Do Black Women Get The Short End of The Dating Stick?

7 Jun

Married outside of their race: Greys Anatomy's Justin Chambers with his beautiful wife Keisha

Last month in an interview with Vibe magazine actress Regina King (Boyz N The Hood, Jerry Maguire, Empire of the State) said she believed that more black women should date outside of their race and it got me thinking. It got me thinking about how I’m one of the women she’s talking about. I’ve always been one of the “I want me a brother” types but different to the majority of her friends that she’s referring to, I’m actually trying dating outside of my race right now. Since starting this blog I’ve dated an English guy, an Italian guy and I’ve tried dating an Irish guy too (emphasis on the word tried!). So yes, I’m being more open than I’ve been in the past. Does that change the fact that, deep down, I still hope that my Mr Good Enough/Mr Right turns out to be black? Hmmm, probably not.

However, I accept the fact that in this day and age black men don’t seem to feel the same way. Just last week the New York Times reported a new study that shows more and more black men are marrying women of other races. In fact, in the US, more than 1 in 5 black men married a non black woman in 2008. The article also says that sociologists said the rate of black men marrying women of other races further reduces the already shrunken pool of potential partners for black women seeking a black husband – well, no shit Sherlock!

Married outside of their race; Heidi Klum and Seal. I adore these two!


To me, these figures are eye-opening, but then I happen to think black women are rather fabulous (but then again, I am extremely biased!). A month or so ago, via Twitter, I come across a TV programme that was broadcast on American News network ABC News. A ‘special’ entitled “Why Can’t A Successful Black Woman Find A Man” (the issue I have with the title of the show is immense, mammoth, colossal even). The show quotes a recent Yale study, which says 42 percent of African-American women have yet to be married, compared to only 23 percent of white women. That’s double the amount! Here is a YouTube clip from the TV special, featuring a bunch of intelligent, beautiful black women talking about how hard their search to find a man is. Ya just gotta love Steve Harvey. He always makes me laugh, “All y’all are fine. Hell, who don’t wanna go out with y’all?” So damn true, they’re all gorgeous! Check out the clip.

One of the women in the YouTube clip talks about black women not being as coveted as women of other races and I think she has a valid point. In mainstream society, when you look at the famous women men lust over black doesn’t seem to be seen as beautiful. In recent years with the success of black music artists such as Beyonce and Rihanna and actresses such as Halle Berry and Zoe Saldana it’s better than it was say, 10 years ago, but still we’ve got a long way to go. For example, this years FHM top 100 sexiest women list voted for by men all over the UK contains just five black women. Yes just FIVE black women out of 100! Are we really considered that undesirable?

The five black women included in FHM’s Top 100 Sexiest Women list 2010

#24 – Zoe Saldana
#43 – Rihanna
#64 – Beyonce
#75 – Alexandra Burke
#98 – Rochelle Wiseman (from The Saturdays)

(Honourable shout out goes to Indian beauty Frieda Pinto who was listed at #97)

British footballer Jermain Defoe. Always with women; none of them are ever black.

Most of the statistics mentioned in this post so far come from the US, but even so, here in the UK I can totally relate to what the women in the video clip are saying. The Sunday Times reported that Britain has the highest rate of interracial relationships in the world and it’s been reported elsewhere that by 2020 the mixed race population is expected to become Britain’s largest ethnic minority group with the highest growth rate. According to the 2001 UK census black British males were around 50% more likely than black females to marry outside of their race, so where exactly does that leave us?

Ultimately, I LOVE love. I’m a big fan of love in all of its shapes and sizes. I love that falling love happens with whoever you fall in love with, regardless of skin colour. Who I tend to be more weary of, are people who point blank refuse to date within their own race. I know plenty of black guys who specifically avoid black women, my Uncle is one of them. My whole life my Uncle has only dated white women. The woman he has settled down with is part of our family, I love her to bits and my beautiful cousins too. Do I wonder what exactly my Uncle has had against black women all of his life? Yes, of course I do. My Uncle grew up looking up to my Grandma, my Aunties so why did he never consider a black woman to be a suitable soulmate? Maybe one day I’ll pluck up enough courage to ask. On the other side, I have numerous white girlfriends who only date black men. They won’t even give a white guy the time of day. What is up with that? How can you exclude a whole race of men? Especially when its the same race that you belong to?? Just doesn’t make sense to me. Personally, yes I tend to be attracted to black and mixed race men first and foremost but if I happen to fall in love, physically and mentally, with a white man, an Indian man or whoever… then hoo-bloody-ray for me!

The black couple – becoming extinct?

This is a controversial subject to write about but one that I think is worth bringing up. It’s definitely relevant to what I’m going through at the moment, if I had been more open to dating outside of my race earlier in my life, maybe I wouldn’t still be single at 33? Who knows eh? One thing I do know is that the recent spate of articles such as Vibe and the New York Times has got me thinking about black women and how we are being perceived out there, by the media, by our own black men and by the world at large. I wonder if these views are played out on dating websites. It would be interesting to know the percentage of replies a black woman gets compared to the amount of replies a white woman gets on these sites. All of the recent coverage seems to be aimed at black women specifically, which just doesn’t seem fair to me.

