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Keep It 100: It’s Not Them, It’s You

Dear Shameika,
I moved to the Charlotte area three years ago and have found dating to be super difficult. I have yet to go on any dates while living here. I’m in my mid-40s, so how do I meet a “grown-ass man” when I’m an introvert? My friends won’t hook me up with any potentials and I don’t believe in parading my boobs and ass for men to gawk at. I also don’t believe in online dating and I’m not very good with social media, so where are all the men in this city? Please help!
-Looking for Love in the QC

Shameika Rhymes

Dear Looking for Love,

Welcome to Charlotte, we’re glad you are here, but chile, have you ventured outside yet? There are men everywhere! Now, let’s start at your first comment and break this down.

You say that dating is difficult, and I’ll agree with you only because I have actually dated in Charlotte. But let’s also look at why you believe that. Is it because you are an introvert waiting on your knight in shining armor to come knocking at your door without you even venturing outside? Do you go anywhere besides your regular routine of work and home? If the answer to is yes to the first question or no to the second, then sure, dating is difficult because, as you suggested, it’s nonexistent.

Granted, the dating pool gets more narrow after the age of 35, so you have to get a little more creative. Someone I follow on Twitter said it best: “There needs to be a focused, but not [desperate], approach to dating. Like networking or job searching, place yourself in position for success.”

You need to think of this in terms of how you would look for a job. You could go to conventions, networking events, events geared at your age range. Shoot, you could even post up at one of these hotels in Uptown and have dinner and drinks with a friend! You may discover that your “prince” is from out of town and just happens to be strolling through the bar area while you’re sipping your martini. Some folks say you can meet men at church, but I’ve also heard they can be the devil in disguise, so just use your gift of discernment when you can.

Bottom line: Since you aren’t open to the idea of online dating, you need to leave the house. But also, maybe you should have an open mind and just try it. What’s the harm? It’s just like rolling the dice when you meet someone in the grocery store or the gym; you don’t know what you are going to get until you have a conversation. No one is saying you have to marry that person after you swipe right (or is it left?). Clearly, I don’t do online dating either these days but I’m not opposed to it.

You say your friends won’t hook you up, but why should they shoulder the responsibility of you finding a bae? Maybe they know your introverted ways and don’t know any man that’s going to put up with an introvert wanting to stay at home all the time.

One of the things that you have to do is some inner self-examination. Are you really ready to date? What are you looking for? If it’s coming from a place of lack — such as you are lonely, or you just want attention, or you’re needing validation of some sort, then you might want to work on your own self-love first. How can you expect someone else to like or love you if you don’t love yourself? I can see you respect yourself since, you aren’t out here posting half-nekkid photos online.

You’ve put out the list of what you won’t do, but what are you willing to do? Are you willing to give online dating a shot? If no, how about baby steps of grabbing a friend and going to some of the many events happening around the city? You have to get out and mingle and look approachable!

So my advice is to really have a good look at your inner self to determine why you are so ready to find this grown-ass man. Is it just for conversation or are you looking for orgasm assistance? Be clear on your intentions. I have every bit of confidence that you can navigate the dating waters in Charlotte, you just have to be adventurous and swim out into the deep end, just watch out for mofo’n sharks.

If you have a dilemma you need help solving, drop me a line:

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