Being a single woman on the quest for love in 2016 is hard. For starters, men today are moving at increasingly glacial speeds toward jumping the broom. The average American groom was 29 in 2011 compared to a fresh-faced 23 in 1960, according to Pew Research.
And if you’re a Black woman, specifically, the numbers only get worse. More than 35 percent of Blacks older than 25 have never been down the aisle. That’s a significant increase from 50 years ago.
Despite these odds, rising Chicago-based singer Nola Ade remains hopeful about relationships in 2016. Her new soulful EP, The Love Dance, talks about the necessity of love and its rollercoaster ride of highs and lows.
“Finding people [who] are committed, [who] want to commit, I think, is the hardest part,” said Ade, 27. She’s currently single. “I think that takes another type of maturity level, especially now in the millennial-era, where everyone is making money and getting their business on.”
She’s right, at least according to a Gallup poll, which found that many young adults today are waiting to marry because they haven’t yet found the right person, still feel too young or aren’t financially stable.
Ade agreed with the financial stability issue. Today, she said, most millennials feel they must have great-paying jobs, furnished apartments and nice cars before they can begin to seriously date someone. In the olden days, according to Ade, people weren’t afraid to initially struggle together in a relationship while building on the economic and occupational dreams they share.
“We’re bypassing the feeling of, ‘let’s do this together,’ versus the, ‘let’s do this myself,’” Ade added.
Another much-debated issue on the dating scene, which is also apparently delaying marriage for millennials, is this idea that successful Black women are intimidating. And with there being far more college-educated Black women than Black men, it’s easy to see how this apparent intimidation could be threatening for Black women dating for marriage.
“Men are emotional beings, as well. So I feel like they just don’t want to get initially rejected,” said Ade, who finds ambition in a man very attractive. “It’s not about necessarily where you come from. It’s not about what you’re doing right now. It’s about where you want to be [and] how we can grow together.”
Ade also admires confident men. These types of guys, she said, know exactly what they want in a relationship and aren’t afraid to communicate their desire. The confident guy doesn’t mind telling his girl that he likes or loves her, isn’t afraid to pick up the phone and call instead of text or to send his lady flowers to show he’s thinking of her.
“I think love is still very prevalent,” Ade said. “It’s still here in the midst. People are still loving each other and people are still trying to love. We need to make more music to encourage it.”