One of the most popular debates in the area of African-American singles is the perceived numerical imbalance between available men and women. Before I continue forward let me first put out this disclaimer. NOT EVERYONE WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE MARRIAGE!!! You have to first resolve in your spirit that you are okay in your season of singleness and that you are content with the state God has placed you in. Once you accept whatever God’s Will is for your life, you are then eligible for the blessings that He wants to bestow upon you…which may include marriage :).

Now that I have gotten that out of the way let’s continue. In Atlanta, the women to men ratio ranges anywhere from 8:1 to 15:1, depending on the information source. On the surface the numbers look very lopsided and depressing, but I’d like to offer up another perspective…ARE YOU THE ONE??? It is very daunting for African-American sisters to agonize over the thought of having to compete with 7 to 14 other women for the shot at relationship with one man. Over the years I have entertained many discussions about this topic, but would like you to ponder the question ARE YOU THE ONE? As a male entrenched in the process of identifying and sorting through the many options that are available for black men, I have noticed that quantity of women is NO correlation to the quality of available women. In evaluating the lopsided ratio of women to men, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that most women are unqualified candidates for long-term relationships. I know…men have issues too (I will deal with that in another post), but our issues can most of the time be isolated to fear of commitment or lack of desire to excel in life. For the sake of conversation let’s say the ratio of women to men is ~10 to 1. Let’s look at the typical categories that most of those 10 women fall into:

1. Low self-esteem – Men can sense when a woman is a member of the low self-esteem club. Wholeheartedly, quality men are NOT drawn to women with self-esteem issues because they are often considered liabilities in the big picture called life and relationship. Insecure and abusive ARE drawn to women with self-esteem issues because they are in search of someone they can control. Quality men like to know that they are yoked-up with a woman who is able to stand firm on her own and not demand/require constant affirmation. Now don’t get me wrong…a good man will provide words of encouragement into his woman and does not mind speaking life into her aspirations and goals. However, men would also like to know that they are in a partnership and not feel like they have a father-daughter component in their relationship. Women with low self esteem can be spotted typically as someone not having a strong male figure in their lives growing up (this is not absolute), someone who has been taken advantage of by loved ones and/or someone whose family structure never allowed them to feel valued. Women with self-esteem challenges should first get rooted in God’s Word so they are able to understand who they are in the eyes of God before seeking connection with a man.

2. Bag Lady – Unfortunately, men are not always accepting of women who bring children into the equation of relationships. Several of my closest friends have decided that they do not want have to deal with the inherited ‘baby’s daddy’ in developing a long-term relationship with a woman. They want to be able to share the life event experience of having a child together for the first time and not feel as if its ‘old hat’ for the person they are with. On the flip side, there are many men (myself included) who do not have a problem developing a relationship with a woman who has children. The second bag lady group is comprised of women who seem as if they transition from one relationship to the next without disconnecting or purging themselves of ‘hazardous stuff’ (including trust issues, preconceived notions and old memories) detrimental to future relationships. As the ‘internal time clock’ begins to tick in the lives of some of our African American women, we sometimes notice a haphazard transition from one relationship to another in search of Mr. Right. The danger of doing so leads to many negative articles of ‘luggage’ being transferred from one relationship to the next with no possibility of success. Bag ladies need to embrace their season of singleness and allow God to purge the unhealthy thoughts, experiences and expectations from their lives.

3. Ms. Too Independent – You know Ms. Too Independent…she is college educated, volunteers in the community, earns a good living and is a faithful servant in the church. All of these things make up the beautiful resume shell that most men would kill for right??? Hold on…the aforementioned qualities ARE awesome and most men desire these in a mate. However, let’s insert the qualities that do not show up on the resume of that quality woman submitted for review by a potential mate: a) She is one with the inability to compromise on issues, b) she is one who lacks the helpmeet skills to make a man feel valued, c) she is the one who cannot cook or clean and demands to eat out all of the time and d) she is one who cannot properly channel the authoritative drive it takes to be successful in Corporate America. Just because you are an attorney, doctor, IT manager or marketing director does not mean you can carry the authoritative demands into the household. These are the negative qualities of black women that usually drive good black men away. Unfortunately, Ms. Too Independent makes up the bulk of seemingly qualified candidates who have it going on according to the expectations set forth by society. However, these women are considered false realities in the intimate circles of black men discussions. Ephesians 5:22 is a good verse to meditate on in preparation for a God-ordained relationship.

4. The One – This is the woman who carries the same characteristics that Ms. Too Independent possesses, but she is not overly flamboyant or loud about her personal resume or successes. She operates powerfully, but with a silent aura of confidence that gives no other choice but for a man to respect her. She is willing to go to bat for her man and shows desire to make a harmonious partner in the household. She exudes the Proverbs 31 woman and understands that progression towards becoming the woman God has called her to be is a continual process. She is able to get her man to open up, she offers a shoulder for him to cry on and does not act as if she ‘knows it all’. Men typically retract themselves into a shell if they feel their relationship partner lacks the listening skills that black men so desperately cry out for in relationships.

Parting Thought – Don’t concern yourself with ratios that will surely depress you. Fortunately, our God does not work in the form of ratios or according to earthly odds. Continue developing yourself, building and allowing God to shape you so that you are the one!!!