Dating and relationships is what most desire in their lives, even if they never admit it. Single people usually only start to get comfortable with their current status because they start to get sick of running into the wrong ones and as they get older, they just don’t want to sleep around or have just a sex buddy; so they suffice to the bachelor and bachelorette life because it deems to be easier.
However, dating doesn’t have to be hard, sometimes all you need is a dating coach, such as Shauntay Dunbar. She has been assisting people, especially people of color, find love; it all starts with redefining what you’re looking for.
Ms. Dunbar hails from the Bronx, New York. She graduated from the HBCU, Morgan State University with her Bachelors of Science on Marketing. In addition to being a Relationship Expert and Dating Coach, she is an Indie Author, an event planner for a luxury publishing company, a poet, blogger, podcast host, public speaker, and biker. Yeah, just call her a Jill of all Trades.
I recently interviewed this ‘Jill’ where she chatted on her career endeavors, what inspired her to do what she does, and of course how she helps people in finding love.
Huey X: Growing up and still to this day who are your inspirations and/or mentors? How did they impact your life?
Shauntay Dunbar: Growing up it was Claire Huxtable. To me she had it all; amazing career, loving husband, great kids, Brownstone in BK (Brooklyn). As I got I older, Dr. Maya Angelou made me want to write. She was so poised and worldly. Her books and poetry to this day give me a sense of peace knowing your past does not have to taint your future. My mom, aunt, Godmother, and inspire me everyday; they are strong, Black, independent women who continue to take care of love ones and still manage to love their best life.
Huey X: When did you realize you had a passion for writing/entrepreneurship?
Shauntay Dunbar: I’ve loved writing since I was a kid. Around third grade I would write so many short stories. It was In fifth grade that I discovered my love for poetry. I actually had a poetry teacher. Mr. Waters always praised my work. Talk about having a big head, lol. Entrepreneurship didn’t come until after I wrote my book. The book is what made me come out of my shell to explore more of my talents.
Huey X: What inspired you to write your book, “Diving in Stilettos First”?
Shauntay Dunbar: I had all these crazy dating stories I would share with friends, family and coworkers, and people would just laugh and say, “You need to write a book.” So one day I was completely tired of working my second job, so I quit. On my last day a coworker said, “What are you going to do with all this free time?”, and I said with a deep shoulder shrug, “I’m going to write a book”, and left. I was giving myself the opportunity to do something I love and not just keep giving my time away to someone else’s dream. Writing really was my first love, so while on my way to my main job I started writing in my phone during the commute. By lunch I had written my first chapter.
Huey X: Can you give us a brief backstory and summary of your book?
Shauntay Dunbar: So my book starts with my annulment. There was a series of issues, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was my husband telling me he didn’t want to have anymore children a day after my 30th birthday. He had one from a previous relationship, I don’t have any. So I had reached my limit on compromise and ended the union. So the book takes you on the journey of me diving back Into the dating pool of NYC. I encounter blasts from the past, online dating, people “hooking me up” with the “perfect guy” for me and it ends up showing me my patterns and really my journey to self love. I wanted better so I needed to do better. You’ll hear of my shenanigans with my friends, family, and crazy dates.
Huey X: When you wrote the book, what were your expectations and goals?
Shauntay Dunbar: To get my story out. There was no way I was the only person going through these experiences. I want to help women heal, forgive, learn themselves, be able to laugh at themselves, and not be afraid to get out there and receive love again; and of course a goal is to sit with Oprah for a Super Soul Sunday, lol
Huey X: Not only are you an author, you’re also a relationship expert. How did you get into the field?
Shauntay Dunbar: I’ve given helpful advice for years to friends, family, and random people. After I wrote my book people just started referring to me as that. I embraced it when I looked up the definition, which is, “Someone who understands human needs and desires within the context of the way we feel interact, connect and behave with ourselves and others.” It’s not only about romantic relationships, it’s relationships with family, friends, coworkers etc. For me it’s all about perspective.
Huey X: What are some of the most regularly experienced issues in a relationship?
Shauntay Dunbar: Ineffective communication. People thinking the other party is a mind reader. Listening to react rather than listening for an understanding. People not healing and making peace with their past so they bring their baggage into new spaces. Forgiveness of yourself is huge. It’s easier to forgive others, but for someone reason when it comes to self, people struggle.
Healing is so important and allowing yourself to use tools to help you get there can make all the difference in self love and being able to truly love others.
Huey X: With the pandemic swarming the country, what is some advice you can give couples on quarantine?
Shauntay Dunbar: Talk it out. Learn your love language, apology language, argument style. These are great communication tools that can help you understand not just your partner, but yourself. Respect each other’s space, be kind to each other. Have date nights and get to know your partner again. Dance together, workout, cook, read, watch shows and documentaries. Everyday can be a good day. Not all day every day but every day. Be mindful of the words you speak to your partner. Remember your intent may not always be received.
Huey X: How has the quarantine affected your business positively or negatively?
Shauntay Dunbar: It’s been more positive than negative, I’ve sold more books which is nice. I’m still Interviewing and have done so many collaborations. I definitely miss going out and meeting people. That is how I do most of my business, but these Corona times have made me rethink and rebrand. So I offer more time and even more quality so it’s joyful.
Huey X: In your own opinion, what are your thoughts on the pandemic as a whole mentally, spiritually, and financially?
Shauntay Dunbar: This pandemic was a reality check really. To me it made people re-evaluate their thinking, their health, their relationships, especially their relationship with God, their goals, dreams everything. Our brain is our most prized possession. What are we feeding it and how are we using it? Are you praying and meditating? Prayer lets you say your peace, meditation helps you hear the answers. How are you spending your money? Will you invest now? Will you invest in yourself? It’s a matter of perspective I always say. Change is never easy because growth is a requirement.
Huey X: What are some great words of wisdom you can offer our readers and aspiring entrepreneurs?
Shauntay Dunbar: Write down your goals so you see them and think of them and dream them so you can manifest them. Don’t compare yourself to others especially those that only show their glory without showing their story. God’s timing is always better than yours. So stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. Lastly, if it doesn’t feel right that’s because it isn’t. Don’t let your loneliness or insecurities lead you back to toxicity. You can do anything. Just believe you can.
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