Dear Shan Tell’em,
I was dating a woman that I’ve had a crush on since high school who surprisingly enough, had been eyeing me too. We’re both single parents and broken from past relationships. She’s changed me dramatically in the time that I’ve been with her. Years ago, a prophet told me that “the woman that forces you to change is the one you will marry.” But she recently decided that she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me because of my financial and living situation. She’s told me to stop contacting her, but responds when I do. I feel that she’s scared of me being a procrastinating, abusive, deceitful, unreliable, using man like the men she’s dealt with in the past. It has taken a toll on me, because while she is being unreasonable, I know she cares but is too stubborn to work through anything. What do I do?
Hopeless, Yet Hopeful in Love
First of all, I disagree with the “prophet.” No one can ever force you to change. They shouldn’t have to either. While a person’s decision to change can be influenced by another, the act itself comes from within. Anything else is temporary because your heart isn’t in it. You stated that you are both “broken” from past relationships. If that is the case, a breakup was bound to happen. In order to have a successful relationship, you must be ready for one. That means that you have let go of past hurts, at least 80 percent of them, and that you’re emotionally ready for a healthy, long-lasting union. Unfortunately, it sounds like she isn’t ready for that. You might not be either. My recommendation is for you to leave her alone. If she’s running out of fear, then you’ll spend the rest of your time chasing her and explaining why you’re the better man. Life is too short to be dedicating time to that type of mission. If you’re being your authentic self, then she should see that on her own. But if she’s looking through a broken lens, she never will no matter what you do. And you will be miserable.
As for her leaving you due to your financial situation. Hmmm. Were you upfront with her about her financial issues and home life? If so, then her decision to leave is most likely for another reason. She may have met someone else who is more suited to her financial requirements. Or, she could be using that as an excuse to run due to fear. Either way, the point is not to attempt to figure out why she is running and just accept the fact that she has made the decision to leave. Otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy. It’s important that you remember to not give up on love itself, no matter how tempting it may be to do so. This situation with this particular woman does not have to be your future.
Good luck and I wish you the best.
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Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.