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While the books illuminated the statistics that helped me to better understand these issues on a macro, societal issue, I was long acquainted with the limited dating and marriage options black women have through personal experience.The stats were stacked up against me and I always knew it.
Where it meant I was somehow not worthy of love or commitment. “I can’t really date a black girl seriously,” a Jewish guy I went out on a date with during college explained over drinks, “My family definitely wants me to marry a nice Jewish girl, but I’m open to having some fun.” He was one of the many non-Black men I tried to date while in college in New York City, after having a hard time finding available young black men to date on my college campus, since black women have far outpaced Black men in college enrollment by a ratio of 2:1.“I’d like to get married and have kids in a few years,” my date established, as we chatted during dinner at a restaurant overlooking the ocean.I was taken aback by his willingness to discuss commitment, marriage and family.While I was able to forge a couple of relationships with men that were both fulfilling and mutually respectful, many of those “dating” interactions had a huge impact, even taking a significant toll on my self-esteem. I didn’t push conversations about looking for a relationship too hard, because I didn’t want to seem needy or pushy. I envisioned the same for myself– a miserable dating life and a future with few prospects for marriage or finding a committed, loving partner with whom I could build a family. In Trinidad and Tobago, I noticed an immediate change in my desirability.As a college-educated woman in her twenties, with a budding career and no children, from one of the most economically powerful countries in the world, my position in the majority Black/Indian twin nation drastically improved from what it was back in the States.