Just a mindless question…
This has been asked a million times I’m sure…
Why does it seem like the higher the black individual excels in education and career, the harder it becomes to have a successful relationship? Granted, there are some black professionals and graduate students who are in successful relationships, but the majority that I know struggle to find and keep that special someone who will grant their wishes of having a good education/career and a long lasting relationship with another black person. Many of us [black individuals who are in their career or working towards a professional career] look at our non-black friends and colleagues and see that they are in relationships, engaged, married, and having children left and right! I have seen this problem among both straight and gay black individuals (Although its seen mostly among black women). So black scholars and professionals, what is our problem?
Do we have unachievable standards? Do we have too many unrealistic requirements for a partner? Or have we just become complacent with the idea of being single? Based of conversations with my friends and my own experiences, I think it is a variety of things that contribute to the problem.
One of the problems is the idea of finding someone who is “equally yoked.” “Equally yoked” is a term that some people somehow formulated from the bible and incorrectly uses it when talking about finding someone who has an equal educational or an equal financial level. This seem to be the problem with a few of my friends, who want to find a partner who has multiple college degrees, making a good amount of money, and is “cultured” (whatever that means). Many black professionals hold this requirement and find themselves disappointed that many of the black men or women they come across are not qualified to this standard. The problem here is that the black professional circle is small; therefore, there are limited options for finding someone who has it all, especially if you have 5 degrees yourself. But I do not put blame on the black professional (Its like, if I worked my ass off for this education and lifestyle, you can at least bring something substantial to the table).
Something I have notice with the young black aspiring professional is that they are too focused on completing everything they have on their goals list for their future that they struggle with compromising with someone else to make the relationship work out. For example, both individuals in a relationship want to have successful careers; however, those plans may take place in separate cities on opposite ends of the country. She may believe NYC is the best place for her career and he may feel his career would be beneficial in LA. Instead of trying to compromise, the young professionals are quick to let the relationship go because it does not fit into their dreams of success (Don’t even suggest a long distance relationship). This leads us to being complacent to being single until we have already settled into our careers with our own cars, homes, and social circle; which then leads to an even more difficult time finding someone because at that point we will need someone who is “Equally yoked.” What we fail to realize as young black professionals is that we can make those compromises and still be successful. What is wrong with having a partner to grow with us? But I cannot blame you for that mind set either… because I have it myself. We are still a work in progress!
What do you think? Why is this a problem among many black professionals and even graduate students?
Sidenote: Read this post on The Infamous Ninja Parade Blog on Why Black Educated Males Won’e Settle Down.