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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

‘Nightline’ looks at successful black women’s relationship struggles

Photo: ABC/Guy D'Alema

See tonight's show, then discuss it on my follow-up blog Thursday morning. (ABC/Guy D'Alema)

You will definitely want to watch, record, or hold a viewing party for “Nightline Face-Off” on ABC, airing tonight at 11:35 p.m.  The hot topic on the debate table was why successful black women can’t get a man. Not only was the debate taped locally in Decatur earlier this month, yours truly was there to witness it all!  That’s right, people, the relationship revolution will be televised…tonight on ABC!

The debate moderators included author and radio host Steve Harvey and Nightline’s Vicki Mabrey.  The lively and decidedly entertaining panelists included CSI star, Hill Harper, journalist/VH1 star Jacque Reid, Comedian and ‘The View’ panelist Sherri Shepherd and author Jimi Izrael. Atlanta’s own Dr. Tartt (and Misadventures in Atlanta guest blogger!) was featured as an audience guest panelist as well, as was soon to be published author, Helena Andrews. Andrews is the author of an upcoming memoir that will include stories about her “crazy dating trials and triumphs in Washington, D.C.

As I sat in the audience, I found the dialogue to be honest and intense at times. Thankfully, there was also a great deal of laughter and fun.  I actually came away with, dare I say, more hope?  I was happy this town hall debate afforded me a chance to recruit a new Love Squad panel. I pitched them a couple of questions that came to mind from the face-off.  Let’s meet them and hear what they had to say!

What are the hurdles professional black women face when fishing in a relatively small dating pond? Do you think these hurdles are more difficult in Atlanta or easier to overcome?

Bren Herrera, 30, Atlanta. Education:  Post-Graduate.  Industry: Entertainment

I could totally relate to Bren: “Discerning a man’s intent and genuine interest has been a problem.  I attribute that to having entirely too many options and ultimately, a lack of preparedness to settle down. Coming from DC, where the ratio of black men to black women isn’t half as bad as it is in Atlanta, dating here seems much more obscure and a ‘game’ of sorts. There are so many women here, men have taken the liberty in being dishonest, driven by their ulterior motives or just immaturity.

Kenneth 35, Atlanta. Education: Currently in graduate school.  Occupation: Consultant, Minister, Relationship Coach.

Kenneth believes that the many hurdles successful black women face are complex. They include:  media influence; misconception that men are intimidated by them;  a misunderstanding of their relationship value. He mused, “Professional black women may encounter greater distractions in Atlanta than other cities, but this can be attributed to the social competition and materialism that exists.

Allen, 27, Lilburn. Education: College Degree.  Occupation: Business Analyst

When I think about the topic of dating/marriage in the educated black community, I just wonder if we can ever go back to our traditional roles.  A lot of my friends and I want a woman that has aspirations to be a good homemaker as well as a career woman. We also don’t think that the educated successful women enjoy being in a submissive role.

I think our love squad raised some wonderful points! Some things I hadn’t though about. Do you agree or disagree with them? How would you answer the panel questions?

Rodney Ho, Sherri Shepherd discuss her ‘Nightline’ experience in his Radio & TV Talk blog

559 comments Add your comment

abc

April 21st, 2010
11:31 am

I don’t know if it’s all that avoidable, PrincessNik. I tend to leave the work at work, but I can’t really say that my personality or behavior changes all that much. Some, but not that much.

I’ve dated management types, sales, musicians/singers/dancers/actresses, lawyers — lawyers were a total drag. I was married to a teacher, that was just awful. I like having a wife that doesn’t have to work. It works for me. It allows her easy-going charm, natural grace and kind heart to all stay intact.

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
11:31 am

@Julian I agree with that 11:27…I would love to find a man that would do the mopping. :grin:

Melo

April 21st, 2010
11:32 am

@jullian??

If u my woman u got to be submissive. This is what we mean.see http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/curtsey.jpg

Randyt (aka With that stupid volcano, I thought I was stuck here with "Toothless")

April 21st, 2010
11:32 am

For Real I agree about perceptions. That is why I have raised my children to think for themselves, do their own research, and never blindly follow any group or individuals, Republicanor Democrat, black or white, tree hugger or ultra capitalist. I could not care less whether they agree with my core beliefs, as long as they develop their own from an educated, “I’m not a lemming”, belief system.

