart #GTFOH. I’m definately not saying that all sistas are like this at all but I do think that the fact that it’s hard out their that you have to look for potenial instead of being so worried about lowering your standards. If he’s a good man that’s trying, working, got goals, smart, and especially if he has no kids then to me that’s potenial. This is coming from a smart sista that sees potential in our men.

    • Sister, get real. No Becky is going out with Tyrone from Walmart.

      White ladies seek high status black men. I’ve never seen a white woman with a working class black man in my life.

      The vast majority of swirl goes on with 1.) Pro athletes. 2.) Guys making over 70K. 3.) Successful muscians/actors/entertainers. 4.) Really hardcore Afrocentric guys… (why do they always have white wives? This is hilarious to me.)

      • @Sara

        If you have never seen a white woman with a working class black man you seriously need to get out more. Basically it sounds like you’re saying that a white women would not date a black man unless he has money GTFOH I know several BM that range from not having a job to having a goodjob that are with WW so you on that note…NEXT

      • Sarah,
        I think you may be looking at this from an urban perspective. In rural areas black communities mix with the surrounding communities all the time. I grew up in WV where there are (surprisingly) a lot of small black communities. 2 of my brothers (both blue collar) date and married white women b/c honestly all black families were raised together so dating them would be like dating a relative.

        I on the other hand left and now. I love DC. I’ve met tons of great guys here and probably keep the faith b/c I was raised with awesome brothers and KNOW the greatness our men are capable of. The whole get my shit together thing to me, however is a joke. I’m not buying it. If you have a good partner but would let her go b/c you don’t have your shit together then you’re just a dumb-ass. You’ll be the first one that claims a woman is only with you b/c of what you have. Just find the woman that makes you happy, build with her and be done!

  20. Yale Gent says:

    Brilliant Article,

  21. I completely agree with this article. Being one of those 25 something guys (25 to be exact), I can attest to the difficulty in going after the type of woman you may want for fear of not being what they want. I think I find that what women say they want and what they really want are two different things. I usually end up (usually as in currently) dating women who approach me and have stopped approaching women just because you at least know for sure that the girl is interested. Then the women I initially approached start asking why I want the “easy” girl and I start feeling that the girl I’m with isn’t the best girl I could have gotten because everyone claims she was too easy. It’s a sad situation lol. I feel playing hard to get or “waiting to be wooed” is the problem. Because at the end of the day, everybody loses.

    • Why are women who approach you ‘easy’?

      THIS RIGHT HERE is why women will never ask men out.

      Proof.

  22. Black_Ghost says:

    I identify with this article. There are single, eligible black men out there who are hopeless in the dating world. I’m one of them (25ish, black, good job, educated). I’ve seen comments on this article and have noticed a lot of black women expressing thier insecurities with finding an eliglible mate. I would suggest to look in different places because guys like this exist and would love to meet you, they just don’t know how sometimes. The more we discuss ways to fix these issues, instead of reasons why they don’t exist, the happier/less bitter we’ll be.

    • Exactly. Both men and women get caught up in playing the blame game too much.

    • Step One. Move to a city.

      Step Two. Lower your expection from Nia Long. She is outta your league.

      Step Three. Be employed, maintain hygeine, and leave the house.

      … Profit.

      Seriously. I don’t understand how black guys can be SO utterly out numbered and yet still not find a woman. Seriously… you must have effed up standards or some type of anti-social mental thing that drives people away like Asbergers.

      I think ‘commitment’ is a scary word for most brothas… because there are so many sayings that go like, “only thing better than p*ssy is new p*ssy” or “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.”

      Seriously. No sympathy.

      • GirlGlad4TheGMP says:

        Aspergers

      • Black_Ghost says:

        Your reply doesn’t display a lot of understanding. Your lack of sympathy seems a bit combative. The fact that the eligilble, black, male, and hopelessly single person exists isn’t debatable. It’s a fact. In my case, my job requires me to move around a lot which makes it hard to create and maintain relationships with anyone. I know for a fact that my situation isn’t the only situation where black men can find themselves involuntarily single. It doesn’t really make sense to me why you and other people would just write off the fact that there are men in this situation. It just doesn’t seem very positive and goal oriented. Just my take on the situation.

  23. Anonymous Male says:

    I’m pretty far on the outside of this looking in, so this is all outside curiosity.

    I’m a little amazed that the issue of racism hasn’t really come up yet in this debate. I’m not sure racism really does have a role to play in the frustrated dating lives of African American men, but I can see how it could. Men are subject to a lot of stereotyping by women and by other men, and surely there are some powerful stereotypes or assumptions about black men in particular out there that must be pretty big obstacles for them. Many people translate statistics into generalities and then into stereotypes and then expectations. Compared to white men, black men have relatively higher rates of unemployment, incarceration, a lower life expectancy, smaller incomes, a lot of things that are unquestionably challenging to a long-term stable relationship. A lot of that is because of institutionalized racism, but it must be in many women’s minds, fairly or unfairly.

