By J.J. Smith:- We've all heard on Oprah, CNN, ABC News, and the Washington Post that 70% of black women are single, and 42% are unmarried. We've even recently heard a young black women (Helena Andrews) say that she is successful, black and lonely and that “Bitch is the New Black”. Helena's story is probably the most heartfelt as I can relate to her, when I was in my 20s that is... but now at 40, I can say that there are many things that I have learned about Black men and 2 that stand out the most are that: 1) “Being a bitch” was never going to get me the love I desired from black men. (Note: Being a bitch as in being mean, argumentative, hard to get along with, bitter, etc.) 2) Our "credentials" don't attract men! Just because WE feel that we are successful, independent, professional and educated doesn't mean that's we're attractive to men, or even datable for that matter. I have learned that it is our EXTERIOR that gets a man's attention (smile, look, personality, non-bitchy attitude, confidence and overall attractiveness) and our INTERIOR (our love for God, family, friends, being honest, supportive, respectful, emotionally stable, goal-oriented) that keeps a man coming back for more. Even though many news organizations have provided the statistics I mentioned above, I've rarely seen these media outlets offer any real solutions. In fact, I've yet to hear anyone really explain the REAL reasons so many black women are single, as its much more complicated than the “numbers.” I personally don't believe in allowing the media to exploit this issue and give an appearance that Black people have issues and challenges that we cannot solve on our own. As a single, successful black women, I refuse to allow the media to make me feel bad or desperate about the plight of the “single black female,” especially given the personal and professional success sistas have made in a male-dominated world. So, Black men and women, WE can facilitate our own discussion on this challenge and identify real solutions that work for us. I'll begin by offering a 2-part article to address this challenge. In Part 1, I will discuss the real reasons why so many Black women are single... because you know the media isn't telling the whole story and in Part 2: I will offer 10 practical solutions for women who are looking to find a “good man.” Please feel free to share other suggestions! The Real Reasons So Many Black Women are Single: *Note: Some of the reasons could apply to women that are not black, but the focus of this article is on Black women because that's all we keep hearing about in the media these days. There are many factors that have lead to why so many Black women are single, but I believe the most significant factors are listed below: 1. The Black Man Shortage (as I read on 42% of Black women are unmarried. 70% of professional Black women are single. The numbers don't lie and there is a real gap between “datable” Black women and men. Even if there is some degree of inaccuracy in the numbers, if you just talk to Black women, many will agree that there are some challenges finding a “good black man, ” that is... one that is not behind bars, gay, or with other races. I'm also fully aware of this challenge due to the number of Black women who write me about it every week. So, the statistics do play a role in this challenge, but it does not tell the whole story. Please read on! 2. Too Many Black Women Have Bought Into the Stereotypes On Who They Are: The perception that Black women are hard to get along with, mean, bitchy, argumentative, bitter, etc. has become a reality for too many black women. I know, because I used to be that way (and still have relapses on occasion but irrational behavior and constantly “going off” on people, especially your man, is not an attractive quality to have when trying to maintain a relationship with a man. I had to LEARN that just because I was running things at work, didn't mean I was going to run things with my man. So, I had to “check my attitude” at the door when dealing with my black man. Maybe a man really needs to be the head of the household, and if you don't trust that he can be, then leave him alone and move on. A wise man once told me that anything with two heads is a monster, so only 1 can be head of the household, and for me, I prefer it to be my man. Sistas, we know we have carried too much of the financial and emotional burden of raising our families alone, but we should use that to draw strength from and not allow that to make us emotionally weaker. I remember being in my 20s at a management consulting firm I worked for and this brother told me that I would definitely make Partner but no one would ever like me because I was so damn mean, and I actually was naïve enough to take that as a compliment; not realizing that my “meanness and bitchiness” had spilled over into my personal life and keeping me from attracting and keeping good men in my life. 3) Many Black Women Have Made a Conscious Decision To Be Single: I know you're saying yea right. But this is actually true. I know personally for me, I have been married before, but I prefer to be single, especially since I don't want to have children. Personally, I am not looking to get married again, but I'm not opposed to the idea either. If I meet someone who makes me feel that being married to them is better than my freedom and the luxuries of my single life, then I would consider getting married again. The most important thing to me is to have quality, meaningful relationships with men with similar dreams, goals and interests in life. People fall in love and marry because it's the tradition. Men and women have been getting married since before recorded history. Until recently, America was the most “married” nation in the world. But now many ask, “Do I have to be married to live happily ever after?” In today's society, people have a strong desire to simply be happy, whether that means being married or unmarried. Being single is not synonymous with being “alone”. Many single people do have a meaningful love relationship in their life. Society makes people think that end goal of two people who love each other is a “traditional monogamous marriage” but I don't believe everyone fits that model. Whoever said dating has to end in marriage? If marriages were so great, why do more than half of them end in divorce? So, there are really some women who are happy being single... Seriously! 