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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

SexyCool

April 21st, 2010
12:13 pm

I have decided that I don’t have the answers to the problems of *elite* Black women, nor am I interested in resolving *their* issues – real or imagined.

I am focusing on my issues and making the relationship that I am in work so that I am not contributing to the numbers which comprise those statistics.

And to do that, I know that I’ve got to find a balance between focusing on the big picture, compromising when necessary, losing sometimes (although taking one for the relationship isn’t always a bad thing, but something that many of us refuse to do and have a hard time accepting – me included), geting what I need from the relationship – physically, emotionallly, mentally, having more good times than bad, having common values, working together as a team, maintaining our individuality, staying committed and realizing that relationships that last forever take forever.

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
12:14 pm

@chris,

Thanks for responding to me I really appreciate your insight.

You stated—> It can be done but most women today are lazy.

If it can be done, why are men not doing it, but are looking for women to do it? Does that mean these men are lazy for seeking a woman to do something they can do for themselves?
BTW your mom sounds like a remarkable woman handling six children, a job and a husband…I am raising my glass to her.

julian

April 21st, 2010
12:14 pm

@ Melo.
Not if there are two people who have their stuff straight. It doesn’t work if either is whack.

abc

April 21st, 2010
12:15 pm

Yeah, For Real, “THE PSYCHO BEEYOTCH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!” Ha!

Melo

April 21st, 2010
12:18 pm

Not if there are two people who have their stuff straight

@Julian!!

if u that str8 and wont submit,find urself a rabbit or FWB!

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
12:19 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.

For Real – See, there you go, twisting what I said & taking it out of context!LOL!! I was responding to what Raqi was saying about some successful AA women saying they want a man that is equal or better financially to them. I’m saying, okay, but that will limit their choices. The nice UPS guy making 50k won’t stand a chance. If I’m making 100K+ & say I only want dudes who make that or more, does that not limit my pool?

I don’t see the negetive in that, just making a point. Can u see that?

Scratching my head a bit here.

SexyCool

April 21st, 2010
12:19 pm

Oh…and Chris….just because you didn’t *hear* your mother complain doesn’t mean she didn’t.

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

April 21st, 2010
12:20 pm

good point……sexycool! melo you are funny as heck!

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

April 21st, 2010
12:21 pm

And to do that, I know that I’ve got to find a balance between focusing on the big picture, compromising when necessary, losing sometimes (although taking one for the relationship isn’t always a bad thing, but something that many of us refuse to do and have a hard time accepting – me included), geting what I need from the relationship – physically, emotionallly, mentally, having more good times than bad, having common values, working together as a team, maintaining our individuality, staying committed and realizing that relationships that last forever take forever.

Sexycool ^^^^^5 to all of that!!!!! That sums it up!!! good post!

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
12:22 pm

my thoughts turned to independent women as acceptable partners in life

Dan, Independent or equal partner? See there is a difference. All women that work are not singing the independence song. They are just doing what needs to be done. The Independent is the one that don’t really need a man but she’ll entertain one if she finds time to.

Kinding kidding there but not really. It’s not the job or career or even the on hand $$$ that’s the problem. It’s the mindset. That’s where the problem lies.

As long as some of these women keep feeling like they have a point to prove the problem will always exist.

For Real

April 21st, 2010
12:22 pm

Raqi: “How does this happen?” – It starts with being non-accountable for the things that happen in your life. If it’s not your fault then someone else is responsible. Thus, you give control of your life away a little at a time. After years of giving away control of your life, one day that person wakes up and realize what THEY have don’t and then proceed to exact their vengeance on what they consider to be the low hanging fruit (their relationship). All while continuing to run traffic lights to get to a job they hate because it’s his fault you are in this situation.

Kimmie: You may consciously refused to allow the stats to discourage you but your subconscious (the words you use) continuously spout those same stats.

Mo (aka Moeisha )

April 21st, 2010
12:25 pm

Im Swiss – your last post is correct, most people are doing some of these things alone. The problem comes when a man marries you expecting you to cook when you barely cooked when ya’ll were dating. Or the shift that comes when a child(children ) arrive (and there is a shift people). It shouldnt be hard but we as people buck change and THAT makes it hard.

