Princeton Mom to Female Students: Find Husband in College

by Demetria L. Lucas

CollegeForgive my lack of a proper set up for this story, one with wit or something deep to draw you in. I can’t pull one together right now that has more depth than, “what the entire **** is going on?” So instead of giving you a bunch of symbols to replace the string of expletives I’d like to use, allow me to “use my words” and jump right in with the facts.

Last Friday, a Princeton alum from ’77 and mom to two sons, one who currently attends the university, wrote a letter for the school paper, The Daily Princetonian. It was billed as “what [women] really need to know that nobody is telling you.” The big secret? That matriculating women should be spending their college years looking for husband, starting in their Freshman year. I thought it was a satirical, something unexpectedly witty mocking the reams of bad advice that women are given to find a mate. But then I learned that Susan Patton, an Upper Eastside (NYC) Mom was entirely serious, and just like that, my whole head exploded.

When I was able to compose myself, I laughed an evil laugh. Because after all these years of Black women being pummeled with bad advice to relieve them from singleness, it’s sickly funny that our white counterparts are getting publicly heaped on for being single as well. Our misery just got company. And then I felt terrible, because I shouldn’t wish being piled up on for being single on any woman. Sorry, white ladies. My bad.

“For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry,” Patton warns. “You will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you.Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate.”

She also advises that women shouldn’t date men who are not their intellectual equal, nor should they date men who are younger than them (as in, if you’re a senior, you should only be dating other seniors.)

I’d tell you what else the page and half letter said, if I could actually read it. According to USA Today, where I located the nuggets above, traffic for the article literally crashed the newspaper site where it appeared. Womp.

Over at My Brown Baby, Denene Millner straight up called Patton’s piece “bullshit”, adding, “Those of us women who’ve been to college know the deal: learning how to live on your own, get educated AND juggle a relationship is no joke, and the petty foolishness that comes with trying to keep a man who doesn’t necessarily want to be kept can be distracting as hell.”

For obvious reasons, Patton’s article has generated lots of snarky replies and missives defending undergraduate women’s right to, you know, focus on school, self-development, fun and whatever else college is good for other than looking for a husband. Allow me to add to those pissed off ranks (while simultaneously pseudo ignoring the line about senior women not dating junior men because it’s unnecessarily limiting and a laughable argument in an article about the limited availability of prospects.)

Princeton is one of the few schools where the population of guys still outnumber gals. So in terms of finding guys to date, the numbers are there, unlike say almost any HBCU or hell, a state school like University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. (It was at Chapel Hill, where the female population is 60 percent, where the New York Times quoted white women lamenting their relationship options in 2010 and all the quotes about the scarcity of guys sounded as if they’d been lifted from Waiting to Exhale.) So yes, Mama Patton is probably right about the ladies of Princeton being in a rare position to have the odds in their favor.

But what do odds have to do with it, if the guys aren’t ready to be husbands?

I’ve been to college. I speak at colleges (including Princeton) and at no point have I heard of all these college-aged men searching for wives, and women who are refusing their eager proposals to build a life together. I wonder if Mama Patton is doing her part to encourage her college- aged son to find a wife, so he can help fulfill the husband quota for at least one of the women she’s advising. Or she is telling him to concentrate on his grades (and maybe have a lil fun too) so he can get into the best grad school possible?

You see, as much preaching as their is for hetero women or all colors to marry men, if the guys aren’t being prodded to start looking for wives in undergrad or at any other time, then this conversation is for naught. As many women would like to force men into marriage (or any other commitment), they can’t. They, you know, have to want it to.

In one way or another, women are pushed toward marriage and family from practically the time they pop out the womb. Many women even plan weddings in their heads long before there is a potential groom in their lives. Trust, there’s no additional prodding necessary. But the guys, the people the hetero woman folk are supposed to marrying? It’s about time they got some pushing, meddling and brow beating too. For once, can someone go fill them in on this game plan that includes them and get them to step up? And in the meantime stop antagonizing female students just trying to figure themselves out and let them focus on what college is actually intended for: a degree.

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria), in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk.

  • dtafakari

    My mother told me not to even consider marriage until I graduated with my Master’s degree. I met my husband in grad school, but best be sure I wasn’t looking; I was mid-thesis research, in full grind mode. I suppose I should have scheduled husband-hunting in between trips to the library and my teaching schedule? SMH. No man I ever talked to during my six years on campus even CONSIDERED looking for a wife anyway.

    Disheartening to hear sexist recycled bull from a woman who is old enough to have seen several waves of feminism allow women the OPTION to choose studies over studs.

  • Pseudonym

    Decent advice for 1977.
    Horrible advice for 2013.

  • Drew-Shane

    I have noticed the challenges many of my single friends face and we’ve been removed from undergrad for like 2-3 years now. Seems like the rule is find a man in college or high school because most of my friends who are married, engaged and in long-term relationships actually met during those times. Unlike other cultures, I don’t think we push marriage as a requirement in life. We’re too busy on trying to pay for school, graduate on time and make a way for ourselves. Dating is hard enough and I don’t think we’ll ever find a formula or answer.

  • Trenia

    I read her entire article on The Daily Mail, and while I don’t agree with a lot of what this mom had to say, she brings up some really good points. Take a step back and reverse engineer this thing: how many single (and don’t want to be) women in their 30′s are bemoaning the fact that they didn’t take more advantage of the access they had to available, single men (assuming they were interested and looking) when they were in their 20′s? This mom got one thing right: finding a mate once you don’t have as much exposure to as many men becomes significantly more difficult. Now, I’m not saying these young women need to settle down right away, I know I certainly wasn’t ready for marriage at that age, but for many women it’s prime to look for a long-term partner. The reality is just because women can now have babies well into their 40′s doesn’t mean every woman wants to or even should for that matter. College isn’t just for earning a degree, it’s about learning the ins and outs of life in a simulated environment without having to be a fully grown adult just yet.

    I think we’ve gone from one extreme to the next. At first women, white women specifically, were told to go to college to meet a husband, but then we swung in the complete opposite direction telling women to just focus on their education and career. I’m sorry, but I know too many women who spent all of their time, energy and focus on building their careers during their most fertile years and now wish they hadn’t. This mom pointed out what every single woman over the age of 30 already knows, finding a mate where there are a lot of available men is the way to go. We also can’t ignore the fact that many black girls are not told to start looking for a mate early on, I know I wasn’t. And then we wonder why their are so many single (and dont’ want to be) black women. We need to have a more balanced conversation about this and not throw the baby out with the bath water. If you don’t want to get married or look for a mate in college, then here advice clearly wasn’t meant for you, but there are some women who might want to consider it. This just wakes us up to the reality that we don’t always get exactly what we want, in the order and at the time in our lives when we want it.

  • dbsm

    the guys that i met in college can be fit into 3 categories: 1. those that were about the books 2. those that were about the sex 3. those that were about the books and the sex

    if i was supposed to be about the finding the husband, which group of men was supposed to be about finding me (the woman seeking a husband–which i was not. i was in category 3)?

    besides, i wouldn’t have been interested in any of those jitterbugs as husbands. iif i were to find my intellectual match, then i would have been trying to get with one of my professors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Job

    1. How can you comment on an article you didn’t even bother to read? That’s like reviewing a movie after only watching the previews.

    2. What is so inflammatory about her advice? There are so many women on this site constantly complaining that they can’t meet men who have no kids and are their “equal.” What better place to meet motivated guys than in college? You don’t have to get married then, or even be in a relationship. But undergrad and grad schools are great places to form connections with someone. Most of my married friends met their wives that way. They didn’t get married though until they graduated and started their careers.

    3. Women do eventually resent and disrespect men they feel are inferior. Even wealthy women look for men who are wealthier and smarter than they are. It’s natural and I’m not condemning it. She is just warning young women about how they could possibly feel down the road if they decide to marry someone who doesn’t have the same life goals. I personally would never encourage a woman to marry “down.” Woman I know who do, usually resent it later.

  • Writerdiva

    I saw this article on another site and while Miss Patton is “well meaning” and on the surface it’s sensible. In the current reality it’s shit advice and asinine. On most campuses women out number men and how many college men are marriage minded? I’ll wait.

    My mother married my father at 30 and had me at 32. I said that to say, its better to marry when you are at place in your life where you are a whole person -Emotionally mature, fiscally solvent, knowing who you are. And it worked for her. She’s been married to my father for 30 yrs until he died 4 years ago.

    As for me, there are no prospects or anything and while I do feel some type of way about it, most of the time I don’t care because I know that I have no business trying to hunt for a husband when I’m not at my best self.

  • Marisa

    I’m sorry the whole point of these high priced educations is to get some sort of decent employment, now if you meet a man that there and get a relationship with along the way well that tends to happen. Although that’s not the first objective hell making friends is not the first objective when I was in college. These educations even the ones with scholarships that require high standards to keep them cost a lot. Even getting the diploma doesn’t guarantee a top job at away. Also what are the divorce rates these days also the attitudes of men these days of providing for women aren’t the same either.

    Look at Pilar Sanders who waited hand and foot for Deion Sanders and was when the marriage over deemed just eye candy and worthless, even lost custody of her kids. Look at Porsha Stewart whose husband Kordell publicly ditched her and then had the audacity to declare in the filings that he shouldn’t have to provide for Porsha because she is able bodied, yet when they were still together expressed wanting her to not work.

    Women better learn how to earn their own money and have a say in the financial matters before their left assed out literally.

  • lol

    my thoughts exactly!

  • lol

    she made excellent points.

  • onegirl

    I was going to basically say the same thing as Trenia. Even if you don’t find the man to marry in college, at least date, date and date. Once you get out of college, there are fewer men in the same space as you, and you have to do a lot more weeding trying to find out if the men you find are up to par. If you are looking for someone who went to college, why not find them while you’re there.

    I didn’t date a lot in college (maybe I had 4 REAL dates), and those guys didn’t amount to much, but I wish there were more guys mature enough to ask me out on a date. I would’ve had a time! I would’ve dated everyone who invited me just to see what they were about.

    College is a good opportunity to do and try new things, meet new and different people, and help you to figure out what you want in a mate.

    My mother never gave me any advice about how to find a husband/man, she just told me what to look for in a husband/man. Looking back, I wish she said more because now I’m ready to settle down and find someone and I’m already 38. So….I could’ve used someone’s advice back in the day. I’m not mad at the mom for saying what she did.

  • Sasha

    I don’t see what’s wrong with her advice. I’m currently with someone I met in college, although we didn’t start dating until 4 years after he graduated and 2 years after I did- he’s older. Of all my girlfriends, the ones who are married met their husbands in college. I’ve heard countless times from many women about how difficult it is to meet men after graduation so why not take advantage of the dating pool in college? I graduated with my BA, eventually I’ll get my MRS, both from college. What’s wrong with that? The only feathers I see being ruffled are from those who don’t believe in marriage and if that’s the case, her advice wasn’t for you so move along.

  • Fabiola Fleuranvil (@MsFab_MIASocial)

    Instead of bashing the article let’s look at it for what it is. The article isn’t saying that we should marry after college, but that we should already have him in mind for later on in our years.

    I had the fortune of going to college in Tallahassee attending an HBCU (FAMU) and a white school (FSU) being up the street and I always said that those white girls mom trained them from early on that besides getting an education they should be finding their husbands in college so that once they are ready later on in life, they already have their man.

    I’ve seen it happen from my own experiences. Couples who dated in college – of course they went thru the normal break up to make up, cheating, playing around, etc – but they always found their way back to each other and then once they were matured, the guy/girl was still the last one still hanging around & they ended up marrying at or near 30.

    I’ve always believed that my husband will be someone from my past who resurfaces and we end up together. He’s not necessarily going to be an ex, but someone I might’ve dated casually in college or in my earlier years. Look at it this way, as you get married in your later years i.e. 30 & older, if we meet a man now and get married, he only knows the cleaned up version of us. He doesnt know us when we were being developed. I want my husband to have seen the beautiful woman that I’ve become and that would mean that he would have to know me for more than a couple years.

