Single Black Woman: Not Desperate But Definitely Picky

This past weekend I attended a party where I saw a lot of my old classmates from grade school. It was a good catching up with them since I hadn’t seen most of them since Kindergarten, which for me was over two decades ago. And even though we were all the same age most of my old classmates were married or had children or both, which led them to ask me why I was still unmarried with no children. I gave them the response that I always give: “I just haven’t found Mr. Right yet.” One of my more outspoken classmates (who is married with 2 kids of his own) looked me up & down and quickly told me that my problem was probably that I was “too picky for my own good”. But how can anyone be too picky when it comes to marriage?

WHAT DO I REALLY WANT?

The conversation with my classmate got me to thinking – am I too picky? Maybe I just don’t recognize it. Could I be unwilling to see that the things I desire in a husband are not reasonable after all? Maybe I need to re-evaluate my needs & just stick with the things that are deal breakers. Should I reconsider what’s important to me & pursue a relationship with someone who is a good man even though they don’t have everything that I want or need in a relationship? Older women always advise me to focus on the important qualities in a man like good character, honesty, open communication, trust & whether or not he’ll be a good father to our children but I want to know when does attraction and chemistry come into play? When do romance and a sense of humor come into play? I know that those qualities aren’t what keep a marriage together but they do account for a lot in a relationship, especially during the rough times. If I have to deal with someone that I’m not attracted to (intellectually, spiritually or emotionally) then it makes dealing with that person a lot more difficult. Don’t get me wrong – integrity, trust and good character are all great things to have but if there’s no attraction then what good does it do?

THE LIST

Yes, I have requirements of certain characteristics that I am looking for in a mate. Unfortunately, I have yet to find all of these characteristics in one man but that’s the real reason for me being single. A lot of us women were told to have a list of qualities that we would like in a mate and to be very specific with this list. I wrote my list out and ended up with about 20 qualities that I’d like in a husband. Some people have told me that this list is too long but I contend that while not all of these qualities are mandatory, they are what I truly desire in a mate and are all important to me. Of course, it is still up to me to exercise good judgment with which qualities are most important to me.

You’re probably wondering what’s on my list. I won’t write out everything but some of the more important qualities include a Christian man who will be faithful, has a sense of humor, thoughtful and active in his community (or at least productive in society outside of work). I honestly don’t think that these things are too much to ask for. There are other qualities on my list such as physical features and the like, but those are mostly preferences (i.e. – complexion, height, build, etc). I was talking to an acquaintance one day (a recently married man in his 40’s) about my “list” and he told me that most of the things I’m looking for are realistic, but there were a few qualities that he deemed unrealistic. He reasoned that in this day in age, and with the age range of men I’m interested in (ages 35-45) it would be very difficult for me to find exactly what I want so I should remove certain qualities from my list. I didn’t want to get into it with him but I took what he said with a grain of salt (basically ignored him completely). The things that I want in a husband may seem unreasonable to someone else but to me they are not. Besides, how can someone else tell me what’s important to me?

A lot of my male friends tell me to get rid of my list, but the funny thing is that they all have their own list. Sure, it may not be written out like mine but it’s all in their head. Every man knows exactly what he wants in a woman and won’t settle until he gets what he’s looking for (which is part of the reason why men stay single for so long). No one ever complains that a man is being picky so why I should be concerned with that label?

IF I’M SO PICKY I MUST HAVE SOMETHING GOOD TO OFFER

I always hear that men are allowed to be picky because they have more options. Since women are starting to make more money & become more accomplished than their male counterparts there are fewer successful men to choose from. Therefore women can’t afford to be as picky as men. Although there is some truth to that, I don’t believe that I need to have a shorter list just to get a husband. Everything that I want in a man I have to offer. I want a man who is a Christian, I am a Christian. I want a man with an education, I have a college degree. And the list goes on & on. I am not a millionaire; therefore I wouldn’t expect to be with a millionaire (although it would be nice, Lol!). My point is this: I would never ask for something that I don’t have to offer myself.

AM I MISSING OUT?

Sometimes I wonder if I am missing out on my future husband because I’m holding on to a list that may or may not be realistic. I also wonder if my list should be shortened or maybe even retired.  Maybe I am too picky for my own good. But I am content to remain single until most of the items on my list can be checked off.

Besides, with so many divorces in this country people just don’t seem to be picky enough.

