Is Atlanta A Prime Location For Black Singles?
By Rachel George
Last year, new dating show Ready to Love, introduced by award-winning director Will Packer, took 30 singles of various careers on a journey, similar to The Bachelor, to find a healthy relationship and lasting love. Unlike The Bachelor, participants were able to resume their everyday lives and work around the show. In the end, there were two strong couples left standing. The show helped prove the point that finding love in the city of Atlanta, the black capital of America, is possible.
Atlanta has a lot to offer black singles with top spots for socializing, eating, shopping and more. Followed by Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, and 183 other major cities, Atlanta was ranked the best city for singles by Wallethub. Between annual festivals, historical museums, and the black culture centered around the entire city, there’s always something to do and someone to meet just about anywhere for the city’s estimated 486,290 residents, which is 52 percent black.
Surrounded by several Fortune 500 companies, including Mercedes-Benz, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS, and Delta Airlines, Atlanta sees at least 53 million visitors annually, not to mention the flood that comes in during Super Bowl or a major headlined tour like Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s OTR II.
Beyoncé lover Kea Westmoreland, 27, says there’s not a shortage of eligible bachelors in Atlanta. It’s all about finding who aligns with your intentions and end goals, “weeding out who’s dating for fun or who’s dating for marriage.” Because let’s face it, we can’t be out here wasting time on just any and every body. This also means having those initial, sometimes harsh conversations about certain topics such as finances, which play an essential role in relationships today.
“In the initial stages of dating [financial security] could be a topic that may arise, and its an important one to discuss, especially if things do get serious,” she said. “As long as the job is legal, where someone works doesn’t affect me greatly, but I am always curious as to that person’s career goals and how they are working on themselves to grow professionally etc.”
For years, millennials, such as myself, have come to this populous city in hopes of advancing their careers and making a name for themselves. The land of opportunity. Most black entrepreneurs and black businesses flourish well in this southern city of opportunity and success, where popular industries like business, finance, IT, entertainment, film (responsible for over 90,000 jobs in the state) are consistently thriving. Tyler Perry Studios, alone, was expected to employ up to 8,300 people after its development began in 2016.
Project manager Aaron Amolè, 29, moved to Atlanta three years ago embarking on his career in sales after graduating from Tuskegee University. Considering the overall high level of black excellence in the city, he believes Atlanta is a prime location for black singles. There are endless “opportunities to meet people from with similar goals from different HBCUs,” referring to the Atlanta University Center Consortium—Spelman College, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Clark Atlanta University.
“At my age, it seems like most women I meet are ready to settle down and meet the man they will marry.” Guess going to school really can affect your love life.
Speaking of marriage, in Georgia, 47 percent of the population is married. A 2015 Pew Research study found that 65 percent of young adults over the age of 25 with a four-year college degree were married. 55 percent of them has some college education and 50 percent with no educational history past high school and a 10 percent divorce rate.
However, millennials are getting married at much lower rates, compared to past generations, due to economic security. Dr. Benjamin Gurrentz, from the bureau’s Social, Economic And Housing Statistics Division, called it a “prerequisite.” Employment, housing, and costs are factors that heavily impact marriages amongst millennials. “Counties with high marriage rates tended to have greater employment, higher wages and lower poverty rates among both men and women,” he said. “In this way, it’s not just about men being breadwinners anymore. Both partners contribute to the economic security needed before tying the knot.”
Atlanta is a city of entrepreneurship, grasping the attention of black singles from various socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite economic insecurity, millennials are hesitant to enter into a relationship, let alone a marriage, they simply cannot afford.