    Just my 2 cents for us to look at this article from a different perspective.

  • Keshia

    Hmm has she sat down and talked to college guys before? Lmaoo times have changed honey men and women, especially young ones view marriages completely differently. I’m a junior in college and I am not thirsty to find a husband I barely want to date most of the guys I’m surrounded by. Young women should be focused on getting their degree and finding a job, if she is even interested in being married then began. Her view point is so dated its almost comical.

  • I got sense!

    “Because after all these years of Black women being pummeled with bad advice to relieve them from singleness, it’s sickly funny that our white counterparts are getting publicly heaped on for being single as well. Our misery just got company.”

    Your misery (note I said your and not our) has always had company. This misconception from so many black people that white people are all peachy keen and white women are adored and put on a pedestal by their men is BOGUS. Every time I hear it either on this blog or a youtube video filled with hate, I wonder how many white friends these black people have, how much research they’ve actually done on the subject, and how many white female blogs they visit. When will people realize that just because they are getting married at a higher RATE (what does that really equate to when white females make up 47% of the US population) it doesn’t mean they are happy (do you know how high the suicide rate by white Americans but especially white males is) it doesn’t mean they have a good marriage and the divorce rate is 50%. How is getting married 3 or 4 times a good thing? Just so when the census comes around you can be counted in the married pool?

    Black Americans need to start looking out for just black Americans. Starting by uplifting our black men and getting all black women off of government assistance. Starting and keeping our own businesses, cleaning up our neighborhoods by helping police get rid of the drug dealers, murderers, and thieves who destroy so many families every day. We can get back our Black Wall Street but we have to want it enough to do what is necessary.

  • Writerdiva

    That is that only regret I have. I wished I would have gone out on more dates in college but like you, the guys that I did go out with didn’t amount to shit. I’ll shoulder some of the blame too. It wasn’t like I was the most available chick on campus. Didn’t flirt and didn’t know how and I had a crush on this one dude and my one track minded ass wasn’t checking for anybody else but him. Now I know better… Still don’t know how to make myself available w/o looking desperate though.

  • Guest1234

    Oh, take it from someone a bit older than you (who has recently gotten married). RELAX! 2-3 years after undergrad? You’re still so, very young. Enjoy it. Travel, have fun, enjoy yourself. Because, I promise you – someday, you’ll meet the right guy at the right time, then you’ll be a wife and mother for the REST OF YOUR LIFE! You’ve got forever to work hard and to give so much of yourself to your family. Now is the time to embrace just living with yourself, and FOR yourself. This isn’t a race. There’s no prize for being married first. Anybody who tells you different is an idiot. I promise. Have fun. Your 20s will be over before you know it, and you never get it back. Don’t waste it worrying about this sort of thing or trying to rush down the aisle. The altar isn’t going anywhere. And there are plenty of nice guys around. When the time is right, you’ll find the right match for you. And you’ll be ready to accept the responsibility because you’ve spent your time wisely caring for yourself. Have fun!

  • Smilez_920

    1) college is to expensive to be there worrying about finding a husband. This is an important time in a young woman’s life where she is growing and creating herself. Worrying about what guy likes her enough to wife her should be the last thing on her mind.

    2) umm so we should send our daughters to school looking for husband , when the majority of the males on campus aren’t even looking for girlfriends

    3) Young women should test the waters and date, date and date. No you don’t have to sleep with every guy that winks and blinks at you, but test the waters . Date a guy from another state or country . See what you like and don’t like, before you jump into looking for a serious relationship. We send our sons to schools and say ” have fun, explore your options”. Ladies this is the perfect environment to explore your options .

  • dbsm

    damn girl, i’ve been wondering this same thing. i wonder all the time where these assumptions about white people come from. i know white people married 3, 4, and 5 times with no qualms about it. divorce rate sucks and sucks more the more times you’ve been married. women and children falling into poverty post divorce because you know, most of them ain’t married to mel gibson. spending half their income in court. wtfever!

  • Melu

    Ditto! I did the same.

  • lol

    “The only feathers I see being ruffled are from those who don’t believe in marriage ”


  • Tallulah Belle

    I agree with the Princeton alum’s article — to a point. I went to a Ivy League School, and my brother attended Princeton, so I knew the whole gamut of very eligible men. “Top-tier” indeed — if you buy into such nonsense.

    I married one of these extremely eligible investment banker/trader types right after college during my first year in graduate school. And, I was married for a good thirteen years. Then, I divorced. Why? Because the difference between being 24 and being 34 and the even being 44 is huge. People change, life changes and people move on. They drift apart.

    Now, 25 years later, I married again as a fully-formed, mature, independent fabulous woman. And, while my new husband did not attend Princeton, he is the best match for me that I have found in all of my wonderful years on Earth. So, if you do meet one of these fantastic men in college and you keep tabs on him and marry him fairly soon after, just be prepared to marry again later in life, when you come fully into your own as a mature and independent woman. Starter marriages are great, in fact, they are undervalued, and they teach you a lot about yourself. I enthusiastically recommend them.

  • trina

    I don’t have a problem with the Princeton mom’s article. She has some VERY valid points. Meeting the guy you could potentially marry in college would be ideal. Marrying the guy in college, not so much. If marriage is something of utmost importance to you, it would be wise to use that time to foster friendship w/a potential mate.

  • pinklipstick227

    I don’t understand why women don’t provide the same advice for men. Many young men in college are more concerned with getting their pole wet instead of finding a wife. No one ever seems to have a problem with that.

  • Guest1234

    The one thing I’ll say is about this: “I know that I have no business trying to hunt for a husband when I’m not at my best self.”

    I’m not sure specifically to what you’re referring (and it’s prob none of my business), but I would like to caution against this idea that everything has to be perfect before getting married. If you’re waiting until you’re the best you’ll ever be, you’ll be waiting forever. Life is a constant journey, and the growth will be ongoing…until you die. Don’t buy into this notion that we have Oprah’s bank account, Naomi Campbell’s looks, and Michelle Obama’s career before we’re worthy of a mate. It doesn’t really work that way. You can’t wait until you’re perfect to give yourself permission to live. And relationships are a part of living. Life is supposed to be a journey. And it’s supposed to be fun. Be happy!

  • AnnT

    I’ve seem plenty columns from men who tell college-aged men the same advice.

  • Gail

    Now, that is sound advice for any young person.

  • Keshia

    Yesss to everything you said. I never let that whole all black women are single and doomed non sense fool me or scare me. And certainly do not look at white people as the shining example of how I should live my life. Their community is filled will problems they just rather blast others (especially black people).

  • Pretty Primadonna

    I totally agree. Just as I agree that women who want to be wives and mothers not focus so much on developing professionally that they neglect developing their personal lives.

    What I got from the article was advice to not focus solely on getting an education in college, but to (if you want to be a wife) also use that time to consider what you want in a husband and to nurture relationships with marriageable co-eds that could lead to marriage. To think about marriage AS you are matriculating and establishing a career. They can be done simultaneously. I fail to see how this is poor advice.

    I was told “go, get your degree first. You’ll have plenty of time to have a boyfriend and get married.” I am an attorney and was in school until I was 25. Only after getting my degrees did I seriously consider my personal life and because of this, I am behind the ball when it comes to finding a mate. I wish I had been thinking of this 10 years ago. Young women need this advice.

  • 3rdeye

    1977-heaven-black love
    2013-hell-black gender wars

  • Diana

    I had to log in for the first time to respond to this.

    I think any woman who is scoffing at this article and the common sense it is sharing needs to really examine what it is about this article that makes her feel that the author doesn’t have a valid point.

    There are a plethora of eligible men in university who are pursuing higher education. No one said you should marry the first boyfriend you come across while you are there. Vetting a man for his true intentions, ambitions and compatibility is extremely important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have good vetting skills (acquired through practice, knowing what you want and having good sound wisdom) you can harness that power to weed out the men who are not truly compatible from the ones who are. No one said they have to be in your university either but a man pursuing a higher education in an ivy league school, or any ivy league school for that matter is a great candidate. But YOU MUST VET and I can’t emphasize that enough. Have good older women around you who can provide practical insight into whom you may think is a good candidate to compensate for your young age and the wisdom and insight you may not have at that moment if you want to fall back on the age of reason argument. Nothing can replace good vetting, common sense and positive and WISE older female advise around you. If you don’t have women like that around you, you can still find those kinds of role models if you have the ambition and positivity within yourself to seek out those circles.

    I wish I had received this kind of advise when I was in university. I used it to aquire my education and had the mentality that a search for a husband man could wait til after graduation. I watched a lot of my white, Asian and even some of my black female friends do this and they are still married to this day and we are all in our early 30′s. The reason they were successful is because they vetted and didn’t just choose anybody. There is a lot of credence in what this author is saying. Don’t discount it.

  • Sheena

    I agree whole-heartedly Trenia. As a Black woman who is 31 I wish I had tried harder to meet new people and had been a little more outgoing in undergrad. I spent my 20s focusing on jobs and trying to decide what to do about grad school and a long term career (just trying to get me head together). Now I am in graduate school and have little time to date because of internship and my 9-5.

    I think that while this woman’s opinion is a little extreme, she somewhat has a point. It seems like most of the men I meet now that I find attractive are married or in serious relationships already. I always wanted a marriage and children, but I feel like my chances are getting slimmer and slimmer every year. It’s rough trying to date when you’ve got so many other things on your plate. In undergrad all I had to do really was study and work a little 10 hour a week job.

  • Dave

    Black women already do this…particularly in the south and particularly the religious.

  • bk chick

    I took umbrage with the fact the she sounded like an elitist more than anything. When she was describing her ex-husband she said something like “He went to a school that no one even respects, not even him.” and “I’m not even going to bother naming the school” The letter sounded like one really long love letter to her alma mater, Princeton, and it sounded more bitter than anything else. The most that I got from her article is that she’s regrets marrying her ex, mainly because he wasn’t as worthy of her because he didn’t go to Princeton.

  • Sheena

    Wow @ Guest 1234, you are really talking to me with that comment! Just had a discussion with some of my girls about that they other night. Really needed to hear it.

  • stef

    I read this yesterday and even though the princeton part kinds of throw you off i agree with her. I know this is not the thinking of the 21st century westernized generation but i thinks she is right and what she says applies to both men and women.

    I personally thought that as i got older i would have more patience in relationships, But i have come to learn the truth is I have less patience , I have less tolerance for the BS, I’m more likely to say F that on to the next. I realized options and the dating pool grow for men as they get older they dont decrease. Its alot more easier and acceptable for a man in his 40′s to date women in their mid 20′s all the way up to 50. women try it you get labeled as cougars. sure its a double standard but thats reality.

  • D.T.

    If it doesn’t apply, let it fly. I’m sure a lot of women can relate to her article. College campuses are great dating pools filled with a lot of experiences. For those that attend college with a desire to marry young, this is great advice.

    What I don’t like is how people are suggesting it’s so much harder to meet men after school. That’s not true! Women have to learn to put themselves out there to meet men. Keep yourselves up, embrace your femininity and spartan up! I’ve met more men after finishing school.

    Let’s be truthful with what this is about though. This is about financial security. This is all code talk. Lol

    When black women talk like this, we are called gold diggers. Whatever….

  • D.T.


  • kgo

    I agree w you Diana. Patton did not say look for a husband at the expense of focusing on your education, I believe her point is that you’ll probably never again be surrounded by such high quality eligible men. And yes, you must vet, and no it does not mean that everyone of those men are great guys who are compatible with you. But a lot of young women who have a lot going for them and feel that she is a great catch, will put off the focus on finding a guy til later, and by her 30′s, the best men you meet will likely already be taken. They will be thinking, “if only I had realized back then. Also she’s not saying that they should be in college dating seriously like she’s looking for a husband, but just nurture your male friendships for what they may turn into.

