What Are My Chances Of Finding A Husband?

Pretty African American Woman in Bright Green Blouse

Hello Evan, I’ve been reading the information on your website and I find the information interesting and useful which is why I decided to write to you. First off, this is embarrassing, but I will be honest: I’m a single 38-year-old black woman and I’m a virgin with little to no dating experience. People tell me I’m attractive, but I’m shy and I have a tendency to take rejection very personally. I tried online dating and it was a disaster. The last guy I was interested in was a bipolar alcoholic. Anyway, I’m lousy at dating. When I go on dates I have a tendency to feel like I’m on a job interview. I know there is A LOT of competition and I’m not exactly a catch, think about it — with the information I provided I hardly think that I’m anybody’s ideal.

One guy I was talking to said he liked me but I needed more confidence. I guess he’s right, but I’m embarrassed and ashamed by my inexperience so I always quit trying for periods of time. One thing I am good at: I’m a good conversationalist, and I can actually be quite funny. Since I read those statistics about single black women in the US (70%) I opened my dating pool to men of all races. I thought it was odd that I got more attention from white men than black men since I was on Match.com but I’m glad that race doesn’t matter to me. Anyway, in your opinion, what are the chances of me finding a husband? I’m no spring chicken. Any information is appreciated. —Diana Marie

Dear Diana,

I’m no academic or statistician, but I do have a computer. And what I learned from my friend, Google, is that 95% of people have been married by the age of 55.

Given that you’re a person, that would give you a 95% chance of finding a husband.

Do you feel better now?

I didn’t think so.

Because your question isn’t really about the chances of you finding a husband, it’s about addressing your own insecurities.

If you do the latter, the former will follow.

If you don’t, there is the potential risk that you will fall through the cracks, like so many women at sorority rush.

So what are you going to do about it?

There’s absolutely no difference between confident you and insecure you. It’s a flick of the switch in the back of your head.

First of all, take heart in the fact that you are not alone. There are more single people than married people in America for the first time ever. Not to mention that you’re not even the first 38-year-old ethnic virgin that I’ve heard from. Really. You’re in good company.

Second of all, your belief that you’re not anybody’s ideal is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy, wouldn’t you say? Would YOU enjoy going out with the guy who genuinely didn’t believe that he was worthy of you? Say what you will about clueless and arrogant men, but their false belief in themselves is often a greater asset than it is a detriment. Confidence — in both men and women — is the single most attractive quality for a partner, and we need to get you on track to realize your self-worth.

Thankfully, you already HAVE self-worth. You’ve described yourself as young, attractive, a good conversationalist, and funny. I can name, oh, about a BILLION men who would want to go out with that woman. But if you’re spending all of your time at home out of fear, or quaking in your boots on each date because you’re inexperienced, all you’re doing is undermining your good qualities.

To you, your fear and your lack of confidence is as real as your two hands. To me, it’s a mental construct that you’ve built and codified. Year after boyfriendless year, you’ve determined that you weren’t good enough and receded further into your self-imposed cage. Yet you’d be the first to acknowledge that any stranger who met you would determine that you’re bright, attractive, interesting and witty.

Interesting, isn’t it?

So do yourself a favor, Diane. Stop telling these men what your problem is. Give up the vision of yourself as a pathetic 38-year-old virgin. Get out of that job interview mentality.

Because what I know — what every confident person around knows — is that there’s absolutely no difference between confident you and insecure you. It’s a flick of the switch in the back of your head.

If you present yourself as the sum total of your good qualities, and talk to each individual guy the way you would talk to your Mom or your best girl friend, all relaxed and playful, you’ll find that men respond to you like never before.

The only reason men don’t dig you is because you don’t dig yourself.

Start believing what you already told me, set up a better profile — a CONFIDENT one — on Match and BlackPeopleMeet, and write me back to let me know that it’s working, okay?

Good luck.

Join our conversation (34 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Diana:   You really aren’t alone, and you should follow Evan’s advise.   Change your own mind.   Here’s what really worked for me at age 50-something.  
    1) Make a list of the five most important qualities you need in a man.   Be realistic and honest with yourself.   (Don’t forget about younger men, also. Someone 24 years old may no more experience than you.) Keep that list on your mirror, so you can see it everyday.  
    2) Make yourelf a vision board or vision book to put picutures of happy couples (interracial couples, if you want).   Spend 5-10 minutes twice a day imagining how fun, how good, how special that right guy would be for you and the fun you could have together.  
    3) EVERY day, write down five  GOOD things about yourself–things you know,  nice things people have told you about yourself–no matter how long ago or what the circumstances were. Be as specific as you can.