    Also, the comments seem to assume a single black man who’s looking to date a black woman. I wonder how true that is for what percentage of young black men. I’m curious if “inter-racial” dating makes a difference in terms of black men’s success in building a long-term relationship – are they more likely to get a fair shake or less likely or does it make no difference at all?

    • That isn’t “institutional racism”! Many black men choose to be unemployed and live off welfare. Why aren’t they responsible for their own failures to hold jobs?

  24. I think the author misses a big, huge, obvious point: what men say and what men do are not always the same thing. Just because a man says he is looking for his Michelle Obama or whatever, doesn’t mean that his actions do anything toward that end. In fact, if you asked them, say… a choice… between an evening with MObama or, say, Kim Kardashian… Kim will win every time. If you want a woman… but then you dump her to make more money, you weren’t really all that interested in being with her for the long haul. There is a reason why marriage vows say, ‘in good times and bad times… sickness or health.’ Marriage or long term commitment isn’t about everything being ‘set’ and perfect. And many of these guys who want to be ‘ready’ might never, ‘make it’. But instead they have plenty of baby mommas on the way.

    The whole thing about this article is that it just sounds like the same ‘socially acceptable’ answer that the author knows ‘respectable’ people want to hear about. It’s completely divorced from reality.

    Take this, for black men being outnumbered so heavily… though they might be raised to be monogamous or might even be deluded enough to think they want/are capable of monogamy… their situation is akin to fasting for days in the middle of a gourmet buffet. You can bring a carrot to a candy store but you are not going to be thinking so great of that carrot once you see all the candy you can gorge yourself on. You will break down. You will not *do* the actual things that lead to settling down with your Michelle.

    I’ve personally dated a lot of black men. I know by their ACTIONS they have no desire to settle down. Others are also more ‘real’ than the author and admit they have no incentive (that they can see) to settle down with one woman when in fact they could juggle several women at once. No one is stopping them. In fact, although black women are given this terrible stereotype of being high mat. and impossible to impress… most of them are so desperate because of the numbers they do not make any demands on a man. They don’t have a ‘bar’ to which a suitor must meet. They don’t speak out… they don’t ask questions…. they act really, really meek. I know, I was that woman. Until I decided… I’m dating other races. That is it. I’m not going to self-flaggellate until the mythical IBM comes along and values me as a human being.

    Oldest and most sage advice momma gave: listen to a man’s actions, not his words.

    • OH, WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE? I went to the author’s website and found this really interesting tidbit:

      “And let’s be real…considering its a buyers market out here for men, if we thought we’d be better off with you, we’d stay. But we don’t so we…don’t.” (Article: Dodging bullets with Beyonce.)

      It goes on further to say, “I guess I just wonder if that’s what women really do to make each other feel better? Just tell their friends that the dudes life sucks without them? What liars. No wonder so many women are ready to stab their exes when they see them out. The ex-boothang is supposed to be miserable but instead he’s out spraying champagne on scantily clad women tossing wads of 1′s at Amber Rose and smiling.”

      Hmm, smiling and throwing champagne/$1 at a scantily clad Amber Rose… Sounds like a tortured sensitive man who cannot find his life partner. PUH-LEESE. You cannot even be consistent with the arguments on your own website.

      This article is so bunk… It’s not even funny.

      Also from his site:
      Why Being A Single Father Isn’t Generally A Dealbreaker: ” Therein lies the interesting double standard of being a single father versus being a single mother in the dating market. Maybe it’s because we don’t get to see very man actively responsible single fathers who are happy about their children or we just assume that a child won’t hold a man back or something, but having a kid has a completely opposite affect for men and women. For women, it’s can be an actual PLUS. Most men aren’t exactly checking for a woman with a kid…because they don’t have to. You’ve seen the stats.”

      They don’t have to… you’ve seen the stats…. RIGHT.

      Have some honesty, Mr.Young. Your own website gives you away.

      • Sara,

        Just wanted to let you know that the paragraphs quoted in your comment were written by Panama Jackson — the other founding member of VerySmartBrothas.com — not me. I write under the pseudonym “The Champ” there.

        We’re both, um, very smart brothas, but we’re not the same person.

        • I know you are not, but he is telling the ugly truth whereas you are fluffing up some old excuses that just aren’t the reality.

          If a truly eligible black man (not in jail, no baby mommas hanging around) is single… it is because he wants to be… and he wants to be, because he has plenty of opportunity for sex and companionship without having to make a commitment. That is the truth of it.

          If you are 1 to 170,000 in prime urban areas… and you can’t find a “main squeeze” or “old lady”… the problem is YOU.

  25. memyselfandi says:

    This may be completely crazy (and I know I’m late to the comment party), but I’ve always thought that what makes it hard for me (educated 30-year-old black woman geek) to find a guy is that it’s hard for anyone to find someone that they really want to spend their life/time with. Finding a mate isn’t about checking the right boxes – I know a couple of nice, eligible, educated black men that share some of my interests and that would be good partners for someone, but we’re just not a good match. In my mind, it’s not the getting the guy/girl that’s hard, it’s the keeping them and staying with them and being true to them through everything. And if it takes me longer to get there, so be it. If I never get there, I’ve got my friends and my interests, and I will have enjoyed my life regardless.