  • Tallulah Belle


    Allow me to clarify for you.

    I did not say my experience was indicative of a broader trend. Consequently, I personalized my comment. And, contrary to what seems like your cursory (mis)reading of my comment, I said that I generally agreed with the Princeton alum in my first sentence. As well, I did not say that my “marriage failed.” I said that I re-married 20+ years later. It seems that your oddly negative interpretation of my comments may be indicative of your own underlying personal issues. Of course,I’m just guessing that you might have some personal issues, since I do not know you.

  • Lillian Mae

    Excellent advice

    –An unmarried single, late 20s

  • LMO85

    Exactly! It seems like a lot of folks are missing the point of this article. Of course you have more options via numbers to date while inside college than outside but what about quality? What do some of you not get about the fact that the college “men” aren’t ready to commit, and are no longer willing to marry at early ages. I can tell from this and other articles on this site, that a lot of women STILL buy into the fairytale about love, marriage and a baby carriage. There is nothing wrong with wanting these things, but you have to be practical and realize there is more to life. You have to get out there and live it while the living is good. 1+0 = 1. What difference does it make if you want to get married, if the men don’t and aren’t being pressured by Societal standards to do so? Until all these advice-givers shift the burden of their advice to the men, NOTHING will change. We will be having these same tired debates for the next 50 years.

  • WhatIThink

    Wow. I am surprised that this is the first time most of us have heard of this. But truth be told this is an unwritten code of white society especially elite white society. It is something I have heard since when I first got to college: “girls go to college to get married”. The idea being that it is a place to find more eligible mates and not just any old bum, based on status, prestige and wealth. And the workplace is a similar place for finding mates within this same class of folks along with social groups. Colleges historically in America and Europe were about developing strong men (and later women) who could function progressively and intelligently in society. Colleges used to have more “social training and manhood training or womanhood training” as part of the old “liberal arts” curriculum. This has changed as colleges became more job training centers and degree granting centers. But for many in certain levels of society it is still one of the best places to find a mate, with the assumption that they have been trained and groomed by moms and pops on “the inside track” or given the “cliff notes” on what college is all about: who to interact with, who to network with, how to get a job, how to build your wealth, etc, etc, which is not taught anymore.

  • Writerdiva

    BOOM and there it is! Princeton=the assumption of financial security! and also the hopes of someone snagging her son!

  • Lillian Mae

    Fellow FAMU alum! and YES, looking back there were many available, educated, respectful men…many were just looking for a right now relationship though…not a wife. Despite that, I believe her advice is on point for women who want to marry and be equally yolked.

  • Lillian Mae

    I don’t think it’s dated. There are women who aspire to be married right out of college…this advice is for them. You’re a junior now…I’m a graduate and I can attest to the fact that you will most likely never be in the type of environment where you’ll be surrounded by so many like minded, goal oriented, attractive available people, than when you are in college.
    All that said, I do believe women should first pursue their educations and then relationships.

  • LN

    Let me start by saying I am always skeptical of people who take it upon themselves to give relationship advice using their own relationship as a template. As a married woman I feel that I am too engrossed in working on my marriage, and dealing with the complexity and uniqueness of it to be trying tell other women to ‘get like me’.

    Having said that, I totally get where Susan is coming from.

    I got married relatively early. I met my husband at 22, got engaged to him at 24 and married at 25. Although I knew in my heart he was a good guy, I lamented giving up my ‘sowing wild oats’ years — something that I even brought up in premarital counseling. When we were dating, I kept breaking up with him because I wanted to know if there was something better out there.

    Well, I’m 27 now, and I am SO GLAD that I hung on to my husband!!!

    The reality for ALL women — black, white, Asian, Latina — is that the good guys get snatched up early. That’s just what it is.

    And it makes sense. Because good guys aren’t looking to play games. When my husband met me, he wanted to marry me. I mean, he didn’t say it at the time, but he later told me that he knew in his heart that we were meant to be together. He wasn’t trying to ‘play me’ or ‘try his options’. He found someone he liked, and he was immediately prepared to put a ring on it.

    And, I find this is true of many guys who marry under the age of, say, 27 or 28. They are attracted to the stability of marriage. And they value it.

    I feel that guys who get married later (and this isn’t true of all of them!!) get accustomed to playing the field and are less likely to settle down.

    The other reason I’m glad I got married early is that I have grown with my husband. I’ve commented on Clutch before about how me and hubby were broke and damn near destitute when we met, (lol!) We were forced to grow together, to learn how to love each other through challenge and stress. And now that we are older and money isn’t an issue, I know that our relationship is solid.

    My income has gone up pretty significantly since I met my husband, and it’s good to know that he’s not here for the money. He was down for me when my bank account had a negative balance, and he’s down for me now that we have a plump investment account. With the money that I earn now, if I were still single and dating, I would be skeptical of the motivations of some of my suitors.

  • Cocochanel31

    I kind of see what she is saying but she said it all wrong. IMO white men tend to be more marriage oriented from an earlier age and see the benefits of a two income household waaay more than blacks because that is how they were raised and they are more products of two parent households.

    Seemed like the white girls were getting engaged and married left and right right after college graduation.

    However, Demetria makes an excellent point in that not allll college aged women or men are mature enough to handle that level of committment and let’s face it most people may have different wants/desires/needs at 30 vs. at 20.

    While I would have loved to have met my lifelong partner while in college and gotten married at my age of 30 now..I don’t think I needed to be married at 22..but just my opinion. Differnet strokes for different folks!

  • Writerdiva

    Hi. What I’m referring to is not perfection perse but just a place in your life to where you are open to meet people and generally happy. That’s what I meant. I’m not really open right now and I have been happier. There are so many people who use relationships as a band aid and a crutch when it supposed to enhance your life. That’s what I meant and plus, the men that I’d like to date don’t live where I do and it’ makes no sense to me to entertain those around me.

  • Cocochanel31

    AMEDN!! I did not know one man looking to get married while in undergrad NOT ONE! But maybe things are differnet at PRINCETON!!

  • Sweetles

    I see nothing wrong with her advice. If it isn’t for you, take it with a grain of salt. I got married at 23. I will be 30 this month and I have no regrets. And I also agree with Diana. You have to vet these men. In college your vetting skills haven’t been perfected so you should rely on your mother, older aunts, and you father to help you with this. If my dad disliked someone I was interested in, I moved on to someone else. Now that I look back, my dad’s advice was priceless. Just my two sense.

  • Fabiola Fleuranvil (@MsFab_MIASocial)

    Showing you some Rattler love!!!

    Of course the guys on the yard didn’t want much at the time but some of those same guys grew up to be very good men. It’s not about settling down at the moment but having that person in your peripheral for when you are mature enough. I’ve had a couple college boos that I’ve kept in touch with over the years purely as friends but now that we’re older they’ve been thinking about the what’s next.

  • Cocochanel31

    I agree. I actually met more men after college..the pickings were very slim a t my college..and just because a man is educated does not make him mature.

  • Tiffany

    This statement is so true. I have heard this long before I went to college. Thank you!

  • Me

    I’m a 21 year old college senior. I wasn’t looking for a husband when I met my boyfriend. Shoot I wasn’t even looking for a serious relationship. I wanted fun. But we met and he told me he knew within 6 months that he wanted to marry me. He is a good guy and if I hadn’t snatched him, someone would have so I thank God everyday that I was the one. We shouldn’t look for husbands at this age but we shouldn’t focus only on school either. This is a very social time in our lives. My bf and I won’t be married for another year but I know life will be a little easier and my goals will be accomplished with him on my side. Having a partner makes that much of a difference. Black women we DON’T have to be independent and do it on our own.

  • Sweetles


  • lol

    “I kind of see what she is saying but she said it all wrong. IMO white men tend to be more marriage oriented from an earlier age and see the benefits of a two income household waaay more than blacks because that is how they were raised and they are more products of two parent households. ”

    i just sent a big nice, juicy, sloppy kiss to you through the interwebs.

    that’s why i shake my head when bw talk about having kids oow (whatever the circumstances) and thinking it’s ok or equivalent to having them inside a marriage. who will marry our daughters?

  • au napptural

    Nobody is saying black women are throwing deuces and chasing the men away. We are saying this advice is useless as hell for two reasons. 1. The men, the choosers, often DON’T want to marry in college. There no point in being a fool and chasing some guy who doesn’t want to marry you. 2. In most colleges, black women and white women outnumber men. So it’s the same issue as in the “real world”.

    You found your husband in college. Great. But that’s rare nowadays. Out of the countless girls I knew in school exactly two married a guy they met in college, and one was pregnant so I’m not even counting that.

    It’s ignorant to assume b/c someone isn’t married they don’t want and partner and aren’t doing their part to get one. I agree with Lucas. Men should be getting lectures. It’s they who propose and they need to step it up, instead of trying to be the old cat daddy in the club.

  • Lexie

    Us black women can fool ourselves if we want; there is nothing wrong with focusing on both education and meeting a mate. Other cultures do it all the time. We like to think independence is all we need but it’s not true. We start to realize that when we are in our 30s and then we are starting late to the game. I say get educated but leave time for your meeting Mr Right (or Wrong) while you are young.

  • Gina

    Amen. I like that.

    I hate this idea of losing your independence because you decide to have a boyfriend, or hell, live with one while in school.

    Sometimes It’s nice to have someone to help you achieve your dreams and I don’t find any shame in that. Let’s all just be happy we are going to school in the first place and bettering ourselves!

    Humans are meant to be pack creatures, communal. If we were meant to do it alone then we would not have a family, friends, or loved ones.

    You can still have your independence and be a strong woman but everyone needs someone to feel vulnerable with.

  • Mademoiselle

    I see nothing wrong with her advice. I think it’s silly to believe that because you go somewhere for one thing, you shouldn’t take advantage of everything else that’s there.

    Judging by my colleagues and their children, this message isn’t new or a secret. Their boys are being told “when you go to college, you’ll have a sea of women to choose from so don’t rush your final decision”; their girls are being told “if you want to be married to a college-educated man with a bright future, grab him on his way there”; and these kids are entering the workforce already married/engaged and looking forward to their gold and diamond anniversaries down the line (which can only happen if they get married young enough to have 50-60 years to spend with each other).

    Then I listen to the black community, and I hear our kids being shielded from the idea of searching for a mate while pursuing an education (almost to the extent that it seems like we want them to be completely asexual). They’re not mutually exclusive goals. What’s worse is we keep feeding each other the idea that college boys are too immature/undesirable for girls to go after them as if college girls are so much more advanced than them. I don’t think an inability to work on more than one task at a time is a sign of maturity. I also don’t think looking down on her peer’s lifestyle makes a girl desirable. These boys are growing into themselves the same way the girls are. College is the perfect place to do all of that developing with someone who relates to so much of what you’re going through.

    I, for one, am one of the women who wishes I was taught how to date, what good qualities in a boy/man to look for, what bad qualities in a boy/man to avoid at all costs, and what not so good qualities I can safely overlook even if it bugs me BEFORE I got to college. If nothing else, it may not have sped up meeting my husband, but it would’ve given me an additional four years of practice on how to be one half of a healthy relationship in preparation for marriage. Figuring it out as an adult is much more difficult, AND (as evident in even Clutch’s own comment sections) adult mates are much less patient and willing to help you fill in the gaps that you didn’t learn in your youth. So I agree that girls should go to college to find a husband IN ADDITION TO getting a degree. There’s all sorts of learning to be had there.

  • Pat

    I was told this same advice when I was in college. The advice came from a perspective of the older you become, the less time you have towards socializing. I didn’t heed to it because as a first family member to attend college, I was more concern about studying (at least for the first two years). I think it is a slippery slope to give out this advice. If the young lady becomes involved with the wrong man not having the same goals, she can easily take her mind off of obtaining her degree. It may be easier to meet people in college, but the best choice is to date casually then look for a spouse.

