Communicating the reality of dating in childfree, heterosexual, professional African American women who never married
Communication related to the dating experiences of childfree, heterosexual, and professional African American women who never married were examined. Using an interview research method prescribed by Irvin Seidman, a sample of six women from this demographic participated in two separate in-depth interviews. The first interview covered career, family, and dating; the second addressed marriage, children, and parenting. Results generated three primary themes from across the data sample impacting this dating lifestyle: stable parental marriage examples, a career that enables singleness, and skepticism about marital happiness. Additionally, three secondary themes were identified from parts of the sample: a lack of the right partner, a lingering desire for children and spiritual/religious doctrine. The findings were theoretically aligned with the social construction of reality, whereby communication from a group of individuals sharing an experience establishes their situation’s authenticity versus upholding the perceived understanding held by society. Practical implications of depression, interracial dating and social stressors offered additional understanding of this study. Further research through a larger study sample, as well as applying social learning theory through secondary analysis to examine modeling of the sample’s long-term parental marriages provide additional opportunities from this investigation. Furthermore, new research offering an African American male response to data, topics regarding emerging adults and a subsequent examination of a similar LGBTQ demographic may provide an interesting comparison in light of newly-legalized marriage equality. Over all, this research addressed and accounted for current limitations in existing literature on the subject matter.