20 Responses to “Do Black Women Get The Short End of The Dating Stick?”

  1. singlegirlie June 11, 2010 at 2:56 PM #

    I saw that clip before and found it very interesting. Certainly makes the situation sound bleak for the black woman. I thought about not showing it to my good friend, who is single and black, because I didn’t want it to frustrate her even more. Stories like this are interesting and help explain certain phenomena, but I also wonder if knowing about it makes women feel even more hopeless. Feeling hopeless is obviously not a good attitude to have when dating and makes matters worse.

    I also think it’s more difficult for smart women to find a man, because we’re probably less likely to put up with BS. Men also may feel threatened by our intelligence.

    This is probably a silly question, but have you tried black dating sites?

    Very thought provoking post, well done!

    • TheSingleFilez June 11, 2010 at 4:00 PM #

      Thank you so much for commenting hon, it’s much appreciated. It’s a tricky subject and not one that people necessarily want to get involved with talking about.

      That’s a good point, does knowing all of these statistics help knock our confidence levels? My guess is yes, we’re all human after all. Yet another good point, its difficult for smart women, period. Whether black, white or blue! But yet, the media seems to keep zeroing in on black women.

      Unfortunately there aren’t many black dating sites here in the UK as I imagine there in the US. Also I’m at the point where I don’t want to limit myself. What I didn’t mention in the post is that my Mum’s other half is white and she’s been with him for the past 5 years after only having relationships with black men all her life…. and she’s happy. So happy!

      Hopefully, sooner rather than later, I’ll find someone who doesn’t believe the hype and who just likes me for me. Thanks again for reading and commenting x

  2. nandoism June 11, 2010 at 3:45 PM #

    girl, I say when the erection hits–it don’t matter the color! so look out for those men who get excited to see ya! I’ve dated them all and in the end–it’s ain’t about the color, is just ain’t!

    • TheSingleFilez June 11, 2010 at 4:29 PM #

      Haha, “when the erection hits, it don’t matter the color”, love love LOVE it!

      That’s not even the problem hun. I’m open to dating other races, that’s all good. What this post was about is the perception of black women that the media/men of the world seems to have. The statistics show that black women are the ‘dating underdogs’. Which is what I think is unfair, because we rock!

      Thanks for commenting sweetcheeks xx

  3. delightfuleccentric June 12, 2010 at 12:03 AM #

    Too funny – I saved that same article to write about it (and another article I read) sometime in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled!

    • TheSingleFilez June 12, 2010 at 2:20 PM #

      Brilliant! Great minds thinking alike and all that. I look forward to reading about your view on the subject.

  4. Skye Blue June 29, 2010 at 1:51 AM #

    I’m going to against the grain here and point out that if in 2008 1 in 5 black men in the US married non-black women, that means 4 in 5 – that’s 80% – chose to marry black women.

    And re the UK stat about black men being 50% more likely than their female counterparts to marry outside their race – that’s well crafted fear-mongering if you ask me. You see if for example, UK black women are marrying outside their race 10% of the time, 50% more means that black men are marrying outside their race only 15% of the time. The black female rate of interracial marriage would have to hit well above 30% (which is highly unlikely) before anywhere close to 50% of black men were choosing to marry outside their race. So again in the UK as in America, most black men are probably marrying black women.

    In essence, what I’m trying to say, is that as hard as it is may be for black women to meet black men and despite what the vast majority of media outlets report, the situation for black women who wish to date and marry black men is not as ‘bleak’ as we’re being lead to believe.

    If you’re interested, check out the link below for a black man’s perspective on the ‘plight’ of single black women…

    • TheSingleFilez June 29, 2010 at 2:28 PM #

      LOVE your comment! All of your points are true. They’ve cleverly worded their ‘statistics’, thank you for making me see it in a completely different way.

      I had a good read of the link you posted and I literally swooned at his words. Such a great post by Jozen! Having said in my post that according to mainstream society, black women aren’t seen to be as desirable as women of other races. I used the FHM Top 100 Sexiest Women list as an example but Jozen puts it so much more beautifully –

      “If we are going to accept the argument that men are to blame for the disproportionate number of single black women, then why can’t the blame be extended to all men, regardless of their skin color or racial makeup? The onus should not be on just black men, it should also be put on Asian men, White men, Hispanic men, Middle Eastern men. French men, Norwegian men, Italian men, South American men, Central American men, North American men, and Canadian men.

      Basically any man who likes women and dates women should be held accountable for all these single (beautiful!) black women walking the Earth.

      The saddest story the number of single black women tells me (whichever ones you want to believe) is how underrated and underappreciated the black female is by all men. Not to sound cliche, but black women are beautiful, yet the numbers show this is obviously still a secret to the majority of men out there.

      The truth is not ugly, the truth is invisible. The reason there are so many single (beautiful!) black women is because their beauty is utterly ignored by the world at large.”

