Breathe, Damnit! (The Single Black Woman Blues)

[Editor’s Note: A longtime reader and friend of mine, Cody Williams, wrote the following piece; and, I had to share it you, with his blessings of course.]

I almost don’t want to write this note for fear of stepping on the toes of a few people whom I love very, very much. But, a social commentator has to do what a social commentator does, right?

First, however, shall we pray…?

My facebook friend, colleague and journalist, Jacque Reid, took part in a black folk’s town hall in Atlanta Wednesday night where she and other panelists discussed the plight of unmarried professional black women and the mating habits (or lack thereof) of black men. [check it out here]

Déjà Vue. We’ve heard it all ad nauseam: “60% over 40 unmarried,” “No available black men,” “married, in jail or gay,” yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah.

I don’t mean at all to be insensitive here, but, when a record starts to skip do you keep listening to it, or do you change the song?

I say any man who commits to a woman as fast as a lot of sisters want him to commit is a fool. No matter how much our women kick and scream it behooves a man to take as long a time as he needs before he, in the lyrical refrain of Byonce, puts ‘a ring on it.’

Why, because a lot of women look no further than the wedding day: The dress, the steeple, the guest list, the cake and what color the mother of the bride is going to wear. Men, more often than not, look at the marriage, life after the wedding: Are we going to be happy together? Can we afford a home? Can I support a family? Will she continue to turn me on?

Take your time, brothas. Get it right.

There are many reasons why we, black men and women, are not hooking up permanently in larger numbers. I say chief among those reasons is our economic situation. Black male unemployment is the highest in the nation. Instinctively all men want to be providers. Instinctively, all women want to be provided for, even the most successful ones.

When we fix our jobs situation our marriage numbers will more align with those of the general population. Which, ain’t saying much. Over 50% of those still end in divorce.

More and more black women in general, (I ain’t talking about anyone specific here) sound so desperate about mating that you’d think the continuation of the species depends on their making that lasting love connection. No, we’re not that bad off, yet.

Desperation is not a good look. Appearing needy ain’t attractive to any man, no matter how physically/sexually appealing a woman is.

We dudes can smell desperation coming from a mile away. We have a natural aversion to it. No kat really wants to be looked at like the last pork chop at a southern picnic, ladies.

Lighten up.

Instead of Waiting to Exhale, I say, Breathe Damn it! Enjoy your life as is. Have fun just being you. That will attract more guys than trying to make Sadie Hawkins Day every day of the year.