    Books should always come first because everything you’re looking for in college will still be there afterwards. The priority of college is for education and all other things are secondary. Now if you met a perfect match in college, you were just blessed with the best of two worlds. I’m not saying it won’t work. It can. But as always I’ll stick with the most important aspect for any woman which is financial independence. While it is true, we’re pushed out the womb to find a husband – nobody will tell you what to do next after the marriage doesn’t work out. So now you’re running around scrambling. Nice advice for some (if that is your heart’s desire) —but I couldn’t give out that type of advice. You just can’t go wrong with obtaining an education (financial independence) but a marriage isn’t guaranteed. So get the degree while it is easy (while you can), then worry about a spouse.

  • au napptural

    Now this I agree with. Yes, I went to a PWI, and white girls got engaged early and often. I only knew two black girls to meet and marry guys in college. At my school it was surprising when a black girl got a date with a black guy. They were pretty much dating white chicks (who they had no problem marrying, btw), gay, or whores, esp. the frat guys. None of them was marriage material.

    Middle class and above white people teach marriage. All this yick-yak black men spout about “easy sex” and “too many options” has nothing to do with anything. These white girls are surely having sex. And there were more of them than white guys at my school. But at the end of the day, these guys had been taught marriage is the way to build a future and wealth. They have some values and aren’t trying to bring children into the world all willy-nilly. So they have fun the first two years, but then the last two they are looking for a serious girlfriend who can become the wife.

    I’m not trying to minimize our individuality, but after a certain level how different can people be? There are a ton of compatible women out there for you fellows. Intelligent, spiritual, family–oriented, attractive. Pick one and go sit down.

  • B

    I met my husband while I was in college, although he attended a University on the other side of the world. There is nothing wrong with dating while in college (however make sure that the guy is not a jerk-off). Most of the individuals I know in my age group who are married met each other in college. It may not have been their focus to find a partner however they kept their options open.

  • Keshia

    Exactly!! I don’t know some posters are throwing black women under the bus with the whole independent nonsense. You can be independent and have a great relationship or marriage. I guess my problem is not every woman wants to be married or looking for mr perfect maybe she just wants to go to college and actually go there for the purpose of going..getting a degree. I don’t know something about this article just doesn’t sit well with me. Plus there are great men whom aren’t in college either so what about them?

  • gmarie

    I honestly see nothing wrong with what she said. College is as much about networking and making lasting connections as it is about education.

    Truth is once adults reach a certain age and certain level in their careers there isn’t much TIME to go out and seek mates even by accident! The work->home->grocery store->work–>gym home schedule will have you watch 3 years of yoru life go by before you even realize it.

  • Mahagony

    Yessss! Preach!

  • Ooh La La

    I think too high a premium is placed on being young, single, and discovering life in your 20s. It’s still possible to do much of what you want while dating. There’s truth to what this woman says. I don’t think it implies that you make finding a mate your number one focus, but just to say don’t be so busy “doing you” that you let an opportunity pass you by. There’s not the same window of opportunity when it comes to developing your career as there is with finding a mate. That being said, when you find someone worthy, hold onto that relationship because you can always choose to focus on career whenever you’re ready. It’s a lot harder to find a mate in your own timing because we don’t have as much control over that.

  • Cocochanel31

    Just read her article..this woman seems a little crazy!

    There are millions of men in the world, go out travel and LIVE! YOUR options as a person should not be limited by the few hundred on your college campus.

    I take it this woman has never traveled or been outside of her own “elite” world very much.

  • Z

    Statistics do actually support her scenario.

  • Mademoiselle

    I think getting an education later in life is just as possible and just as difficult as getting married later in life. If family planning starts earlier for some kids, it doesn’t mean getting an education afterwards is impossible or less noteworthy. Colleges and knowledge aren’t endangered. Delaying the pursuit of a spouse means you’ll have less flexibility to search for one as your professional life takes hold, and delaying the pursuit of education means you’ll have less flexibility to earn one as your family life takes hold — it’s a sacrifice either way if you take the 1st, 2nd, 3rd approach. I think the message to kids going into college should be that those 4 years are meant to set them up for the rest of their lives. They should pace themselves, set goals for themselves, and be just as determined at achieving them all in whatever order gets them there. And if any of those goals fall through, work on a new strategy.

  • Z

    Where? Seriously, where- I’d like to see them.

  • noir45

    You better preach. Thank you SO MUCH for saying what was in my mind.

  • noir45

    @writerdiva, you are right. I GET what you are saying. I understood what you are are saying. You weren’t saying that you have to be PERFECT (which we will never be), but at a place in your life when YOU KNOW you are ready to partner with another person.

    I so agree that the pressure for women to “find a man,” leads them to rush into relationships and marriage in order to be fixed. Sometimes we just aren’t ready for it, and it takes a very smart woman who in in tune with herself to know that.

    Great comment!

  • noir45

    This right here is REAL TALK. I love it when people speak the truth.

  • Melyssa

    YOu know what — this woman knows what she’s talking about but let’s be honest here — this advice IS NOT FOR US.. (BW), we won’t have a high success rate like WW will in regards to finding a husband in college. Sorry but it’s the ugly truth!! *Shrug*
    Back in the day it was no secret that a majority of WW went to college in hopes of finding a future SUCCESSFUL husband (doctor/lawyer/CEO/CFO); yes they studied and got the whole college experience, but the reality was once they graduated they got married and became housewives and starting raising a family. Fast forward to today nothing much has really changed in regards to WW going to college and graduating with a cap n gown and an ENGAGEMENT RING. I feel like the more prestige the college is that you attend the better your outcome will be in finding a suitable mate. I work at a lawfirm and I can tell you how it’s so common when the young male W attorneys start interning.. by their 1st year of full practice they already have a Long term GF/Fiancee and the female W attorneys are either engaged to be married and/or living with their Long Term boyfriend. I am sorry but I do not see the same outcome with the black male and female attorneys here, most of them are single.

  • just_kiesh

    THIS! I don’t see where the lady said anything wrong. She didn’t say focus on finding a mate at the expense of your studies or career goals. It doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other. I’m 30 and do wish I knew in undergrad what I know now.

  • Amabel

    I don’t see the problem in her article. It’s HER OPINION. And quite frankly I think undergrad is ONE of the best times to find a possible mate. Either then or grad school, and work. I think women (especially black women) need to stop getting so defensive, and overly combative and just LISTEN and digest other’s opinions. The writer of this article has no qualms digging into this white woman, but white women seem to have an easier time finding mates. They don’t limit themselves, but black women always seem to limit themselves to a certain age, or when they make a certain amount of money, or when their hair is all did up.

    I’ll tell you something one of the reasons why white women’s dating pool is so much larger is because

    1) they are open to a serious relationship from the time they are 18 and up

    2) they are open to men of any race (although the vast majority still prefer white men) as long as they are SUCCESSFUL, or headed in that direction

    3)They use their youth to their advantage, because they know most men prefer women in their 20′s

    4) They can multitask, because they make marriage a PRIORITY

    It seems black women think about marriage way after undergrad, or don’t have the same urge to get married.

    I’ve met some stellar black men in undergrad Engineering, computer science, teaching but I listened to black women who were my peers, and these guys got away, and I regret it. Mind you I’m still young, but I’ve realized there is a method to white women’s madness, and it’s getting them wifed up and comfortable.

    I’m just saying, don’t rule out other people’s advice, because it may work for you.

  • GirlSixx

    And this is exactly how WW do it!! They attend one of these Prestigious ivy league schools and snag one!!!


    I ain’t mad at them tho!!

  • K

    Trenia you have summed up exactly what I wanted to say but couldnt quite articulate. As someone who is early 30s and single (and doesnt want to be) there are soooo many opportunities I wish I had taken in my 20s during undergrad and grad school in life period. Everybody my age is married, engaged, getting married very soon or in long term stable relationships, I cant think of one off the top of my head who met these people after the age of 28. I just agree wholeheartedly, the advice wasnt meant for those who don’t want this, but despite how society tries to make women feel about being independent and i can do all by myself there are some women (myself included i am not ashamed) who want to be a wife and mother first, career second but are all career no family

  • Pat

    it doesn’t mean getting an education afterwards is impossible or less noteworthy — You are absolutely right. I did it. That is why I don’t advice. It is possible, but sooo much harder.

  • Nila

    Yep! This is strictly a scenario for WW definitely not BW. WW don’t have nearly the same challenges BW do when it comes to finding a mate. It’s just a lot easier for them to find suitable men to sette down with and thats just the truth. Its a lot more complicated for BW. It doesn’t matter if we are educated or not, finding a mate is just more complicated and thats not changing anytime soon. But I appreciate the author’s candor and observations. It does make sense to me but it applies more to WW than BW for sure.

  • GlowBelle

    This comment is EVERYTHING. Thank you, you said it all and then some!

  • A Black Princeton Grad

    Not to be a stickler, but starting with the class of 2012 (my graduation year), Princeton was actually 50-50 men and women. But when you start dealing with Princetonians of African descent, it’s more like 3:1 women to men.

    This article is a disgrace, though. I would say that I can’t believe our campus newspaper published it, but it actually doesn’t surprise me.

  • AnnT

    Fellow Rattler too!

  • Really?

    Behind this advice is VETTING something that is not taught to enough black girls and women. Vetting of men is very important. I think our girls are not really taught how to filter out bad men and how to be on the lookout to “snag” a good one. People may think this is so anti-feminist, but most women want to be married and have kids. Why shouldn’t they go after the best ones. You can get an education and do this at the same time. Choosing the wrong man can have bad consequences, and choosing the right one can dramatically improve your life. And looking for a man or trying to get married does not mean that you can’t be independent or self-sufficient. Some folks like to act as if it’s time to revoke your black card if a black woman talks about looking for a good husband.


    All of that being said, I can see how this would be a problem for black women.We outnumber black men in college, and some men take advantage. And black men marry less than other groups of men. AND educated black men marry outside their race a lot as well. So I don’t know. It’s a good idea, but I don’t think this would not really lead to higher marriage rates.

    You have to look at the destruction of the family unit, and hip hop culture’s encouragement of male promiscuity, and how black people don’t really encourage marriage among men for why many men aren’t getting married. Marriage is a wealth building institution, and for other cultures it’s seen as a major rite of passage the next step in life then children. Many African Americans are making all these steps without marriage and two parent households. Many men see marriage as a prison where they have to give up their independence and jumping from woman to woman.

    African American cultural attitudes towards marriage and oow children are a part of the problem. Many women do everything that was a part of marriage without a ring, and they do it for the most inconsiderate men. A lot of guys say what’s the point.

  • AnnT

    @Z- I usually find them through links.

    Men do talk about and write this stuff, the only difference is that they don’t take about it as often as we do and with such detail.

  • The Comment

    Well…*scratching my head*…I wouldn’t say It won’t work for BW if BW are open to dating men outside their ethnicity. Sure if you ONLY date black men…then I’m sure the pickings are slim. But I kept in contact with a lot of my male friends from college. They are doing well (in and out of their major) and most are still single. None of them are black.

    I guess I’d say while in college, keep an eye out for those you like who have great potential. But even that seems contrived.

  • GlowBelle

    Yours and dbsm’s original comment are ON POINT!!

    ‘Date’ was a bad word at my university, and marriage…pfft! these guys were EVEN thinking about it. This whole ‘society standard’ of finding a mate needs to go both ways, the woman shouldn’t always be the one carrying the load.

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    Links, please?

  • AllisonMG

    I’m a recent FSU alum and my boyfriend is a FAMU alum/FSU masters student ;) I’ve met great guys in college, and true, like many commenters have said, most men aren’t looking to settle at that time, but after, once they become more established, a lot of them are. My significant other has already expressed interest in getting engaged after completing his second degree.
    They may not be ready for marriage while in school, but trust, there is a lot of potential out there!

