Helena Andrews is 29, fabulous, and lonely. Her soon-to-be-published book will be made into a movie of the same name, Bitch is the New Black, and will chronicle her struggles to find lasting love as a professional Black woman in DC.
Read the Washington Post article “Successful, Black and Lonely” here profiling Helena Andrews.
While I’m sure the book and movie will be entertaining and thought-provoking, I’m not sure how many single, fabulous Black women will be any closer to banishing loneliness after experiencing Bitch is the New Black.
I want us to talk about why so many fabulous Black women are lonely and then do something about it.
The following points are my opinions. Nor am I talking about all Black women. If what I’m saying doesn’t apply to you, feel free to stop reading at any time. But I think that many fabulous Black women (and fabulous women of all backgrounds for that matter) will recognize ourselves and our friends in these points—and then maybe we can have a conversation about what we can do about it.
Why So Many Fabulous Black Women are Lonely
We are still holding out for the Perfect Black Man (aka Barack Obama).
Jenée Desmond Harris already wrote a great article about this, but it must be said again. We have to be more open-minded when it comes to dating. I don’t mean that you have to date an ex-convict with three Baby Mamas. But sometimes you may earn more money than the man you are dating, or live in a fancier home, or be merely an inch shorter than him (or gasp, maybe even an inch taller). Give the guy a chance!
We allow men to play us.
By this, I mean some of us allow ourselves to get caught up in “secret relationships”, date men without a real title for months and months, and take men back after they’ve cheated on us (again). Yes, he may be fine, but he isn’t worth you giving up your dignity—or catching a disease.
We fear that a man will play us and are then too guarded.
While some of us hang on to a no-good man for too long, others of us make each man who comes after that no-good man suffer for what the other guy did. We don’t trust him. We won’t let him in. We refuse to give him the chance of hurting us. And then we end up unscathed—but alone.
We spend too much time with other single women.
Girlfriend time is great, but you also have to have some time where you are free and approachable. Why is that we dress up, look our best, and head out only to then surround ourselves with a fortress of women?
We work too many hours at jobs we do not love.
When you’re drained from the demands of an unfulfilling job, you don’t have the same joie de vivre that those who are pursuing their dreams have. Even if your job gives you financial stability and prestige, these things don’t compare to the beautiful exuberance women who are overjoyed with their work exude.
We don’t smile enough.
You know that annoying (often homeless) man on the street who says, “Smile, honey! You’re too pretty to be looking so unhappy!” He’s trying to tell you something. Men like women who are happy. Happy people smile.
We wear clothes that impress other women and not men. Men do not understand nor appreciate bubble hems, babydoll dresses, or flowing kimono-style tops. I’m not saying don’t wear them. I’m just saying that those are the cute things that make women stop and take a second look—not men. Men don’t care about brands either. They just want us to look pretty and put together.
We are angry at Black men.
We can’t control what Black men do, who they date, or who they marry. They want to be happy just like we do, and they aren’t going to change their lives to make someone else happy if it means they will be less so. We should stop focusing so much on what Black men are and aren’t doing, and focus on what we can control—ourselves. I’m not saying that Black women are to blame for the decline of Black love (is it really declining—or is marriage just becoming unpopular all-around?). What I am saying is that too many of us are enlisted in a Gender War, and we are not going to win.
We are angry at White women.
Same thing here. They aren’t “taking our men”. They’re living their lives just like everyone else.
We always seem bored by “nice guys”.
Yes, a man does need to have a certain level of swagger to catch and maintain our interest, but we have to admit how often we overlook the nice guys. Give the nice guys a chance, ladies! Perhaps he’s saving all his swagger for private time. You’ll never know if you keep snubbing him.
We date online half-heartedly.
We pay hundreds of dollars for online dating subscriptions, but then we don’t take the time to create an interesting profile or post outstanding pictures of ourselves. We create a profile and let it just sit there for months. I’m a big fan of online dating, and will be coming out with the Loveawake dating site Guide to Online Dating very soon so that people can start getting their money’s worth!
We spend too much time buried in technology.
Your Iphone may keep your life organized, but it’s not going to hold you at night. If we gave our fellow humans as much attention as we gave our phones, we’d all be a lot less lonely.
We won’t get our hair wet.
We miss out on a lot of fun stuff because of our notoriously untouchable hair. Not being able to get our hair wet means we can’t go for an impromptu dip in the ocean with our man. We can’t stand kissing in the rain. We can’t take a naughty shower after hot, sweaty sex (where he also could not touch our hair). Now, I’m not trying to be one of those natural-haired holier-than-thou women, but we have got to figure out a better system, because life is about getting wet sometimes.
We argue too much and hold grudges.
I’m a Scorpio, so it’s in my nature to hold grudges. However, sometimes it’s more important to be happy than to be right. I’m not talking about compromising your morals. I just mean that sometimes we need to just let things go.
We believe what the news tells us about our wretched fate of being alone forever.
Every year there is a new research study that tells educated Black women that we will be alone forever. I’m starting to think that the educated and married Black woman is more elusive than the Loch Ness Monster. No matter how much we talk about it, analyzing why we are single is not going to change the fact that we are. In fact, in the time you spent reading this blog post, you could have looked up something fun to do tonight. Prince Charming might already be there waiting for you.
None of these ideas are original. If anything, they are merely a cobbling together of what our guy friends have been telling us for years. I just felt that I had to share my thoughts about this in light of all the recent conversations around Ms. Andrews’ book. I know we can find a way to be beautiful, successful, independent, happy, and in a loving relationship all at the same time. Ladies, what say you?