    That said, I really do feel like there aren’t a lot of great places to meet the kind of guys I’m looking for, who are a bit nerdy, but a lot of fun (like me). I need to start a black geeks unite club or something.

  26. I like this post! I wrote a response to it on my blog! I love the different perspective!
    http://dailydoseofdiversity.com/?p=433

  27. all of you who realized it’s hard to be a black guy need to go to the spearhead. the-spearhead.com. If GMP seems ok to you just shoot yourself in the face. You’re super stupid and we’d all be better off without you.

    • Michele says:

      Yes, go to the spearhead and you will learn IT’S ALL THE FAULT OF THE F$&KIN’ BITCHES! Mystery solved!

      Now I’ve saved you a lot of time and you can go out and have a nice day instead.

      • There are lots of better sites than this. You could go to almost any site on the internet for something more stimulating than this place. You’re a typical example of why not to bore yourself here.

    • Thank you for the website

  28. The bigger picture is always important to me. Ive never worried what a woman thought of what i have in material and in finances, cause i can handle my own. Do I make big money? Nunya. And if its that important to her, as opposed to building the kind of relationship that can grow in all possible ways, including financial security, then i don’t need that kinda girl. If the heart and determination and intelligence is there, then the “wealth” will come. “wealth” is so relative, BTW.

  29. The feminist inspired, out of context, posting of this article to say that “black men are doing just fine” is a veneer ploy to get people to believe that all is well for young black men, don’t believe the data – so that we will all ignore the actual data and pay no attention to this issue so that it will continue to get worse. The system is evidently designed to cause young black men to fail at much higher rates than black women, and it’s only getting worse.

    If western feminists truly wanted equality in education and economic opportunity, they would at least acknowledge this travesty but since men are the ones who are suffering they could not possibly care any less. So, they post articles to distract from this terrible reality. It is up to the minority community to address this issue. Feminists are not so silently gleeful about it, which is why few hetero black women ID with the feminists.

    • You’re projecting a lot of issues here. Jebus H.

      No one said “all’s good with black men.” Guess what? For some black men, everything is everything. They’re comfy in themselves, in or out of a relationship. What part of the “data” is that? Ignore that, and use YOUR data, huh? Okay.

      You clearly have a bone to pick with feminism, and I’ma let you finish, but how much more power do “western feminists” than you? How are YOU helping to gain equality in ed and economic opportunity? Instead of blaming someone else, let’s get it. Let’s build on that and the people who are down (including, believe it or not “western feminists”) will put in work.

      Also, I know quite a few hetero, as well as queer (which I take that you think are LESS THAN) black women who embrace the notions of feminism but not the label. I know quite a few dudes who think this as well. But the only people gleeful about it are people who like to see you pointing fingers and those who have money in the disconnect.

  30. Thank you thank you THANK YOU for writing this! It is so refreshing to hear a black man’s point of view that doesn’t point blame at black women. I have been wanting to hear this perspective for a very long time. Every time I read something that asks why so black women are single, I wonder why in the world is no one asking black men the same question regarding why they are still single as well. I’ll definitely be sharing this.

  31. Great Post Damon! This was a very well written post on an overlooked topic. We focus a lot of attention on single black woman not being able to find a man, when there are single men that have issues with finding an eligible match also. I agree that there are “eligible black male who just can’t quite find his Michelle.” As a graduate student in the sciences, I have many single black males that are working their way towards having MBA’s, engineering degrees, law degrees and medical degrees, yet they struggle to have women notice them. It bothers me because there are women that would never date any of them just because they either don’t have that “swag,” come off to nerdy, or can’t dress. The list goes on and on. I feel for these brothers who have put their education ahead of their looks and pop culture knowledge. It seems to be hurting them in the dating scene. I bet everyone who visits this site knows of a single educated black man that has his stuff together or is close to it, but wouldn’t date him for whatever superficial reasons.
    May the force be with you, single black males.

  32. How sad.

    I don’t refute your assertion that there are many single black men in this age group unable to find suitable partners. In fact, I know a few.

    However, I do suggest that the testimonials given in the article don’t exactly map onto your original argument. Berook had a suitable partner but let her go not because he needed to work on himself but because he wants to make more money. I do not think those are the same thing.

    What I saw throughout this piece was mostly a misguided attempt at embodying capitalist majority culture ideals and failing miserably. White men don’t wait to be in the kind of financial position the black men in this article describe before marrying because they understand, even if only unconsciously, that the kind of stability and capital accumulation they desire happens BECAUSE they have a mate, not before they have one. Capitialism rewards shared resources and partnerships. This lone ranger syndrome is black men conflating pride with resources when the relationship works causally — greater resources, which is benefited by marriage or partnership leads to greater pride. Pride rarely leads to greater resources sans some kind of pooling of resources. This becomes even more true for black people who start with fewer safety nets and resources.

    As usual black people seem to see the goal, as set by white culture, and not the mechanizations of how it works. That’s not entirely our fault. We don’t get this acculturation. And I don’t suggest we should. But if it leads to this kind of group pain then maybe we should be more deliberate about our choices. Either fully adopt the model of white marriage and wealth accumulation or totally reject it and create your own model. But trying to attain the white ideal with backwards logic seems counterproductive.