  5. lucid October 29, 2010 at 11:49 AM #

    Nice to read such a balanced post on the issue. It’s a fact of post-colonial life, white women love black men and black men love white women (and bland food). Generally speaking of course. 😉

    • TheSingleFilez October 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM #

      LOL! “Bland food”? I don’t know you, but I like you!

      Thanks for reading & commenting 😉

  6. Sara October 29, 2010 at 2:28 PM #

    Hello, I’ve been reading with interest your post about race and dating. I didn’t really have a preference as to race when I was younger, but since I’ve moved to Japan I prefer Japanese or asian guys generally. I don’t know what that makes me… I guess if you read some of my blog posts you can judge for yourself. I’m the racial minority here, and in fact, within the white minority, white women are a minority. I receive mixed reactions, from people starting/jumping when I turn around in the street, to wanting to take a photo with me like a D-list celebrity, to people acting like I am a weird and dangerous animal. I guess a part of my going off whites has been because of past bad relationships. Another part is that asian guys in my view (warning: imminent stereotyping!) age better, are less overweight and hairy, and are less arrogant than their white counterparts. There are always exceptions, though. I agree that we shouldn’t rule anyone out, but its good to know what you’re looking for, even if you get diverted along the way. At least it’ll get you out of the house.

  7. FLower White July 18, 2011 at 11:38 AM #

    Just date outside your race!

    Forget black men many of them are bitter colorist misogynists!

    • TheSingleFilez July 18, 2011 at 11:32 PM #

      Haha, great comment! Oh don’t worry, I’m dating outside of my race… no point in limiting myself is there? 🙂

  8. Levon January 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM #

    No they don’t. Short guys get the short end of the stick. More than 95 percent of women want a man that’s taller than they are. As for black women? They have nobody to blame but themselves if they think they’re getting the short end of the stick in the dating world. IME, black women are ten times more particular about a mans height than women of other races. Basketball players are the standard male measuring stick that black women equate with quality. Short guys are worthless so I’ve been told. So, guys like Spudd Webb, Earl Boykins and Muggsy Bogues will never, ever qualify, except for the “height” of their wallets. Money almost trumps everything bad about a guys lack of height until she finds another guy who makes a red cent more. Even a 6’4 point guard is too short for a lot of black women. This is one of the main reasons why I happily date non-black women. FYI I’m 5’5.

    • TheSingleFilez January 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM #

      Sorry you feel that way. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but, as a black woman who balks at the idea of dating someone taller than 5’10’ for fear of looking like a midget, I would have to say that your opinion is PLAIN WRONG. Basketball players and wallet size? Purleeze! Generalising and tarring black women with the same brush by any chance? That’s your bad. Mind you, with your views, I’d say that you’d best keep on happily dating non-black women because from the sounds of it, I don’t think black women would want to date you anyway!

  9. Sew Tired January 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM #

    Interesting post! As a racial hybrid (I’m part Oriental), I’ve met guys who’ve really liked me because of that trait .. and others who really don’t find my ‘look’ attractive at all!

    I was wondering if you’ve seen this before? It makes for sobering reading…


    (PS How many Oriental girls were on that FHM list?)

  10. TheSingleFilez January 14, 2012 at 7:02 PM #

    Hey lovely.

    Yes, I have seen the OK Cupid article before. Definitely an interesting (and yes, very sobering), read indeed.

    And you make a very good point about the FHM list! I actually took another look through and I’m afraid there are no women of Oriental descent included, AT ALL. 😦

    • Sew Tired January 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM #

      Damn! Not even Alexa Cheung, whose surname became short-hand for ‘an attractive young woman’ (I know I’m grabbing at straws but she’s, what, 25% Chinese :P)??

      (I thought I read an article many years ago which researched this and concluded that French women were the most desired in the world, closely followed by Oriental. Perhaps I misread it or made the entire thing up…)

      But hey .. do we really want to appeal to readers of FHM? Are they an accurate representation of the demographic I personally wish to appeal to? I sense not…


  11. Dating Muslim | Matt February 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM #

    It’s an incredible topic to think about really, isn’t it?

    I saw your picture above of Jermain Defoe and how you noted about how the women he is spotted with are never ‘black,’ as you put it. Sure, this could be one man’s taste and not a reflection on society as a whole but when you think about it, things are really shifting toward a change, aren’t they?

    I like articles like this one. You’ve got a very analytical writing style; you should consider penning more similar to this.


  12. pamela wiggins March 6, 2012 at 10:38 PM #

    This dating problem we (black women)experience, is brought on by the black man! back in the 70’s and 80’s the majority of black men who were atheletes, actors, doctors, public figures in general married white women! The vast majority of them did! this was noticed by people of every culture and creed! They upon success felt they were better off with any woman but a black woman! and during that time rap music and comedians demeaned and belittled us! if the black man upon success feels we are unsuitable to be his mate, and all he does is belittle us….everyone else will look down on us as well! We cant blame anyone but him! Yet the majority of them cant stand to see a successful black woman with a white man! They are the reason black women get the short end of the dating stick! Stop limiting yourself…you may be surprised where you find TRUE LOVE!

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