Chris – I dont think women today are lazy, but I will agree the focus has changed. My mother was like yours, worked all day then came home and cooked, etc. However my mother talked about how my grandmother ‘taught’ her to be a happy homemaker. On the flipside my mother did the opposite, she rarely mentioned cooking to my sister and I. Cleaning a house – yes, paying bill – yep, cooking – huh?? My mother taught us to seek an education so that we could get a JOB. So I do think it has to be a choice to a certain degree. Sure I work all day like my mom did, but she didnt have an hour commute (or longer), a non-family friendly work schedule (she was a teacher), we were latch key kids and she had a husband that handled the household. Bottomline is it has to be a shared effort which is what Im Swiss was talking about. the days of old are just that (in a lot of ways)…the days of old. (As for the shift with having kids, my ex hubby discovered quickly that he had to share in some of that household stuff to make the home happy and balanced especially once I went back to work)

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
12:26 pm

although taking one for the relationship isn’t always a bad thing, but something that many of us refuse to do and have a hard time accepting

SexyCool, yeah that’s because we sometimes see it and feel like we are doing it for “him” (or her) instead of the good of the relationship. I too am guilty of that. We just have to learn that it’s about what it takes to make the relationship the best it can be if we are going to stay in it. It’s hard sometimes but you know…

Leggs

April 21st, 2010
12:26 pm

I think majority of the population is confused on what lane they should be in. If they weren’t, this wouldn’t be such a constant hot topic…tsk, tsk, tsk!

We are all submissive one way or another. We all “yield” to another for whatever the reason may be. One has to be the pilot while the other the co-pilot!

Dan

April 21st, 2010
12:26 pm

@For Real

Independent = own mind, own thought process, not burdened by the beliefs of others (parents, friends, society, etc.). A free thinker with her own opinions, and the ability to explain them coherently.

A woman that acknowledges her mistakes but moves on. One that realizes that grudges only weight her down. A woman capable of finding (and actively living) her own happiness.

In total, a woman that doesn’t really need me, but wants me in her life.

And a woman that understands the difference.

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

April 21st, 2010
12:27 pm

nothing from nothing is nothing…..my visual for today…..sigh as I laugh softly…..lol

For Real

April 21st, 2010
12:28 pm

Kimmie: “If I’m making 100K+ & say I only want dudes who make that or more, does that not limit my pool?” – No it does not limit your pool. The fact is more men make 100K than women. It is not even close. Do you believe more women make 100K than men?

lurker

April 21st, 2010
12:30 pm

Tazzee – I agree. My mindset though is that while it’s hard and a hard road to travel (sometimes) and yes you get that stigma attached and yep you get ticked on somebody’s statistics, I’d rather be counted down and out for trying to do something commendable than to do something rash and quick (that serves for now) that I may regret years down the road. I have a cousin whose wife died very young, I’d say between 25 and 30 and she’d had quite a few abortions. In her passing (literally), she was moaning about all her babies.

Raqi – Backtracking a bit here…years ago when I worked for a small predominantly white company (me and my sister), this white chick made a reference to so many black mothers being single parents and boy my sister lit right into her. She pretty much told her the same.

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
12:30 pm

Before me…before you

Before me, you cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, and mopped the floor.

Before you, I took my cars to be serviced, had the lawn manicured and paid the bills on time.

Now with two of us we can not figure out what to do. WTH is wrong with this picture. Both parties need to get off their damn ass and get things done. Now I am okay with being a homemaker if dude does not need my 150K to assist with the bills, otherwise I am going to work and when I get home dinner might be a sub from Publix or a quick dinner I whipped up. If I worked late you better like Frosted Flakes, otherwise put the apron on and have my dinner ready, and I will do the same for you.

It is called working together.

Swiss you are so right, why is this so damn hard???

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
12:30 pm

The problem comes when a man marries you expecting you to cook when you barely cooked when ya’ll were dating.

Mo, that IMO is a very big mistake many make. That’s were communication gets lost. Or folks don’t see things for what they really are. People need to truly talk about what they want and expect in a spouse before getting into it. I am not one for sitting down combing thru every fine detail but some things need to be discussed.

For Real

April 21st, 2010
12:30 pm

Kimmie: Oh and turn around. For Real now knocking dandruff off Kimmie’s back while performing a reverse church hug.

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

April 21st, 2010
12:30 pm

leggs great post!

i'm swiss

April 21st, 2010
12:31 pm

“The problem comes when a man marries you expecting you to cook when you barely cooked when ya’ll were dating. Or the shift that comes when a child(children ) arrive (and there is a shift people). It shouldnt be hard but we as people buck change and THAT makes it hard.”

