Friday Feature: The Successful Black Woman Syndrome–Finding a Man Ain’t Easy

By: Tiffani Haynes

Let’s face it…Black men are scarce.

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Well, correction: Educated, heterosexual, attractive, employed, God-fearing, compassionate, fun, responsible, independent Black men are scarce. There’s plenty that don’t fit in that category, keep em!

On college campuses Black women outnumber Black men 7:1. Now if you’re a man, those odds look fantastic. If you’re a woman, they’re discouraging and downright pathetic. You mean to tell me I have to compete with 6 other women for 1 man?? And God only hopes he’s a good one.

Often times, college-educated, career-oriented Black women have a hard time finding men on their level and up to their standards. If you’re pulling down your own 6 figure income, driving, living and travelling comfortably finding a man on your level might be harder than finding Bin Laden. We’ve seen the tapes and still can’t find that mofo. Similar to the elusive good Black man. We’ve seen him in movies, even seen one of our friends luck up on one, but we just can’t find one. It’s dang near impossible.

This, ladies and gents…is what I call The Successful Black Woman Syndrome. Too often we see successful Black women alone, unmarried and without kids (See Jacque Reid on Let’s Talk About Pep or Joan from Girlfriends for references). Or they have kids or are married after much heartbreak and anguish (See Halle Berry in her everyday life). The men in her life scarred her so bad she said she’d never get married again. She gave up on the whole ideal of the union. Now for few, that’s exactly the life they envisioned for themselves but for most, it isn’t. Most of us want to have it all. The great career, loving husband and beautiful children.

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So why can’t the Successful Black Woman find her help-mate? Why is it so dang hard for a Black woman to find her opposite-sex equal? Are our standards to high? Do we really expect too much?

I don’t think so. Most women aren’t asking for the perfect man, because we aren’t perfect. We just want someone perfect for us. A complement. An equal. That almighty Black man of God I mentioned in the beginning is just too far and few between. There just aren’t enough to go around. Look at the statistic. Seven to one. That’s staggering and again, it’s just plain discouraging. Too many times Black women get discouraged by numbers, dating disasters, previous heartaches and even our friends/family members heartaches. It’s enough to make a woman give up on finding a successful Black man.

We’ve only had a small glimmer of hope: Michelle and Barack Obama.

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Ladies, if she found her succeessful Black man, we can find ours too. Better yet, he can find us. Like the good book (the Bible)  says: “He that findth a wife, findth a good thing.”

I’m somebody’s good thing. And you are too!

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1 Comment

  1. First of all, nice piece. Second, this highlights a trend that is all too real among black women. In the words of my father, part of the problem is that too few MEN are being raised now within the black community. Lots of men don’t have fathers or male role models, and let’s face it, very few women can bring up a man successfully. Second, you’re completely right…successful black men have so many choices whereas the choices for successful black women are few and far between. My answer was to stop thinking inside the box. I am no longer attached to the concept of finding a BLACK man; no matter the race, if you treat me well and I have a genuine connection with you, I’m willing to jump. That’s just how it’s got to be….at least for me.


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