Should I Continue to Date Men Who Do Not Meet My Standards?

BY: - 27 Mar '18 | Single

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I am a 36-year-old, single female and I deal with what I think a lot of successful black women are dealing with – the idea that we have to date down. In other words, settle for less than what we desire in a man. I have been living in the D.C. area since graduating from Howard University. I am from Alabama and have a southern girl mentality. I share that to say that I am traditional in nature and believe that men should be head of the household. However, I do not believe that I should be submissive to a man who does not know what being the head of household means.

I recently dated this janitor because he was a nice person. However, whenever we talked about important things like building a financially stable future, I found myself getting frustrated. His knowledge of finances was limited and he only appeared to be interested in creating a savings account. I tried being patient and even offered to attend a financial management seminar together. He got frustrated and told me that I act like I am better than him.

I feel like someone is playing a joke on me because I keep running into brothers who try to make me feel guilty about being successful. After being on the dating scene for so long, I am losing hope. I can’t find a man who meets my standards. It is tough for a sister and I am thinking that maybe I should just settle for what I can get. Should I Continue to Date Men Who Do Not Meet My Standards?


Discouraged Single Sister

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Discouraged Single Sister,

I apologize up front, but my response will be fairly brief because the answer to your question is no.  You should not continue to date men who do not meet your standards. I can empathize with your frustration and discouragement, but settling for less will only keep you frustrated. You are part of a community of successful women who are finding it more and more difficult to find love. However, I firmly believe that things happen for a reason and when they are supposed to. What does this mean to you? Glad you asked.

Sometimes we want things to happen in a certain way and in a certain timeframe. We place a lot of stress on ourselves to secure things outside of our control. When it comes to love, we cannot control how and when it shows up. However, I can tell you that settling for less is not going get you any closer to getting what you desire or deserve.

Some people say that patience is a virtue and use this saying to encourage others to “chill-out.” I try not to use this saying when it comes to matters of the heart and finding love because I know that it is difficult to be patient when you feel like you are ready and capable of being in a relationship. Please keep in mind that you might be ready, but if you jump into a relationship with a man who is not compatible with you, your frustration will be magnified, thus increasing your discouragement.

The easiest way to break the frustration-discouragement cycle is to minimize interactions with men who do not meet your standards. Whenever you allow nonsense into your personal space, it will disrupt any harmony that you have in your life and negatively impact your psyche. This, in turn, can cause or contribute to discouragement.

When life drags you down and you feel discouraged, please surround yourself with people who can lift you up. Also, remember that you cannot find happiness in any relationship by lowering your standards. If you desire to be in a relationship that lifts you up, you cannot date men who try to drag you down. Also, if you are interested in being in the presence of women who stopped settling for less and started believing that they deserve more, please consider attending the premiere of my new film titled, “You Deserve More” on March 29, 2018, at the Avalon Theatre in Washington, D.C. You can secure your ticket at .

I wish you the best on your journey to getting what you desire. Be mindful that a decision can either make you happy or make you miserable so learn to order your decisions before you act. Always decide to pray before you act.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 212 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at


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Top 3 Dating Tips If You’re Single, Childless, and Over 40

BY: - 4 Apr '18 | Single

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If you’re still single, childless, and over 40, the world can make you feel like something is wrong with you. Maybe it’s your physician pressuring you to freeze your eggs at every annual visit “just in case” you don’t meet the right man before your fertility expires. Perhaps you stumbled across gossip headlines like Media Takeout’s post which screamed “R&B Singer ASHANTI Is ALMOST 40 YEARS OLD …STILL NO MAN…And NO KIDS… What’s Wrong With Her????” Either way, it’s highly likely you’ve been battling feelings like doubt, shame, and fear, simply because you’re unmarried and childless.

First things first. There’s nothing wrong with you. Period.

Next, a woman’s fertility is a deeply personal and sensitive topic. It’s no one’s business why you have or haven’t had children, and you shouldn’t have to explain yourself to anyone.  As Damona Hoffman made plain in her response to Media Takeout’s attempt to shame single women who are childless, some Black women aren’t married because of a shrinking marriage market.

Others made a personal decision to pursue their careers and thought love and marriage would just take care of itself. Sometimes, you’ve spent the best years of your life with a man who never put a ring on it, and now your window for having children is closing due to no fault of your own.

As an expert who has worked with many women who feel real pressure to hurry up and get married before their fertility clock expires, I’ve seen firsthand how these outside forces created inner pressure within the ladies that made them feel like their dreams were fading fast.

I’ve also coached women who were younger than 40, but had recently been diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids and other medical conditions that could affect their ability to have kids. Doctors gave them little hope. “Go have a baby now” was their only prescription. These sisters needed support with redefining their dreams around marriage and family if they were going to succeed with dating.

If you can relate, I want to share my top 3 coaching tips to help take the pressure off so you can enjoy your dating journey.

Tip #1 – Revise Your Vision Board

The woman you were at 20 is completely different from the woman you were when you first decided your dream was to get married and have a family. It may be time to upgrade your definition of family so that it allows you to explore dating a man with kids, adoption, surrogacy or even mentoring children together with your partner.

Tip #2 – Explore Holistic Health Treatment

If you still desire to give birth to children and you’re unsure of your current fertility, take charge of your health by exploring holistic health practitioners who specialize in womb wellness. I’ve referred clients to natural doctors and teachers who taught them how to properly use diet, anti-stress lifestyle changes and natural medicine to heal their fertility issues. Before you take drastic measures regarding your reproductive health, know all of your options.

Tip #3 – Don’t Waste Time 

Finally, I encourage you to set an intention to not waste time in relationships that can’t give you what you want. For example, a client told me she was falling for a guy who was everything she was looking for in a man except for one crucial thing: he made a vow to never have any more kids. She needed to make a decision. If she was going to pursue the relationship, she’d have to let go of her dream of raising a family of her own.  Any attempts to change his mind would just be a waste of time.

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If you’re single and childless, there’s nothing wrong with you. Your original dream may have to change,but you still have the power to choose how you live your life right now.

BMWK, does your fertility clock influence who you choose to date? 

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 174 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.


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