Single Women Assessed

15 Jan

scantronLast week DC native Taraji P. Henson was featured on the Wendy Williams Show promoting her new show Empire on FOX. Of course, Wendy asked about her dating life and Taraji shared that she was currently not dating.

“Where is the wine?”  Taraji joked. “Same old, story.  It’s hard to date. Guys don’t court anymore.” But Taraji was quick to note that she was thoroughly pleased with her life. “I am not woe is me, I don’t have a man. I am extremely happy.”

As a spouse-free and presently dateless woman it was comforting to be reminded that I’m not alone in my dating struggles. Not in a misery loves company type of way; but more of a it’s not me (I’m not defective), many black women find dating a challenge type of way. And I knew of all this before but it was nice to be reaffirmed.

During the Christmas holiday my family had an in-depth discussion about love, relationships, and dating. One cousin (39, single black male) told my sister and I that we needed to be more positive. Men can feel a negative vibe. Now I don’t have anything against positive thinking but it’s just not enough. I can’t will a compatible man into existence. Mental sensory generators activate STAT. Nah. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Furthermore, I must not be giving off too much of a negative vibe because I manage to successfully attract plenty of married men. My “stank-face” must need work.

Far too often, single women are encouraged to pick ourselves apart in an attempt to uncover the reason why we are single, as if being spouse-free is a curse and we’re its root cause.

I really enjoyed Sara Eckel’s book It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong Reasons You’re Single). Here’s some wise words from her.

We’re a nation that believes strongly in personal efficacy–if there’s something in your life that isn’t working quite the way you’d like, then the problem must begin and end with you. Even people diagnosed with serious illnesses are instructed to maintain a positive attitude, as if that will make cancer go away. Many of these prescriptions come from a well-intentioned place–of course, it is a good idea to take charge of your life and work toward a happier future. Of course, we understand that if we crave life’s rewards–interesting jobs, nice homes, rich social networks–we’ll need to apply ourselves.

But the myth that we’re 100 percent in control of what happens in our lives makes us extremely hard on ourselves, and single people especially, so eager to solve this riddle of Why, are often willing to accept the premise that some fatal personality flaw is preventing them from finding lifelong love.

I’m in total agreement. Although personal responsibility and determination have their fair parts, there are far too many forces at play (seen and unseen).

Let’s not pick ourselves apart and stop letting others do so.

Here’s more of Taraji’s interview.

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