    This really worked for me.   I found a wonderful man, and I was ready to love him because I had found love and appreciation for myself.   He is everything I  needed in a man–after decades of duds.   Change your mind and the rest will be much easier.  

    By the way, I am also African-American.   Good luck!!

  2. 2

    Hi Diana,
    I dated someone who, in some ways, I think is a “male version” of you.   He took rejection VERY personally, but was also VERY funny.   I didn’t see his lack of dating experience a problem, but he ended up making it such a big deal (constantly bringing up a girl from six years ago who dumped him, interpreting everything I did as a reaction to one of his “flaws”, and having extreme jealousy towards another guy I used to have a crush on and not wanting me to do things like take a night class or go to bars with girlfriends b/c “Sleazy guys would hit on me”) that I couldn’t deal with it anymore.  
    Note: None of these things had to do with his lack of experience (sex is something you learn, exactly like everything else, if you are open and honest about the idea that you want to learn).  
    You also have to be open to the idea that EVERYONE has failed relationships.   Why is rejection so personal to you?   Your next relationship might “fail”.   Look at Christie Brinkley’s relationship history.   Or Jennifer Aniston’s.   These are beautiful, amazing women who had horrible things happen in their love lives.
    Something you could do is contact a therapist specifically with a background in sexuality, if you are actually afraid/anxious and not just insecure when it comes to sexuality, but remember that everyone has “flaws”.
    Also Dee #1’s post is great as well.   Keep a big list about what is GREAT about you.   Why do your friends and family love you?   Sense of humor is one, but how about your loyalty?   Are you a great aunt?   Do you throw great birthday parties for your friends?   Do you have passions and interesting hobbies (hiking, triathlete, motorcycling, art?)   Your great qualities must far excede just “sense of humor”!   Think about it.
    Chin up!   Best of luck!

  3. 3

    I really like what these ladies have to say.   Also, I really think that Diana should give herself credit for having the strength to remain a virgin until the right person comes along.   I know all too well the pain and disappointment that comes  from sleeping with someone too soon.   Atleast she has the self control to not jump into bed with a guy just because he tells her he likes her, etc.   I respect that.   It’s hard being a single woman, especially when you  have so many things that might be working against you, age, weight, looks, confidence, etc.   I know from experience that sex can really mess things up if used in the wrong way.   So Kudos to Dianna for being brave enough to maintain her virgin status.   I also agree with Evan, there really is no difference between the confident person and the insecure person.   I recently flipped my switch from insecure to confident (faking it till I made it).   Now when I walk down the street, guys smila at me, they want to talk to me, heads turn.   Just because I made the concious decision to work on recognizing and appreciating how truly unique and special I am.   It comes and goes at times but for the most part, I’ve been on a steady shine.   It’s not easy but with baby steps and patience and  possibly alittle counseling, Dianna can start to see and appreciate  her unique self too.  

  4. 4

    I just went to the wedding of a 40-something black long-time celibate woman (not sure of her virginity status) last month. She’s with a wonderful man and they are ridiculously happy.
    I say your chances are good!

  5. 5

    Hello! I’d like to say that I’ve been a fan of this website for a while now, but this is my first time responding to a post.   I don’t always agree with Evan’s advice, but I think he  addressed her issues well.  

    I’d like to respond to her question in another way.   While confidence is extremely important and something that is easily improved with practice, there is something else here at play  that Diana has no control over and that is relative lack of opportunity.   I recently read a very sobering article published by a large  online dating site which statistically analyzed  contact frequency  based on ethnic background.   Black females, according to their research, were  the least  likely of all ethnic groups  to be contacted online by men.   And older black females even less so.   As a black female myself (relatively attractive, educated, etc..), I’m amazed at the volume of mail my white counterparts  generate on dating websites.   So, Diana needs to be open to try the advice given  in order to make the most of her online experiences.

    Best of luck, Diana!

  6. 6

    Pretty good post. I have nothing to add, other than I agree that the OP’s situation isn’t hopeless as she seems to think.

  7. 7


    You are a wonderful person just the way you are right now. What’s important is you have to believe that. Finding a guy is the easy part, even keeping him isn’t really that difficult either. There are people that have been in long term  miserable relationships. So the amount of time someone is in a relationship is  irrelevant.    

    You need to focus on you first. There is someone out there just for you. However, the question is who are you attracting? The kind of people you attract into your life is a determinant of how you think, and how you feel about yourself.

    Feel better about yourself, and you will attract better feeling people into your life. Sure you hear stories about couples connecting. But what you don’t hear about is one year, five years, or ten years down the road the relationship has gone sour. Why? because you bring you into the relationship. Where ever you go, there you are.