For Real

April 21st, 2010
11:34 am

Submit in any relationship between two people means – THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE LEADER!!! As it pertains to marriage or a relationship between a mand and woman, any man worth his salt will not be lead around by a woman.

i'm swiss

April 21st, 2010
11:34 am

:lol: @ Carlito… Dude, are you stalking me? How did you know what I was wearing today??? :lol:

Melo

April 21st, 2010
11:35 am

@Julian, i forgot to add :lol:

:lol:

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
11:35 am

Carlito all is well can’t complain! I enjoy your reads! You are funny as heck with some valid points! positivity is your theme!

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
11:36 am

kimmie, no doubt. Two of my most dearest friends are married to men that make less than them. But just listen to all the books and programs where the “Elite AA women” are talking. The vast majority want the man that has equal or more by way of education and finances to them. Not the guy that will treat them well and love them unconditionally.

I know that I am really not the one to speak on this. My husband makes way more than I do. But his earning and education had nothing to do with my choosing of him. Our friendship was in play first and that friendship was based on everything except his earnings and education. Because of the nature of our friendship and how we bonded and came together it would have happened even if he was a garbage man. I love his manliness. His traditionalism.

I am a traditional woman and I wanted a traditional man. There a men in his position that would not have me for a wife.

PrincessNik

April 21st, 2010
11:37 am

I like having a wife that doesn’t have to work. It works for me.

@ ABC, i aint knocking it, if you can afford a single income home and that works well for you Great, that’s what its all about doing what works for you and yours.

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
11:38 am

@Melo not the curtsey. :grin:

BlackMagicWoman

April 21st, 2010
11:39 am

Women are passing over good men because his bank account does not measure up.

Well I don’t expect him to be rich…would be nice though. But I am not dating no broke a$$ man. I will not take care of you. I just want you to be able to hold your own and not ask me for anything. If I can take care of myself..you should be able to do the same!

CARLITO…are youguys going to get some Miracle Whip? :lol:

JULIAN…no one is stopping you from posting love! I happen to agree 100% with waht you just said! I for one CAN cook…but hate to do it. But I will clean the hell out of house because of my OCD of cleanliness!

Submissive is NOT in my vocab…unless the word NOT is in front of it! Submission is slavery..unless we are talking about sex…then..well hell no….I like being in control! :lol:

PrincessNik

April 21st, 2010
11:41 am

I just want you to be able to hold your own and not ask me for anything. If I can take care of myself..you should be able to do the same!

^^^^^^^that sums it up^^^^^^^^^^

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
11:41 am

I have a hard time believing that there are not a lot of dudes that are marriage material.

For Real – If you take into account some of the statistics being thrown around & the issues facing our community, I don’t know how you couldn’t. You & I might run in circles where we come across a good number of men that may be considered marriage material. A lot of folk don’t.

But the thing is, For Real, just because a man is marriage material does not mean he is desiring or willing to marry. You for one, don’t want to, though you read like you are “material”.

abc

April 21st, 2010
11:42 am

For Real, there’s a difference. I’m not one to be bossed around by a woman. I don’t like the way women do it. I can have a male boss, because they take a different approach than women do. I won’t have a female boss again; women who have those kinds of roles in the workplace are completely unattractive to me regarding dating or other personal contacts for the same reasons.

Julian, consult the Bible on a wife submitting to her husband, that’s what folks are talking about. It’s not about ’submission’ per se, although it gets misinterpreted in that way.

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
11:43 am

there should always be a blance between work and home….

Randyt (aka With that stupid volcano, I thought I was stuck here with "Toothless")

April 21st, 2010
11:43 am

@ Raqi

“better choices ” …that is the answer to every topic of discussion on this blog…as well as finance, relationships, politics……… The biggest single solution to all problems is a better working knowledge of how to make “better choices “. Your post was a good reminder.

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
11:45 am

just want you to be able to hold your own and not ask me for anything. If I can take care of myself..you should be able to do the same!

That is the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It can work well when there is a balance with money……

Randyt (aka With that stupid volcano, I thought I was stuck here with "Toothless")

April 21st, 2010
11:45 am

@ Raqi

should be a required subject in school

Lady J

April 21st, 2010
11:47 am

everone has lane to stay in a a role to play…….men are not women and women aree not men….it is a order……not one person is entitled per se but each character is different and will represent difference with hopes of a successful union…..

