Aug 22

disappointed black womanIt’s a fact that I am out of the dating pool, but there are times when I look at the current swimmers and notice certain patterns that make it hard for one group of people versus another. One such group are the agnostic and atheist black men.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that African American culture is very much of the church in more ways than one – especially women (nods at Tyler Perry). This isn’t to say that ALL black women are bible beaters because as a group black women are a million times more diverse than the media presents. But in the dating pool it can seem very one dimensional for a young man… 

If you are anything but a Christian and you are into American black women, I am going to go out on a limb and say that it is quite an obstacle to get around the giant holy elephant in the room staring and wondering when she will bring up denomination and your “faith”. Am I right? Well recently I spoke to one of my good friends who is a black man that actively dates black women (not exclusively) to ask him about this very thing.

Here is what he had to say:

Greg Dragon: When it comes to black women and your refusal to attend church weekly, how has it been for your dating?

Agnostic Black: Actually most women know that 60% of black women attend church while only roughly 20% of black men do.  So most of them don’t try to push it on you if you are a good prospect for them.  If they are trying to judge me or force it on me I end it, if they are so naive that they are surprised I don’t like church as much as they do I have a very short leash with them.  But most of them realize they can’t change me so I bring the subject up early first couple of conversations and make my stance clear.  I lost a few prospects over it but in reality fishing is good right now lol.

Greg Dragon: So you go into these dates armed and ready then?

AB: You have to nowadays, if you put that topic off it’s a deal breaker for some of them. Interracially it’s not as big of an issue though.…

GD: I wonder though like if you didn’t bring it up if it would trump most of your prospects late in the game… like 4th date etc.

AB: It only makes it tougher in the end; I’ve had that happen before – We hit it off, infatuation and everything is clicking, then after like a month that conversation comes up.

“Do you go to church?”, “No not regularly”, “Why?”, “I don’t believe in organized religion”, “did you go when you were young?”, “No”, “Do you believe in GOD (GASPING in anticipation)?”, “ I believe something created all of this, but I don’t know what it is or what it wants from us.  I treat people well and try to help others, if that isn’t enough then I guess I am doomed.” “Whew at least you believe in God”.

That’s generally how it goes.

GD: Then she goes on to complain to her friends about you being a heathen but you have good qualities otherwise…

AB:  Of course, if the chick is open minded then usually I have found they aren’t as into it as they claim.  One girl I know goes to church because she really likes the people at her church.  But hardly prays or reads the bible.

GD: What about a compromise? You have your faith, and I will love you despite my disbelief? Have you met any girls who were willing to just let it be?

AB:  Let me just say that I have and it lasts for a good while but eventually it comes back at you hard.

Everything AB said to me echoed my thoughts and what I personally went through when I was dating. The only difference was his bravery in bringing it up initially… I would roll the die and at times it would mean wasting the money and time it took to get to 3rd base before “religious chat”.

I wonder how many women miss out on the fact that this is a huge obstacle in dating and the level of importance it has in a long-term relationship. Does the desperate need for companionship cause religious women to downplay their involvement in order to keep men like myself and AB from running for the hills? Why is this even a black thing? What do you all think Hall?

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  • Divine Dolly

    Its not just a black thing there are more male atheists and agnosts than females in any race. The other thing is that the 2 have nothing in common talking about the non believer and the Christian so why would they even try?I am a Christian and most atheists I know are angry and mad at the world while agnosts seem to just be on the fence so I understand why a woman would deal with that for awhile.

    • Nia Syrah

      Sorry Divine…I respectfully disagree… Christians and non Christians can have plenty in common…just not their beliefs. I have had relationships with those who do and do not share my beliefs, and which did not end based on that difference.

      I think this has to do with who you are dating.. If its a deal breaker, it’s a deal breaker. But if it’s that big of a deal for the woman, she should bring it up early in the game as well, not leaving it up to the man to probe her on how far she may or may no go.

  • Megatrog78

    Jesus, you would think the rules of dating were crazy and complex enough now we have to find out what church people go to?

  • Annie

    If a man is an atheist or agnostic, I say “do you boo!”

    My thought is that there are plenty great men out there that fall into this category. It doesn’t make them bad men.

    However, I am a Christian and finding someone that holds the same beliefs is important to me. It let’s me know that we are singing from the same sheet of music. It doesn’t mean I am not open-minded. It’s just being clear about what I want in a man. And yes, it may rule out a bunch of potential men, but why be with someone that doesn’t understand the “core” of who I am? That would just be too much work for me….and him.

    I bring this up early in the dating conversations. It helps both of us not waste time, attention, and money on someone that there’s no future with.

  • Lo

    I am a black female in my early 30s (Jamaican) and I am atheist. I made the decision years ago to not date anyone that believes in a god/gods. This will only cause issues later on in the relationship. To add petrol to the fire, I also have no interest in having children. These special things make me not the best mate for the average black man. Do I date outside of my race? Yep! Have I ever dated a black man who is agnostic/atheist? Yep! Ultimately, this thing is all about compatibility, sharing the same values and chemistry. I am happy with this guy I am seeing now..but he is an artist and I read your article on things to consider before marrying an artist….so another one bites the dust! LOL

    • “Ultimately, this thing is all about compatibility” – THERE YA GO! Trust me Lo there are many atheist/agnostic black men out there who have climbed out of the bucket of tribalism and safety that is our culture to embrace individuality in this world. Those guys will not announce it so you would have to ask every time — but there are plenty. Like you said it’s about compatibility so find a guy who fits–race be damned–and I am sure you will be much, much happier for it.