    And finally black men looking for their Michelle Obama should probably read, critically, the reality of their relationship. When Barack met Michelle she outranked him at work, had a better education, and more money than he did. He married her to marry up and it seems to be working out for him.

    • “Berook had a suitable partner but let her go not because he needed to work on himself but because he wants to make more money. I do not think those are the same thing.”

      Just to clarify, my financial situation at the time was dire. I wasn’t waiting to make more money, but to be more financially stable. I admit that this was the main reason I stopped dating that particular woman, however I also wanted to work on other aspects of my life that I felt needed improvement. I don’t think you’re wrong in making this assumption about me since all you had to go on was that quote I made, but I just wanted to clear that up.

      I do agree with your points in general. The (sometimes) prideful need to be financially stable isn’t necessarily the correct criteria to base how prepared you are for a serious relationship. However, it is a real concern for men out there. And since the topic of financial stability does come up often in this article I can’t blame you, but this isn’t the sole reason that all men who want a serious relationship are still single. Many factors come into play just as it does for women.

      • tressie says:

        Thanks for the response. I always assume there’s more to a story than what is quoted. My response is directed moreso at the framing of the argument here than your very personal decisions. The latter is none of anybody’s business!

        It saddens me to see so many brown people making themselves miserable, though. A few years ago I was looking at list of the wealthiest men in the world. All of them were married/partnered. A little research revealed that many married before they became one of the wealthiest in the world. It’s sexist and structurally inequitable but it is true that having a “wife” as that as socially defined makes accumulating wealth a whole lot easier. First, it’s a class social signal. Other wealthy or aspirational folks attribute positive behaviors to married people. They think they are more stable, trustworthy, and respectable. Why wouldn’t an aspiring black man want that kind of social boost?!!! Trying to build that individually in light of the many, many obstacles that exist for black men just doesn’t seem very smart to me.

        But I’m a logic whore. 🙂

        Good luck to you, sincerely.

  33. Charchar says:

    Well if all this is true where can I find them in Houston….so far I haven’t seen them, I’m about to change cities lol

    • PacificNW says:

      Move to the Pacific NW… think Portland, Oregon or Seattle, Washington!

      There are many eligible black men up here who want to date black women… the problem lies in the availability of black women in our cities. We have jobs with companies that have us living in the middle of nowhere… for example, Nike’s World Headquarters (Corporate) is in Beaverton, Oregon….yep middle of nowhere. Other companies in this area include Microsoft, Boeing, Intel, and the list goes on…

      I’m a single, black male turning 25 shortly and I’m ready to get married. I got a great job with a Tech company and good credit…. I just don’t know. Only issue I see is that I want to marry an educated woman.. didn’t think it was too much to ask for being as in this day and age.. anyone can go to college. Just my 11 cents!

  34. Granted I’m a woman…but I’ve never understood the “I need to be successful before I can even think about settling down” thing that a lot of men believe in. I totally get the need to be a provider, to know that you can take care of your wife & family & provide for them. But while you’re busy trying to “make it”, you’re passing up on amazing women, most of whom are wanting to build with you. I think that’s a factor a lot of men don’t realize. Black women aren’t expecting their men to do it alone; we want a partner that we can build a family, a relationship & success with. By the time these men make it to whatever level they deem as successful enough to now pursue a serious relationship, those women that they passed up are long gone & the pickings are a lot slimmer than they used to be. And now you have the “does she want me for me or for my money?” factor as well.

    Why are so many Black men against building with a woman? Because while there are some Black women who want a ready-made man, there are many more who want to take that journey together & they are getting passed over for some level of success that may never be attained.

    • Granted I’m a woman…
      Respectfully Jubilance that’s just it. By the same token I don’t understand the “I need a marry a good man to be complete” thing that a lot of women seem to believe. Thankfully there are people on both sides coming around to the fact that while these things may be desired that are not really required.

      I think that’s a factor a lot of men don’t realize. Black women aren’t expecting their men to do it alone; we want a partner that we can build a family, a relationship & success with.
      For the most part societal messages are the culprit as well as women (not just black but women in general) that do expect men to be the provider. I’m glad to know that they aren’t all like that but its silly to think that none of them think like that.

      Why are so many Black men against building with a woman? Because while there are some Black women who want a ready-made man, there are many more who want to take that journey together & they are getting passed over for some level of success that may never be attained.
      Personal experience. You may be right on the numbers of those looking to make the journey vs those expecting a ready-made man to fall in her lap I’ve crossed paths with more of the latter than the former. Its certainly not fair to write off black women (or women in general) as a whole by generalizing them as the later but again they are out there, there’s a lot of them, and they (just like any portion of the population that has a negative affect on people) can do damage.

    • “Granted I’m a woman…but I’ve never understood the “I need to be successful before I can even think about settling down” thing that a lot of men believe in.”

