Here's your place to come talk about sex and love whenever you feel like it.
As a black woman I’m probably more likely to get struck by lightning than get married. Okay, I definitely made that up. But with the ridiculous number of dating articles citing dismal dating and marriage statistics for black women, it’s only a matter of time before someone draws that nutty conclusion.
Statistically speaking, black women do have a tougher time in the world of dating, but what’s the benefit in knowing that? It certainly doesn’t change anything. To me, every article, statistic, and personal story is ultimately a waste of words. I for one am not batting an eyelash. I’m a black girl and the marriage statistics don’t scare me.
Dating While Black is Kinda Like Mario Kart.
I love playing Mario Kart. On paper, Yoshi is a solid bet. He’s a dinosaur, small, and moves pretty fast. But don’t discount Bowser and Donkey Kong. Drive next to one of those guys and your ass will get knocked off Rainbow Road. Despite their size, they still accelerate faster than Mario and Luigi, even though both Mario and Luigi are better at handling and can absolutely outmaneuver Donkey Kong and Bowser off-road. Yes, statistically, Yoshi is the game favorite, but that doesn’t mean Mario or Donkey Kong can’t win the game.
Life brings obstacles but it also brings rainbow boxes of opportunity. Dating and attraction, like Mario Kart, are completely unpredictable and relying on statistics to tell us something about our chances is kind of stupid. It doesn’t take into account the beauty of subjectivity. Statistics don’t factor in individuality, personality, lifestyle, or upbringing -- or how you drive. Dating and marriage are too subjective to draw blanket conclusions. For every statistic there is another statistic with a new claim.
While statistics may be have their place in sports and annual reports, it’s time we start leaving them out of dating. Statistics just throw everyone off course and no one has time for that.
You Can’t Control The World, But You Can Control Your Thoughts.
Now, I’ve definitely had my share of dating horror stories and can absolutely attest to some of the challenges cited in these articles. This guy I knew in college told one of our mutual friends that he would totally date me if I weren’t black. I doubt he thought my friend would expose his prejudice, but at the end of the day, his attitude had no effect on me personally.
Here’s the thing about comments like that, they only hurt you if you if you allow your mind to play ball with them. Why reach for negativity? The only thing you can control about the world is your individual attitude about it.
Unfairness exists, but your response to it is absolutely and unequivocally yours and yours alone. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to make things better, but fighting with yourself about it doesn't help. The best way to make things better is to avoid letting the struggle steal your joy. Reach for good thoughts in dating and go into every situation with confidence.
In the words of Maya Angelou, if you can’t change it, change your attitude. Stereotypes, expectations, and other people’s opinions don’t define you as a person unless you let them. A hundred people could tell you they don’t want to date you because you’re black and you can choose to be angry or choose to see it as a hundred people you were able to weed out on your way to Mr. Right. I mean let’s be real, you probably didn’t want to date those dudes anyway.
It’s All Just a Game, We Can Choose How Seriously We Want to Take It.
I think we take relationships and marriage way too seriously sometimes. I mean, don’t get me wrong, relationships are serious business, but finding the right person shouldn’t feel like work.
When I was younger I felt this ridiculous need to prove myself in every area of my life. I subconsciously trained myself to believe that I could be less serious about the world when the world became more equal. Here’s the thing: I wasn’t super happy. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed in school, work, and relationships and it worked, for school and work. But in the end, it didn’t work super well for relationships.
I met a great guy in college, who I still really respect, and we dated for almost 5 years. I don’t think either of us were particularly happy for a couple of those years, but we were similar in our commitment to work. Unfortunately, when you share a commitment to work, your relationship often reflects that. Everything was excellent on paper. Both of us were smart, black, educated, and career driven, but something was missing. I told myself that I should be grateful to have him instead of questioning what was missing, and that I was only questioning things because we had been together so long. Work was the word I lived by for most of my life, but as I began to grow, my attitude towards life changed. I learned not to see life as work. I saw life as love. And love was missing in my relationship.
When I finally ended things, I made a commitment to myself that I would only be serious about joy in my next relationship because that’s the way I see the world. Happiness is a choice. Fun is a choice. Life is a choice and I choose to see life as love.
I’m a black girl and the dating statistics don’t scare me and they shouldn’t scare you either. You are love.