Side-eye of the week: Nightline Face-off: Why Can’t A Successful Black Woman Find A Man?

Gorgeous, smart, successful Black woman -- but she can't find a man because she's too successful. Truly, if this is the case, I weep for my generation.

Really. Is Nightline serious? Sigh. SMH.

This was the topic that was discussed on Nightline last night. I did not watch it and I don’t think I missed anything. If you’d like to hear some tidbits, feel free to watch them here.

OK, so for the past six months or more, I’ve been bombarded with books, articles and exposés screaming from the mountaintops that successful Black women are destined to be alone because they are successful and no man on the face of the earth will ever want them.

That’s what it boils down to anyway.

Yes, I know that being single and looking for love isn’t easy. Meeting men and dating is hard work – it’s like job hunting, a part-time job after you finish your full-time grind. I’m not single, but I’m not so far removed from the realities of being a Black woman with a degree. Way back when I was in college, a guy that I was interested in asked me what I was studying. I said, I was doing my Commerce diploma and then I was going to get my Journalism degree. You know what he did?

He laughed at me and said, “Oh, so you think you’re smart?”

I said, “No. I know I’m smart.”

That was the end of that teenage love affair. He was satisfied not furthering his education past high school and working wherever the heck he was working at that time. But he already judged me because of my ambitions and goals. Unfortunately, that same 18-year-old boy has grown up to be a 35-year-old man who is probably behaving the same way to Black women who are ambitious.

We women aren’t innocent either. We come with some ridiculous expectations – and half the time we don’t have what we’re expecting him to come with: a six-figure salary, a luxury European car, a six-room mansion on the hill and a banging body. If you are deep in debt, driving a broke-down Kia and living with your parents, why are you tripping? If you are successful and you find it necessary to throw in his face how much money you make and the type of car you drive, yes, you will find it hard to meet someone who is willing to deal with you. Why? Because you’d be annoying.

Neither men nor women are making it easy. So, why is all the “advice” directed at women? The Hubby said that Black men have been torn down so much in the media, it’s the sisters’ turn. Agreed, we’ve seen quite a bit of Black-men-ain’t-sh*t-talk. We’ve also heard plenty about the ball-busting, angry, abrasive, masculine, domineering Black woman.

While we all know this, why – all of a sudden – does it warrant Nightline and other mainstream news outlets decrying the fact that smart, educated women are single? Why all of the concern for the relationship well-being of Black women?

Folks, something in the milk ain’t clean, I tell you!

I don’t believe this has anything to do with Barack and Michelle Obama being in the White House. I believe that this is just another way to break down the Black family and keep us ignorant – and the sad thing about it is: we’re believing the hype (I’m looking at you Steve Harvey, been married three times and cheating on your wife) and playing into it. It’s don’t better yourself, women, because if you do, you’ll be single and lonely. You don’t want that!

Why do I say this?

I heard about a super smart young woman that I know who recently finished university. Someone said to her: you may have a degree, but you won’t be able to find a man.

What? What kind of stupidity is that? Ignore the fact that this person just achieved a phenomenal goal and focus on all the “studies” that proclaim: the smarter you are, the more alone you’ll be. BTW, a smart sister may be single, but she won’t be hungry. Don’t get an education and don’t be successful and then you’ll find love.


Truth be told, the women I know who stopped their education after high school aren’t faring much better in the relationship department. It’s not like if you aren’t “successful” you’re all of a sudden primed for the taken on the relationship market. Chupse. Women who are more educated lift up the community — education and success is GOOD for the Black community. These are positive things that we should be happy about, not worry about.

I’m side-eyeing everyone who is jumping on this Black-women-can’t-find-a-man-because-no-one-wants-their-educated-successful-backside-and -you’ll-be-single-until-you-die bandwagon. I’m side-eyeing all of these media outlets who act like they can’t find a group of successful, happily married/dating/committed couples to offset all this madness that we’re hearing.

It’s becoming a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Black women are starting to believe the hype that regardless of their personality, character and all that stuff that used to matter in relationships, the fact that they can buy a home and support themselves is going to be the main factor that stops them from finding love.

