Single By Choice?

May 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm 11 comments

My daughter attended a wedding this weekend of her former college roommate. When I asked her what she thought of the wedding, she surprised me by saying how interesting it was that the majority of the women, who attended, came unattached. Mind you these are not unattractive, uneducated women or candidates for spinsterhood. These are attractive, well educated, gainfully employed African-American women who for whatever reason chose to attend the wedding alone. My question was WHY? Where were their boyfriends, husbands, significant others?

Just for the record, my daughter is a Gen Yer, or considered part of the Millennial Generation. Known as “Generation Me”[1], characteristics of this generation are: confidence, tolerance and also a sense of entitlement and narcissism. Most in this generation believe that life owes them something wonderful and they don’t mind waiting for it. My generation was a little different. We met, dated and married men that our parents approved of (possibly despite their approval). Very few of the girls in my class chose not to marry.

The irony is that I too have a number of friends and associates who are single by choice. Many were once married and are now divorced or widowed; a handful have chosen to remain single. Those who divorced decided that men were crazy and they were not interested in tying the knot again! The good news is that my contemporaries are no longer having children. However, one problem that I see is that it appears that two generations of African-American women are single and raising children as single moms without the benefit or assistance of a husband or significant partner. You might say, “What’s wrong with that?” My answer is that we are crippling generations of children who don’t know what it means to have a dad and a mom in the same household. That’s a problem because of the difficulty of raising a child singly – exhaustion, financial, and discipline to name a few. Let alone the issues that single moms have raising boys. Add to that, households of children that are born with different fathers and little connectedness to their larger family unit (grandfathers, aunts, uncles, etc.) and what we have is a breakdown of the African-American family unit.

I shared these thoughts with my sister (who is divorced by the way) and her perspective was entirely different. She felt that the problem was with African-American men. If men were more responsible, less unfaithful, more interested in raising families and employed, the world would be Perfect! I wonder what men would say about us? How do you feel? Let’s start a dialogue! Feel free to share your thoughts.


[1] Jean Twenge, author of the 20
Image06 book Generation MeImage

 
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