Many of my friends are discussing the NPR poll that came out Tuesday which took a “snapshot of the view from Black America”. One hot button item from this survey showed that a third of African-Americans are seeking long-term relationships (LTRs). What NPR — and a few others — found shocking was of those blacks who were never married between the ages of 18 and 49, more men were seeking LTRs than women were. In fact, the poll shows that 43 percent of black men wanted an LTR while only 25 percent of black women did. Are you shocked? I am not and here is why.
What the Experts Think is the Cause
In a related NPR article, experts speculate that economic/financial issues may be the reason for this gap. I agree that money and success level probably do play a part in this. Many black women want a man who has goals for the future and is working to achieve them. They prefer one without a criminal record and one who does not have many baby mamas (preferably none) which can pose financial and emotional strain on relationships. However, I think the real issue is the perception of LTRs.
How LTRs are Viewed is More Likely the Reason
Just jumping off from my own experience with people I know locally and professionally, many black men who are or have been in LTRs and are/were happy in them. For these black men, the LTR is just that. There is no specific destination or outcome for it. No next level to be achieved from it. The other half of these LTRs, the black women, often become anxious and sometimes angry that after so many years, marriage is not being seen as the goal. Add that a good deal of these LTRs I’ve seen are situations where the couples live together, share expenses, and even have children, this tends to increase the black woman’s desire for marriage. On the other hand, it does not seem to increase that same desire from the black men in those LTRs.
Where I Think the NPR Poll is Flawed
The question here that I do not think NPR took into consideration was how the term long-term relationship was being construed. Did NPR mean LTRs that led to marriage or simply an LTR only? From the comments I have read on articles and social media sites that discussed this, many see the term as the LTR not progressing beyond an LTR. Now if the poll had clarified it and said a LTR that leads to marriage, I have a feeling that the 43 percent versus 25 percent would be reversed.
What do you think about this aspect of the poll? Should NPR have clarified what an LTR meant to them for a truer result? If so, do you think the percentages would be any different? Sound off!