@ Mo — So then it sounds like what this really boils down to is just being selfish & unappreciative of one another. And while we all have our selfish tendencies, if we’re not mature enough to overcome those, we should probably just stay single… $0.02

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

April 21st, 2010
12:32 pm

Raqi communication is the glue that keeps it together…..when that stops and ASSuming takes place it becomes chaotic! Communication is key…..

well sir I see said the blind man……hmmmm

Kym--Didn't realize my life was that bad..Thank you Steve Harvey!

April 21st, 2010
12:32 pm

SIGH!!! How come? How long?

SexyCool

April 21st, 2010
12:35 pm

Another thing that is happening in my relationship currently, we are having more real conversations about our expectations and what we think the relationship should look like. There are some things that are coming out now that were not expressed in the same way at the beginning of the relationship.

Nothing that is a deal breaker, just things that look a little different now that we are digging past the surface stuff that was covered by the first blushes of infatuation.

In other words, sht is getting kinda real.

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
12:36 pm

For Real – Okay. I do seem to have issues getting my words(or my subconscious) to convey what I REALLY feel.

I just think a lot of things said in these articles & forums about AA women & dating & marriage can’t be summed up to a few stereotypes. The reasons go much deeper than that & to put all the blame on a few AA women is unfair & frankly ridiculous. They are not only unique to AA women either. I think they are a reflection of things going on in society as a whole & while I refuse to let them get me down, I have to recognize that they are THERE. And it’s hurtful having AA issues up for constant discussion by folks that have no idea & just want to capitalize on the hype & make money.

Raqi

April 21st, 2010
12:36 pm

You know Mo none of us are perfect and in even being in a “good” relationship you have to rattle the cages every now and then. See I am not one for using sex as bargaining tools or for manipulation. However, if I kindly ask the mister to catch the vacuuming while I load the dishwasher and he fails to do it Imma let him know this “playtime” that he wants to engage in now has be taken for me go vacuum that damn carpet.

It’s not always right but sometimes it’s okay.

Mo (aka Moeisha )

April 21st, 2010
12:36 pm

Raqi – exactly!!! Communication is a must! And you are right, you have to go with what you see. Now she may decide to cook or agree to cook a few days a week but that should be discussed, not assumed. Assumption will always cause issues! LOL

Im Swiss – unappreciative – yes. Just bc you did all these things alone doesnt mean you should have to now that you are joined together. Share the responsibility, it is YOURS now not just his or hers.

Melo

April 21st, 2010
12:37 pm

Prof??

did u say publix dinner??

:evil:

ur mummy didnt tell u that the way to a man’s heart is not publix dinner but the dinner u make??

now this is where u missing it ladies?? small things…..

u spend all day,fulfilling ur boss’ desires but wont spend one hr on the stove for ur lyfe long partner??

Some wrong with that picture!!

For Real

April 21st, 2010
12:38 pm

Dan: I must admit I’m confused by your definition of an Indpendent Woman and the desires you stated in your privous post. Your definition has nothing to do with a chick having her own (ie money) but your earlier post spoke about money. As with everything in life it’s about what you value and consider sucess to be. I’m not a money or material person due to life experiences, so I place 10,000 times more value on a woman that fits your definition of a Independant Woman than I do on your earning potential. Hey, don’t get me wrong, my momma worked and so will she.

Swiss: It’s not hard but it is a woman’s way to make everything in her life hard. If she doesn’t then something must be wrong. Example she can’t find a belt to match her black outfit.

Poppa Grande

April 21st, 2010
12:40 pm

Good Afternoon, all

Nightline is a part of ABC news, and news, in general, seems to focus on the negative. Mostly, because we watch the negative. At the end of the day, ABC news is a business and it just wants ratings so that it can get sponsors to earn money. It isn’t really interested in solving any problems because if there are no problems, there is no news worth reporting. It is all about ratings. It will show stories about death and despair before it shows stories of courage and hope. The saying “if it bleeds, it leads” is attached to news for a reason.

As for the topic, if everyone was honest with themselves things would improve. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, “Marriage ain’t (yeah I said ‘ain’t') for everyone!” It should not be something done to appease others. It should not be done for show, or to keep up with the Joneses.

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
12:40 pm

I know this is going to read negative, BUT some of these folks talking about having a woman laboring over a hot stove cannot even buy groceries. It is amazing to me when people want to eat like Kings and Queens, but give you the Joker’s paycheck to pay for it all. smdh

I need some lernch I do not want this salad. Mo you started it talking about wings this morning.

