At the best of times, dating can seem like a search for the proverbial needle in a haystack. You are told constantly by well-meaning friends and family that the world is full of eligible people. But where are they? What must you do to cross paths with them and attract their attention? How do you find that one special connection you are looking for in a virtual sea of faces?
That is the dilemma confronting everyone who is single, whether black, white, or from any other ethnic heritage. Fundamentally, dating is the same no matter who you are. Romance is completely color blind and knows no boundaries. Still, it is true that the pool of potential partners shrinks when you are searching for someone who belongs to your particular ethnic group.
That’s why, if you are a black person looking for new dating opportunities, it can’t hurt to get back to basics and refresh your universal dating skills. Successful dating is always about being the best you can be, so that when your chance arrives, you’re ready to shine. None of the following tips are peculiar to black people, but all of them will increase your chances of finding the lasting romance you’ve been looking for.
Five Strategies for Successful Black Dating:
1. Know what you are looking for in a partner. Dating is not a “one-size-fits-all” activity. There are as many tastes and preferences as there are people. But how will you know who is a perfect fit and who isn’t if you yourself are unsure what you want and—just as important—what you don’t want? Sit down and make a list of the things you must have in a new partner and things you couldn’t stand. Be honest. Be courageous. Shoot for the moon.
2. Be what someone else is looking for in a partner. Now that you’ve made your list and checked it twice, keep in mind that your potential dating partner has made one too. Take a look at your life and ask yourself how you would presently stack up. Make another list of areas where you could stand some improvement—things like your eating habits, your finances, or how long it has been since you cleaned out your car. Many aren’t obvious, black and white issues, but they may become clear if you make the effort to see yourself as others would. Get to work being ready to be someone else’s perfect match.
3. Step out of your comfort zone and take risks. Some people have no problem meeting, greeting, and forming new relationships. Others have a much tougher time pushing themselves “out there” socially. They must summon their courage, swallow their anxiety, and plunge into social settings. If you tend to be reserved and restrained, there’s no point in trying to remake yourself into an outgoing, life-of-the-party type. Be who you are—but be prepared to push yourself.
4. Accentuate your God-given assets. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses that they bring to a potential relationship. The trick is to maximize your assets and minimize your liabilities. Look for ways to develop and utilize your talents; likewise, try hard to curtail your shortcomings. The aim is not perfection—the aim is to reach your full potential.
5. Don’t forget the fun. Without the proper perspective, dating can feel like a high-stakes round of poker, and you are tempted to go “all in” too early in the game. Slow down and relax. The only thing at stake is whether you and your date get to know each other a little better—and whether you can have a good time doing it.
Black or otherwise, dating is always about bringing out the best in what’s on the inside—and finding someone to share it with.