The subject of the dating lives of professional black women include some of the most interesting debates that we entertain in today’s social circles.

In my opinion, I believe we have made the issue a lot larger than what it truly is because of the many books, movies and workplace discussions that deal with the subject. The hurdles that professional black women face when tasked with qualifying the dating pool and, ultimately, keeping a man, are as follows:

They let media influence them – The media has truly influenced the perspectives of many professional black women. When a message is conveyed over and over again, it often positions the recipients to begin embellishing the statements as truth. You hear messages regarding the issues professional black women face in dating via radio shows, blogs and magazines and this prompts the discussions between friends, co-workers and results in the perpetual mindsets that now exist. The reality is no matter if the statistics state that 42.7 percent of African-American women are unmarried, women have to realize that it only takes meeting one man to place them in the 57.3 percent category. However, if a negative mindset is embraced, then experiences usually follow.

They carry dangerous misconceptions of men’s views – There is a misconception that men are intimidated by the educational, professional and financial statuses of successful black women. This is true when women are only exposed to groups of immature men who lack motivation. If this seems to be the norm, then I recommend doing something different in order to get exposure to new circles of men. There are groups of men who desire to be men of integrity. There are men who desire to be married. There are men who embrace the professional and educational pursuits of black women. There are men who desire to love women unconditionally. The common misunderstanding of black men is “black men are intimidated by successful black women.” The success isn’t what disconnects men and women it’s the perceived attitude that is associated with the professional success and education. If two people make each other feel valued, then the relationship will work despite an educational or professional gap. Genuine love bridges the widest of gaps and eases the deepest of insecurities.

They misunderstand the concept of value – Somewhere along the line of time our society lost the things that should be viewed and embraced as “valuable” in relationships. Say what you want, our grandparents were able to build long-lasting relationships not based on money, but on love and sacrifice, by having one another’s back through thick and thin. And by understanding that sacrifice will get you further than a master’s degree, home or diversified financial portfolio. When you need someone to hug, to vent to or sacrifice during your time of need, a person’s net worth is irrelevant. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to have goals and pursue them, but not at the expense of losing a grip on what keeps relationships anchored.

Professional black women may encounter greater distractions in large metropolitan areas than in other cities, but this can be attributed to the social competition and widespread materialism that exists. Smaller cities don’t typically have the same level of competition and thus a different relationship mindset exists.

Professional black women in metropolitan areas face a separate set of challenges when dating, but much of it lies in the distance between their ears. A renewed mindset, confidence and an understanding of what is truly valued in relationships can make all the difference in dating and relationship experiences.

Kenny Pugh is a Life & Relationship Strategist, Author of ‘Can You Do It Standing Up?’, Associate Minister, Chat Kafe Radio Show Host, singles leader and sought-after speaker on singleness, relationships, finances and life. You can find more information about Kenny at You can follow him on Facebook at Kenny Pugh or on Twitter @mrkennypugh.

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