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
11:49 am

Julian, Being submissive has nothing to do with house or yard work. Submissive is willingly taking second stance. It means being willing to follow another’s lead. Trusting their judgment. However being submissive does not mean your idea and opinions doesn’t matter.

It just means a woman is willing to allow the man to be in the forefront. Now in being the head of the house you have to have the best interest for the house in heart and use that.

I choose believe God prepared man and woman with what is needed to rightfully fall into the place of how he established it. We are the ones that want something different. You have guys that do not want the responsibility of the welfare of the house resting on his shoulders, just like you have women that don’t want to be in position of following someone else. But either way, when we look deep within we all possess what is needed to be how it is intended.

Dan

April 21st, 2010
11:49 am

@Raqi/For Real

Whereas I would love to make enough money to have a wife at home raising kids and taking care of the house, I realize that given the meta-issues of the day (inflation, changing economy, etc.) that probably won’t happen as a matter of course; if we’re to have a lifestyle commiserate with the middle class ideal.

Having recognized this trend coming some time ago, my thoughts turned to independent women as acceptable partners in life; in part because that’s what I want – a partner. We do for each other (no score taking) as we recognize that the sum is greater than the parts/individuals.

Now, I won’t presume to speak for you; but I’d be delighted to hear the reason behind your assertion that wanting an independent woman is somehow bad.

Please also advise how this:

“You can’t have it both ways. You cannot be want a modern woman and only be willing to play the part of the traditional man. You cannot have it both ways. Make a choice.”

varies from your other thought process and concurrence with your husband.

Randyt (aka With that stupid volcano, I thought I was stuck here with "Toothless")

April 21st, 2010
11:50 am

“just want you to be able to hold your own and not ask me for anything. If I can take care of myself..you should be able to do the same!”

Oddly enough, that is something I look for in a woman too when Internet dating. I do check to see what their profession is, because I would rather be in a partnership relationship where both contribute to the finances, the decisions, and the chores. It is a reality though, that a working mom gets the short end of the stick in a marriage usually, because men are sometimes (often) domestically challenged and the woman often gets stuck with the lion’s share of the home responsibilities…especially if there are children involved.

[...] And our Wise Diva over on the “Misadventures in Atlanta” blog offers her own thoughts here. [...]

Lady J-Free as a bird......

April 21st, 2010
11:52 am

stability is important also and that will show in all areas meaning their bank account isn’t important meaning 6 figures isn’t important but maintaining it is meaning fiscally responsible and keeping a great career….it is no always about money either….just a grounded person who is scure with what he wants and doesn’t mind going after it……

Sassy Me..Sun Kissed :-)

April 21st, 2010
11:53 am

Well I don’t expect him to be rich…would be nice though. But I am not dating no broke a$$ man. I will not take care of you. I just want you to be able to hold your own and not ask me for anything. If I can take care of myself..you should be able to do the same!

Thought that needed repeating…

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
11:54 am

But just listen to all the books and programs where the “Elite AA women” are talking. The vast majority want the man that has equal or more by way of education and finances to them. Not the guy that will treat them well and love them unconditionally.

Raqi – But are they actually SAYING they DON’T want the man that will treat them well? I would think that would go without saying. It seems to me that them wanting someone that is their equal or better is all that folks seem to zero in on.

I spoke once on here about a guy I dated when I was in grad school that used to talk about being intimidated by my POTENTIAL to make more money than he. I was poor as a church mouse, trying to work & pay for school, but he was intimidated by my potential. He was doing well for himself and was intelligent and we had wonderful conversations. He swept me off my feet in the beginning. That I might one day be on a different LEVEL financially than him didn’t enter my mind.

See, that’s why traditionally MONEY married MONEY. I see nothing wrong with eliminating one more thing to have to deal with in desiring someone around your socio-economic level. Other races don’t seem to have a problem when they state that desire. But yeah, it does make your pool of choices a little smaller when you are an AA female. It’s a desire, but one a lot of us can abandon if the right guy comes along with a program you can believe in and don’t mind signing onto & the love is there.

Randyt (aka With that stupid volcano, I thought I was stuck here with "Toothless")

April 21st, 2010
11:56 am

I also have to admit that I might get intmiidated if the woman earns circles around me…seldom has happened, but it would tend to make me uncomfortable. (I guess I want “this”, I don’t want “that”, I can’t handle ‘fill in the blank…hmmm, wonder why I am still single? ;-) )

PrincessNik

April 21st, 2010
11:57 am

Where are Ceemee and Rell?

