I am a black female and I’m single. At the moment I am okay with that. Yet, outside forces are conspiring to ensure that my happiness is fleeting. They want me to be sad, introspective, desperate and constantly working to change my marital status…pronto!
Who are ‘they’? They are numerous and varied. However, the media plays a huge role. This summer, it seemed to be the thing to do to focus on the single black woman- comedians, statisticians, commentators, musical stars..every body seemed to have something to say about why black women are single.
A blogger at Mademenoire.com wrote an interesting opinion about the whole matter in “Happy Black Women Would be Bad for Media Business” this summer. She might be right. After two years, the love shared between the Obamas isn’t new and with the economy, the mid-term elections and Thanksgiving (no not Christmas, Thanksgiving) coming our minds are on other things..right?
Not quite. A favorite blog site, Very Smart Brothas has tackled new age question of why some women seem to attract men and others don’t this week. While I appreciate that the author noted that this particular blog is not about happy single women, it is still seems to be a commentary that says if you aren’t attracting a number of men on a constant basis (even if you are happy to be single), there is something wrong with you and here is what you should do about it.
Then there are the constant match making websites and their ads, the medical stories about women waiting too long to have children, the “He went to Jared” commercials, the tv shows/movies/books that focus on relationships. It’s everywhere!
What’s important about the media, is that it controls society’s agenda. It guides what is talked about and what is thought about.
What’s the main topic of our conversations when we meet up with friends? “Who are you dating?” “Are you (or so and so) married?”. Those are first. Then come questions like “how is your career going?”, “Read any good books lately?” “What’s your opinion on the economy?”..if at all.
Intellectually, I understand what is behind our fascination with relationships. Marriage and procreation are important to sustaining human life. The struggle to find and maintain a relationship is fascinating and a constant source of entertainment- because men and women will NEVER get each other. (Why else would I read a relationship blog (Very Smart Brothas) if I am happy to be single?). Capitalizing on relationships is also a profitable business- people are constantly buying something to please a loved one or attract one..and there are many businesses that crop up to support that desire.
However, there are times when I would like to see being single celebrated more often. One thing I have noticed, is that often times being single and happy is used as a method towards finding a man..not as a goal to be achieved in of itself. Heck, I’ve even done it.
As with most things in life, the single celebration should start with me. I need to take steps to ensure my own happiness and be a model for others. This blog entry was a chance for me to vent-but has also been an opportunity to reflect. How am I playing a part in the relationship madness and what can I do to foster and protect my own happiness?
1. Admitting the problem is the first step. I will make a point to look at how I am self-sabotaging myself and correct it. For example, as I sit in Starbucks writing this blog, I should not be looking at every man who walks in as ‘potential’.
2. Not to take things personally. Everything I read or hear or watch on television is not about ME. Even, no especially, the actions taken by other individuals aren’t about me.
3. Enjoy me, celebrate me, take care of me. It might sound selfish but when the object is to be happy while being single, a little self-care is necessary. Read your favorite book, write, go to the gym, eat your favorite ice cream, get your hair done, buy jeans that not only make you look good, but makes you FEEL good. (That way it won’t really matter if people notice).
4. Care for others. (Que?) I think relationships are important because it satisfies the human need to care for and about another person outside of oneself. If you don’t have someone then it is important to direct that energy in another way. Volunteer! Not only does this help channel your emotions, it also gives you something to do!
5. Personally, the most important is to continue to develop, maintain and cherish my relationship with God.
Any other suggestions? Feel free to add your thoughts or commentary. Opinions are always welcome. 🙂
In the meantime, I begin my journey towards happiness. I will add a new media POV, by writing about the journey along the way. Feel free to join me.