      We want to be the head, the breadwinner, the leader, the provider. This is the kind of mentality that we’ve been taught to have since birth. It seems kinda natural that one would feel that success (whatever that man’s definition of success might be) to precede the ability to fully commit to another human being. I’m not saying that it’s correct to think in this way, but I don’t think it’s as backwards as it may sound to you.

  35. Lindsey says:

    What do you consider to be “eligible”?

    One of the quotes in the article is “From a personal standpoint, though, I wouldn’t even want to enter a serious relationship unless I had my shit together.” If he doesn’t want to enter a serious relationship right now, that doesn’t strike me as very “eligible”.

    The real question here is why do so many men feel that they’re not ready? Why are they not at the same level as their female counterparts? Are they capable of being good partners, but don’t realize it? I think that a big mistake that people – both black and white, male and female – make is that they are waiting for the “perfect time” to be in a relationship. You can have a serious relationship before you own an Audi. You don’t have to be a millionaire to care about someone and support them emotionally. Unless you have emotional trauma or baggage to sort through, there’s no reason that you couldn’t at least date someone.

    • Great points. I think that for some men it’s an issue of pride. As men they have a desire to provide and if they are aware of their own financial instability, then they may not want to drag someone they care about into that mess. I know it may sound like a cop out to you, but it’s the truth. I also don’t want anyone to think that a man’s financial status is the only or even the most significant reason that he might still be single. Sometimes it’s as simple as some women he’s dated haven’t been right for him and some women he’s dated didn’t think he was right or them.

      And when I said “I wouldn’t even want to enter a serious relationship unless I had my shit together” I didn’t mean it to come off as me not wanting to be in a serious relationship. I do. However, and this is my pride coming back, I wouldn’t feel right trying to establish a serious relationship knowing that there are still things about myself and my life that I need to work out. To be honest, conversations like this and others that I’ve had have encouraged me to let the woman decide if my “deficiencies” are a dealbreaker or not.

      • I think that “providing” for someone should really only enter the equation in a family situation. Any woman that you date should be capable of taking care of herself. If you have kids, then providing may come into play, but dating? Come on.

        Not every serious relationship will end in marriage. What people should be focusing on is learning how to be in a healthy relationship and that will take years. It’s not something that you just have once your paycheck is where you think it should be. It takes practice. If your pride is getting the way of having the relationship that you want, you should ditch it.

        I definitely think that your heart is in the right place. Having so much concern for supporting someone you love is a sign that you take relationships seriously. I think that there would be a lot of women out there who would think that you were a great addition to their lives.

      • ““I wouldn’t even want to enter a serious relationship unless I had my shit together” I didn’t mean it to come off as me not wanting to be in a serious relationship.”

        I think most of the time, when men say this, they actually don’t want to be in a relationship with that woman. It may not be your case, but I think it it safe to say, if a man wants to be with a woman, he does everything in his power to be with her.
        I can understand how you may worry about not having it all together. No one is perfect. We all bring a bag to the relationship. If you were perfect, why would you need a mate. I don’t know your age, but unless you are planning to settle down and have a family in the next 2 years, I’d say you not having ALL of your finances together is the least of your worries.

  36. SnakeEyez says:

    @Good Man Project

    Way to go with matching the picture with the article *sarcasm*

  37. “I have a number of male friends who in the same breath tell me that women who don’t smile and/or are stingy with affection aren’t marriage material, yet they consistently pursue these women. ”

    I don’t doubt that you’re telling the truth, but this isn’t talking about those types of guys. It’s talking about the other guys…the “ghosts.” Seems like you’re responding to a different article.

    • Thanks for the tip! I’ll work on my reading comprehension this week. Oh wait! I AM talking this article and your busy “ghosts” as well. The ghosts that apparently exist in my age range (single, educated, looking for Michelle Obama) are not checking for emotionally available women. They’re checking for figments of their fcuking imagination as well. I say as well, because I’m placing just as much blame on women who seek emotionally unavailable men.

  38. Suprisingly on point article, with some interesting comments. My only issue as a 38 year old woman, single, no kids, living a productive, ready to date life (LOL), is that I think part of the problem has been expectations on both sides, men and women. As we all approach dating potentials, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not fair to hold people up to standards that we, ourselves, are not ready to meet (example: men cannot expect women to look like, oh say, Halle Berry, if I can’t expect you to look like, oh say, Denzel — those are always my “go-to” examples) but you all get my point. We have to be open to all kinds. And lastly, I don’t believe that the “regular dudes” are undervalued, it’s that, honestly, some of you act too shy, don’t step to the plate. As much as some of you fear rejection (so I’ve been told) you have to be willing to take some chances. I lived through the whole “90s-Independent Women” era and I think women are tired of being the first to step to men; I challenge these “new modern renaissance” men to usher chivalry and courting back into practice and ask women out on REAL dates, not bootie calls. LOL. And follow through (i.e., Step 1 – got the number/contact info, Step 2 – make the call – you gotta do that, Step 3 – actually agree on a date, even if it’s just coffee/drink. I think that’s all most of us (women) are asking for in the beginning. Let us assess whether you are someone (baller or no baller) we want to be bothered with. And if you are dating women who only want ballers, then perhaps, like that brotha who feels undervalued, maybe you men are bypassing and undervaluing some women out there who could potentially be your girlfriend or wife. PEACE!