  • Apple

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to look for that while your young and unsure . Years ago I would have agreed with this idea but i have charged so much as a person if I had got married then I would be miserable or divorced. You are still finding yourself and if you aren’t complete when you get married it can really be hell. Married to the wrong person is like having a cell mate. Besides its not like there were any men that wanted to commit to anything anyways.

  • Me

    It’s not useless. There are tons of guys looking to marry in college. I dated at least 3 of them but I was always told to be independent by women in my family. I’ve also been told not to settle down with my bf and to play the field. People seem to think I’ll pop out kids just because I’m in love. Not even. I never said if you aren’t married you aren’t doing your part to get one but I do know that a lot of women date men they know are scrubs. I also didn’t say chase. That’s the last thing I’d tell anyone to do.

  • dtafakari

    @Amabel, I can see your point of view. I think that once you graduate school and get into your work field, your exposure to different men narrows dramatically; you then have to actively work to get out and meet people (men) who are not in your direct path.

    The article’s author (Princeton mom) is certainly entitled to her opinion, as much as I entitled to mine. What ruffled my feathers is the insinuation that women must be on the hunt for husband during a time when 1) men are usually not 2) men are usually concentrating on their betterment. Can women not focus on their own improvement without seeking to be boo’d up? We love our brothers, but we are not incomplete, manless.

    That is not to say that we have to turn down opportunities for love and a solid relationship when we see them: ON THE CONTRARY! If you check my post above, I’m in agreement that holding onto a good thing (my husband) when you find it is a wise thing to do. But I found love in pursuit of education, rather than using my pursuit of education as a subterfuge to find love.

    IJS: my mom would’ve beat my behind if she knew I was using hard-earned college funding JUST to wind up with an M.R.S. degree.

  • Joy

    Coc: It appears you missed her BIGGER point.

  • AnnT

    @Yardie- Can y’all see the black love and marriage dot com link?

    I use that site as a hub to[positive] Black male perspective blogs.

  • Joy

    For those young ladies that are interested in getting married you better listen to what the author is saying (overall). Otherwise you will end up one day 40, or 50 years old without a husband, or child and look around and say what happened. For those of you that are not interested in getting married then her advice isn’t for you. And for the record people can get a college degree, and also enjoy a good relationship with a mate. (a potential husband). In short she is saying that if you are a person that wants to get married one day;; generally speaking as time passes us by it gets harder to find a husband.

  • Joy

    dta: you can say that because you have a husband. Try telling that to thousands, and thousands of college degreed women that want a CAREER, MARRIAGE, and KIDS. And yes it’s do-a-ble to have all 3. A lot of these women have college degrees, a wonderful job, but don’t have a dating mate; much less a husband. And for the record we know not all women are looking for a husband; but if we are real about the issue; a lot of women are. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a life’s partner. In fact it’s quite healthy to have one..

  • Joy

    K: Thanks so much for being honest. For some reason (some) people think it’s tabu to say you want a husband, and family. Most other culltures teach, and encourage family members (both men, and women); to find a lifelong mate early on. Don’t feel alone. I have several college degreed young friends, and relatives that wish they could find someone to date; much less marry. Hopefully your wish will come true soon.

  • WhatIThink

    The part that black people must remember is that they aren’t white folks. Blacks do not have the wealth, do not have the power, don’t have the social organizations and don’t have the institutions to promote the kind of society that we WANT to have. That simply isn’t reality. The reality is that the black community is a broken community looking to fit into the larger society which has the power, the wealth, the organizations and the power. White society looks at college as the last big party before getting serious. Black folks look at college as (in many cases) the best time of their lives before going to the “real world”. See the difference? The difference is that the “real world” historically has been open doors to power wealth and status for white folks where they could focus on the building for themselves by following the blueprint that was already established for them. Black folks…. not so much. Black folks have no such blueprint because they don’t have that history and don’t have all the benefits of that history of power and control to make such a blueprint. Therefore after college is a question mark and unknown with no guarantees of anything and as much of a struggle as anything else. And we all know why. “The World” isn’t run by us so we cannot take comfort in the fact that we have a high likelihood to achieve certain levels of success and power in that world without no small amount of struggle. It definitely is not something we can take for granted. The hippies of the 60s could afford to tune on and drop out since they could count on the wealth and power of their parents and the larger society to allow them to go on and STILL achieve great success that black folks on average couldn’t achieve even WITHOUT dropping out.

    So while her advice is good, it still doesn’t change the stark reality that for black folks it is still about creating the blueprint, road map or infrastructure by which success, wealth and power are attainable for those who do achieve a college degree.

  • Joy

    Guest123; Thanks for reminding people that they can walk, and chew gum at the same time

  • Miguel

    I’m not going to judge your goals of catching a good before they’re all gone.

    But let’s remember that she said ‘Princeton’, an environment where there are more men than women, meaning the odds are ever in the favor of the women. Plus the men are likely to be eligible. If a young Black woman is going to a Community college, with more women than men, I don’t think this is advice for them.

  • milktoast

    Most college aged men, especially wealthy ones women actually find attractive and like, aren’t remotely interested in getting married right after college. There’s too much stimuli.. young guys have short attention spans.. career aspirations and Female options. If these women are forced to fulfill college marriage quota’s..They’re just serving as Mercenaries to the court systems. That’s the only logical reason she’s telling these girls this BS. Marriage is a business at the end of the day. Perhaps business isn’t so good these days.

  • Furious Styles

    “They don’t limit themselves, but black women always seem to limit themselves to a certain age, or when they make a certain amount of money, or when their hair is all did up.”

    Nothing wrong with importing practical solutions that may not be obvious because of our cultural lenses, but can we please kill this idea that black love is so tragically troubled? Can we stop spreading this notion that Asians, Whites, Latinos, Klingons, etc. have love and marriage all figured out-that they do the opposite of whatever fatal vice we have and it would be all unicorns and candy rain if we did the opposite? Just google Kym Hymowitz if you think white women aren’t facing a “good man shortage”. And for those of you who think “white men treat you better,” google Tucker Max or PUA.

    In honesty, I doubt that MOST people in undergrad are emotionally or spiritually mature enough to know what they want out of a putuative lifelong arrangement with another human being. I’m sure many of the following comments will make the same point.

  • milktoast

    Whites are a global minority but they still network, practice group economics and have the POWER to control what you do. Even if the ratios were true about black men in college that has nothing to do with you as a person, your dating and lifestyle choices. If you think like a Powerful Minority you’ll use what you have to build with a Black Man who’ll likely end up a Denzel, CEO or President…Rather he goes to your school or not…The real problem is Sisters can’t resist the Devils temptation of holding degrees and Jobs over Black Men heads…the willie lynch chip…. what do White women do with their Affirmative Action/Minority checks?..they take it home to their White Men, who may or may not be employed….at the end of the day, those Black Male statistics mean nothing

  • Ralph Kenol (@RalphKenolEsq)

    Not sure why this is a big deal. The Ivy league is pretty much built around the concept of establishing lifelong relationships for professional and social development. From the dining halls to the way they find your address to send you the alumni newsletter no matter where you are in the world!?! This just seems like a natural progression that somebody forgot to remind young women about. I think it just translates to keep an eye open the same way you would for a corporate opportunity that might appear down the road. Your classmate could become the next Facebook person, or more importantly, the person you raise your children with.

  • milktoast

    I finished college, still young enough and in position to collect more Alphabets.. I won’t learn anything but if I just want to brag about a degree I can do that. I dated a lot in school with no problem; didn’t meet a Black female I wanted or needed to marry and happy for it. Don’t desire white women even with an advanced degree. so what are you saying?

  • Many generations of black people with many generations of bad choices

    Absolutely brilliant reply from “Really?”. 100% correct, although I’d like to add that before Hip Hop, in the 60′s/70′s the black family was already very screwed up. Though they were not called Baby Mamas & Baby Daddies then it was the same pattern. I can’t vouch for the 50′s as I wasn’t around but I remember that the 60′s were not good, lots of baby mamas, welfare, bad choices, drug dealers.

  • E.M.S.

    Now while it is common that you can potentially find your partner in college, I wouldn’t tell women to make it their primary objective. You go to college for degrees and stuff.

  • milktoast

    I agree with age discrimination in marriage. Better use of time would be to train these YOUNG ladies how to become great wives, in duty and character…When a woman have that wife spirit in her, she’ll spring a Husband up out of a guy without her trying and him knowing. These are the women who get wedding proposals a week after meeting a guy…They’re usually mature and wise enough to reject such nonsense..but they have that affect on Men…Its all about the individual.

  • dbsm

    milktoast, thought-provoking!

  • ArabellaMichaela

    I made Patton’s very same point a few weeks ago in response to an article in “Clutch” and I got the thumbs down. I said that for younger girls, you should use your 20s while you’re pursuing education/career, etc, to also FIND A HUSBAND because “your youth is your ace. Plan for kids later.” Patton is making this point and she is absolutely correct. If you want to do the picking and choosing, you will never have more power to get what you want in a man, than when you’re young, I am not saying girls should get married while in college. But I am, unabashedly, saying, if you want marriage, it should be a priority while you’re young. It should not be put off for the career, etc. As a professional woman in her 40s (happily divorced), I am telling my younger sisters who read Clutch, that Patton’s point is worth considering. For many women in my age range, it’s obvious that they did it backwards (career came first) and they now regret it.

  • chocolush

    I totally agree with the article and with your comments. I am single never married and 39 with no children. I have a bachelors in English….a masters in psychology. I am a corporate librarian. My parents have been married for 46 years. i was dating a guy whose parents were married for 51 years. He is single straight with no children. He is an attorney and he is 42 years old. We remain friends without benefits and we talk often. We both concluded that coming from strong christians families that put an emphasis on education ..marriage…and then children…but we were never told or instructed on how to date. I was told do not get pregnant…he was told do not get anyone pregnant..It was like a light went on for the both of us and I think that is whats wrong in the black community. We are not learning or teaching our young people how to date….how to VET…the boys or the girls…teach them to date…Carlinn can have 3 boys calling her at one time….she at 16 should not be sleeping with any of them ..she can kiss and hold hands and maybe pet a little with the one she thinks is special (I know nobody knows what that word is..I am dating myself)..But she should not have a FULL FLEDGE boyfriend at 16….she should be dating and learning…thats all and Tyrone should be 16

  • Kay

    I have nothing against people marrying in college. In fact, in undergrad I knew several couples who were married by the time they graduated, including one of my old roommates. But the problem is, women in many universities outnumber men and the odds of a Black woman finding a Black male to marry in college is even lower. And in situations where women are dating, there’s no guarantee that a man will WANT to get married. I heard so many women in undergrad complaining about guys not wanting a commitment or had male friends who said they were “sowing their oats.” In this day and age, it is important to have a household with two incomes, but you’ve got to have TWO willing individuals who are ready to make a strong commitment for a lifetime. That’s a lot to ask if you’re 19 or 21.

    People act as if once a woman “decides” she wants to get married it will magically happen. No one is paying attention to how people should be building better relationships, but then wonder why the divorce rate is over 50%. People should get married when they are BOTH ready. Point, blank period. The worse thing any woman can do is get a man who really doesn’t want to get married to marry her. She will be miserable and divorced in a short time. Problem is, we socialize men to hold off marriage for as long as they can. Folks, you can’t have it both ways.

  • binks

    I think all these scare tactics need to stop if you find your mate in college and get married great if you don’t but rather focus on your education that is fine too and it doesn’t mean you are doom to be alone forever. I wish people stop treating singleness as a disease or that you have to get hitch during so and so time period. The biggest lesson I was taught in college was LIFE IS NOT A LASAR SHOW. People need to realize that life isn’t always grand, go according to plan and things are supposed to happen when they are suppose too. We need to remembers everybody college experience isn’t the same nor are all college created equal in makeup and people. College is a great place for higher learning, networking and sometimes love but if you don’t find the love there you are not doomed.

