DORAL, Fla. – Highly successful, Type-A personalities who are driven and upwardly mobile oftentimes find it a cumbersome and laborious endeavor to embark on finding and maintain lasting romantic relationships. The Black Enterprise Golf & Tennis annual retreat at the upscale Doral Golf and Spa resort provides a spectacular and informal place to meet similar personality types from around the nation.
Paul Carrick Brunson, who says he is the first and only black male matchmaker in the world – “which I think is crazy,” he says – has become a renowned relationship connoisseur who helps corporate executives, entrepreneurs and others navigate through the tough terrain to arrive at the destination of relationship bliss.
“Black people love, too,” he says.
Brunson, a former investment banker and a married man of 10 years, says there are several key, but simple, mistakes that most African Americans make that simple but core adjustments would yield bountiful harvest in the area of relationships.
Number one, Brunson proclaims with thunderous resolution, black women are not in the midst of a man famine, despite the well-publicized articles and so-called scholarly research. Here are a few other tips he shared:
1. Disinformation: “There is a massive amount of misguided information [about black women]. We have been bamboozled. We have been hoodwinked.”
2. “If you are a professional, and you place your profession over your love life, that’s the mistake,” says the former investment banker. “I made that mistake. I’ve been married for 10 years. And investment bankers put in some crazy hours. And I realized that I have put my job and materialism and the Rolex watch and trying to get that BMW over my best friend [his wife]. And I realized that. And once that set in, I reprioritized.”
3. Honest introspection and inventory of your priorities: “The best thing for successful professionals and entrepreneurs is to assess what is important to them. If it’s your job – I ain’t mad at that – but that just means you aren’t ready for a relationship. But if it is a relationship, then you are ready.”
Here is a sampling of testimonies about black dating from some who have participated in the speed dating exercise – or Flow Dating as Brunson terms it – or watched on the sidelines with great interest.
Jeanette Carter, owner, Housing Problem Solver, Atlanta: I took a hiatus from dating for two years because I wanted to focus on my business and get it on track and get it moving. When I started dating again, I had to kind of wear two hats. I decided that, when I’m dating, I just want to be the girl. I don’t to there to be any power struggles or ego struggles or anything like that. When I date I want to be the woman and I want the man to be the guy. And I find that tends to be the most successful way for me. As long as I realize that I’m not the CEO and I’m not running a corporation when I’m out here dating, I’m just out to be a woman and to have fun and be a girl. I don’t want to be in charge at night. I’m very happy listening to a guy and happy taking on the “female” role. I want to be the female energy. I don’t want to be the masculine energy. I can if I have to be, but I don’t want to be.
Daphne Lorvinksy, advertising account executive, Miramar, Fla.: I don’t find time, really, at times. But I network a lot, and that’s where I meet the individuals that eventually I go out on a lunch date or a dinner date with. And that if I believe that it is something that can lead to something, then I make the time. You just have to somehow make the time. Being successful sometimes takes up a lot of your time. And I fly a lot as well. It’s hard for them to understand, especially if they are not in the same field as I. but they have to understand that my career is a priority. And if they understand, it’ll be a little be a little easier, but it’s still hard.
Jumoke Dada , Signature RED marketing specialist in Philadelphia [not pictured ]: “I am a workaholic. It’s not that I don’t make time for men, it’s just that it’s hard to balance work and personal life. I think he gave great advice. Knowing your “non-negotiables”, your value system, and your personality was key for me. If you want changes, you have to do some reevaluating. If you are doing a lot of work but you are unhappy because you are home alone, then you have to just put the time and effort into socializing more. Perhaps when attending networking functions, you can take advantage of opportunities to meet people. It does not always have to be business.”
Saran Baker, IT sales, Verizon, Prince George’s County, Md. [not pictured]: “I manage my time. I have a very busy personal life. So outside of dating, I have friends, I have family, I have organizations that I participate in order to give them time in addition to my professional career.”
Tim Stewart [no picture by choice], U.S. Customs, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: You have to keep a balance. You have to keep contact, you might want to text just to say hello. That keeps the communication lines open. There is no substitution for communication.
One of the things, what type of personality you want to support a person. Do you want a passive person, or do you want an aggressive person? You want to match yourself up with someone that you are compatible with. Because I don’t believe in opposite attraction. After awhile you’re going to butt heads. It would be good if you could get along and have the same interests. Birds of a feather flock together
Laurel Tatum, owns finance company, Washington, : Brand new to the dating world after 29 years. And I’m always interested in meeting new people. I’m a [proud] pleaser and promoter. Having a personal life is important to me. I’m in this realm of learning people of different cultures and getting outside of this box.
Very interested in meeting people who help me break out of the mold of only meeting the same type of people all the time. There is personal growth and learning where they’re coming from and not shutting them off because they have a different perspective.
He confirmed where I am, about authenticity. And ironically, I am reading a book about authenticity.
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