4) Black Men Don't See Many of the Qualities That They So Much Admire in Their Mothers and Grandmothers: To say it's just a shortage of black men is only a small part of the problem, but as Black women we have to re-evaluate who we are and who we've become today. Black men don't see the strong, quiet strength of their mothers and grandmothers; neither the homemaking/cooking skills either. In my book Why I Love Men, I have a section called “Never Underestimate the Relationship Between a Man and His Mother” that discusses this further. A wise woman understands the precious bond between a man and his mother. You're not going to change it nor would you want to. A mother is very proud of her son, especially if he's a good man. His mother values him. His mom and grandmother has loved him unconditionally all his life, and well, you, not so long. If you want a smooth relationship with a Black man, be sure you understand WHY he loves his mom so much and it will help you build a stronger relationship with him. And, if you don't know why he admires and loves his mom so much, ask him. In fact, a huge red flag for me is when a guy doesn't have any relationship with his mother, and she is still living. Or if he speaks to his mother in a disrespectful or harsh manner, he will likely treat you the same way. 5) Black Women Have Spent Their Best Years Pursuing Their Education and Career Goals not Realizing that Their Strongest Assets (e.g., Looks, Fertility) Decrease With Age: I know this may be unpopular, but it is the truth. A woman who wants to have a family should capitalize on her looks, age, and fertility while she is young instead of only focusing on chasing the high-powered career. I believe (and of course I could be wrong) that a man would more likely be with a young, fine woman that is less educated and makes him feel good (in terms of stroking his ego) then an average looking woman with a great career and education.) If marriage and having children is important to you, you may want to NOT focus as much time on pursuing your career goals, but spend more time pursuing and developing meaningful love relationships while you're young, perky and fertile. If you want a husband and family, you have to pursue it with the same focus and attention you did to achieve your career goals, and by all means, don't let you looks, fashion sense, and overall attractiveness go downhill. Note: In my book, Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating, I share insider secrets, practical advice and techniques that any woman can use to maximize her physical beauty without cosmetic surgery, because as shallow as it may sound, how physically attractive you are is very important to men, and should also be to you if you are seriously looking to attract and keep a man. 6) Black Men Struggle More Than Any Other Group of People in Society and in the Workplace: You have to ask why are there so many black men in prison and under-educated? Why is the unemployment rate so high for black males? Why is the suicide rate so high for black males? Why are so many black men absent in their child's life? Why are black males struggling more than other group of people? We have to better understand the struggles of Black men to really increase the number of “datable” black men...and I'm no expert on the answers to these questions and I know when I'm out of my lane, but there are others who have studied Black males and written on this topic and could surely provide some answers to these questions. 7) Black Women Haven't Adjusted to the New Hypercompetitive Dating Environment That Exists Today: Many of the traditional rules of courtship don't exist, for better or for worse, Black women have to do things differently to attract and maintain a long-term relationship with a man. And, if you think about it, most of us have never been taught how to date to find a compatible partner. There was no college course for it. Yes, many women have received advice from family or friends. We may have taken advice from other single women. But most of us are winging it as we go. There are some women who are obviously better at it than others. In Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating, I've consolidated the best strategies that I have learned from friends, relatives and my own experiences and frankly some of the best practical advice that I have ever received and successfully applied to attract the type of men I wanted in my life and they did show up. These strategies have worked for others and they can work for you. You can't continue doing the same thing and expect different results. It is time to change your approach to dating! So, those are my thoughts, I'd love to hear why you think so many Black women are single and please be sure to read Part 2: 10 Things Single Black Women Should Do to Find a “Good Man.” Also, check out “Real Talk with JJ and The Fellas” see, as we will dedicate our radio shows the entire month of January (1/13 and 1/27) we to discuss this topic so that Black men and women can have real dialogue and discuss real solutions. You can check out the show nationally, so please join in the discussion! J.J. Smith is a Dating and Relationship Expert, Author, Radio Host, Life Coach and Corporate Executive. J.J. is also the host of "Real Talk with JJ and The Fellas," a radio show that provides advice to single women looking for real answers on love, dating, sex and relationships. J.J has appeared on NBC, FOX, NewsChannel8, Glamour Magazine, Ladies Home Journal. the Jamie Foxx Show, Montel Williams Show, Michael Baisden Show, HOT97, KISS 98.7 and many others. J.J. is also the Dating and Relationship Columnist for Black Star News. J.J.'s engaging personality, and no-holds barred dating books offer sometimes controversial guidance that has been grabbing readers and listeners, both men and women alike, and keeping them coming back for more! J.J. Smith is available to discuss this topic on print/radio/TV. Feel free to contact her at at 202-230-7195 or visit her at to view her demo reel and media clips. ALSO CONTACT: J.J. Smith 202-230-7195 Twitter/Facebook username: jjsmithonline Distributed through and

