While I’m sure that we would all run out of fingers and toes trying to count the number of Black women who would disagree with this, a recent study released by NPR, which was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, suggests that the percentage of single Black men seeking a long-term relationship greatly outweighs the percentage of single Black women looking for a long-term romantic commitment.
The study was conducted on 1,100 men and women, ages 18 – 49, who have never been married, widowed or divorced. When the group was asked whether or not they were seeking a long-term mate, about one-third responded that they were; however, when broken down by gender, researchers discovered some pretty surprising results. 43% of men expressed that they were interested in finding love in a long-term relationship, while only 23% of women expressed the same sentiments. It is also important to note that participants of the poll were only asked questions about long-term relationships, not marriage.
Harvard University of public health professor, Robert Blendon speculates that these numbers may be the result of economic concerns among Black women, referring to studies that suggest Black women are more concerned with the financial stability of their partners than White and Latina women.
“African-American women appear to have more security than men, and so women [might] see less men who bring financial security to the table,” Blendon said.
“The African-American community that we interviewed report a lot of financial insecurity about things that could go wrong in the future — losing jobs, not being able to pay medical bills, etc. It’s been reported a number of times: On the average, African-American women are staying in school longer than men. That also affects the choice for long-term partner,” he continued.
If you’re finding that the results of this study are difficult to believe, you are not alone. 30-something-year-old Kristin McDonald speculates that Black women aren’t willing to admit that they want long-term relationships (or marriage) because they are unsure if they’ll ever attain it.
“Shut the front door! I think that a lot of men think that they want to get married. Men see it as a sense of accomplishment. ‘Once I get married, I can check something off the list in the things I want to accomplish in my life.’ Who wants to say they want something that they don’t feel like they could ever achieve? It just makes you feel like, ‘Damn!’ you know?” McDonald said.
Milton Appling, however, said that just because a man is seeking a long-term relationship, doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily looking to jump the broom.
“If ‘long-term relationship’ means headed to marriage as a final step, as opposed to X years and we’ll see what happens, then that’s very different. Men in general, when they hear that term, do not necessarily mean ‘marriage.’ Marriage is marriage.”
What are your thoughts on this study?