I think it comes down treating each other with respect and realizing I’m not perfect, so how am I expecting her/him to be? Successful Black women date, get married and have families. I know them. Successful Black women get divorced, never get married and choose not to have children. I know them, too. We are who we are and reading too much into studies and quoting articles and books (who the author is mighty questionable) is shooting ourselves in our feet. All those people who are saying, find a white man, smile when you’re out!, get your hair done, don’t talk about yourself when you’re on a date — guys don’t like that, they are talking bare hogwash and malarkey.

There is no secret charm to meeting someone, you just have to be open to the possibilities and take some risks.  You never know who’s out there.

Oh, and Steve Harvey, the next time you decide to write a book how about: Think Like a Woman But Act Like a Damned Man Because You Dudes Are Trippin’.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Rhoda says:

    I really like how you break down the hype, present counter perspectives/approaches and its a good read!

    1. urbansista says:

      Thanks Rhoda 🙂

  2. myaliasfotography says:

    I found the discussion rather interesting. And perhaps [whether it’s agreed how true or false it is], it’s a discussion that still needs to happen. I haven’t really noticed a lot of press on ‘why a successful black women’ can’t find a man – maybe that’s because I’m not a ‘successful’ black women or maybe just cause I don’t pay attention to that. I know I myself have not ‘found’ a man, but probably for other ‘reasons’ – one being, just the fact that it is darned hard to ‘date’ meet someone, once you are [especially] out of your twenties AND are part of the ‘full-time’ work force. It’s not like highschool, and there are tons of guys and you know exactly who’s available from not. For instance, I worked downtown for 2 years for one of the banks in an admin roll. 1. Was one of 2 black women on the floor [just to state a fact, because race is not a factor for me when dating, however I it’s probably a factor from some, when they look at me – i feel, anyway] 2. The office was made up of majority women [typical] 3. Of the men, most were senior level, older [white] and married employees. I recall 2 or 3 men that would have been considerable due to age – but they were either also married or dating. So it boiled down to NO MEN. So being that you spend the bulk of your time at work – and there is not much chance for ‘meeting someone’ while there, it’s hard in general to find someone. On top of that, if you aren’t very social [and even if your are, as I have friends that are], then good luck! 🙂 On top of that, if you are a black women, looking for a ‘successful’ black man, good luck. While I worked there for two years, there was one brown man, no black man, and only once or twice in travelling the elevators, did I even bump into a black man. Just saying.

    I did like the points that Hill Harper [refering to the nightline debate] was making, regarding the break down of communication, and % decrease from years ago, of black families not being together/staying together – and looking at and discussing why that is.

    And then topic of ‘standards’.
    I don’t know how to address this, because it seems like something that everyone should have the same base for, everyone wants

    1. to be able to have/provide food and shelter
    2. a have a loyal partner and after that, it’s just material things.

    When I meet someone it’s obviously first whether there is a connection, do you like each other? is there a mutual attraction? does he ‘get’ me? – I’m not so worried about how much he makes (although I hope he has a job – because I’m not in a position to support anyone – although I would if i had it like that 🙂 And if his job is as a ‘garbage’ man and he’s been steady at it for years and he likes what he’s doing and he’s supporting himself and living within his means – I got no problem with that. I guess it’s how you define ‘ambition’. I think that is a huge roadbloack – and that’s something a lot of the world suffers from.

    1. urbansista says:

      I haven’t watched any of it — I feel overloaded by this topic, but I have read Hill Harper’s quotes about communications (I love him BTW) and I think that is key. People aren’t listening to each other and that’s why there is a disconnect. He also said something about seeing each other through our baggage. Another key point — a Black guy did me wrong, so from now on all Black guys are wretches. Or Black women didn’t check for me when I was in high school, so bun all Black women.

      Chupse. Foolishness.

      Both men and women have to sit down and reevaluate themselves. If all these Black women are single, what are the Black men saying? Why aren’t they interested in marrying/dating/being committed to these women? I’d be interested in that. I think it boils right down to women are saying something and men are hearing something else and men are saying something and women are hearing something else.

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