  39. keisha brown says:

    *takes pause from applause to type my reply.

    i agree with Joshunda that this was a breath of fresh air to read.
    i also agree with Miss Patterson that the men who ponder their singledom, aren’t seeking the women that are seeking them.

    so what’s the solution? i dont recommend stalking social events, appearing ‘thirsty’ to find these ‘unicorns’. but if you are looking, you have to be give yourself opportunities to be found.

    there are too many good, smart, single people walking around – let’s get it right!

  40. i work in the sciences and see black men in the sciences on the regular. part of the problem, that i see, is that these “low-key” guys have a certain type of definition of sexy as well. black men in science tend to go after the same type of women that black men in every other profession, or even lack thereof, go after as well. so, “There is an association of success with a certain type of man” goes both ways. there is an association of beauty/sucess with a certain type of woman. it’s an age old dilemma and i’ve seen that nerdy guys don’t tend to go after nerdy girls, nice guys overlook nice girls, etc.

    • SnakeEyez says:

      nerdy guys don’t tend to go after nerdy girls…

      You dear Sarah have never spent time in a dungeon or at a fetish party 😛

      • I’ve never been in a dungeon or fetish party, and seriously hope I never will, so not sure what you are referring to there. 😉 I’m a farily nerdy girl who wants normal relationships with normal guys, and Sarah is right — the nerdy “nice” guys who constantly complain they can’t get laid are invariably chasing after the high maintenance super-hot women while completely ignoring the quiet, nerdier girls who could probably relate to them a lot better( and make them happier in the long run). Every time I read about the popularity of “pick up artist” schools etc. I just have to laugh — look at the nerdy guys trying to prove something by f?&king the cheerleaders, like they are still in high school.

        • That’s not as true as it used to be, Jill. Today, nerdy is starting to become fashionably hot in a lot of social circles. But the other thing is that being nerdy or geeky is starting to separate itself from the “socially-awkward” aspect that partially defined it.

          I’ve always been attracted to geeky girls and in fact, I’ve been married to one for going on 17 years this August. You may be a “nerdy girl,” but you are a “girl” first. Remember that the next time you find yourself attracted to a guy in your own geeky circle and make sure to remind him too. It will make a big difference; trust me.

        • SnakeEyez says:

          @Jill

          ‘I’ve never been in a dungeon or fetish party, and seriously hope I never will, so not sure what you are referring to there.’

          If you are the Sarah who post a lot on this web site I actually hope that you never are allowed entrance to a dungeon or fetish party. Lulz! What I am referring to is the little known fact that there are a lot of very nerdy people who are into the bdsm/fetish scene. I can remember being at one fetish party and talking to this very tall Latina woman dressed in an exquisite who could have been a fetish model. We talked for a half hour about the ’80’s ‘Uncanny X-men’ comic book. Now that’s nerdy. By the way I am also a big nerd myself (software engineer, ex-comic book fan, ex rpg’er, anime otaku, etc).

          ‘Every time I read about the popularity of “pick up artist” schools etc. I just have to laugh — look at the nerdy guys trying to prove something by f?&king the cheerleaders, like they are still in high school.’

          Actually Jill I was part of a pick up lair for years also (you be surprised at what you can find in big cities). Most of the men who attended meetings actually weren’t nerdy. They came from all walks of life. For the most part I would say that a lot of them did have above average to superior intelligence and many were over achievers. The single thread that seem to be consistent with just about all of the men who came seemed to be that they wanted to get better with women and to improve their lifestyle.

          ‘The nerdy “nice” guys who constantly complain they can’t get laid are invariably chasing after the high maintenance super-hot women while completely ignoring the quiet, nerdier girls who could probably relate to them a lot better.’

          As I stated before I was actually in the pick up world for years! I meet many of the top pick up guru’s thanks to the lair I was associated with and saw men grow within the community. One of the things that a lot of people in this noticed with this is that guys who aren’t getting laid usually have more problems/issues in their life than the fact that they aren’t getting laid. It is just the most egregious symptom that something is wrong with their life. This usually leads to other changes in their lives (i.e.: inner game). Thus they start to change their lives: they get new friends, they sometimes change jobs in order to pursue occupations that they are truly interested in rather than jobs that just pay the bills or satisfy others (i.e: parents), improving their social skills etc. Many of them decided that they wanted deeper relationships with women also.

          Getting back to the subject matter though, one of the reasons why most of these nerds don’t try to chat up the nerdy girl next to him or vice versa is that many nerds lack social skills and especially in the area of love/sex/romance: for example I remember telling a naughty joke at one start up company. Since the joke had a sexual undertone my manager said that a female employee could consider the joke offensive and report me to HR. Of course at the time we had no female employees in the office (it was a start up and we were in the Titanic phase). Furthermore my manager had no idea what would be considered offensive to a woman or not. He only thought it would be offensive because it was sexual (and not sexist) and women don’t like that type of thing.

          Anyway if you really want to nerds to find love I would suggest that social training should become part of the curriculum of all nerdy college majors.