  • Pseudonym

    For anyone interested in reading the actual open letter, here’s the link:

    I think a lot of the dissent against the “find your husband proposal” is not because it is bad advice in an ideal world, but rather that is is naive (and rather frustrating) advice in the real one. I went to college assuming I would meet the man I would marry there. I was so sold on this idea I planned to remain a virgin until marriage since it was going to happen 4 years later and I could spare myself the drama that comes along with flimsy sexcapades and hookups. Then I took a look around me and realized that the college dating world that I had imagined was just that- a figment of my imagination. This magical make-believe land where everyone can find their husband-to-be in college is where Patton’s article is coming from and it is the only place in which it works. and being one of those women who went to college not really looking for a husband, but assuming I’d meet someone there, it’s a bit of a slap in the face and annoying to have someone tell me the magical key to getting married is what I already disproved and think they’re giving great advice. (It’s like telling the people who were laid off during the recession and couldn’t find jobs for months that the secret to finding jobs was to apply to 10 jobs a week when they were applying to 10 jobs a day. It’s not that simple.) This is not 1977. College boys of 2013 are not looking for wives and are barely looking for girlfriends. For many, the alternative would be to stand around and play some little boy’s fool, hoping that in the end he marries you b/c you’re the only one desperate enough to stick around through all of his b.s. Also, I didn’t go to college with anyone I would want to marry. Princeton is a pretty small campus, so I’m sure many women find this to be the case. (But, then again, Patton is writing from a 1977 perspective when there were only 200 women in the class vs. now when women make up at least 50% of the class population.)

    To those who argue that white (and other) women are given this information, I have to say that from my observation, while most of my non-black classmates are getting married now (I’m 28, so 7 years removed from college graduation), the vast majority of those women are not marrying guys they dated in college. The trend of young adults from other cultures getting married starting at 25 and beyond is because in their culture, the men start looking for potential wives when they are in their mid-20s (or even late 20s) and it doesn’t take them 10 years of dating or 3 kids to finally decide to propose. Luckily for me, I am not limited to only dating black men, b/c if that was the case, I’d be looking at some pretty slim chances of ever being Mrs. __. Shoot, I’d be looking at slim chances of being someone’s legit girlfriend.

    I feel like black men start looking to settle down at the oldest age and- as mentioned in many articles- men don’t necessarily have to marry intelligent or successful women, so their pool of candidates is large. I know many highly educated and successful women who are just as pretty and can cook and clean as well as the next women and feel they should be considered the creme of the crop. What I have started to realize is that most men don’t value those things so the smart, interesting, well traveled women who can cook gets the same amount of points as the mediocre, boring, sheltered woman who can cook just as well (b/c in the end, it comes down to how well you cook, clean, and- most importantly- how pretty you are). (This also lends me hint to why so many men eventually find themselves dissatisfied with their wives after a few years.)

    But, I do feel, Ms. Patton’s letter was coming from a good place. As someone who also has met the 30-something frustrated about her dating prospects, I can see why the answer would seem to be “avoid this problem by finding your husband in college.” However, as someone who isn’t rewriting my history, I have to say that for me, if a young man who could have matured to become my faithful, supporting, and loving husband was attending my college, we’d be married by now.

    I’m pretty sure that a lot of single women in their 30s and 40s who want to get married did not spend their 20s turning down men who were great husband material.

  • Jaya

    I definitely see your point… as well as the authors. I went to Howard University.. where the women to men ratio is like 40 to 1.. A lot of women let the “good” guys go because they were so stuck on the wrong guys.. Now you see them @ homecoming trying to holla at an old thang. I respect this author because she is telling the truth that people are afraid to listen to..

    Women always talk about not having caliber men in their life. There were a lot of great men at my college -

  • Jaya

    AMEN! All my white girlfriends met their husband b/c they realize 2 incomes is better than 1. Lol

    Us blacks are too damn independent – when sometime ! Lol

  • CeeCee

    I agree with the article, but only because I feel as though focusing on school is all that black women can do. There really are not that many black men on college campuses besides athletes; its a really small dating pool.

  • JJ

    I get what the article was saying and I somewhat agree. I wish I had made myself more available in undergrad. I was so shy and stayed to myself. But honestly I’m not going to spend anytime dwelling on that. Can’t change the past. Also most guys I went to undergrad with aren’t married today and I’m now 30 years old. So even in your late 20s and beyond it isn’t too late to find a mate because most black men and women in their late 20s early 30s are still single. Finding them earlier does make things easier… I think.

  • DG

    Wait, the author of the article telling women to find husbands in college actually went to Princeton and she doesn’t have anything better to say.

  • wfm

    Yes, there are fewer Black men on campus. So, we must extend this to dating more on and off campus during our 20s. Don’t lift your head from the books or come out of the boardroom at 30 looking for a man. The odds are now against you. This is not a scare tactic, but the truth. You can listen to non-married women, women who dont want children, or women interested in other women if you want to. But this lady is speaking the truth. One thing i notice about my generation is we sometimes fail to listen to elder’s advice who have wisdom, especially concerning relationships but will turn around and listen to someone single.

  • Wanda

    Sorry to say, but I believe that our current culture is too self-centered and sex-focused to even consider marriage so early in life. That was the questionable trade-off we made during the sexual revolution.

    What I do still see however, is that in white upper-middle class and upper class life (the Princeton world) , marriage is still tremendously valued.

    I’ve been working lately with a good number of young whites who come from the Teach For America program and Ivy League schools, and all they fret about still is finding the right husband on the future. Baby mama-ism in’t even considered by them.

  • Echi

    I feel that the problem would be more of the men not using college to find the right partner to settle down with. Given that she has two boys who are at the “marriageable stage” – she should have directed her article to them. But I guess preying on the insecurities of young women gets her attention.

  • Ash

    I secretly was trynna get chose during undergrad. It meant that I almost married someone who didn’t respect me and was cheating on me. Instead, I decided to focus on bettering myself. I’ll never regret that.

    It’s okay to be open to finding a husband but overall thirst can be dangerous. lol

  • Cocochanel31

    Thank you ! This article is not for US! If you did a poll of college aged men, especially black, I wonder how many are enthusiastically focused on finding a wife in undergrad?

    Why is the onus alwaaaays on the woman???

  • Waiting

    For everyone who is saying wait until your 30′s. Where exactly are all of these sucessful over 30 black men with good jobs who are looking to marry over 35 and over 40 year old black women? If you want to get married, doesn’t it ake sense to look for a husband at the age (in your 20′s) when the most men are interested in you?

  • alevelhigher

    Indeed the pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other. I came of age at the time where we were taught to become the person (well educated, well traveled, tons of money in the bank, speaker of multiple languages, blah, blah, blah) you want to be and then the mate will (magically) appear because you will then be ready for the right person.

    I and a lot of women, my age have followed this advice and a lot of us – more than 75% are not married and have never been married. I am in my early 40s. I am in a really good relationship now and I would marry this man, but this has been a long time coming. I wish I knew in college, what I know now. My honey is 10 years older than me and many men my age (40s) like women 10-20 years younger than them. What does this say when you want to meet someone your own age. I’ve met a good number of single 50 year old women that want a man their age and its slim pickings. Not everyone wants to be a cougar and that scenario, for the most part, only works for celebrities.

    I think the idea that if you just get yourself together the right man will automatically come along at the right time is a fallacy. My question is this, is the “right time” ok for you if this man shows up when you are 55 or 65 and you want to get married and have biological children? There is no need to respond if adoption is ok for you or you have no desire to get married. I’m talking to those that know they want to get married and have a family. I’m talking to those that realize that you have a finite number of years to make this happen.

    As African -Americans we are still messed up with this family thing. Other cultures (Indian, Asian…) are still socialized to get their education, get married, have families and build LEGACIES. Their societies are built around supporting these MILESTONES in life. They are taught to do this at younger ages, therefore they end up with stronger families and accumulated wealth. They put down childish things at earlier ages.

    Our men are taught to not settle down. Our women are taught to get an education and make your own way, and maybe the deserving man will follow. You know what we get for our effort? We get get weaker family units and less accumulated wealth. Those are the facts.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting a spouse and to have children at a reasonable age (before 40). Unfortunately, a lot of our young men were not socialized this way therefore when our young women are at the age to settle down the men are not available.

    Take this advice from a woman that took a looong time to find a good man. If you know you want to get married and have a family, get your education and be available. I am not advocating settling for the one in college, but don’t shut down the opportunities either. The right man for you may not be be your race, the religion you were raised in, or your age but he will be good to you and has direction in life. Life is not a dress rehearsal and the timing is not to be fooled with.

    Take this advice from someone who wishes she could have given herself this advice 20 years ago.

  • Cocochanel31

    I don’t think many women are turning down marriage proposals in abundance from men they love at any age. The trick is where are all of these upwardly mobile black men that propose in their early to mid 20′s?

  • au napptural

    The most men are interested in f@cking you, not marrying you in your 20s. Why do people keep repeating this tired a$$ theme song? BLACK MEN DON’T GET MARRIED IN THEIR 20s (MOSTLY). Go sing this song o them instead of women who are tired of hearing it. Now if you have something different to add- maybe women should look at slightly older men in that timeframe (ick, and where are they anyhow) or date interracially in their 20s (agreed) then by all means speak on.

  • au napptural

    And after all that, are you married? If so, was it to someone you met in college? And if not, what chu waiting on?

  • Nadell

    Daunting advice in which we should not take heed…. I absolutely would NOT suggest to any young woman. So instead of focusing on your studies and what will be the next step towards a career & life (isn’t that what college is for to a certain degree???) we should busy ourselves with capturing a man???

  • Dana

    What I find interesting is that a lot of the women who preach waiting for marriage when you’re “ready” (whatever that means) and for when the “right” man comes a long are playing into this idea of fairy tales and head-over-heals love that I believe has created a false perception of what love and relationships really are. As a black, twenty-three year old female who wants to build a strong relationship with her partner and marry before having children, I recognize that if I were to simply wait for this relationship to fall into my lap it could very well never happen. In my opinion, the world does not work this way. The things you want you have to go for, just as much effort you would put into a successful career, you should put into a successful relationship if that’s what you desire.

    I absolutely do not believe that women entering undergrad should sacrifice thier own personal goals, aspirations, and studies for the sake of finding a mate. In fact, I think that focusing on being a better person and being successful attracts people to you. However, if family life is something you want I don’t see anything wrong with trying to develop that relationship as soon as possible. I don’t think the article was saying MARRY in undergrad, but simply to begin your search, if you will, at that age because the fact is where else are you going to find a large pool of men that are similar to you in age and status? Especially, professionl black men.

    No, majority of the men who are in undergrad probably aren’t ready to settle down, but if you’re making a committment to look for someone who could potentially be a partner than those would’nt be the people you’d give the time of day. The mindset shouldn’t be to look for a husband, but to look for a healthy relationship and being open to the possibilities of that connection, even at eighteen

  • Guest1234

    Just curious. When you were younger, did you limit yourself to just black men? That is more of a problem for black women than we want to admit. Black women are so beautiful, and there are loads of guys of all races and backgrounds who are interested, but my observation is that when it comes to men outside the race, black women have these serious blinders on. They tell themselves that nobody else would be interested, and that they would only be comfortable with a black man, or they aren’t attracted to other men, and all this bullsh!t. But that’s not the truth. The truth is that they’re just scared of the unknown. And they shouldn’t be. There are a whole LOTTA fish in the sea. I think black women would do well to open their eyes to what’s really out there. Choose for compatibility first, and race never. And be honest. If your graduate studies are important to you, find a mate who feels the same way. If you like cooking, you’d be surprised at the cutie standing next to you in your cooking class. It will surprise you the things you have in common with non-black men if you just give them a chance.

  • Waiting


    Black men don’t get married in their 20′s…..

