Month: September 2011

Looking for Love? Looking for a Job? Same Rules Apply.

In light of the job search season that is upon us, I thought I would dedicate this post to all the job seekers out there. It seems that there are many similarities between the search for a mate and the search for a job. Our friends over at SingleBlackMale.org have done an excellent job laying out some of these similarities, and I thought I would share. For the full article, please visit:  http://www.singleblackmale.org/2010/02/09/find-love/

1. Where to Look: Career Fair/Networking Events

If you want to network and meet people that are looking, you gotta go to the places where you know people are openly doing exactly that. It’s no different than going to a career fair where you know employers will be there actively promoting.

Remember not to come across as too eager: “Nobody wants an overly aggressive or desperate person…”

2. Showing Initial Interest: Submitting Your Resume

You need to really know what will make you happy and not those around you telling you where you should work or what you’ll do for a living or what they heard about the company on some random message board.

Remember that if you’ve found this company attractive, many other qualified applicants have as well; “Once you’ve shown interest, don’t start tripping or get frustrated. Be optimistic, but keep it moving.”

3. Interest Shown by the Other Party: Phone Screen

The objective when you’re initially talking is to get to know each other better than you did at the networking event or wherever you became aware of each other.

Remember to be on your best behavior, “but you don’t want to mislead and convey interest just for the sake of conveying interest.”

4. Dating: Face-to-Face Interview

You have both agreed that you want to pursue things further, but you need to remember that there are other candidates interviewing. They should also expect that you’re interviewing elsewhere as well. At this point, you’re really talking about your background and giving the company an idea of how you’d handle a lot of situations, what you believe in, and how that aligns with their strategy. In reviewing your resume at this time, you’re going to have to explain your past and whatever is in it.

Remember that “fit” runs both ways. “They’ll… probably introduce you to other people in the group to get their thoughts on you.” Additionally, you should “Assess the environment and see if it’s a place where you can be happy and productive.” It is also important to “Talk about the pay and benefits (physical, emotional, and mental gratification).”

5. Can We Go Steady?: The Offer

Just because you don’t have anything on the table elsewhere doesn’t mean you should take it. And if you do have other options on the table, the employer should have been aware of that up front. After all, it’ll just make you seem all the hotter.

Remember, (politely) declining an offer is okay, because “You never know who they know that might also be hiring that’ll be a much better fit… for you. But if you do accept, make sure you give it all that you can. If you don’t, you’ll just end up getting canned and having to explain why you got terminated.”

I know this is a cute comparison, but the reality is that it can be rough out there with so many job seekers and qualified candidates looking for so few jobs; so to all the job and love seekers out there, I wish you all the best!

Would YOU Consider Interracial Dating or Marriage?

It is undeniable that there has been increased fascination with black relationships and black marriage. The spotlight shines even brighter on single black females. People seem to have a lot to say about black women and who they choose to date/marry or not date/marry. From countless blogs, articles, books, and also from the mouths of black men*, the message to black women has become consistent lately: perhaps it is time to widen your selection pool.

Recently, the blogosphere has been buzzing over a book written by Stanford Law Professor Ralph Richard Banks: ‘Is Marriage for White People?’. In his book, Professor Banks analyzes the social factors affecting declining rates of black marriage (in the middle class). He also shares numerous stories from professional black women that he has interviewed over the past year. You can read an excerpt of the book in the September 2011 issue of Essence Magazine (HERE). However, to sum up his conclusions, Professor Banks believes:

If more black women married non-black men, more black men and women might marry each other.  If black women don’t marry because they have too few options, and some black men because they have too many, then black women, by opening themselves to interracial marriage could address both problems at once.”

Regardless of how you feel about Professor Banks’ conclusions, it is something to think about. Note that I have not read the book, only reviews. I know this blog entry is geared toward women, but I don’t want to make the assumption that men don’t struggle with the idea of dating and marrying outside of their race. It’s easy to make a blanket statement that black men find it easy to date and marry outside of their race, but that’s not necessarily true. So I want to know for both sexes, would you DATE outside your race? And would you MARRY outside your race?  Take our poll below!

