Hi ladies and gentlemen,
I hope you have had a great week. If you haven’t, I understand wholeheartedly, There has been so much to deal with mentally and spiritually, with the pandemic and the racial injustice. The combination of the two is unnerving, but through faith in God, we will overcome this pandemic and the social injustice. I truly believe that progress is being made in both areas and the way time is passing, this pandemic will be over before we know it. Apparently there could be a vaccine at the beginning of next year, so let’s pray that this will come to fruition.
This pandemic has gotten me thinking about the lack of companionship in my life. I have friends, not a ton of friends, but a few close friends. One thing that I have learned in adulthood is that making friends is so much more difficult than it was when you are in grade school and college. I would be lying if I said I never get lonely. I’m an only child and have been by myself for most of my life. Actually, I enjoy being alone. There is so much freedom when you are alone. You can do whatever you want and you don’t really have to ask anyone whether they want to do something or not. You just get to decide what to do with no one to answer to.
Furthermore, I can make major life decisions and I don’t have to ask anyone if it’s okay, except for God (I’m really trying to do better about that, Lord). However, this pandemic has made me realize that being alone is getting to me more than it used to. The older I get the more I notice that I am alone most of the time. Outside of work, theatre, and school, I am at home alone. Honestly, I don’t like clubs, parties, bars or large crowds, so I enjoy being at home. For years, workaholic was my middle name, so I started hanging out with a few friends every now and then within the past year and even joined a church right before the pandemic.
Did you know that in NYC, you can go weeks without ever seeing your roommate? You live and learn, LOL! My roommates either lived in another city, traveled all the time, or worked a completely different work schedule than me. It’s crazy, but secretly I kind of like it because I get the whole apartment to myself and only pay a third of the rent. It has its’ perks, believe me! Since March, my roommates have mostly been away either visiting home, traveling, or staying with friends, so I spend most days at home by myself. I’ve gone days, even weeks without talking to anyone in person outside of work and that was even before the pandemic. One of my roommates still texts me workouts, even though I haven’t seen her since early May. Although working my job, spending time with the Lord, online church and bible study, working out, watching Hulu, and studying have made the time go by pretty quickly, the loneliness is starting to get to me more than ever.
A part of me would like an intimate relationship, but a part of me doesn’t want a relationship at all. There is a documentary called Black Love and it was very eye opening about the trials and tribulations of dating and marriage. These couples went through hell and back, but they remained together through the adversity. That’s beautiful, but scary! Even in high school, I could see that romantic relationships were work, work, and more WORK. It seemed to me that you needed to have a certain level of maturity to be in a romantic relationship and I didn’t think that I had that yet.
Oh, and college was a complete culture shock for me. My white classmates were always talking about marriage and children and I felt like a cynical degenerate at times. I didn’t get it. We just got out of high school and ya’ll are thinking about marriage and kids. Excuse me!! I was shooketh! LOL! This made me more aware of the difference between black and white families. I realized that black families don’t really talk much about marriage until after their son or daughter has a career. Apparently, it is expected in the white community to be married in your early to mid-twenties. Hey, I had no idea. My white classmates expected to be married or engaged right after college and for most this came true. When one of my friends said that she thought her boyfriend would be proposing soon, I was a little in shock. I shouldn’t have been surprised, they had been dating since high school, what else would they be doing right? I just couldn’t believe that people got married so young. Most women in my family married later in life or never married at all. In fact, the few black girls that I went to college with currently have good jobs and careers, but most are not married and a few just recently got engaged within the last year. Frankly, most of my black colleagues, friends, and associates have had very few, if any serious relationships at all. One of my black college friends got married last year and she was a senior when I was a freshman, so I know she is at least in her mid-thirties for sure. I’ve met so many beautiful, talented, successful black women of all ages, who have never been married or who have never had a real long-term relationship and it’s mind boggling.
Basically, I knew at 20 that I wouldn’t be married by 30. I remember saying that I would probably get married in my mid to late thirties. Since Sister, Sister was my favorite show growing up, I told my friends that Tia and Tamera did not get married until they were in their thirties. They are famous and super attractive so what hope did an average Jane like me have to get married in my twenties. My white college friends looked at me like I was crazy. My reality was that the black women that I knew got married in their thirties or forties or not at all and there were very few exceptions to this rule.
Dating as a black woman is quite an experience to say the least, especially when you are immersed in a predominantly white atmosphere the way I have been. ABC Nightline did a story on unmarried black women in 2009. Please watch the video above! It covers the plethora of issues that black women face when it comes to dating. From my own experience, I was never really asked out until I reached my mid-twenties. Since moving to NYC, I have been hit on quite a bit on the street, but I’m not trying to pick up a random man on the street. Who does that?