      God worshipers think that they are above bullying people to join their cause but they always end up doing it — sometimes in very passive aggressive ways — thanks for commenting, and good luck out there.

  • Trainer Gooch

    I’m having the same issues as being a black woman Agnostic. I’ve been single for 4 yrs now and men have a hard time accepting me. Why is it so hard to find other black men that are not religious. I am open to dating other races but I have been so unlucky.

    • Hi Trainer, I know it has to be hard on the other side too given that culturally we are “supposed” to be all about the church. Where are you located? I always wonder when I hear about men dissing black women for religion, natural hair, or any number of other things that seem trivial on this side. Sometimes you have to take your peacock feathers out of town where the boys can appreciate you if the local talent is on some bull. Thanks for sharing.

    • 5% Hov

      Aye girl… come back.
      Real man here.

  • Kweli

    Dating for the Black male agnostic or atheist is, umm, hell. Ain’t no doubt about that, especially in the South. You definitely have to be upfront about it.

  • Sorry

    I’m a black/Asian Atheist.

    However, I do not date black men. So, there it is. Sorry :/

    • 5% Hov

      Damn girl. Can’t a nigga get sniff?

  • Plum

    I am a black woman atheist/agnostic non believer and I need a date!
    Despite the fact that only 20% of black men go to church, they are very
    big on declaring themselves “god-fearing”…not sure what they are
    afraid of since it’s not fornication, nor having children out of wedlock
    nor sending pics of their “jewels” by text. I imagine there is
    something else to be feared, I just haven’t gotten around to asking
    because god talk is the biggest turn off ever. Unlike sis below, I am
    not hugely “into” non-black men, but they seem to be the only men with
    some sense so I have dated a few non-black men, but it’s not yet
    clicked. I would love to meet a thinking, well-traveled atheist or
    agnostic, straigh(ish)…i’m fine with bi… black man to date.
    Well-travelled is a must because I don’t live state-side for work

    • Leonard Simpson

      Good luck, you sound like you deserve it

    • crazygemini12

      I have the same issue. I’m a black woman and atheist and black men are not interested in me at all. To be fair, I’ve never been all that pretty but being atheist and a homeowner and not wanting kids (and I’m sure being 37 isn’t helping) makes me undateable to black men and I’m not interested in interracial dating.

      • My good friend and I are both the same make and model (enterprising, agnostic, etc.) and we’re both married to and dating black women that have all the things that you’ve listed. I post this to say that you should keep your head up, Generation X black men are still indoctrinated by tribalism especially when it comes to stepping away from the church, but there are many who–like us–go with our hearts and minds. Even at 37 you’re still very much a catch for someone, so stay positive and keep on keeping on.

  • Leonard Simpson

    My situation is quite different. I’ve been married for 42yrs & in the early years of my relationship with my wife we were both slightly involved in the church.. We attended church every now & then.. Over the years my wife’s involvement in the church grew as she became a born again Christian & I became a independent free thinker who’s views tend 2 lean more toward Afrikan theology rather than wife & I share a wonderful relationship but one that can become rocky when the topic of faith comes up.. I know this topic deals with dating but it’s not just dating that has & can cause problems between a black man & the black about couples who were on equal footing when it comes 2 faith but saw changes that lead couples in two different directions..this also can be quite a challenge for the black family. Just thought I’d share this expeirence with you

    • Thanks for sharing, Leonard. I saw a similar shift when it came to my very Muslim (nation) stepfather and my very Christian mother, and it was all out war sometimes. They couldn’t make it work, and it is a testament as to how religion is strong enough to conquer even love – despite what the hopeless romantics tell us.

  • UppityBlackWoman

    I wish I could just find a man who is willing to play the game. Do the church thing politely on make holidays but otherwise, let it go. Is that too much to ask? Lol

  • bdooski

    I just want more black folks to take a step back & think about this. If the slave masters were Jewish or Muslim, we would be going hard for those religions instead.

    • Having explored several religions and seeing how “we” get down, I wholeheartedly agree. We tend to have this need to clutch on to the idea of something bigger and beyond our world … so hard in fact that we’d die for it, even without any proof or logic behind that particular religion.

    • Maury Antonette

      Problem is (for use 600 years contemporarily) Jews and Arabs were Slavers also .. (in fact, it’s most likely that any ruling society did the same hideous stuff to those under its thumb).. so it’s clear that organized religion is just that, organized brainwashing that provides bounds for Societal conformism under the rule of those with the most to lose.

      Sad part is If All of Humanity came form the beginnings on the continent of Africa what does it matter .. Live Long, Love, Multiply and Repeat.. All the mumbo-jumbo, bending over, and crossing yourself three times in the name of some deity is only exercise!