Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

Question of the Week: “I’m almost 30; I Don’t Want to Date Potential!”

I just HAD to post this question in it’s entirety–it’s a bit long, but I don’t care! SHE is why I write this blog everyday. SHE is why I’m writing Swirling. And SHE needs our help. Get your tickets to Heaven and help a sister out.


Hello Mrs. Karazin,

My name is Elle. I found your site a few months ago and I LOVE it! Thank you so much for creating such a fun and informative space. I am at a cross-roads in my dating life, kind of at a nexus between what I’ve always done and stepping out into the IR realm. I don’t know if I am prepared or if my motives are ok or if this is something I should pursue or not…. Here’s my situation:

I am a late 20’s, attractive, physically fit, BW. I’m currently in a top twenty graduate program in NYC. More importantly, I am kind, considerate, service-driven, hard-working and cool but not necessarily “chill” ( I can be a bit picky about particular things such as my visceral aversion to gossip and judgmental attitudes). I am financially solvent, responsible, have a great sense of humor and I love people. In my spare time I enjoy live music, museums and I’m rather artistic (my hobbies are arts focused such as theater, painting and photography). I don’t really ascribe to labels but I’m often described as a bit of an urban flower child, not in the unkempt, free-love, let’s ride with strangers and sleep outside type of way, but more indicative of my attitude toward humanity and my somewhat Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City fashion style. I’ve never been married and I don’t have any

“I’m ready to date and if at all possible I want my next to be my last.”

I’m listing these things to give you a picture of who I am. Anyway, I think I’m a good catch. BUT I HAVE BEEN SINGLE FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS!!!! And, at the risk of a t.m.i violation SINGLE AND SEXLESS may I add. These 20 months have allowed me to garner new-found levels of self-love, confidence and esteem. I’ve healed from some old emotional scars and learned to live a continually joyous life. I’ve learned to enjoy my own company, to do things I love by myself and to balance my work, school, social life. I’ve grown closer to God and my inner goddess. But…. enough is enough. I’m ready to date and if at all possible I want my next to be my last.

“Another [black] guy told me that he doesn’t even have to buy his own underwear or wash his own clothes because different women do it for him.”

Now, there have been lot of date offers from BM over the past 20 months… but not suitable Black men. I’m no respecter of person’s, I know that we are all equal and worthy human beings, so I don’t mean suitable in terms of like value of a human life. I mean suitable for ME and my life. I don’t think I have a laundry list of demands (although my brother did call my list of must haves a manifesto lol). I just want someone decent, honest, kind, funny and with similar educational, familial and professional aspirations as mine. I’ve met what my friends call IBM’s (Ideal Black Men) who meet the financial and educational requirements but they have not been interested in monogamy, seem disinterested in marriage and family and have hyper-inflated egos. I’ve been told on numerous occasions by men of this ilk that they don’t have to focus on settling down right now as they are hot stocks- “I have a degree, I go to work everyday, I’ve never been to jail and I don’t have more than one baby mama”… I don’t feel like I should have to give a brother $200 for passing go! Like, I’m supposed to lower my standards because you did what you are supposed to do??? Congrats on avoiding the prison industrial complex but that doesn’t give you a pass to ride this ride. Another guy told me that he doesn’t even have to buy his own underwear or wash his own clothes because different women do it for him.

Like, seriously….. Is this what it has come to for BW? Seriously? Then, I have met a myriad of guys who didn’t attend college, have dead-end jobs and no plan for increasing their financial solvency beyond the purchase of their next mega-millions ticket. I watched Hill Harper and Steve Harvey on Night-line say that BW need to be willing to date potential or lower our standards but I don’t think that’s viable for me either. I’m almost 30, I don’t want to date potential… I mean, I’d date potential like a guy who was in an MBA program or law school or a doctoral program etc. I’d date potential such as a guy who was a new associate at his accounting job but had the background, education and work ethic to advance professionally, etc. But not, ‘I work at Wal-mart in the stock room with no plan for improvement’ type of potential. I hope that doesn’t make me a gold-digger because I am not looking for a man to take care of me. I do want someone who is as driven and hardworking as I am. Are my standards really too high? Is settling really the advice that I should take? I don’t think so. That’s just not okay for me. I’m content alone, it’s not ideal but it’s better than settling. I guess this train of thought is what led me to consider IR dating.

So, here I stand, weary of these 20 months in the desert wondering if I am going to be in the dreaded 42 percent. I find myself staring at the older single ladies at church who have had no man but Jesus since Bill Clinton’s first administration… I don’t want that life. I don’t want to become the angry, bitter BW who buries her heart under a plethora of bad attitudes and sprays perfume over the stench of her scars. I still want my happily ever after!

So, I’ve started thinking about inter-racial dating… I’ve dated BM my whole life, not just AA but from the Caribbean as well. In the past I did date a few Latino guys, but they were Nuyoricans and still diasporic BM. I’ve started finding White men attractive and that is new for me. I mean other than the teen-age 90’s television heart throbs that just never happened before. But now, I’m finding myself super attracted to everyday cutie shopping at Whole Foods or standing next to me at the bank White guys. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. I don’t know if this is coming out of my frustration with BM and if so if that is ok or not. I don’t know if this is my biological clock latching on to the next option for fulfilling its purpose. Or, if maybe just maybe my heart and mind are on one accord and I’m just open to finding love, whatever package it comes in.

Here’s how I answered:

Elle, I would be honored to have this as the next Question of the Week.
It is the most thorough and thought out I’ve gotten thus far. Plus, A LOT
of Black women ARE YOU.

I’ll let the other ladies chime in next Wednesday but I will say this to
you now–you do not have to compete for these so-called “IBM’s”. You are
right–they know they are hot commodities and will exploit BW who clamor
for them. Just remember, once you open your dating pool, the drought is
quenched, and you have options as wide and deep as the ocean. Follow
this advice and you will not go wrong: CHOOSE CHARACTER OVER COLOR.

I’ll also let the ladies chime in on some advice on how to put yourself
out there so that rainbeaus know you are open to dating them. You’re in
NYC–you should not have a problem, especially if you hang out in

Thanks for reaching out, and I’m committed to helping women like you find
their greatest love, in whatever color he comes in.

Cheers to your new life as an official rainbeau dater!

Okay BB&W crew, it’s YOUR turn to lend some sisterly advice! This young lady has taken the Red Pill and we need to be a guidepost. Plus it’s just good karma, you know?

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