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Ask Shan Tell'emJET Love

Ask ShanTell’em: Alone And Afraid

Dear Shan Tell’em,

I’m a 36-year-old man and I haven’t been in a relationship since my early twenties. I fear that I am destined to be alone because I just can’t seem to attract anyone. By “anyone,” I mean that literally. I’ve only had three of four women who I can call my actual girlfriend, and they each left me for reasons that were beyond my control. A few years ago, I moved back in with my mom to save money, so of course that has put a damper on my dating. I want a wife, but I do not think it will happen.

Signed,

Alone and Afraid

Dear Alone and Afraid,

What you are feeling is a very normal reaction to being single at a time when you feel like you should not be. As we mature, we tend to get discouraged because we feel the pressures of time on our backs. While reading your submission, my first instinct was to encourage you to remain faithful in your belief that you will find your life partner. But before I give you the “keep hope alive” spiel, let’s take a look at why you might be alone.

First of all, rarely does someone not attract “anyone.” Unless you are dwelling under a rock for 23 out of the 24 hours a day, seven days a week, SOMEBODY will look at you. It might not be the person that you want, or it might not happen as often as you’d like, but you will get a little bit of action. I’d like you to think about what it is you are giving off when meeting and interacting with people in general. Often, our energy speaks before we ever do. Are you confident and sure of what you have to offer? Or are you desperate and thirsty? Maybe you are mild and observational. Either way, those that attract people have a sense of knowledge about themselves, as well as those who they wish to attract.

You also mentioned that you moved in with your mom to save money recently. Financial stability is a key factor in anyone’s confidence, and it should be a priority to be somewhat grounded in that area before seeking a mate. No, you do not have to have it all together, but dating someone can be expensive. Make sure you’re ready to handle all that comes with it mentally, emotionally and financially, or at least have someone who will be understanding of your situation.

It is also important for you to be realistic about why you desire a mate. Is it because you truly want one or because you feel like it is what you should have at this point in your life? Realize that your desire for love can be met, but you must first abandon your feelings that you should’ve found it by now. Looking at your peers and comparing your love life to theirs is inaccurate. We are each on a different life path, and no one can really determine when love is supposed to happen. There are people lucky enough to find their soul mates at 19, while others find them at 50. Either way, they are both “lucky.”

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Your turn: Got a question for Shan Tell’em? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com or simply comment in the section below! And don’t forget to join us on Twitter every Wednesday at 3PM CST for a live discussion on love and relationships. Keep up with the conversation via the #AskShanTellem hashtag. 

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Shantell E. Jamison is a digital editor for EBONY.com and JETmag.com.  She’s also a radio personality, and cultural critic. Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.