As a single educated and childless black woman it is difficult to find a man that not only finds beauty in my body but also in my brain. Therefore, I am open to dating men from any race. However, I have found men of other cultures and races only seeking to date me as some sort of a fetish or fantasy. Consequently, there is a fondness in my heart for black men. A black man understands my social, economic and political struggles. They understand how the combination of racism and sexism impacts my day-to-day life. Thus, they have the capability of encouraging and supporting me in my unique journey.
Dating is difficult at any age but in your 30s the pickings of eligible and suitable mates begin to shrink; especially when it comes to being childless. So when I meet a single educated black man, with no children, my interest peeks. However, my experience in dating childless and educated single black men has normally been unaspiring. I normally do not want to go beyond the initial first date. I have found that educated and childless single black men recognize that they are a commodity in the black community.
Consequently, they dress themselves an air of arrogance and pretentiousness. And there is no better example, than a meet and greet I had with a single childless and educated black man. We will call him Mike. Mike had a job, his own apartment, a bachelor’s degree, was well traveled and could carry an intellectually stimulating conversation. On first impressions and on paper, he was great, until he started to talk. Mike told me that he only desired “fit” women and that black women were under the misunderstanding that black men only liked thick women. He stated, “I like women with less than 20% body fat, pretty, smart, trustworthy, and understanding of my career…because my job is very important and will come first.”
Wow – I could not believe what I was hearing. He wanted a woman that was skinny, smart and pretty that would put his goals and desires over her own. It was kind of comical in a sense. Especially since he was over weight and not exactly a good-looking man. In addition, his clothing and jewelry didn’t present him as a wealthy man. In fact, he really did not have any swag at all, and the fact he talked so shallow was a definite turn off. It helped me keep him right in the box of it just being a meet and greet, networking opportunity. Yes, he accomplished many things in his academic and professional career, but so did I, which does not make us better than anyone. In my opinion, while an education, a career, and appearances are important, they do not make up the totality of a person. Whatever happened to looking at a person’s values? Your equal is not going to put you on a pedestal and worship the ground you walk on. They are going to want and require respect, empathy and compromise.
I let him finish discussing his requirements for a potential partner and then I enlighten him. First, he should reflect the person he wants to date and that would require him to lose weight as well as step up his game fashion wise. Secondly, as a woman, my appearance may attract a man, but I have found that is not what keeps a man. Thirdly, I do not base my appearance off of what a man wants. I dress and groom myself according to my standards and what makes me feel best. His view that women dress and maintain fitness, just to gain the attention or approval of men, is a patriarchal view that is old fashion and out of date. Moreover, a man who is well rounded and wise would see beyond just a skinny body and a cute face.
While I cannot generalize my experiences to all single educated and childless black men; time and time again, I found they believe they are a gift to black women. Thinking a black woman with the same qualities should be grateful to date them. While they may have defied the odds against them, so have black women. I will not diminish myself or flatter someone, just to be with them. I recognize my worth, so call me old school, but you should be courting me. In my opinion, we should be happy to meet other well accomplish people, if not to date, but to have a positive support system.
What are your thoughts?
Do single educated and childless black men have an arrogance to them when dating black women?
Have you experienced a similar situation and if so how did you handle it?
What is the balance between recognizing and appreciating someone struggle to persevere to losing yourself in that person?