Let me say it plainly. Something’s wrong if you claim to want a relationship, but won’t take the time to evaluate and improve some of the things that may be getting in the way of you attaining one. That goes for anything in life. And since I’d like to think that everyone who comes across this article is a fairly intelligent being, I know that you’ve wondered why you’re single at some point in your quest to find a mate.

I was having a conversation with a friend who really wants a companion. She’s in her early 30s, fairly attractive and has a decent job. She doesn’t have any children and pretty much has no problem getting a date any day of the week. Yet and still, she’s single, and keeps running into men who ain’t about much.



During our conversation last week, she asked me why I thought she was “still single.” She wanted to know if I thought men were intimidated by her success. She wondered if it was because she got a lot of attention from the opposite sex or if it was because “men ain’t s***.” My friend even wondered if her current relationship status was due to not giving up the cookie right away. I told her that while all of those things probably would turn off certain men, her singledom – besides the Creator’s timing – all boiled down to one main issue: she dated people who did not have the same intent as she did when it came to relationships.

Intent is everything. It determines how far a relationship should go and it lays the foundation for how much one should invest in a person romantically – if at all. If you’re the relationship type, the last person you should seriously consider dating is the person who just wants to have fun. Sure, they will provide comfort for you during those lonely nights, but that’s about it. Usually, the chances for anything remotely serious are slim to none. You cannot change a person’s mind, nor should you want to. But you know what is almost guaranteed to happen? You’ll experience disappointment, pain and discouragement.

Dating with intent seems like pretty common knowledge, but hope tends to throw all logic out of the window. The problem with my friend was that like many people, she would fall in love with someone’s potential to be a great life partner. And while she may have been correct in her assessment, he wasn’t particularly interested in making her his life partner. And she would’ve discovered this if she had a very upfront conversation with him about their intentions.

It’s unrealistic to know if you want to marry someone on the first date. But knowing that you do wish to get married one day is very realistic. There’s nothing wrong with saying you are looking for a serious relationship if that’s what you want, or a no-strings-attached arrangement if that’s what you prefer.

Upfront communication affords you the opportunity to simply walk away with no feelings invested, hurt or unheard, and it increases your chances of finding what you truly desire. I’m not saying that you aggressively state that you want the house, the marriage and the 3.5 kids and demand that he or she steps up to the plate. But what you shouldn’t be afraid to do is not waste your time.

Shantell E. Jamison is an editor for EBONY.com and JETMAG.com. Not confined to chasing headlines, this Chicago-based writer, radio personality and cultural critic is also the author of, "Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on how to Achieve Your Best Self."



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