For Real

April 21st, 2010
11:58 am

BMW: “Submissive is NOT in my vocab” – I wonder what your job thinks about that. Funny how submissive isn’t in the vocab when in a relationship but you will run 9 traffic lights, cutoff 4 cars and cuss slow driving grandma out just be not more than five minutes late to work.

Kimmie: You said “There are not a lot of marriageables out there to “pass up”.” – I don’t agree with that and you are right just in my circle alone I can count 10 dudes. However, you changed your original commit of “There are not a lot of marriagbles out there to “pass up” to Not many marriagables want to get married” and then you back it with numbers/stats you eariler said you don’t ascribe to. Oh and thanks for the compliment and you are correct I don’t want to be married.

abc: At some point in every man’s life we are bossed around by a woman (not you momma). I have had women bosses and I loved working for them. I found them more trustworthy and less threaten by me than the majority of my male bosses but back to the career and happy home not happening at the sametime, it is dishonest to say something is possible for one sex but not the other. Reality is facts and perception plays no part in facts.

Lurking2

April 21st, 2010
11:59 am

tmac – Nothing against interracial dating….you love who you love. But I hate it when people just form this one singular opinion about a group of people. I would think you as an AA man would do better, because if we believe old stereotypes…then we should think that you’re lazy and a criminal. Don’t put all successful black women in the same bucket.

Melo

April 21st, 2010
11:59 am

Dan??

I know u asked Raqi but u can have a modern woman and still be a traditional man.

The degrees of traditionalism can vary depending on each relationship/marriage.

If 2 pple are in sync and value their marriage equally,they will find the right balance in their relationship.

U cant be swayed by what the johns do in their relationship. U gotta find ur own balance and strive to be guided by own values.

I read(on the blog) that too many pple have no role models of their own growing up, and thus the media(steve harvey and that other short dude-Harper) will fill in to guide/influence u in ur decision making/dating processes!

Thats too bad!

abc

April 21st, 2010
12:00 pm

Besides, it seems to me that the very successful AA career woman is a fairly rare occurrence. In fact, on average, AA men make about 9-10% more than AA women.

I wonder if the Atlanta area warps people’s perspective on stuff like this. Certainly it does. There might be a much higher ratio of women to men, but maybe there’s a higher ratio of losers to actual men, too.

Chris

April 21st, 2010
12:00 pm

@professor – a choice doesn’t have to be made. My mother worked 8 hours, cane home and cooked dinner for her husband and 6 kids and from there delegated duties to us washing dishes, doing laundry our homework. She made the house a home too and ::GASP::, never complained about it. She also took care of house bizness and made sure bills were paid. When dad got paid he told momz and that was that. It can be done but most women today are lazy. They want the husband and family without the work involved. Women from previous generations understood these things.

In general there are tons of good black men out here. Women from
other races find, date and marry them so what’s black women’s problem? At some point you have to stop blaming the men and look at yourselves and what your problem is. Black women need to get back to where we can work together to have things/do things and make it TOGETHER through this life. Two people working together is easier than sepertately trying to make it. No one is perfect but we can work together to make if alot of black women would drop their pride and take their nose out the air and get in this thing with the men. Focus is on the wrong thing alot of the times.

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
12:02 pm

if we’re to have a lifestyle commiserate with the middle class ideal

Dan, that’s the thing. What are you willing to take for the lifestyle you want to live? That’s it right there.

julian

April 21st, 2010
12:02 pm

If the Bible give you understanding of “submissive”, and BOTH people agree on that, then fine. But not everybody follows that book ya know.

Too often I have seen men use “submissive” to mean, “do what I say, even if I don’t exhibit any qualities of leadersnip, responsibility, consideration, recognizing your value.” <–that's a problem.

As an aside, it CAN be hard for women who have carried everything for a long time to figure out how to fit well with a man who DOES exhibit the qualities of leadership, reponsibility, etc.

Jus sayin is all

abc

April 21st, 2010
12:03 pm

For Real, I’m even willing to call it a bias on my part. I just don’t want to have anything to do with a corporate chick. Nor a dotcom startup chick, nor a chick that is like that in any way. Too many psycho beeyotches in my past or whatever, I just don’t even want to know them.

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
12:05 pm

Kimmie, yes in so many words many are. They want that man that will treat them well only if he comes with X, Y and Z. Some don’t even give the guy that only graduated high school and making $40-50K a second look.