    That’s because the black women who could get married aren’t pushing the issue. They think they can play the same game as men. Wrong! You’re not going to be sweet sixtheen forever. If you all think these white and non black girls aren’t pushing the married issue and waiting on men. You are naive and delusional. No group of men in their 20′s pushing the marriage issue.

    Upwardly mobile black man in his 20′s is nothing more than a brother with a degree/skill and drive. ie potential. If he’s upwardly mobile in his 20′s he probably comes from a family with money. Young men grind in their 20′s and become upwardly mobile in their 30′s/40′s.

  • Christelyn Russell-Karazin

    My mother-in-law is white and in her seventies. She met and married my father-in-law while she was in college and he was in law school. She saw his potential and honed in. They are still married, three kids and living very well. Two of their three kids met and married their spouses in college, still married–the last, my husband, met me in his mid 20′s. My sister-in-law took her mother’s lead and found a man in Dartmouth undergrad she went to Harvard law, he went to medical school They got married when he was close to finishing and could provide for a family. He’s now a partner at a pediatric medical office, living blocks from the beach. Black women can learn a thing or two about how white women prioritize education and career concurrently. And since the options are statistically less for black women, why on earth wouldn’t you be open to finding a mate (of any race) when you have the biggest chance to meet the most educated and elligible bachelors you’ll ever be exposed to in your life? It just makes no sense to me.

  • The Comment

    “The part that black people must remember is that they aren’t white folks. Blacks do not have the wealth, do not have the power, don’t have the social organizations and don’t have the institutions to promote the kind of society that we WANT to have.”

    I respectfully disagree with you (respectfully meaning I totally get what you are saying)

    I’m currently reading, ‘Condozeezza Rice, A memoir of my extraordinary ordinary family and me,’ to my 3-yr-old son. Rice explains the length both parents endured to use education as shield against racism in the deep South. She goes into how she did not come from blue-bloods nor was she associated with any blue blood societies as a child.

    To say that blacks don’t have power, wealth and social organization is incorrect. However miniscule the numbers may be, there are blacks who do have the above. There are black socialites in America. I’m debunking your statement cause it is dangerous to ignore the rich history that all blacks have contributed to American history; especially the black blue bloods.

    In A Different World, Whitley Gilbert perfectly demonstrated the pressure she was under to find a husband before graduation before she decided to stay another year to pursue a degree in business.

    So the Princeton lady is speaking from experience to those that fit the bill—white or black.

  • guest

    Do black women really believe that white women have an easy time finding good men? Really? They have the same complaints black women do. The educated, goodlooking ones are arrogant and deceitful and think they are doing the women a favor. They juggle women and once they do settle down they cheat. This is the reason their divorce rate is so high. The men act like frat boys and have no intention of growing up. Sisters need to stop believing that everything is peaches and cream on the white side. It’s not.

  • The Comment

    Aside from you being sick in the head with a lot of ‘willie lynch rhetoric— I suggest you test your theory and find this hypothetical sistah you speak of. Then come back to this site and tell us all about her.

  • WhatIThink

    Most white kids, especially those in ivy league, or elite universities, come from privilege. They come from strong families with extended families and members who are well established in “elite” society. Therefore, the standards and expectations are set for them by example by their upbringing.

    Black folks on the other hand are often the first in their family to go to college and often come from broken households and live in impoverished neighborhoods. Therefore, the dynamics are totally different between the two groups. It all boils down to sociology and economics. This isn’t a mystery at all.

    Those in elite circles(which is what college represents to many), tend to want to preserve their elite status by marrying people of similar background and status. The more elite or the more established the family, the more pressure to stay wiithin that “circle”.

    Black folks in America are generally considered the lowest class on the totem pole. We all know why this is, but generally by being on the bottom they are associated with all the ills of society, because they do not have the wealth and power of the elite class. Having wealth and power affords the ability to weed out those negative traits (or at least cover it up). So again, black folks need to stop pretending that just because they have been able to go to college (without outward racism) over the last 50 years or so, that they are now in the “elite” class. Sorry, but that is not the case.

  • JMichelle

    While I don’t think I necessarily agree with all that she was trying to say, I do wish someone had told me then what I know now- it’s much easier to “find” a guy in college than post-college. Whether the ones you meet will be worth settling down with is anyone’s guess, though. So for those who know they’d like to be married and attain a degree, I don’t see anything wrong with a woman going to college and picking up a future husband on the way lol. Sounds like this woman took it too far, though.

  • Tuti

    The problem here is that everyone has advice for something should take its own course. Dont scramble for a mate but if you find your person at age 22 and start a family in your late 20′s that is also ok. Ensure that you are in a healthy, beautiful, supportive relationship. Thats what we should be telling people, NOT a WHEN, WHAT, WHO! my goodness people. Validate your own choices internally. Everyone else must do thier own thing.

  • Cocochanel31

    Exactlyh hence my point of the brothas not loooking to settle down in their 20′s in abundance. The goal oriented/college educated brotha usually wants to work and move up the corporate ladder/save/invest his money before settling down. At least that is how it is in the DMV. They are not allowing any woman to pressure them into a relationship ,much less a marriage.

  • The Comment

    Wow! You really want to preach that most blacks come from impoverished neighborhoods AND that it is impossible for them to propel themselves into elite status even after they have secured an World Class Education.

    You have to be white cause this is soo absurd.

    “So again, black folks need to stop pretending that just because they have been able to go to college (without outward racism) over the last 50 years or so, that they are now in the “elite” class. Sorry, but that is not the case.”


    It is tragic that you hold these superstitions to be true in the face of all the accomplishments of Blacks in American and abroad.On page 10 of these comments I responded to you by offering facts to your assumptions. I tried being cordial by giving you 3 references where your statements failed; 1) No black elite 2) No black power 3) no social organization.

    Unfortunately you missed the memo (black history) that has been passed down to us for decades. They (whites) try to hold us back but they can’t. In more colorful language; we are some bad mofo’s cause we survive in the face of death.

    Your rhetoric is the exact blueprint of racist white historians who print lies. Lies that try to erase decades of triumph, success and accomplishment.

    Please subscribe to ‘The Black Scholar’ and learn Black history from black scholars.

    “Stop feelin my head with silly notions of freedom.”

    Right now today. a black woman from an “impoverished neighborhood,” can obtain a higher education, become a millionaire and tell her daughters the same thing this tired looking white lady is saying. Hell Tosha, publisher of YBF can do this. It is not rocket science.

  • E!


  • Anon

    Well, people should quit telling young black women that white women are having the “exact” same issues because THEY.ARE.NOT. Not on the same scale by magnitudes! Those college-aged men are embracing a new ideology of playing around in college for the most part, but real talk, senior year, and the first few years after college, those men are looking for WIVES. That’s right, college educated white men are usually looking for a future WIFE by age 24. Name all the college educated black men you know looking for wife-material at 24. And, even if their pool has dwindled amongst white men, there are PLENTY of black, hispanic, indian, asian, men of other races with college educations and good income that are MORE than happy to marry a white women, even one with qualifications that would be below their standard in their own communities. Those women have more options.

    Black women are slandered in the press on the DAILY, and let me keep this real for the college ladies… LOOK and be open to meeting GOOD men in college. Don’t be ALL about the books! You never know who will be in your city after college, network/romantic wise so GET OUT THERE. And if your mama has raised you with sense, go appear in the graduate student section looking FLY while you study or sip on some coffee.

  • Anon

    Eh, not all of us were the first ones to go to college. Nor did I grow up in a poor neighborhood.

    Heck, I was practically grew up on welfare poor compared to some of the black folks that were there.

    And what is this “elite” class business that keeps popping up?

  • Dana

    Why can’t you do all that and pursue a worthwhile relationship at the same time?

  • Dana

    Honestly, no I don’t think white women have an easier time of finding a good man. However, I do think they have more realistic expectations on what it takes to keep a healthy relationship.

    I say this because far more of them are raised in two parent households. Being raised in a two parent household shows you not only the love, but the WORK it takes to maintain a relationship. Also, they have fathers who they can compare potential mates too. This is not all peachy, from your parents relationship it shows you what you want and also DON’T want in a husband. From your father, it show’s you traits you want and DON’T want in a man. I think a lot of people on this “independent woman” gripe don’t understand the value of these life lessons.

  • Anon

    And look at the trifling men that those women married!

    Quit missing the point on purpose. A good man WILL enhance and uplift your life. And please believe, even without custody, don’t tell me that Pilar Sanders regrets those kids (who she wouldn’t have w/out her ex-husband who AT LEAST is going to be providing for them). Some of ya’ll work overtime to dismiss the benefits of marriage. Even w/ all that Porsha is going through… I know who she is now and will be checking for her in the future b/c she comes across as a nice young black woman. Heck, I LOVE that she’s a little ditzy, we’re not ALL hard. She at least got that out of her marriage. Options and fans.

  • Anon

    Well, I never knew that a 70% oow childbirth rate wasn’t so bad, especially since it usually tied to the LOWEST male earners in society as long as some white women were having trouble finding husbands.

    WHAT WORLD DO YOU LIVE IN, and can I go there? I know some FUG (and some mean azz b**ches) white women who have been able to pull decent men because of the fact that they were a) white b) college educated c) taught to FIND A MAN EARLY while they still had youth on their side. Ya’ll need to get real. There are some GRADE-A black women in struggle mode because FAR too many BW go around claiming that they don’t need no man while they’re young and have the best card to play. I’mma be honest, if you’re not looking for a man’s attention, there’s no need to announce it, b/c they won’t be checking for you anyway. So can all of ya’ll that DON’T like this woman’s advice accept it is not for you, be quiet, and let those young black women who NEED to hear this recieve this message?

  • Anon

    Girl bye. I attended an Ivy, and quit acting like the AVERAGE black woman has that kind of access. And I’m much younger than you (with degreed parents) and realized that the pool available at my college was not going to get ANY better unless at an IVY grad school or finance/big law. These young women need to know to take advantage of this option. I thank the good LORD I was told this when I was young, and while it hasn’t worked out for me (yet), it HAS allowed me access to a better dating pool than most of my black girlfriends in college (and post college)… b/c I had a LARGER QUALITY NET TO PULL FROM. Those men knew me from freshman year, so when it came to setting me up on dates, or inviting me to parties, even telling me about job options… I have had well connected menfolks to call. But ladies (esp. the young ones) things get TIGHT after age 25 so I would make my career/grad school a focus during college and post but BELIEVE me, your biggest pool of good men is below the age of 25. As in when YOU are 25 and under. The good ones ARE gone after a certain age, and often times, it is with someone they met by… 25. There are stats on this. Don’t let this “price of education” fool you. There is also SOCIAL education in college, so don’t miss out. Go to that frat party. Go to that study group. Join that frisbee team. Be up in the gym. Everyone else is aware of this except for legions of amazing young black women who don’t get told this at home.

  • The Comment

    I’m convinced that @What I Think is white.

    If you read it like a 20 something white kid you can see it for what it is. A racist rant!

  • http://[email protected] Lola Wants

    I’m sorry but I went to an HBCU where the ration of men to women was 8:1. Majority of the men there were not concerned with finding wives nor did they act in a manner representative of men searching for them. The Princeton mom’s advice has to be the stupidest theory on relationships that I have heard thus far. And given the current atmosphere of the media telling Black women how to find mates that makes it pretty high on the stupid scale. Her blueprint for respectability (because that’s what it really is) is not realistic for the average Black woman and I’m going to need her to address the needs of Black women’s dating perspectives from a realistic vantage point.

    If a woman goes to college thinking she will find a husband she will be sorely disappointed and what happens when we set girls up to expect to find husbands and they don’t? That’s another level of failure and psychological torture that Black women would have to deal with on top of the issues that plague us as being Black, a woman and a young person in America. I feel like we still have the attitudinal focus of the 1950′s the way we direct women to attach their self-worth or in this case future well-being to that of a man. While reading this I just wanted to pour gasoline on my laptop, light it on fire and chuck it out the window because that’s how angry I am at this inherent stupidity.