* see #9

In the pictures above: Sudanese supermodel Alec Wek and her boyfriend, Italian Real Estate Developer Riccardo Sala. Also, the famous interracial couple who gave birth to a set of black and white twins back in 2008. Stephan Gerth is German and his wife, Florence Addo-Gerth, is Ghanaian. Bonus: take a look at ten fascinating interracial marriages throughout history: http://listverse.com/2011/01/25/10-fascinating-interracial-marriages-in-history/.

Warning: S/He’s Not the One.

When I first started reading this article (HERE), I was a little wary of the message- the author is careful to note that this is a natural reaction – however, the further I read, the more her point seemed to make some sense. Is going into every dating situation with the idea that ‘he could be the one’, the right approach for women? Does having this mindset take away from the fun of dating and getting to know someone without added pressure? Although the article is targeted to women, I think the concept applies to both sexes.

In this short piece, the author shares a personal story of testing this concept with a guy she recently went on a date with. Rather than jumping to any projections about a possible future with her date, she stated: “I took stock of what I liked [about him]: I would like to be in a relationship with a man who has some of the qualities that this man has. I would like to be in a relationship with a man where I feel as authentically myself and supported as I did when I was on a date with him. So I can use that information going forward in my dating life, noting what qualities I do and don’t want in a partner. I don’t have to tie it all up and attach it to him.” Sound convincing? Her argument makes some sense:

When we immediately go into dating someone with no knowledge of them other than hoping that he’s “the one,” we begin to project. We create things that we want to see. And whether or not we realize it, we put out an air of desperation, which is a huge turn off and will instantly push a man away. Going into dating a man knowing that he’s not the one creates the space for you to just enjoy him and get to know him. It allows you to learn about him for real, not for what you would like him to be.

With this school of thought, I guess the question becomes, ‘Won’t this drive him away IF in fact he is the one?’ The author responds to this in her closing paragraph:

As for the fear that if he is the one and I act like he’s not I will push him away, well, that’s just a false belief. Underneath it all, I am still a hopeless romantic. And I truly believe that whatever is rightfully ours must come to us. I believe that if we truly are meant to be with somebody, we will. We can’t push them away. But the only way this can happen is to let go of it… to let go of thinking he is the one… and just be open to learning. It’s always when we don’t put any pressure or expectations on things that they show up.

Do you think you’re convinced now? Will this affect your dating attitude? Remember though that sometimes that guy or girl really isn’t the one, and there is no need to put up a front. As a bonus to our discussion, I’ve added a list of the 10 signs that ‘he isn’t the one’, from Tango.com: http://www.yourtango.com/201053712/10-signs-hes-not-one

1. You have a list of things he needs to stop doing, saying, wearing if he wants your relationship to work.

2. You don’t trust him.

3. You avoid conflict at any cost.

4. When you’re sad, you don’t turn to him for comfort.

5. One of you is struggling with an addiction.

6. You can’t really imagine him as the father of your children.

7. Your long-term, non-negotiable goals in life are incompatible. -Look familiar? We blogged about this on Monday: http://loveafrican.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/what-you-must-know-about-the-selection-process/

8. You don’t respect each other.

9. You’re not attracted to him.

10. On paper he seems great, but you have this strange feeling…

What You MUST Know About the Selection Process

Neil Clark Warren, founder of eHarmony wrote an interesting article on the notion that bad marriages predominately happen to good people who are not good for each other. See the full article HERE. A few noteworthy quotes from the piece are below:

In his best-selling book, The Social Animal, New York Times columnist David Brooks says that “by far the most important decisions that persons will ever make are about whom to marry, and whom to befriend, what to love and what to despise, and how to control impulses.”

But the skill of choosing a marriage partner has often been treated as relatively unimportant in our society and a whole lot less complex than it actually is. And herein lies the secret of why marriage has often turned out so disappointingly for so many.

It’s frighteningly easy to choose the wrong person. Attraction and chemistry are easily mistaken for love, but they are far from the same thing. Being attracted to someone is immediate and largely subconscious. Staying deeply in love with someone happens gradually and requires conscious decisions, made over and over again, for a lifetime. Too many people choose to get married based on attraction and don’t consider, or have enough perspective to recognize, whether their love can endure.