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7 thoughts on “Single Black Woman: Not Desperate But Definitely Picky

  1. Good read Chocolate Vent!!! You are a wise, thought-provoking woman.

    In my opinion, being picky isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Having a list or criteria of what you like and prefer in a man is a good thing. It may prevent you from marrying the wrong one. After all, choosing a suitable mate is one of the most important life decisions one will make.

    I liken it to grocery shopping. For example, when most people go the store, they usually go with a with a list to avoid coming home with items they don’t need. While shopping, they may substitute or leave off a few items, but ultimately, that list serves as a good reminder. No one wants to come home with missing items or things they don’t need. Similarly, I think that having a list when dating is just as important. Why waste time on people that don’t even have a semblance of what you like?

    Long gone are the days that women need to marry someone to take care of them. Therefore, I turn a deaf ear to those that try to try to make me fearful that I’ll remain single if I don’t settle or get rid of my list. In the grand scheme of things in life, there are worse things than being single. Hence, I would rather be lonely “sometimes” as a single woman than be with a man for a lifetime that isn’t right for me.

    1. I LOVE what you wrote, “I turn a deaf ear to those that try to try to make me fearful that I’ll remain single if I don’t settle or get rid of my list”!!!
      This is so true. You know what you want & should stick to it 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

    2. It’s not like shopping for groceries. It’s all in the percents. How many men are Christian 30 percent. Then of that a good sense of humor, now we’re at 25%. Active in the community 17%. A certain height what 5-10 and above. we’re at 7-10%. Yes 90 percent of all black guys don’t fit into her range. Then there’s complexion and build. Boy, she’s down to 2-5 percent now. The guy then has to ask her out. Picky ends up quickly near zero.

  2. Yes you are too picky. In my latest article “girl POWER” I make reference to this being a man’s world. Like it or not your degrees and all your bells and whistles don’t mean much to men. It’s the physical and if you don’t have that you’re really delusional. An average looking man like myself can command Halle Berry look alikes in ANY RACE. Bc there is a shortage of good men no matter what he looks like. You as a woman don’t have that same luxury. Wake up! Do you see all the pretty and educated black women out there that are SINGLE. You’d better dispose of that list before you find yourself by yourself at 50! And honey, ain’t nobody gonna be checking for you then…

    1. Thanks for your comments but the word “picky” is relative. Is it picky to want a man without kids? Maybe, but guess what – I don’t have any & none of my male friends do either. So, it’s not unreasonable to expect to be with someone who doesn’t have children. Only immature, young men make the mistake of going after the good looking woman who doesn’t have much going for her or isn’t too bright. You used Halle Berry as an example, and yes while she is gorgeous, she is on her 3rd marriage & has a crazy baby daddy. Is that what you average looking men are seeking? If so, I wouldn’t want to be with you anyway because you’re priorities are messed up.

      Whether this is a “man’s world” or not, women still have plenty of options. How do I know that? Because weddings are still happening every day. I don’t pay too much attention to statistics. If I did, I would have a couple of different ‘baby daddies’ by now with no college education and living off the welfare system. But I’m not – so I don’t care what society says or what the numbers seem to say – there are still plenty of good men out there (Black, White & any other race). It’s just a matter of meeting the RIGHT one.

  3. So I guess for your list I would suggest making a tier list of 1. What’s most important 2. What’s next important 3. Would like to have’s but won’ t freakout if they aren’t there … certainly you probably have a lot to offer but I would ask what type of relationship (marriage) “are” you looking for?? One where he is a partner and there is 50/50 joint commitment or one where he is spending the bulk of his time fulfilling your needs (or even vice-versa)?? One thing I learned when I was married was when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road … things get narrowed down very quickly because you’re dealing with everyday life and I believe that would be a good way to tackle your list. For instance … what became important to me was communication, humor, likeability, honestly/integrity, attractiveness and physical build. In the end the they became my bed rock of what “must” be there; everything else I can negotiate on because none of us are perfect but you >can< keep striving towards it … yes I'm sure you have something good to offer but how much of your own list can you fulfill day in/day out?? (just something to think about)

    Yes men have a list too but its not because we're "that" picky (per se) its because many a time we don't know what the hell we want (and have too many options) but by time we get older, we "do" realize we want companionship … of course that's another whole story in and of itself

    1. I just read a book that said women should narrow down their priorities to only 3 traits – which I have done. I tend to be forward-thinking when choosing a mate because I want someone who will be good for me 20-30 plus years from now (I’m well aware that the excitement in a marriage will die down).

      Is it possible that everyone has marriage qualities in them but maybe it just takes the right person to bring those qualities out in us?

      Thanks for your comments – I love hearing male insight!

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