    That’s why I say work on yourself first, the dating part will happen  automatically. When you are ready (feeling worthy) you will know when is the right time to have a relationship.  

    Keep in mind you will never get it done. Meaning, you’ll never get to a place where you feel complete all the time. Be satisfied with who you are, but eager for more. So just relax, and don’t feel you have to rush into anything.

    Life is a  journey that never ends, enjoy the journey, feel good about yourself, and know there is always a solution.

    Trust me, work on your self-esteem first, and you will light up this world with your new found happiness. You have so much to offer, don’t waste it on finding the answers through a relationship or another person. You do have the answers, you just have to realize it.

    I have worked with people in your same situation, when I asked them what would they recommend to me if I was in a similar situation, 9 times out of 10 they had the the right answer. That’s how smart people really are, but now you have to apply what you know.  You can’t really do that if you feel unworthy and undeserving.

    Good luck, and most of all, have fun.


    1. 7.1

      ty great advice, I needed this

  8. 8

    Great advice Evan!

    And Diana, as a sister in the struggle, lol…keep pressing.   In your current state, I Hope you realize… you are enough.   Everything about your experiences, or lack of as you see it, is enough.   Someone will cherish that and love that… TRUST ME.   

    I’m excited for you, and excited you are taking the steps in reaching your relationship goals.   Showing up is the first step to participating in love.  

    Good luck!!   

  9. 9

    Confidence is everything .   I guess my experience is unique I am a over  40 black female on Match and I get tons of responses!   Black, White, Latina, and mixed.   Lol   Just met a great guy 2 months ago and things are going very well.    Don’t be a  glasss half empty person, be a glass is mostly full.  

    Also the thing that most guys that contact me online about is my smile!!!!  
    Girl go out there and smile and be confident and don’t believe the naysayers!!   They see the glass half full!!!

  10. 10

    I couldn’t love Tony’s post #7 more!

  11. 11

    I would like to offer some comments for the OP on a practical level, regarding the issue of virginity, which sounds as though it worries her.

    Firstly, you are in no way obliged to tell someone you are a virgin if you don’t want to. Generally, asking how many sexual partners  a person has had is considered prying, and usually people don’t ask. Even if they do, most people don’t reveal their “number” and it is quite normal to say “I’d rather not answer that” – this applies whether you’ve had no partners or 100. If you want to tell them that’s fine, but don’t feel in any way obliged.

    Secondly – sex, at a basic level, is extremely easy! Whilst many people obviously develop  skill over time, the first time you go to bed with anybody new they aren’t really looking for anything complicated – especially if they are male! The average man will be perfectly ecstatic if you just take your clothes off, open your legs and act enthusiastic. Honestly, they won’t notice the difference! No doubt some of the more sophisticated male posters on the site might disagree, as they might not like to see themselves that way, but  really, the average guy just wants to see your tits and stick it in…they’re not looking for some advanced tantric oral sex technique from you at the beginning… After the first few times, if you’re unsure exactly what to do, then just ask them, “what do you like…” and let them guide you. Every man is a little different, so essentially we’re all novices when we meet a new partner – what the last partner liked, this man might not like, so we’re all feeling our way… at that point, each couple’s sex life become’s unique and you learn together what works for you as a couple…. prior experience is not as relevant as you might suppose…

    Hope this helps a little! Good luck…


  12. 12

    This  post in particular was really eye-opening for me. I can definitely relate to the reader in terms of her self-confidence and insecurities. Evan’s  section on “presenting yourself as the sum total of all your good qualities” is the best advice I have heard in a long time. Thank you!!

  13. 13

    @Sherrill #9 – Hey Sherrill, I just want to say U GO GIRL!!!!   I COMPLETELY aggree with you.   I forgot to metion in my last post that I’m also an African American woman in my 40’s and I get loads of compliments on my smile from men.   Heads are still turning.   For a long time, I just wanted to disappear and be invisible because of a bad breakup.    Now I walk with confidence, head up, pep in my step and a glide in my stride!   Men of all races approach and notice me.   Although, I’m not ready to be in a relationship right now, it’s still nice to know that I still got it going on! LOL   I like what you had to say Sherrill.   Thank for that insight.

  14. 14
    my honest answer

    “your belief that you’re not anybody’s ideal is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy”
    You’ve hit the nail right on the head Evan. I really hope Diana can start to love herself, she sounds like a great lady.

  15. 15

    One guy I was talking to said he liked me but I needed more confidence.”

    Diane, the guy that told you needed more confidence  is 100% correct.  