Warren’s main assertion is that 75% of what makes a great (or bad) marriage has less to do with hard work as it does partner selection based on ‘broad-based compatibility’. Perhaps online dating offers a good way for people to find a lasting connection based on compatibility.

TAKE OUR POLL BELOW! We want to know, what are the most important compatibility factors to you in a mate? You can select multiple choices, and add in others that are not listed.

What Colleges and Universities Produce the Best Husbands?

A few weeks ago, YourTango.com published a list of the best colleges and universities to find men who are of “solid marriage-material”. It turns out that attending any ol’ tertiary institution isn’t so hot for that whole ‘happily ever after’ thing.

Just like me, you’re probably wondering what criteria was used to produce a list of universities that “turn out the most appealing male partners”. Well, here you go:

“First, we looked at US News & World Report’s national universities and liberal arts college rankings and reasoned the better the school’s academic rating, the more attractive its male students are. Then, we compared those lists with PayScale.com’s list of graduate salaries (focusing on mid-career salaries). Then (because we’re such scholars in studies of love), we added softer factors like alumni generosity (who doesn’t like a guy who gives back?) and campus beauty (if you’re going to his reunion, why not take in the scenery)?”

All party schools were automatically eliminated from the list (for more information on the ‘study’ and its findings, visit HERE). Let me not keep you in suspense any longer… *drum roll, please* … in no particular order, here’s the list of US colleges and universities that produce the best husbands:

1. Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts)

2. Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)

3. Stanford University (Palo Alto, California)

4. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

5. Amherst College (Amherst, Massachusetts)

6. Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)

7. University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)

8. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California)

9. Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota)

10. Harvey Mudd (Claremont, California)

Is There an Age of Commitment for Men?

On the heels of my “Can Women Plan to Find a Man?” post last week, a friend sent me a message that I thought I would share:

Check this out: LINK HERE . You don’t need to buy the book as these notes are amazing. but you are right. the women who get married are those who have the agenda and force the guy to marry. I said I’d never been one of those women. I’m sorry. I want someone who wants to be with me not someone who thinks “well I guess I’ll marry her”.

The link above directs you to a bullet point summary of the book, ‘Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others’. Aside from the fact that the book confirms this notion of women having to make marriage a priority if they want to get married, I was intrigued by the second set of notes, which discuss a man’s age of commitment. I would encourage you to skim through all the notes, but in the meantime I’ve copied the specific section below. Guys, can you confirm or deny any of the following claims? And ladies, if these numbers are roughly accurate, are you dating your ‘age appropriate guy’? Make sure to take our quick poll below!

  • Most men will not consider marriage before they reach the age of commitment
    • For 80% of high school graduates, 23
    • For 80% of college graduates, 26
    • For college men, the high-commitment period is 28-33
    • For men who go to graduate school, 30-36
    • After the age of 37-38, the chances that he’ll commit drops dramatically. After 43, it drops even more
    • A 40+ man who has been married before is more likely to remarry than an equivalent bachelor is to marry
  • Most men will not contemplate marriage until they have been working and living as independent adults for several years (hence the high-commitment periods)
  • Men become likely to marry after they become uncomfortable with the singles scene
    • E.g. They realize that they’ve become the sleazy old guys who hang out at the bars and hit on younger girls
  • Men do have a biological clock, based on their desire to be an active father (especially to their sons)

The Single Black Male blog discussed a man’s age of commitment just last week in a post entitled, ‘The Male Marrying Age…Explained”:

When a man has decided he is ready for marriage, he enters marriage mode. The way he thinks about women and relationships changes.  Suddenly the allure of the game is less appealing.  The club might not be as fun. Intelligent conversation might actually matter again.  And the days of dating 8 months before you get a title are gone. Either you are in wifey consideration … or [you’re not].

Ladies, we want to know whether the age of a man influences your decision to date or marry him: would you date or marry someone younger than you? Take our fun polls below!