    • I have seen that as well. I know & have worked with several Black men who are engineers who refuse to date Black women engineers, because these men are looking to “save” their women. Hard to save a chick when she makes just as much or more than you. Granted I can’t speak for everyone, but I have seen that type of attitude a lot.

      • It’s not the money, it’s the attitude. Most men want to feel not just cared about but also respected, admired and needed, at least in some way, even if not money. If she makes it clear that she doesn’t need him at all, what is his value? He will move on to find someone who does, even if she makes just as much money.

        • Interesting because there is another recent article on the GMP about why women should split the check on dates and all these guys are posting comments about how they are tired of being expected to take care of women and they want women to pay their own way. Which is it? 🙂

          • And by that I mean, even if you say it’s not about money, being willing to split the check often means a women is financially independent and has her life together, so why do men interpret that as a bad thing (not “needing” a man)?

  41. As a single black woman, I would have to respectfully disagree with this argument that these available black men are NOT figments of your fcuking imagination. My experience has taught me that while a number of men may fantasize about settling down one day, when they are given the opportunity to date/court an available black woman they pass this opportunity up in search of the woman that makes them chase, sweat, and subsequently d@mn every black woman on the planet. The very same women they discuss in roundtable discussions, articles, blogs etc who are unapproachable, don’t smile, won’t give up the p*ssy and/or uses the p*ssy as a bargaining tool, blasts “single ladies” complete with hand gestures, doesn’t get along with their mother, lacks resilience and will power, doesn’t have any REAL female friends, spends too much money, and relentlessly demands the finer things in life ARE THE WOMEN THEY ARE CONSISTENTLY DRAWN TO. These are the women men want. In the same way one might argue that a large majority of black women are chasing after emotionally unavailable men and/or bad boys, I argue that men who claim to want a relationship are in fact drawn towards the women who drive them crazy. I have a number of male friends who in the same breath tell me that women who don’t smile and/or are stingy with affection aren’t marriage material, yet they consistently pursue these women. At the risk of sounding terribly fatalistic, I don’t think any of us know what we want until after our first divorce. It takes supreme humiliation and getting your heart stomped on to realize that the mate you want is not the one that makes you entertain homicidal ideations. And those rare couples who are going on 40+ years of marriage did so because of luck, and because they cut out all that b*llshit and just followed their hearts. Bottom line, if these ghosts really knew what they wanted, they wouldn’t have all of these contradictory self-imposed guidelines about dating. They would go after the woman that’s right for them, not the b*tches. Thank you and goodnight.

    • WayUpThere says:

      Miss Patterson, it’s too late. That post sounds incredibly fatalistic, cynical, incredulous, and Harold Camping-esque.

      I added a comment on a VSB post about a month or two back, articulating the same idea that Champ conveyed regarding an eligible young brother who I knew that couldn’t find his match, and received the same response that he’s getting: that’s not true and/or he’s probably doing something wrong.

      Why does he have to be doing anything wrong? Life experiences can teach a wealth of information, but then you meet with another person with completely different experiences and you learn something new. What you detailed might be your situation, but I’m pretty sure I can find at least 5 black man who would disprove what you’ve experienced.

      Not every black man who can’t find his match, is drawn to the high-maintenance chic who won’t smile even if handed $1Mil in cash to do with it as she pleases. Sometimes, it’s hard to find your match because of your circle, because of your life circumstances, or a host of other issues. When women complain about not being able to find a black man, we open our ears, but when men complain about not being able to find a black woman, let’s not readily shoot that down.

      Like Champ mentioned, we need to realize that this situation has more nuance than at first sight, and so listen to what’s being said. We had to listen to you all complain, but now when we make similar complaints, our complaints are invalid? That’s a little much and beyond unfair.

      • @WayUpThere I’m not telling you that black men can’t complain about your plight as a hopelessly single black man. Complain away! What I’m saying is this: we’re both fcuked. Women like dudes who don’t want them, and men like women who don’t like them. Tada! We’re all in this together. Yay us! high five?

        • SnakeEyez says:

          @Miss Patterson

          Maybe someone should take all the of these disgruntled single black men and women put them in a room and give them all a couple of hits of ecstasy and put on some psychedelic music. While this may sound crass and the reasons why these two groups don’t get together are deeper than any article could ever delve into. I just think the solution might be a lot simpler than anyone has thought.

    • It sounds like you’re spending time with the wrong kind of men, Miss Patterson. Your hostility alone is enough to send a good man running. Getting hurt and feeling victimized is an unfortunate consequence of the quest for meaningful love–and so is taking that hurt and using it to break self-destructive patterns. I wish you luck and true love.

      Thank you, Mister Young, for speaking your truth, examining your life, and sharing your discoveries.

