I’m 32 years young, single and vibrant. There are no signs of age anywhere on my face or body. I’m fortunate enough to visit Sephora only for the latest NARS products, instead of eyelift creams and skin tighteners.
I have traveled with friends all over, partying in and with the best. My passport was stamped nearly 10 years ago thanks to my fabulous and favorite aunt, Jackie. She made me apply for a summer abroad in China when I was scared shitless to fly across three states to and from college, let alone across the Atlantic Ocean. It’s been on since then.
I’m a cultured girl who can swag out at the club, yet still enjoy a ballet or play. I love black romance comedies, though they are few in number, and I can quote any noteworthy film in Black cinema, including Blaxploitation movies like Superfly and Willie Dynamite.
My bank account is never overdrawn, and despite the excessive shopping, I still manage to maintain a healthy savings account. There are still times, more often than not, that I love coming home to my empty condo. I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself. If I want to lay around watching Meryl Streep movies until tears roll into each of my ears or put on a one-woman fashion show with the designer clothes that bulge from my closet, I can do that. Life is indeed, good, but something is missing.
You guessed it: A man. I want to be married. Well, someday. It seems like it’s happening for everyone else.
I, along with millions of other African-American women, want to be married, but it seems to be a dream deferred. I’m not so naïve that I don’t know what the problem is. It isn’t me; it’s them. They’re simply not ready, but they should be by now!
I don’t understand how full-grown men continue to do the same things they’ve done since age 18: play video games, club constantly and sleep with as many women as their stamina will allow. Am I crazy for feeling like I’ve done everything there is to do except the very thing that matters most? A committed relationship isn’t be the be-all and end-all of my life. I have so many other things I’ve yet to do and see, but I want to share my future with someone else.
Kanye West said it best in “I Wonder” from his Graduation album, “On that independent shit/Trade it all for a husband and some kids.” I love me some Yeezy, but damn, I wish he wasn’t right about this one.
So where does that leave women like me who know their worth and aren’t willing to take the first man we see? Are we really expected to wait around until they’ve sown their wild oats and mastered every Madden game? Call me impatient, but I want what I want now. I think I’ve waited long enough. What’s a girl to do?
Wait, did you say marriage? You and my mama have been talking, right? Everything has a season, but I don’t think this is mine for marriage. I’m 34-years-old with a pretty decent job that didn’t happen overnight. Here’s something women don’t understand about men, mainly me: I can love you through and through, trust you and actually want you to be my wife…one day. But, there’s this factor called financial stability.
Marriage is a huge responsibility, and it takes money. While the woman is salivating over wedding dresses and place settings, we are looking far ahead into the future. How will we provide for you and us? What about kids? Can we maintain our lifestyles? It took me years to land a job with real earning potential, which would even allow the thought of marriage to cross my mind. Now I’m well into my 30s and the world has cracked wide open for me.
You have no idea the advantage a 30-something single man with a good job and no children has in dating. My boys and I call it “The Glow” because women see it and flock to it. They’ve fallen for the man shortage statistics, so they all go for the guy with “The Glow.” There seems to be only a small percentage of us, but really, women just aren’t looking in the right places.
So, when a woman or two—or three treat me as if I’m their man exclusively, I let them. They know from the beginning that I don’t want to be in a relationship. They go along with it only because they believe they can change my mind. I mean what I say, and there aren’t enough home-cooked meals or Kama Sutra positions to change that.
The truth is I’d love to find that woman I can spend the rest of my life with. My kid would have my wife’s eyes, my mama’s knack for making anyone feel at home or my strong work ethic. Maybe I’d have all that by now, but the one woman I truly loved told me, contrary to my thinking, our long-term relationship had an expiration date. I didn’t want to, but my pride let it expire anyway without a fight.
What’s the big rush to get married anyway? It’s way too many other things to do besides getting married one person, sleeping with that one person forever and having a house full of kids who will probably run me crazy. There’s a life to live and money to be made. I think women need to calm down, and just be patient. To the women I’m dating who want to be with me exclusively, unfortunately, I’m just not ready. I’m enjoying everything the universe has for me. I won’t be made to do anything by anyone. It’s not an issue of selfishness, but an issue of coping with the truth.I hope when I am ready to settle down, there’s someone left for me to love. I doubt I have that problem though. The world is mine.
In a society where African-American men and women are pitted against each other in media and real-life relationships, conversation about our lives and how mates will fit into them is imperative. Are the differences in our thinking attributed to a cultural shift or was John Gray right when he penned Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? Each gender clearly struggles with its own issues which, in fact, could be simply be the distinct differences in the X and Y-chromosomes. This tug of war begs the most important question of all: Will we ever learn to compromise or will we continue to witness the demise of the African-American relationship?