Why are so many black women single?
Hot, new interview with my fellow author Nika Beamon. Let me know what who think on Twitter @abiolatv or AbiolaTV. com. My VH1 show Tough Love also just premiered Season 2. Hit me up and share your thoughts! Find new Abiola’s Kiss & Tell episodes at AbiolaTV.com and my novel Dare in bookstores.
ABIOLA: Nika, I am excited about our conversation. When I first read an excerpt of the book about 18 months ago, I was in a stressful relationship and vowing that I wanted to be single forevermore! (laughs) I enjoyed your premise so much that I wrote a blurb for the back of your book. Most people know you as an ABC News Producer. What made you write this book?
NIKA: I wrote I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out for several reasons. First, to let women know that being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Second, that a single woman today has many opportunities to make her dreams come true. Third, to show women they are scores of others out there who have been where they are and are succeeding, thriving, happy and healthy on their own; women who have lives filled with love even though they may not have a ring on their finger.
Fourth, to point out to all people that being single is a transitional thing, a state most of us will find ourselves in at several different points in our lives so it’s important you are happy with who you are so that losing someone won’t be as devastation. Fifth, I was tired or relationship books offering advice to women on how to find a man without addressing the notion that not having one (a man) isn’t a death sentence.
ABIOLA: Critics often believe you wrote this book because you are not married and are trying to justify why it’s okay that you don’t have a wedding ring. You know, they believe that every single woman MUST be in a relationship or be miserable. And I must say reality shows like even the one I was on don’t help. Was that a consideration?
NIKA: I’ve been in a relationship with the same guy for eight years but I don’t plan to marry or not marry, meaning people assume I would or have been pressuring him for a ring for a considerable amount of time but that’s not true. I’ve simply tried to enjoy our lives together, spend time and accept him for who he is and therefore to be loved an accepted in return. For a long time, my boyfriend was not marriage material because he did not desire to be married. I heard him, accepted him and wholly agreed that I was in the same place.
I think that’s the key to any long term relationship, love and acceptance so I didn’t need this book or any other to justify my life because there’s nothing wrong with being unmarried. I’d rather be single than married to the wrong man, force a man who isn’t ready to get hitched only to end up divorced or stay together miserable.
ABIOLA: Did you discover in this book why so many black women are single? A guy insisting on taking me home at a party last night was quoting the number 70%.
NIKA: I discovered that black women are not all angry or bitter that they are unmarried. I learned they haven’t given up on black men, but want them to excel in society and help rebuild the black family. I found out that successful black women are willing to date and marry men who may not have as much as they do financially but men are reluctant to partner with a woman who has more than he does.
I now know black women are brave, accomplished and continue to carve out the lives they want in this society, raising kids, buying homes, starting businesses, earning degrees and caring for their family, friends and communities. Most importantly, I discovered that single black woman still yearn to have a partner to share their lives with, they are just no longer willing to sell themselves short to find a mate.
ABIOLA: Interesting, thoughtful and powerful. What do you hope people learn by reading I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married?
NIKA: If nothing else, I hope that people learn to cherish the time when they are single because when you are in a relationship is requires a huge sacrifice of time, money and effort, thereby making it more difficult for you to pursue you own selfish dreams—and might I add rightfully so.
ABIOLA: Let’s talk about the title. That seems to tick people off. The title of the book may make some men think you’re say black women don’t need them. Clarify?
NIKA: Certainly, I don’t feel that women don’t need men at all. Women may no longer need men for financial support, material things or security but I think you will find, even with the women in my book, we all need and crave love and companionship in our lives. The only thing is now women don’t have to settle out of fear or being alone.
Actually, the title means you should do anything in your life just for one reason. You should be the best you can be, because by living your potential you will be happy and accepting of yourself and attract people who are equally appreciative of you and your talents too. It’s also a call to women to stop being what a man wants. You know, my mother told me, “don’t start something you can’t maintain.” I took that to mean be who you are and not who someone wants you to be because then and only then will they be able to see and love you for what you truly have to offer.
ABIOLA: Well done, sis! I hope that everyone picks up a copy of I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out by Nika Beamon available everywhere we buy books. And of course they can find me – along with me books- at AbiolaTV.com.