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An in-depth profile from LEVEL examines how seven Black men not only found the love of their life but also digs deep into their process of dating and valuing what they wanted in a partner.

Black love is a truly beautiful thing. For many in the community, finding the right person after an extensive amount of time dating then marrying them can feel magical. In a new profile, seven Black men of varying ages and backgrounds detail the road to how they found, got engaged to – and married – their significant other.

According to a 2021 study on successful Black marriages conducted by researchers at Georgia State University, only 29% of the community has that status making them the “most unmarried racial/ethnic group in the United States,” although the majority deeply want to be married. With the added complexities of today’s dating scene, it can seem daunting to find that special person.

But the perspectives offered in the profile give off honest and heartfelt reflections of that journey. In the case of Austin, his look at love was simple and profound. “I define love in terms of value—not the value you’d place on possessions, but the kind you’d place on yourself,” he said. “I value my fiancée’s safety, health and happiness as much as I value my own.

Trusting the process is vital, as expressed by another brother, Alvin, and his recollections of being secure with oneself. “By the time I met my spouse, I was in tune with what I desired, what I could give, and was aware of not f–king things up when you have a good thing,” he said. “I don’t remember waking up thinking this is the day or feeling any anxiety about popping the question. This was the natural next step, and I was all-aboard.”

Lastly, a state of constantly working on the relationship and oneself in relation to their partner is highly important, as Anthony related in the profile. “I define love as a frequency, a state of being. It’s like the sun, the rays warm everything and gives life to all that it touches. You can’t ignore the sun when it shines, and you can’t ignore love without betraying yourself, because at our core I believe we are love. So it’s a recognition of self, the fundamental self, in any and everything else.”

Peep the rest of the interview here.

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