You need to be a member of TheBlackList Pub to add comments!

Join TheBlackList Pub

Votes: 0
Email me when people reply –


  • South
    As a sistah wombman who writes frequently on my own blogs about this ongoing phenom and in my OP sheet of shit..i am going to step out in my usual manner and meet my fate face to face.

    However, i will keep it as simple as because there are not a lot of words needed to explain why African women are troubled OR not.. by the lies sent via the media concerning why some are failing OR not,... to find compatible African men to date and or marry...And i do not suggest looking at oytehr cultures..why u may ask..DO U WANT THE TRUTH? no U DON'T..but at the end i will share my thoughts..because people do as they choose.

    As a woman who has only known one partner for near 40 yrs..(i am a widow) i am appalled at the inability of some to know what to do, on thier own and or about how to connect to single and or OTHER men..
    NO! i am not speaking POLYGAMY..i am speaking about making choices. call it what it is sexual and intimate survival for those who are seeking to do simply just that?
    As for marriage.. i will make no suggestions about that because i am not.. A SO CALLED MARRIAGE GURU OR MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK WHO HAS NOTHING TO DO BUT DEFINE OTHERS AND WHAT THEY SHOULD DO?

    My focus is on any African woman who wants to address her own needs intimate platonic or other needs in a way that is healthy, .FOR HER, safe and simple.
    i choose African woman because number one i do not care about others, and although i know! that other women are struggling as well..i am not of thier ilk..Also i know that they have the ability to FIX what ails them..Entiendes..?

    As a Cuban who is secure, ambitious, assertive, agressive and outspoken lets look at the needs of the woman we speak of..i will not blame anyone nor will i demean men i will however, give all readers something to consider..whether they believe i am write wrong or.. should or not...
    i will also not agree to take anyones suggestions because the fact is, suggestions are only for the giver..They do not reflect or take in to consideration all needs of all women...Nor will i

    First, let step back as mature sisters to those days when men wewre plentiful..(they still are) and when they were seeking marriage children familes.We all know how it was quick, perhaps they intended were HS lovers college lovers whatever, families were made aware of the intent. father amd mother knew family, plans were made and the community minister did his job..Sometimes there was a baby on the way prior to marriage and in such cases if there was not a willingness to marry the sistah was sent UP north or DOWN south ..These trysts as i will call them often happened in the dark, and the parents were the last to know and most often marriage was the end result..and not alwys a failure.

