Loni Love got herself into a heap of trouble recently by suggesting that the reason that Black women are struggling to find love is that too many Black men are locked up. Jon Birger, author of the book Date-Onomics, says, “According to the US Census Bureau, five Black women for every three Black men are graduating college. Professional women with college degrees and high-paying jobs have a limited dating pool if they refuse to consider blue collar men.”
Plus, according to the Pew Research Center, Black men are twice as likely to marry outside of their race than Black women. So what is a successful, single Black woman to do when the statistics seem stacked against them finding love with a Black man in the U.S.? Look for love internationally of course.
The trend is so prevalent, in fact, that Bravo TV recently launched a show called “To Rome for Love” in which five Black women travel to Italy with love expert Diann Valentine to meet a man.
Diann tells me, “Many Black women feel invisible to Black men and have shared countless stories with me about how they are never approached by Black men to date.” She says that the show, which airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Bravo, “helped [the women] to realize that they are desirable and beautiful to men all over the world.”
Jahmil "Jae" Eady, one of the stars of #BlackLove on FYI (on which I was the dating expert) is currently traveling and dating abroad. She shared the reason dating abroad works for her, “As a melanin-rich woman, I'm constantly wrestling with stereotypes, social injustices, beauty myths and western perceptions of the ideal woman. In the U.S. if someone treats me badly for no reason, I immediately wonder if it's because I'm Black. That is so emotionally exhausting and unhealthy. When I'm abroad I never have these thoughts."
Jae, who is currently traveling through Southeast Asia, says, “People are constantly walking up to me and asking for pictures. They think my skin and hair are beautiful. They're genuinely interested in learning about my background.”
Laree Thomas, who was also a #BlackLove cast member, is currently living in Ghana and finds the singles scene to be quite different there. “The biggest difference between dating in the U.S. vs. dating abroad is men here want to have a committed relationship or jump into marriage fairly quickly,” Laree said.
“A lot of men immediately start sizing you up to see if you are wife material and want to seriously talk about marriage and kids by date number two. In the U.S., I have never seriously talked about marriage and kids that soon in the dating stage,” she reveals.
The dating culture differs greatly in Germany where LA-native Joy Mitchell now lives. Joy shares, “In Germany, women and men almost always split the check on dates and women are expected to approach men. And while it's nice when guys do offer to pay, it's great to know you're in it together as equals.
Joy continues, “The biggest and I'd say best thing about perception abroad is that as a Black American woman, you are American first, and you're free to be yourself. You're defined by where you're from and not your skin color. European guys will want to talk to you about baseball or American football or Breaking Bad or whatever, whereas in America as a Black woman, no matter what race of the person you're dating, inevitably men will come at you with a lot of assumptions about what you like based on your skin color without necessarily taking the time to ask you questions about who YOU are.”
If you are questioning the decision of where your journey to find love should take you, consider this advice from Joy, “Europe's a great place for dark-skinned Black women to feel the love, to feel beautiful, and to feel valued. If I walk into a room with a blonde friend, more guys tend to look at me. And I'm not gonna lie...coming from LA, which is a mecca of tall pretty blonde women, that reversal feels good.”
Sometimes a change of locale is needed to remind yourself of your knowledge, power, and beauty so if your dating pool is feeling shallow, maybe it’s time to swim out where there are other fish in the sea.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Damona Hoffman is a certified dating coach and TV personality (from #BlackLove and A Question of Love on FYI TV). She gives weekly dating and relationship advice on The Dates & Mates radio show and podcast.
(Photo: Getty Images)
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