On Being Black, Beautiful, Successful….and Single

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Originally posted at Hell in a Handbag

The statistics would have black women believe that a good number of us will never marry; and if you let the media tell it, it’s all our fault. We are too driven, too bold, too sassy, and too intimidating. Well let me tell you….I’m an eye-cutting, hand on the hip, might get loud with you type of woman. That’s just me- my fire. I’m not perfect, but my emotions are authentic.

A woman’s success should not be intimidating to a man. It should be celebrated, encouraged and applauded. Excellence should all be our goal and standard. So if my “success” is intimidating, then perhaps a man should step it up himself – get some new goals. At the same time, I don’t flaunt my success, and I hope that most women do not. Perhaps that’s what men are finding out here, women who flaunt their success. But wait? What’s wrong with that….men are expected to flaunt their success at every turn – including the woman they have on their arms.

Despite the painfully obvious shortage of eligible and availalble educated, professional and cultured black men, I am not about to settle for just any ole-body these days. Just because it’s clear that men have such a larger selection of partners than women do, I’m not going to settle for someone who does not share my values, ambition, and basic desires for family -just for the sake of companionship.

It actually stings for me to write this. I was recently faced between choosing a warm body with no commitment or being alone. I was in a a situation where my desire for a relationship differed from the desires of the guy I was dating. What stings is the six months I invested into the “relationship” (notice which word is used in quotes) and the fact that I have let it go and let him go because we were not on the same page. I want companionship and a committed relationship; I believe that he just wants “fun.” Normally, I might actually be cool with that, at least I would have a few years ago.

But then, I had a milestone birthday which I, uncharacteristically, under-celebrated. I hear about more and more friends of friends getting married. And close friends are having babies – making your singleness cut just a little deeper.

Having actually been married, I have a different perspective than a woman that’s never been seriously coupled and committed. I remember fondly the feelings of true love and support I felt from my partner. He would greet me like an eager puppydog after work. There’s nothing like the excitement of seeing your loved one. Although I’ve tried to fill that void with a real live puppy, the warmth of the physical connection and actual arms to hold me, but more importantly, help relieve my stress with powerful neck and shoulder rubs, is still missing.

But that brings me back to the “are you that somebody?” coz “I’m just not ANYBODY.” What hit me like a ton of bricks this week is that as young as I may feel (and look) – time continues to move forward and not back. I’m not getting any younger. I’d like to have children, and well, I’d like to have them with a supporting partner. But coupledom is such a serious situation to get into. I want to spend as much time as I can getting it right. Now, with what I’ve experienced in my recent adulthood – marriage, a husband that took ill and later passed away, reentering the dating world in a new decade, and the digital era, nonetheless, all these things have led me to different standards for partners.

And I am valuing myself more.

They say you attract what you are. Well, I’m becoming even more phenomenal than I am right now. I want a partner that adds to the brilliant shine of my gem. So, for a while, I’ve decided that it’s best to be unpartnered. It’s got to be confusing to someone that wants to date me — I barely know what I want. Moreover, it’s time to focus on creating the best Najeema that I can be, for myself and for my (future) partner.

I’ve got a dynasty to build.

I really feel like I am coming into my divine space and I am not going to ignore that with complications of distracting dating and relationships. I’m not closed off to finding love. I’m just more focused on my professional future, which is so intwined with the flow of my life. I need to live in this space for a bit. I hope my future King will understand and not be intimidated.

In the meanwhile, I’ll just work on continuing to build the best life and be thankful whenever I might be blessed enough to share myself with someone wonderfully made for me.


What's So Wrong About Checking the "Single" Box?
Black, Woman and Single: In Defense of My Sexuality
Five Things I've Learned as a Single Woman

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