For Real

April 21st, 2010
12:06 pm

Kimmie: “But yeah, it does make your pool of choices a little smaller when you are an AA female” – See Kimmie you keep feeding the negative myth just like Wise did with her opening question.

Dan

April 21st, 2010
12:06 pm

@Raqi

As stated previously, I’m cheap.

I’d rather retire at 50 than have to work til 65, so that we can have things. But that’s me.

As far as what I’m willing to take, hopefully, I’ve bene through the worst of it; but I do what needs doing when it comes to achieving goals. Is that what you’re asking?

Melo

April 21st, 2010
12:06 pm

My mother worked 8 hours, cane home and cooked dinner for her husband and 6 kids and from there delegated duties to us washing dishes, doing laundry our homework. She made the house a home too and ::GASP::, never complained about it

@Chris!!

^ 5 on that!

For Real

April 21st, 2010
12:07 pm

Dan: I need you to give me your definition of Independant Woman before I can respond.

julian

April 21st, 2010
12:08 pm

As for “submissive”, if the Bible is your foundation — and the foundation for BOTH people — then fine. But not everybody follows that book.

Aslo “submissive” assumes that the man is going to exhibit some leadership, responsibility, consideration, recognition of the value his wife brings. Otherwise, it quickly turn into “do what I say or else” and that aint right.

As an aside, it CAN be hard for a woman who has had to carry it all for a long time to find a balance with a partner who DOES show some responsibility, leadership, etc etc. Just sayin

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
12:10 pm

I wonder what your job thinks about that. Funny how submissive isn’t in the vocab when in a relationship but you will run 9 traffic lights, cutoff 4 cars and cuss slow driving grandma out just be not more than five minutes late to work.

ForReal, EXACTLY. I just find it simply ironic how the same people that cannot submit to the traditional relationship will bend over backwards for everything else but. They don’t realize they are submitting the whole time.

Why do we demean our mates? Why aren’t they deserving of the same efforts and energy that we put into our jobs and even forming relationships with our friends? How can one say that they love someone, give their intimate soul to someone, be one with someone yet place them at a lesser degree as a job, hobby or whatever? How does this happen?

For Real

April 21st, 2010
12:10 pm

PSA!!!

ATTENTION, ATTENTION!!!

NO PYSCO BEEYOTCHES FOR ABC!!! THAT IS ALL!!

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
12:11 pm

However, you changed your original commit of “There are not a lot of marriagbles out there to “pass up” to Not many marriagables want to get married” and then you back it with numbers/stats you eariler said you don’t ascribe to.

For Real – I didn’t change what I said earlier. In my first post of the day, I said the statistics would seem to naturally have an effect on the number of marriable men available. Now take a raw count of what one might consider marriable on paper. I’m also saying don’t assume that just because one is marriagable that they WANT to get married. Thats the point I tried to make & a prime example would be yourself. If all those 10 marriageable dudes you know are like you, they are useless, “unmarriageable” to a single gal looking to marry.

As for me not ascribing to statistics – while I respect hard, cold facts, I refused to allow them to discourage me and I tell my single friends that. While I believe the pickings are slim out there, it only takes one. If AA women dwell on them, they are pretty depressing.

Melo

April 21st, 2010
12:11 pm

it CAN be hard for a woman who has had to carry it all for a long time to find a balance

@Julian??

u making it sound like marriage has to be a contest,like its a heavy weight fight between Ali and Fraser!

if u dont like it dont do it!

julian

April 21st, 2010
12:13 pm

and I’ll say it again,
submissive, my a@@

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
12:13 pm

But the thing is, For Real, just because a man is marriage material does not mean he is desiring or willing to marry.

For Real – This is exactly what I said. I did not say “not many marriageables want to get married.”

i'm swiss

April 21st, 2010
12:13 pm

Why is this so hard? I mean, really? Don’t most of us live on our own & handle work + household responsibilities on our own before we get married? Mrs. Swiss & I both work. We share in earning the money. We share in paying the bills. We also share in handling the household to-do list. We both cook, we both clean. Some things I tend to tackle — like taking out the trash, or anything she deems “icky” or that involves heavy-duty manual effort — and some things she tends to handle, like mending buttons or anything requiring a lot of dexterity in the fingers, which I don’t have. ;-) Why is this so complicated?