    Then in came the 60's 70's civil rights and the colonizers daughter..nd we all know what took place.
    However this is where i BEGIN to share what i have known for yrs...How to speak up and choose the man i want to be with ..let him know it and let the chips fall where they may.
    Now, there in my estimation need not be a time when I should wait to be seen and not heard..My needs and desires must be met..and because i sense that the man i want to be with has that potential..i am not one to play coy..and fake the funk..running back and forth to my friends ..with ..gurrrrl did u see that man!!! ooooogurl aint he fuinnnnne?

    Now perhaps its just me..i have never been turned away..and the man i chose became my life mate..YES that was then and this is now..But guess what..IT STILL WORKS.

    Women today are forgetting two things...

    1. An African cannot and will not wait for u to tell him what it is they want or need.
    2 An African man will not hestitate to meet you on your turf..

    Now the opposite is this

    1. if it is to be it is up to we.
    2 African women would do well..(u do not have to do anything..see the language i use?) to learn to say what they mean and cease and desist the shy piece? (even if they are)

    3 African women would do well to overstand that they are the most important entity and that thier opinions and beliefs are as valid as any others..if it does not fit leave it..if it fits try it on..
    4 African women would do well to gain confidence in themselves and the fact that they are strong, able and as attractive as any other woman
    5 African woman would do well to accept that thier hair is NAPPY, KINKY(some) vs long sraight, and or wavy and that this too is all good
    6 African women would do well to overstand that T/A will not keep a man past the first he is usally asleep
    7. African woman who are not seeking marriage oer not..would do well to overstand that a man is NOT A PIECE OF PROPERTY..HE IS NOT OWNED BOWED OR BOSSED..AND IF HE IS???
    8 African women would do well to realize that other women are not their [problem..Noone is taking your man..U are possibly sending him away// WHY u may ask.. Because men,, most all of excitement, they love women who bring the FETE (party) to them..they love sponteneity, they love sexy ladies..and they love imagination ( i have 6 living suns, and am the sister to 7 and i am believe i have some knowledge)

    9 Women would be well to remember that..all men with degrees and all men with nice tight bodies are not all they are cracked up to be..While at the same time all men or even a good part of them who are ex..whatevers are not as they used to be..Such men are seeking that sistah who will step out and throw a lifeline..
    Now this can get sticky.. So..When and if this is the man one chooses..(ask before u committ) remember communication is the best fit..if u choose to enter such a would suit all well to do your homework..I say this because although it has neever happened to me ..i am a retired Atty who has seen it all...

    10 last committment, with or without a ring...i use myself. here
    .i am a widow who dates YOUNGER men..if a brother is over 50. he must keep steppin...why?..because i may be mature but i still have fiyah..and i do not need a LICENSE..i am not jealous, a peeker, or the kind of sister who will violate trust..i simply want to spend time with a decent Hombre where we can share what is relevant, and do so with respect and admiration for our own achievements..i am agree, i do not ask where he has been where they are going..or when they will return..
    i do this so as to leave my friends with thier humanity and feelings of manhood intact...They keep coming back

    i am Milagros Garcia Villamil
    still spkntruth2mpwer
    from astride Tchaka on the trail in FL

    at facebook the same..Twitter withoutacountry
  • Chicago-Midwest
    This is a good post. Why I think so many Black women are single; because of their attitudes to stay single. First; especially, coming from a bad relationship (s), and expecting too much in a new relationship. I have been in two marriages; both have to do with me & them (wives), not coming to a balance in our relationship. Alot of head-bumping, and clashes. There were some good times, in between them too. Today, I feel that there is some apprehension between a Black man, and woman when they are single. That's how I feel. Is it just me?
  • Europe
    @KWASI Akyeampong
    Thanx for sharing.
    Tho nobody needed to write this down for me to see a lot of these problems and even more AND worse.
    And oh yes! Media ALWAYS needs a second thought. What possible second thought is behind the article.
    Whitey has been telling us a lot of BS about us. NOTHING can be copied from them without having a second thought.