      • Dearest Lawrence Everett Forbes,

        my hostility alone? One passionate reply makes me hostile. Wow. I’ll remember to say yes’m to Mr. Young next time he writes about dating instead of speaking my mind. Let me just point out that for those that know me in cyber space, I have never taken this platform like EVER. I typically reply with a gentle and compromising response so that I don’t get lumped into this angry black women archetype. Usually, I would take notes from an article like this and say “you know, he has a point. perhaps I’m not observing the subtle nuances.” But at this moment in my life, I’m kind of sick of smiling and nodding. This is not me being contrary for the sake of being contrary. I have not been in a pattern of hostile relationships; I’m not even hostile. I’m not blind. I’m not confined in a studio with five cats, talking to myself and d@mning black men. But you don’t know me, so I understand that this one reply paints a picture of a nasty, bitter, black woman with an original thought. Anywho, I’m basing this statement on my personal experiences. And for once, online anyway, I’m telling it how it really is, and how I really feel about that the dating scene. Thanks for the well wishes. I hope I find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow too. *curtsies* <—- exhibit A of non-hostile woman. (smile, it's a joke)

        • Dearest Miss Patterson,

          I reexamined your original reply to see if perhaps I had misread your intentions. I also perused the responses (by others) to said reply, many of whom seemed to pick up on the same…enmity. You are, as a human, entitled to an opinion based on your experiences–as I am to interpret that opinion.

          As far as the “yes’m” business goes, I would hope a verbose woman like yourself could find a place between speaking your mind and nodding disingenuously/resentfully. Nothing I wrote before placed you in the “angry black woman pigeonhole”; you did that yourself. Perhaps abandoning the stereotypical roles imposed by society and/or ourselves is the first step toward finding the love and gender liberation you, I, and others seek.

          • I didn’t suggest that you lumped me into that archetype, I stated that in past online debates I usually avoid making responses that would pigeonhole me in that category. You did however state that my hostility alone is enough to send a good man running. This statement does at the very least paint me as hostile AND is one of the characteristics that goes hand in hand with the angry black woman archetype. This is honestly the first time I’ve stepped into the debate ring online –with this topic at least–so I feel I have gone out of my way to abandon stereotypes imposed by society. Being agreeable/disingenuous hasn’t won me any points, nor will this approach, in the dating arena, but I think this is the first time I’ve been heard. Never before have I received any “thumbs down” before this article, and that was new territory for me. At the end of the day what I’m really trying to say is this: one 24 yr old and one 27 year old (as cited in the article) doesn’t convince me that there is a slew of eligible 21 to 35 yr old men eager to be in a relationship. I’m in the world, and I’m single. These men really are figments of my and your f*cking imagination.

            • Firstly, I want to you know I appreciate your responses and willingness to clarify your position. With each reply, I feel as if we’re peeling away layers of these (human) obstacles to understanding each other’s issues–and, hopefully, each other.

              Yes, I was taken aback by the tone of your original reply. Perhaps I saw a bit of myself in it. You see, as a single, gay, black male, I struggle with a variation on the themes you mentioned regarding men and relationships. On my more ambitious days, I am able to see/own my role as “x” or “y” in the algebraic equation of romance and recalibrate my formula. During the exasperated ones, I throw my hands up and succumb to the formulaic pessimism that keeps real solutions at bay.

              I hear and understand your frustration–as well as your disbelief in the hidden world of eligible men wishing to surrender their bachelor ways. Part of me sides with you, and part of me fights to keep optimistic. The rest of me pores over my history, hoping to break the patterns, find the larger lessons, and become the type of man who attracts the type of men who defy the Mr. Wrong cliché.

              Again: Thanks for the replies.

              • (Holiday delay…)I have to say that I agree with you. Different situations/conversations incite varied responses (e.g exasperation vs patient consideration). At the moment, I am quite exasperated. Thanks for continuing the conversation also.

    • “I have a number of male friends who in the same breath tell me that women who don’t smile and/or are stingy with affection aren’t marriage material, yet they consistently pursue these women. ”

      I don’t doubt that you’re telling the truth, but this isn’t talking about those types of guys. It’s talking about the other guys…the “ghosts.” Seems like you’re responding to a different article.

    • Ms. Patterson, that’s not a “black man” thing, but a human thing. Black women do the exact same thing and that’s just human nature; you are always attracted to the thing that is not good for you. But I’m pretty certain that you already know that from what I read in the rest of your post, sister. When you are seeking a partner, that is part of the dating dance. But in addition, I have to acknowledge that finding the right person has always been a matter of luck. There is no “scientific method” of finding a perfect match, despite what all of those dating sites say. Human nature at best is a nebulous thing. There are billions of people on this planet; finding somebody that is completely compatible with the many facets of another person’s personality is a crap-shoot.

  42. I read so much and yet, it’s really rare that I see the perspective of an eligible black man seeking an eligible black woman so it’s refreshing to read. Life is not statistics. We are more than numbers and percentages, and it’s nice to know that there are black men out there who are aware and thoughtful about relationships. Even if they seem to be more ghostly than some of us would like.

  43. Sagey Bear says:

    Well written and poignant. The way your article reads to me is that: “it isn’t the hand you imagine should push you but the one that holds itself out to offer you help.”
    Perhaps, we all could more finely tune into the World we live in rather than simply creating our World from our experiences and the beliefs based upon those experiences. We are not absolute and should by no means behave that way.

  44. Hey what’s upo how old r u get bck to me soon if u lk

Trackbacks

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