The Cost of Being A Single Black Woman – With Standards

April 4, 2017

cost of being a single black (main)

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ABC covered a story eight years ago where they attempted to get to the bottom of why so many black women are single. Among the causes that surfaced during an interview with a host of successful black women in Atlanta, was high standards. Or more specifically, standards that are too high or unrealistic.

Over the years, I’ve seen a number of reports purporting alarming statistics of single black women. While I have a great appreciation for statistics, I have never allowed myself to become dismayed by them. But I won’t say the numbers aren’t enough to generate a raised eyebrow and even an analysis of how I may be contributing to the “plight” of the single black woman.

Three things stood out to me this morning as I read the statistics on

(Oh and because it matters… pulls information from resources such as, United States Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data & Statistics, and Pew Research Center.)

  1. According to official estimates from the US Census Bureau, the Black female population in the United States was 23.5 million in 2013. This is 52% of the total Black population compared to Black males who make up 48% of the Black population.
  2. The percentages of Black women who are married and who have never been married are almost the exact opposite of those percentages for ‘all women’ in America. Although 48% of Black women have NEVER been married, 46% of all women are CURRENTLY married. Only 26% of Black women are currently married while only 30% of all women in America have NEVER been married.
  3. Black women are less likely to be married than Black men. As a matter of fact there are about 364,000 more Black men who are married than Black women even though Black women are 51% of the Black population. While an overwhelming percentage of Black women are married to Black men (94%), about 86% of Black men are married to Black women.

Interesting, right? To be fair, there are SOOO many variables you can’t really control for in these types of studies or census reports. Nonetheless, just looking at the numbers, when you add single-divorced women to the 48% of women who have never been married…the numbers are pretty unnerving.

I can’t speak for the 48+% of other single black women. I don’t know their stories or why they’re single. I do however, have somewhat of a good idea as to why I am single. I know I know, you want me to say why. Ok, if I must…


If you haven’t already, you’ll have to read My Story and How I Survived a Year Without Dating, to understand my frame of mind with regard to romantic relationships prior to now. In essence, for so long, I wasn’t ready, and I knew that. Even in the midst of my foolishness, I was wise enough not to seriously drag anyone into my toxicity. Well, then the time came for me to address my stuff. While I was in the thick of doing this, it was actually advised that I not to enter a relationship due to the emotional instability caused by peeling back the layers of decade old pain. After this period, I didn’t immediately jump back into dating. I wanted to figure out who I was, where I ended and where others began, and what I needed in a relationship versus what was just a nice to have.

Once I did start dating again, it was kinda fun. I dated a few decent guys. Two of which are still friends and are now in committed relationships. I know what you’re thinking…If they were decent, why didn’t things work? Simple. They weren’t supposed to. We served a meaningful purpose in each other’s lives, and now I believe they are in the relationships they’re meant to be in. Then some of the other “decent guys,” I truly felt were good at their core yet they mistakenly thought it was ok to play games or be subtly manipulative. Hopefully, if they were ever interviewed they’d say, “She tried to have very honest conversations and truly gave me a shot but I couldn’t receive it.” Obviously, if they’re still salty, that won’t happen, but if they subtract their emotions and ego, they can’t fault me for the decision I made to sever ties.

There were a couple of situations that were absolutely miserable. Meh. It comes with the territory. No biggie! I’ve done some dating fasts (especially in between these situations). And, this brings me to the present.

Ya girl is single and ready to mingle (lol). I’ve always hated that saying but it gives me a good giggle. Over the years, I’ve learned so much about myself and my core needs in a romantic relationship. I look forward to my next (and hopefully final) relationship being easy. Note: I in no way think relationships are easy. In fact, those who know me and have read my other posts know that I talk ad nauseam about how complex relationships are. I am primarily referencing the interactions. I am praying for organic and easy interactions.

And Now for the STANDARDS – Dirty Little Things!

My standards may in fact be too high. I mean…that is, if we’re considering things like, an intimate relationship with God, saving sex for marriage, integrity, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and ambition–too high! If these fit the bill, then I guess things are looking a pretty grim. I don’t believe that though. Thank God for real life examples of women whose standards mirror mine and have similar or even more pronounced personalities (lol) than I do. Which leads me to conclude, my time hasn’t come!

…and that’s all I have to say about that.

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  • Reply Tiffany Henderson May 9, 2017 at 8:36 am

    I think my standards are pretty high too. If you take marriage seriously, then I think you should have high stands. So you’re right when you say it’s just not your time…yet.

    • Reply Veronica May 9, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Ha makes sense to me. I mean given you’re going into marriage with the desire for it to be a lifetime commitment. Ya kinda don’t want to do that with just anyone lol. Thank Tiff 🙂

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