    As any media form is still in the picture for satisfying their customers and so doing they satisfy a much more important party: the sponsors. The particular media outlet, or conglomerate for that matter, forces or binds itself into a particular deal of the populous. I.e. you'll get a better picture of the message if you know who they try to satisfy. So, who's the averedge customer, what does he/she want to believe/hear?

    @Mike Ramey
    Yeah brother! LOUDER!
    Tho the problem is older: who failed to teach us to look for our nation (to look for a black MAN and WOMAN)? Indeed. It was your white TV watching white jesus and mary worshipping afro hiding mother. Who even in school had to hear black men are worthless.
    Nothing has changed: When are we going to treat people in our mid like TRAITORS when they stress us like our enemy does ("black men are the problem of everything")

    @most of the rest
    It's really admirable to still find black men blaming black men for black woman turning black men their back for dead end streets...


  • Chicago-Midwest
    Sorry, I'm not feeling this one. These are many of the same 'myths' that have been repackaged from about...forever? First, Black women, like Black men, have to be prepared FOR a 'relationship'...and relationship in my book means courtship, engagement, and well as being parents. A relationship is NOT 'a weekend in the tropics doing the nasty'...then saying that there "...are no good Black men..." available. In truth? Many of our Sisters have bought the myth that they need to 'possess' a male, rather than be found by a man. Back in the day, women of quality would not be caught DEAD with a brother who didn't have a job, didn't have an education, and didn't dress properly. Sagging was a no-no. NOW some sistahs will have the career...and let their 'loser' boyfriends (with the gold teeth) drive their cars, eat their food and warm their beds. OR...some of them have resorted to hunting in middle and high schools for 'boytoys'. When the Black man arrives...what will he find? Can sisters of today recognize the Black MAN of today? BTW...even though there ARE more Black men IN college than in prison, the MSM would rather put forth the lie that there is a 'Black Male Shortage'. All it takes for ONE woman is for ONE man to find them at their BEST instead of having the sistahs 'set' on 'permanent whine'.
  • DMV
    Good, thought, useful instructional reading.............Brother Khalifah
  • West
    This piece lacks factual information. In my humble opinion it is "off base". Black women are single because there are very few "high caliber" to choose from. Let me supply you with the facts..

    Currently, for every 100 black men entering kindergarten, only 3 are projected to graduate from college. As of the 2006/2007 school year only 45% of black men graduate from high school.

    Now...there are 40 million black people in America, 18 million of those are men. So from the very beginning there are more women than men.

    From the pool of 18 million can remove the gay and the married men...about 1 million of those men are in jail.
    now you are left with a pool of men where 45% of them have graduated from high school. Generally speaking, A man who has not even graduated from high school is not emotional mature enough or financially stable enough to participate in an adult relationship with anyone..

    The statement that a good black man is hard to find is not a figment of our women's imagination...,.it is a statistical fact!

    As black men we should not be asking them to down play or hide their accomplishment or success. We need to put down the XBox and step our own game up. That statement that we as black me don't find intellectual or professional women attractive or that we are not attracted to that part of part of the problem....our value system is all screwed up....Other races of people look at intelligence and success as a good thing.

    Our women are single because 70% black people come from broken homes....and we don't value marriage as culture.
    We have never seen a functional relationship modeled for us so we don't know how to play our roles.

    Teaching black women how to understand or get along with "low caliber" black men is the absolute wrong thing to do....we should be focusing our efforts on raising the caliber of black men.

    Many black women have had many black men let them down. Starting with their father. This would make me bitter also.