Here’s the thing, I wouldn’t mind dating outside my race, but I have never gotten much attention from men outside of my race. All of the men who ever hit on me were black men, and one persistent Arabic male who worked at the local bodega. A woman in the ABC Nightline interview mentioned that she had had a great conversation with a white guy and she thought he would ask for her number, but NOPE, he didn’t. For the record, I have never been hit on or asked out by a white male EVER! Even on dating apps, I like the profiles of men of different races, but the only ones that respond consistently are black. The funny thing is is that I talked to several black guys through texts, phone calls, and emails, but we never even made it to a real date! So when an older white male did ask me out on Coffee Meets Bagel, I took him up on the date. This man was almost twenty years my senior, which was completely out of my comfort zone, but I thought why not, let’s go to dinner. He took me to nice French restaurant and we had great conversation. He texted me the day after and then CRICKETS. Sometimes I wonder, is there something wrong with me. One friend told me that I needed to put myself out there more, another said she thought guys think that I’m nice, but don’t see anything past my friendly demeanor and some people have said that I needed to dress or do more hair differently.
I have met men that I was interested in, but they were usually already dating someone. Most times it was a black male who had a white girlfriend. Black men date outside of their race way more often than black women. I think interracial dating is wonderful. However, I have heard some black men say that they don’t date black women because they have too much attitude or they are too difficult. Some black men say this aloud all too often and it sort of rattles my nerves. Isn’t that an insult to your black mother that you don’t want to date a black woman? I think YES! As I have grown older, I know that this is a symptom of systemic racism as well, but I will save that for another blog post. Now, if a black male meets a white woman who he falls in love with, that is awesome, but saying that you refuse to date a black woman intentionally is infuriating to me. White women tend to date black men, but you don’t see that many white men who date or marry black women. Yes, it happens, but it’s rare. When I worked in customer service in Memphis and NYC, I would see the former way more often than the latter. Society doesn’t view black women very highly and most men of other races don’t feel like they can bring us home to Mama as one the ABC Nightline interviewees mentioned.
According to Qz.com, “a 2014 OKCupid study found that Asian men and African-American women get fewer matches than other members. Furthermore, white men and Asian women appeared to receive the most matches. ” GO FIGURE!!
Here I am at age 30, a woman who has never had a serious relationship with a man and very few dates at all. And yes you guessed it, I am a virgin and I do want to wait until marriage to be intimate with someone. There is a stigma about being a virgin in society, especially for men. It is okay to wait and it is okay not to wait, if that is your preference. I’m not shaming anyone who is not waiting. Do you, boo!! My preference is to wait and I will explain that further in another blog post.
Overall, I’m still pretty unclear on where the Lord is leading me in the love area of my life. I have a career in the performing arts and truthfully, I thought that I would have to sacrifice one for the other. This isn’t necessarily the case. Several actresses that I have worked with on stage and met in auditions in both Memphis and New York are married, and some have children too. You can perform and be married, but you have to have a super supportive spouse.
Last year, I read the autobiographies of two American opera singers and both books were so amazing, but recently I reflected on one major difference. Beverly Sills, a white opera star, was married for most of her operatic career with two children and Jessye Norman, a black opera star, had never been married and had no children. These women were both world-renowned opera singers with completely contrary personal lives. Jessye Norman wrote in the book about how people seem to look at her with pity because she didn’t have a husband and kids. She said that she was glad to have her many nieces and nephews and that she had had a happy, fulfilled, and fruitful life. When I read the two books, I wasn’t looking for this difference, but it makes you wonder. It seems like black women are damaged goods in society. Our unique features, such as our hair, our shapes, our full lips and darker skin tone are an acquired taste in America as well as the world. We look significantly different from women of all the other races, but at the end of the day, “Black is beautiful!!!” It is unique, exquisite, overflowing with rainbows of light, dark, and medium melanin glistening in the sun. The black woman is a provider, an innovator, a nurturer, with style, grace, creativity, beauty and intelligence with an ounce of sass and an extra spoonful of resilience.
All of this just makes me ponder if I am called to be married or not. I feel as though I could be, but I don’t know, only God knows the answer. I prayed about this the other day. Lord if it is in your will for me to have someone, open the door, but if not, then grant me a heart of acceptance. The world and sometimes churches teach that marriage is a given and you are not whole until you find a mate. The truth is that this isn’t biblical. There are people who are not called to be married. I’m an only child so I’m used to being alone and I have to remember that with God, I am never alone. Thirties peeps, remember that with God you are never alone! Until next week, in the words of Don Cornelius, “I wish you love peace and SOUL!!