I’m no dating expert. I have very little experience at it and I only enjoy it about half the time. However since dating is apparently a prerequisite to not becoming a cat lady (which would be really unfortunate since I don’t like cats) I occasionally partake in the ritual. But I, like so many of my black female counterparts, don’t go on enough dates to constitute an active dating life so I’m not really writing this post from personal experience. Despite the lack of an experiential foundation, perhaps something in this post can serve as a public service to my fellow date-starved females.
Essence magazine, Soledad O’Brien and I have noticed that black women marry at an abysmally low rate. I can’t help but think that other than the fact that marriage worthy black men are as rare as unicorns and Chevettes that still run, this low marriage rate could be due in part to bad dating advice that black women are perpetually given by well intentioned friends, family members, magazines, and televangelists. So I’m suggesting that black women take a moment to collectively rethink all of the dating advice we’ve been given. Perhaps it will give us a shot at not ending up in the 60% of black women who will never marry statistic, or at the very least it might help us to not end up on the couch watching the Sex in the City box set alone on a Saturday night (not that that doesn’t sound like a pretty awesome evening to me).
So here we go…….. dating advice we might want to rethink:
You can’t meet Mr. Right in the club
Maybe you can’t maybe you can. Who am I to say…who is anybody to say….Just because you’re in the club doesn’t mean you’re a strumpet and just because that cute guy in the wire framed specs is in a club it doesn’t mean he’s a giggalo. Perfectly nice people go to the club. And if a nice girl, like I’m sure you are, is in a club, who’s to say that your Mr. Right isn’t right there with you geeked because the DJ just put on “Brass Monkey” just like you are. Now I’m not advising women to go to the club with the intention of finding Mr. Right. But if you like going to the club, go to the club and don’t be afraid to do the Pee Wee Herman in the middle of the dance floor. And if a nice guy happens to come over and tell your your Humpty Dance is like none he’s ever seen don’t just dismiss him because of where you met him. Lord knows black women can’t afford to just be dismissing people on random criteria like that.
Online dating is just for losers and psychopaths
I have no experience with this, but I strongly believe that in about 5-10 years, once the stigma has finally worn off, online dating will be the primary mechanism for people to meet each other. Peoples lives are busy, and not everybody likes clubs, or has a lot of friends to set them up on blind dates or sees cute guys squeezing produce in the grocery store 1. I think online dating has already caught on pretty well in the white community, but as soon as you mention online dating to most black women you get an immediate “Oh h*ll no!” Most of the reasons for their immediate dismissal make very little sense to me. For example I’ve been told “you don’t know what you’re getting when you meet someone online.” Hello, like you know what you’re getting when a guy introduces himself to you at the gas pump or even when a friend sets you up with someone. Okay so maybe a friend might be able to give an endorsement but, people can lie about their identity regardless of the medium they meet you in. Now I can’t promise you that the current crop of men on dating sites are not serial killers, husbands looking for someone to cheat with, or just super lame. For one thing hot eligible black men are in so much demand that most don’t really have to turn to dating sites unless they live in East Bucktussle or they have no game. But as the Internet continues to take over our lives and people start to spend a higher percentage of their life online it’s only natural that our dating habits will gradually shift to match our lifestyle. So go ahead and give online dating a shot. Once you sign up that’s one more non-lame person on the site.
Don’t go looking for a man…you need to wait on Mr. Right to find you
This isn’t entirely bad advice. But a lot of women have taken this advice to mean that they don’t have to get out there to meet people. Mr. Right is not going to just show up at your door unless you’re looking to date the pizza guy. Get out of the house! Go to concerts and parties. Get a hobby like stripping. Even if the hobby is female centered you might make new friends which could result in invitations to go to parties and events in a different circle, which could mean NEW men to meet. And while you’re going to these events it wouldn’t hurt anybody if you flashed some cleavage turned up the sex appeal a notch, in an ultra classy way of course. Men are visual creatures. So keep the hair tight and carry some lip gloss. (I’m not one to advocate going overboard to meet guys…and I’m guilty of letting the tresses go astray from time to time…but I’m also single so consider the source)
Don’t give it up on the first date
I’m just playing. It’s still probably not a good idea to give it up too soon. I’ll leave giving arbitrary guidelines on what point between initial eye contact and the honeymoon is the dividing line between Jezebel and wifey to Steve Harvey.
These are just some of the tips I’ve heard recently but I’m sure there’s much more bad dating advice swarming around in the cosmos keeping black women single all over America. And I’m sure I’ve been a victim of some of it myself. But you don’t have to take my advice either. If I had a clue about dating I’d probably be out somewhere now instead of in here typing a blog. But it definitely can’t hurt to adjust your approach if the way you’ve been doing things isn’t working. A wise 2 person once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. So let’s stop the insanity ladies!
1 seriously do black guys grocery shop???? I NEVER see cute black guys in the grocery store. This could be due in part to the demographics of my neighborhood. But even when I shop in other areas I rarely see a cute guy grocery shopping.
2 Since I have no idea who said that I have no idea whether this person was actually wise but for the sake of this post let’s assume the person who originated that quote isn’t an idiot