    The problem is not our women...the problem is our black men.
    • Chicago-Midwest
      This article does have a very 'catchy' title. Although, I disagree with much of JJ's explanation under her points, her points do carry some validity. And, though your stats Morpheus appear good, I disagree with your closing statement -- the problem is our black men. The problem is our failure to maintain the value of our own culture, the decadence of the larger society, the absence of strong and present fathers, lack of commitment to family and children. For you see, this problem began long before we sisters reached the age of looking for a spouse.

      I'm not a 30-something sister. My husband died nearly 3 years ago. I have been single since then. And though I would like to marry again, I am among that educated successful Black women. It is true that there are far too few educated successful Black men. Yet, this is not the only criteria for measuring the potential success of a relationship. Even before I decided to start dating, I would hear from my friends what I found to be true: that today's Black man (no matter how old) was not intrested in commitments or even long-term relationships. Now with nearly three year's experience, I can say they were right.

      Another factor that JJ left out was the Black man - White woman phenomena. I have not done any research on this point; however, after having lived in two small towns where Blacks were a significant minority and these relationships were significantly disproportinate to the population, I believe have some validity.

      In conclusion, I am almost in total agreement with your statement:
      Generally speaking, A man who has not even graduated from high school is not emotional mature enough or financially stable enough to participate in an adult relationship with anyone.. I say 'almost' because my father didn't graduate from high school but he was a most brilliant man... but he had magnetic presence, style and strength, powerful negotiation skills and graceful manner, kindness in speech and vigilant in protection of his family. These things he did not learn in a classroom. So who were his professors and where was his campus? I watched and saw listened and heard that he was taught by his father and brothers in the community. He was raised in the country yet we lived in the city where our neighborhood was not a ghetto but a village of people who cared. Maybe our Black brothers who care about their homes, women and children are in the village.
      See related links to what you are looking for.
  • West
    Beloved One:

    Some, number unknown, some Black Afrikan females and males are single because they are Divine Free Critical Thinkers, and only a Divine Free Critical Thinking mate is their match. We do not talk about those Divine Free Critical thinking females and males. A Profane mind cannot deal and stay in the presence of the Divine Free Critical Thinkers, non conformist, realist.

    Here we are witnessing the gender (Black Afrikan females), who when started out on Space Ship Planet earth, she was on Top of the world and all her needs was met, and now she can not find her once Divine Original right mind-set, and many do not even have a desire to know their once Divine right mind-set when you tell them about it.

    She now scrambling, looking in some of the wrongest places for a mate, such as dating services, not aware of all the different types of spirits out there, spirits in a person that will show up in their relationship later that will be harmful to her. When we end up with a Snake, Vampire, Werewolf spirit, we charmed them in our lives or they charmed us into their lives or both. That profane parasite (want, want, want) will cause us to attract the lowest being existing because we have the residual of the same within and outside of us. Hell, it time in our people lives to be Seeking, Searching, Asking for the Divine Truth/Reality, so that we can unite in harmony, order, and balance, where our needs are met among each other.

    When, She the Black Afrikan females return back to her Divine right mind-set, true Black males will coming running to her and so will the lost Black Afrikan children. For the Black Afrikan female to not do so, she is selfish, Vain Glory, Self Alone.

    A Divine right mind-set reveals where our needs are and how to go about getting our NEEDS met, vice WANTS (ego based).

    How do we know this will work? Have we tried it yet, back in our once Divine original mind?

    Profane minds begets other profane minds.
    Divine Minds begets other Divine minds.

    A Nation will rise no higher than its woman

    The Destiny of the Black Afrikan Females: IS the Destiny of the world.

    She is the salvation, liberation, and freedom for the Entire black Afrikan nations and the world, and because of her (WANT) ego, she refuse to return to her once Divine right mind-set. Massa We Sick.


    Again, They are out of their Once Divine Right mind-set, and many do not know what their Original Divine right mind-set is, so therefore they can not tell others what they do not know. For us to be out of our Once Divine right mind-set means we have a mental illness, and they will not admit to that if they do not know that.

    Divine loving

    I AM Still learning

    Forever a STUDENT of Life

    I know what I know
    I do not know what I do not know
    I believe nothing

This reply was deleted.