    Relationships are, in my experiences based on trust and goodwill.  So  a person who is lacking in self-confidence  is going to be  too needy  to trust anyone or to have a healthy relationship with. Since they do not even trust themselves.  But fear not,  you have excellent advice from Evan, who has  already touched on  steps you should take  to be effective meeting your mate and has also encouraged  you.

    Just wanted to add that self-confidence is internal driven and, like grace, is not based on anything we have done but  our acceptance of it.  I don’t know if your reasons for maintaining your chastity are religious/spirtual ones or not. If  they are then you probably already know that fear is not from God.  Love is. But whatever the reasons,  this choice  speaks to your amazing self-control and discipline which is another positive trait to add your growing list.  A good man will value this virtue in you. I wouldn’t offer it for conversation in the first few dates but it is part of who you are and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

    I think what may help you to build confidence is to begin speaking/thinking of yourself in more positive terms. For example before your next date, you could say aloud in front of a mirror, “I am confident in being a good conversationlist  and I enjoy making people laugh.”  

    Continue to speak lovingly of and to yourself, both in your head and aloud.  Have faith that your intended  mate is looking for unique and lovely you to make him laugh and share his life. 😉

  16. 16

    I’m sorry EMK, but I think your data is wrong. I am doing Census and I am encountering many Never Married people before, over 55.   I think with the way the world is, I think that there are more people in the North American and possibly in Europe that haven’t been married by 55.

    1. 16.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Paula: I don’t make this shit up. I just report it.

      – By the age 35, about 74 percent of men and women have been married; by age 65, 95 percent


      Maybe the numbers have changed over 7 years, but not by all that much. Most people aspire to marriage and most people get married at some point in their lives.

  17. 17

    I believe that there is someone for everybody, therefore your chances of finding a husband should be 100%. Especially nowadays there are many ways to meet people. Online dating is becoming increasingly popular also and there is bound to be someone that you will enjoy being around. You just have to believe that you’re going to find someone and it will happen. Remember don’t just sit around on forums asking for help, go out there and meet people, be PROACTIVE with your relationship.

  18. 18
    Darren Miller

    I agree with Evan. If you improve your confidence, you will attract the guys immediately. Confidence is very desirable in human nature. Someone who can stand up for and love themselves is very appealing. People are just drawn to it.

    So, how can you build confidence? First, you just have to keep practicing. Talk to and flirt with every man you come across, whether it is someone in the queue at the bank, or sitting in the park. You don’t have to be attracted to these guys and so shouldn’t feel the need to impress. This is often where people go wrong. When you are trying to impress you become nervous and shy. Simply think of it has having a conversation to be friendly.

    Practice makes perfect and the more people you speak to the more confident you will get. You will find a nice guy in no time.

  19. 19

    Dear Diana,
    I think you are a beautiful woman who is yet to see her true beauty. I do think you should follow some of the previous advice and take some time to learn to love and appreciate YOURSELF. Stop worrying about your age, sexual and relationship  inexperience, and take the time to really learn what YOU like and what YOU want. Take up a dance class, take yourself to the movies, buy yourself some  flowers,  try a daring hairstyle you always liked but never had guts to try. Treat yourself to spa days, and do all the things you want your man to do for you.  You will be amazed how this will give you a new found glow, and make you more noticeable and desirable.This is very important when it comes to finding a life partner. Don’t beat around the bush, don’t settle for the sake of just wanting somebody because YOU   are the true prize. You have to realize and BELIEVE that. You are a real catch, and in today’s society the fact that you have remained pure says volumes about you….First love yourself, then you will be able to find somebody who is capable of loving you the way you deserve. Trust me I learned this the hard way….It wasn’t until I gave up on men and dating and decided to just be content with dating myself, that I met my husband, and he treats me wonderfully. You have to know what you deserve in order to get it. Demand your respect and treatment, and don’t ever think a man will CHANGE for you. I believe you can tell if you would marry a guy witihin 6 months of dating….if he doesn’t fit what you WANT, then WALK AWAY. You will be amazed by how doing this attracts many more men, trust me honey, women who know what they want are incredibly desirable. When you start loving yourself your true sexiness and beauty will shine through and you will see how the flowers and gifts will start flowing in like water but it all starts FIRST with YOU. ( I am also a black woman =) best of luck sista)

  20. 20

    Oh yea, I also think you should give up on the internet dating, instead date yourself as I suggested, you will be suprised how many people will began to notice the new you the more you step out and get comfortable. Confidence is key, I met my husband through a mutual friend….so you never know, it will suprise you how many people will finally notice you who have already been around you once you start noticing and appreciating yourself. =)

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