  • anon

    And if the divorce and infidelity rates among white couples is any indication, these men are no prize. Does the quality of a marriage matter at all to you? Or is getting a husband all that counts?

  • Anon

    Thank you for your honest viewpoint. Too many here want to argue against fact. Too many OVER 30 are trying to lie to younger black women about what the dating pool is, ESPECIALLY if you are educated, middle class, and black.

  • Anon

    Well obviously, your degrees didn’t include reading comphrehension. I’ll give you a cookie for graduation. But describing black women as “females” may be why you never meet or were involved with “wife” material.

  • Anon

    While you speak the truth here, don’t expect a ton of support. There is still a contingent that refuses to believe that a woman’s YOUTH is one of the best playing cards on the planet. Ask any woman whose husband left her for the nanny/secretary/babysitter with less to offer except for fewer years in life.

  • Anon

    Eff that. I went to an Ivy. There really and truly is an issue of being an intelligent woman of degreed experience in the dating market. Especially a black woman with a STEM degree. Not only are you looking for a suitable husband, men are insecure if thier own education or background doesn’t quite fit. Not all of us were from the projects. And YES, I’m not trying to carry a man who may eventually resent me, I’m looking for at least a level of education or trade skills that translates to building wealth for my future family to weather the storms of life. Ain’t nobody looking for broke folks on purpose! That’s situations that people MAKE work.

    It IS harder to meet men after school, especially as black woman. Especially as a good-looking black woman from a pedigreed school. White & Asian women have a VESTED interest in keeping us as listed as unavailable options. One of the BEST times for black women to look for a future partner is in college. If anything, this woman’s advice applies most to young black women who would like to be married by 30. On the job, in social circles, it is harder to meet potential partners without social speculation or intervention by other parties (mainly women) who have a vested interest in the man you would like to date. They either want him for themselves, or kept open as an option. A lot of these women will try to sabotage your chances, especially if it is a good-looking single man in your office. Why not have that man know who you are since college? To the young (under 25) black women reading this, realize that there has been an organized media campaign against black women since 2008. Use the time in college and grad school when men are more open minded and willing to have a coffee date while studying to expand your field. All of these older women denying this are lying to you.

  • WhatIThink

    What I meant is that the social and economic dynamics for blacks attending college is not the same as the social and economic dynamics of whites attending college. Who are the primary attendees at the top universities at the U.S.? Wealthy whites, followed by Asians and other folks. Blacks are the minority at these schools. Therefore, by ANY definition of elite, blacks are not in the “elite” ranks to any real degree. And by elite, not only do I mean attending top universities, but I also mean controlling wealth, land, industry and so on. By any measure blacks are not in the “elite” class of those who own and control things. (The point being black folks should WANT to be in the owner and controller class but obviously some just like to settle for trinkets and token that mean nothing).

    And as for first time college attendees, there is a high percentage of white college attendees that are first timers from their families and whites are MORE likely to go to college than blacks. Therefore, it is only logical that many more of African youth going to colleges are going to be first timers from their families.

    And as for the broken families, considering the number of out of wedlock kids born to black women today (educated or otherwise) it is impossible to claim that most black families are typified by two parent households. Yes, many black college kids do come from 2 parent households, but many don’t. The point being, that black folks as a group are working to catch up to where other folks are based on the history of the country. But some boneheads like to take any token statistic and act like blacks have achieved it all and “made it”, when they haven’t. Just going to college does not mean that you have “made it” anywhere. That is my point. And to that vein, we must realize that most black people who attend college don’t even graduate. And why is that? So the fact is that the overall social and economic landscape for black people has a big impact on how they view college, whether they attend college and if they do attend, whether they graduate. All of which has an impact on their overall life chances economically. Being that overall the black economic picture has been bleak over the last 5 years, it only makes sense that this will have an impact on the college aspirations for many black youth, not to mention the job prospects and any aspirations on achieving any degree of success.

  • Pseudonym


    Where is WhatIThink living, 1950?

  • The Comment

    @What I think

    I just refuse to see the glass half empty. But Thank God you tried to further support your statement with facts. I can appreciate that. Just to come on this site and to make blanket assumptions about blacks was not cool AT ALL!

    To tell blacks to “stop pretending” is like, wait a f*cking minute. pretending? Just cause you don’t recognize the strides many have made doesn’t mean we are all jacked up with no hope.

    Sure, the goal is for us to regain the global power that was stripped from us. Landowners, ship magnets, business tycoons on a global scale is the goal. Just don’t ignore that there are brilliant men and women of valor fighting the good fight for us now. Those people are in power now and have been for the past decade.

  • soniquesonique

    I agree with the section that says we should start training the boys to think about marriage in their young age too. How can women be focused on finding a hub if the hubs aren’t around?

    But to be perfectly honest – white, black, asian, latino, and others are not worried about getting married in college. GPA? Yes Resume? Yes Dating? Yes. Hooking up? yes. The people I know who are getting married young, a few years out of college, have been together for at least 6 years, meaning that they did not meet their man in college. And I know of one case someone who got married to their college boyfriend ended in divorce. Their marriage didn’t last.

    College aged women should focus on grades and establishing themselves first and foremost. Instead of marriage, they should focus on dating quality men. Learning how to be in a relationship. College women are still becoming themselves and the person they are at 21 is not going to be the same person at 31.

  • Kim S.

    I just read the letter and I honestly agree with most of it… While there are males who are ‘less intelligent’ or ‘less mature’ per se, college can be a wonderful place to find a mate. It’s online dating… on campus. You have the opportunity to meet and make hundreds, thousands of friends and potential mates, so why not take advantage? Though the numbers change, more women attend college and graduate than men. Why not date, (and hopefully find your soulmate) while you are around like minds?

  • C.C. Elle

    Love will happen when it happens. As a married woman, who met her husband while we were both pursuing our PhD’s, I must say that I wasn’t looking for love…we were best friends, and then one day BOOM it blossomed into more.

    ALSO: If young women aren’t looking for partners, boyfriends, husbands, or mates on campus – where should they look? On street corner’s, McDonald’s or clubs? GET REAL LOL

    Reality is that ALL couples go through challenges BUT for highly educated women (or any women) who choose to be involved with men who are less educated, less driven and who have fewer economic opportunities – they need to expect even less marital and/or relationship stability.

    Why not be open to marrying someone who you are equally yoked with (spiritually, economically, educationally etc.)? If it happens on campus, then it will happen. But if I had to choose between searching for love in all the wrong places versus looking for love on campus – I’d choose campus.

    P.S. I wish that the author of THIS Clutch article gathered herself PRIOR to writing this article. What was she so upset about? What works for one person may ALSO work for another…I’ll also add that, my husband is white and before we started dating – there was a brother who was “interested” in me – BUT when I asked what his intentions were – he said he didn’t want anything serious :/ OK no problem…but as our relationship blossomed my husband clearly shared his dreams for us… could it be something in our culture? hmmm…another topic for another day…

  • schylla

    My friends and I (there’s 5 of us) are black, in our late 30′s, went to a “little Ivy” liberal arts college, and none of us have ever been married. We all have great jobs, we’re all great looking (if I do say so myself) and have traveled all over the world collectively, and never in our 20 years of friendship have we had a conversation where we bashed men or not want to date. We all had crushes in college but never dated eventhen, and we all so wanted to date, but there weren’t any takers for any of us…

    None of us ever recall a relative talking to us about how to flirt, or how to date, and finding someone even close to being our intellectual equals just about vanished after college. Since then we’ve all had relationships (mostly outside of our races) but none of us have been able to seal the deal. I’ve pretty much resigned to not getting married, especially since I’ve moved back to my hometown in the Midwest and EVERYONE is paired up (it’s much easier to be single on the East Coast)…

    But in defense of our relatives – we all came from households where women didn’t work or didn’t have great paying jobs and were at the mercy of their husbands who treated them like crap, thus the women had no way to get out. Couple that with the fact that most of us came from families who never went to college, much less a great one like the one we attended, so we were all kinda put up on a pedestal when we started school. As a result, the message was that getting an education and becoming financially sound was more important than a relationship – you simply have more control over your life if you have those things in place. Marriage didn’t even enter my mind until my early 30′s…

    Perhaps it’s because we all started a few steps behind in the first place is why marriage just hasn’t been in the cards of any of us, and maybe it’ll happen once we’re in our 40′s and beyond…

  • janschild

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. What’s wrong with being open to marriage while you’re in college? Nothing. My daughter got married to a good man straight out of high school (she’s in college now) and I couldn’t
    be happier for her.

    be happier for her.

  • janschild

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. I don’t understand all the anger over someone’s opinion either. My daughter got married to a good man straight out of high school (she’s in college now) and I couldn’t be happier for her.

  • swade85

    I agree with this article wholeheartedly. The best place to find eligible bachelors is in college. Yes, there will be some men who aren’t even entertaining that notion. BUT!, not all college men. When a woman get’s out of college, the social atmosphere of being surrounded around single men (outside of work) who have your same mental construct is rare. Basically speaking, get it while it’s good.

  • crzy4agem

    I’m currently a college senior. I interned for 7 months in two different cities and gave out my phone number ONCE, and went on ONE date. I personally, think the chances of me finding a mate outside of college are going to be slim-diddly. Guys gotta step up before all the good women give up and start throwing their shxt right back at them.

  • well

    not pertaining to the article but to your comment. ALOT of Black women are open to interacial dating, sadly “they” are not usually open to dating us due to stereotypes in society.

  • L

    One critical part of this whole equation is the fact that white parents actively engage on hooking thier daughters up with succesful men, most black parents don’t. Whether college age or not, we have to first teach our daughters about a healthy marriage and then actively seek men to introduce in their life. I used to see this as parents being too involved but being a single mother in my late 20s i wish my mother would have been a little more involved in “choosing” a mate for me.

  • Forever Single & Bitter

    Reading a lot of the comments, I am glad black women are honest about this article & agreed with Patton’s premise.

  • Danielle

    I agree wholeheartedly with the author’s point that men are the missing key to this marriage issue. Young men need to be trained up to desire marriage and desire it young, otherwise what is the point of all of this pressure we put on women? I am bothered that I have so many beautiful, smart, eligible girlfriends who can’t find a man. I have concluded that there is NOTHING they are doing wrong, contrary to popular opinion. Men simply do not seem to want to marry. I asked my husband about this. He agreed. I asked him what made him want to get married. He attributed it to his Haitian upbringing. Culturally, it was the expected cycle of life.

    We have two sons, ages 5 and 8. We are already trying to plant seeds in their minds that marriage is good and something to be desired. We also hope that our children will listen to our advice on what to look for in a wife, if not help them find one.

  • Danielle

    Well, ok some of them are trolls. Do you think that is why they are single, Spiritual?

  • Iminyjo

    It depresses me to admit that, in my experience, Ms. (or I guess I should say Mrs.) Patton is pretty much entirely right. And I am well acquainted with Princeton (and have handed out that very same advice to little Princetonian girls myself). That said, Ms. Lucas isn’t completely wrong either. College guys are, for the most part, completely disinterested in marriage at that time in their lives. (Especially brown boys in the Northeast.) So even if a smart girl was marriage minded in school, who could she marry?

    My friends and I spent all our time and energy in college focused on our studies (and okay also the study of the opposite sex) but always of the mind that marriage could wait until later. Little did we know that that time in our lives, in college was probably our best opportunity, with the greatest concentrated numbers and the largest variety of options. We really missed out by putting matrimony on the backburner (where our feminist fore-mothers told us it belonged- and we agreed wholeheartedly). Now we like to joke that “we concentrated on the wrong letters: we were all about our B.A.s when we should have also been thinking about our”. Not feminist. Not P.C. but not wrong either. Unfortunately.

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