Chris

April 21st, 2010
12:41 pm

I’ve had discussions with my mom
and she said she never did anything that she didn’t want to do. She loved her husband kids and knew wanting a family and kids would be work but she liked doing it. Once again with the negativity ladies. So everyone complains and is unhappy behind closed doors. Some people may need counseling to deal with their issues.

I work 8 hours, go home and cook 5 days a week, vacuum my floors, mop my floors, mow my yard and wash dishes and clothes. It’s no big deal. Alot if ya’ll women act like y’all digging ditches 8 hours a day. If you love someone you should want to take care of them
in some way. Make it easier on them and not just have love bs in words. Actions speak much louder. Alot of people want to be in a relationship for what they can get not give. You should want someone to love because of an overflow of what you want to give. Crazy idea I know. If you’re saying from the jump what you won’t do then nahhhhb, I’ll pass.

Being a man if I make 20k and she makes 50k I’m still the man up in here don’t ever get it twisted. Income goes up and down. She may be making more then it may be me but if were together it’s OUR money anyway cause we’re a team.

A wealthy man said being successful isn’t having alot of money, it’s being able to do what you want to do. There are people making not alot in this world who are successful.

SexyCool

April 21st, 2010
12:43 pm

Chris – when is the last time you dug a ditch?

Melo

April 21st, 2010
12:44 pm

I need to hang wit u Chris!

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
12:44 pm

For Real – Okay. LOL!! You know what I’m trying to say, but the MAN in you won’t let you admit it, thus that tired 12:28!

You may consciously refused to allow the stats to discourage you but your subconscious (the words you use) continuously spout those same stats.

Believe what you want about my “subconscious”, but I just think this whole argument is silly. The issues facing the AA community & AA women in general can’t be summed up in a few stupid stereotypes of a small percentage. I believe in knowing the hard, cold facts first but not allowing them to rule how I’m going to ruin my outlook on what I or my people can achieve. Know what you’re up against, then work around it.

Dan

April 21st, 2010
12:46 pm

@For Real

For clarification;

I purposely left out financial and material concerns off the “list”, because in the end that don’t really matter. If I spend my time looking at stuff outside myself, then I don’t have the time to work on me. And if I spend the time worrying about what she/we got, then we can’t enjoy each other.

End of the day, homie, whether you living in a shack or mansion, it’s about who/what you coming home to.

The other concerns I raised have little to do with a “woman” indpendent or not, that’s more about being an adult IMO.

Leggs

April 21st, 2010
12:46 pm

@ForReal ~ I’m laughing because when you asked for his definition of an independent woman I knew you would be saying “HUH?” Too funny!

Melo

April 21st, 2010
12:47 pm

In other words, sht is getting kinda real

@Scool??

Iam glad he wants u to cook 5 days a week and mop the kitchen every 2 days!! :lol: :lol:

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
12:48 pm

Dan – I’m kinda feeling you today.

i'm swiss

April 21st, 2010
12:48 pm

@ Chris — Just for clarification… You’re not suggesting that if both of you work 8 hours a day then it’s still the woman’s sole responsibility to take care of business around the house, are you?

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
12:50 pm

Prof??

did u say publix dinner??

Melo, yes I did!!! What is wrong with a publix dinner? :evil: Again, I will stay at home and do the “shake n’ bake” homemade pies, good cooking from scratch etc. I don’t have a problem with that. Shoot, I will do a part-time job, but if I am going to go out here and work as hard as a man, I am just as tired as a man when I get home dammit, and that is REAL TALK. So that one hour on slaving over the stove is just another hour I am standing on these tired feet, and like a man I want to sit with the remote or book in hand and chill from a long day. Hell that extra hour on the stove sounds like time and 1/2. :grin:

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

April 21st, 2010
12:50 pm

Professor me to!!!!!! I have so checked out! LOL

kimmie

April 21st, 2010
12:50 pm

Everybody just get someone they can work with!

Melo

April 21st, 2010
12:51 pm

sole responsibility to take care of business around the house, are you?

@Swiss

what kind of bizzness are u talking about precisely??

Sassy Me..Sun Kissed :-)

April 21st, 2010
12:52 pm

Good question Swiss

Professor...

April 21st, 2010
12:53 pm

@Lady J, exactly

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

April 21st, 2010
12:53 pm

one of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another person has to say……..

i'm swiss

April 21st, 2010
12:54 pm

:lol: @ Melo — Oh yeah, I guess it is Hump Day, so we can talk about THAT kind of “taking care of business.” Still — it’s a shared responsibility. And I will happily hold up my end… ;-) :lol: