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Because of these realities, I had resigned to the idea that there would be no “I do” in my future. That view of my future drastically changed when my casual request to shoot hoops was accepted.

Not only did I find a black man who wanted to love me, but I also felt he was worthy of my love.

The new Pay As You Earn plan (revised in 2015), which determines student loan payment caps, helps single earners, but can drastically increase monthly payments for married couples.

Not only did I leave college with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, but I have struggled for years to find full-time work, despite sending out resume after resume. Black women are twice as likely to be unemployed, compared to white women, according to the Bureau of Labor.

Filing jointly as a married couple has zero benefits for us.

Financial strain seems ubiquitous and unavoidable for most black families. While I would love to say “I do” to the man I love, I don’t want our relationship to end up in ruins because of money issues.

Banks’ book laid out the reason why plainly: Dating is a numbers game—one that is rigged against me and women who look like me. Black men are roughly seven times more likely to be killed than black women.

“All of the guys I grew up with are either dead or locked up,” my partner once explained as we drove through the Jersey City neighborhood of his childhood. Even if black men overcome all this—if they survive, if they thrive—they do not want to marry a woman like me.

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