Over the last several months, I have been speaking with people who have been having selfish realtionship issues. And I use the term selfish because they were’nt able to look at the issue from both sides in order to come up with a solution to the problem. I’ve been noticing that issue more often.
I am by no means a relationship expert (although I am starting to think that maybe I should go back to school for that), but I have picked up things over the years and have been intentional in learning how to make my relationships better as well as help those around me improve theirs. At the end of the day, I wholeheartedly believe in love and I will always help anyone who wants to make their relationship work. But, I think that we need to go over a few things because obviously not everybody momma taught them correctly.
Relationships aren’t easy! Under no circumstances should anyone think that making a partnership work will be a cake walk! You are taking 2 people who were raised differenlty, think differently, have had different experiences, have different expectations and you are trying to fit those differences together. There will be arguments, there will be headbutting, and you will get on each others last nerves. THIS IS NORMAL!! Anyone who tells you that is isn’t has no idea what they are talking about! By no means does this mean that constant arguments and abuse of any kind is ok; this does mean that you will see things differently and have differences of opinions on how to handle and fix issues that arise. It also means that you should take into consideration what and why that other person has those reasons for disagreeing with you on whatever the topic is.
I can recall having a conversation with someone about them being mad at their significant other for something they did that didn’t sit well with my friend. My friend (male) kept going on and on about what his partner (female) did. So, I listened, and when he was done I asked him why was she acting how she was acting. He paused and was quiet for a minute. I then proceeded to explain the female’s point of view on the situation and helped him to see the other side of the argument. He then told me that he was going to call me back. A few days later, I spoke to him again and he told me that he went back to his partner and spoke to her with my explanation on his mind and they were able to come to an agreement on the issue. He couldn’t stop thanking me; what I had to explain to him was the he couldn’t be selfish in how he handled his disagreements. I understand that we are selfish people and tend to see things from our own lenses, but when we conscioulsy make the decision to merge our lives with someone eles, we must now take on the role of seeing things their way as well. I promise that it will help you have less diagreements.
Stop expecting what you can’t provide! I hear so many people (both men & women) asking for their partners to provide things that they aren’t able to give themselves! And I’m not talking about money right now (although that’s a big portion of it also). If I am not good at communication, I cannot expect my partner to have great communication skills with me. Eve if the come into the relationship with great communication, my lack of comminucation will cause them to either stop communicating with me, or theyll just start communicating with someone else. If I lack the ability to open up and let my patner in, I cannot be angry if my partner refuses to put in the work needed to break down my walls. We need to be well rounded in what we can offer, especially if we are expecting the same in return. Now, we can add the money part in. If I am working and making minimum wage, I cannot expect my partner to make 6+ figures and provide for me in a relationship because I am pretty sure my partner wants gifts and trips just like I do. If I can’t offer him even a portion of what he can offer me, is the relationship truly compatible? Females especially tend to put this immense amount of pressure on men to provide, yet rarely offer anything other than sex in return. Then I hear “well all he ever wants is sex”. If that’s all you can offer him, what else could he possibly want from you? We tend to forget that men are people too-they have emotions and feelins just like we do, and those emotions and feelings need to be fed just like ours do. It’s great if you can offer a man money, but can you offer him time, understanding, patience, forgiveness, truthworthiness, and most importantly peace? Men need peace above all, especially African American men. Can you provide him with that?
Understand that love can be enough! I have had people argue with me and tell me that it takes more than just love to sustain a relationship. At first I had to think about what they were saying- there held some truth in that notion; that we need more than just love. But then I had to remember- a parent ONLY needs love in order to fight to be the best for their child. God ONLY needs love to provide and sacrifice for us. An animal ONLY needs love to be loyal to us. So why can’t love be enough for us? We as people are imperfect. We have mean and selfish tendencies that can be extremely hard to deal with at times. We tend to put ourselves before others, and we want more than we are willing to give (for the most part). But when you meet someone that takes your breath away, that makes your heart skip a beat, that sends you over the moon. When you meet someone who made everyone who came before them look insignificant, love is absolutely enough. The love that you have for that person is enough to make you want to become a better person, is enough to make you change your perspective, is enough to make you want to fight to keep the relationship and make it better than all of the others that you have had before. Love most definitely is enough. Patience, communication, and amazing sex is great too though. Lol.
You are not always right! I am absolutely speaking to myself on this one! I have been handling things and doing things my way for the last 30+ years and I think that I turned out pretty good. But, put me in a relationship with a strong man who is a leader and we have many a fights ahead of us. Because I always think that my way is the right way (and so does he probably). It took an extremely long time (and a countless amount of arguments) for me to realize that I wasn’t always right. And NEITHER WAS HE! As adults, we have conditioned ourselves to believe that the way we want to do things is the right way all of the time. As a single person, that is absolutely true. But in a relationship, that’s grounds for breaking up. We have our own ways on doing things, but so does the other person. Normally, those ways are absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, the minute that we decided to get into a relationship, those single-minded thought processes automatically became the enemy. Whatever you did alone you now have to change because you are no longer thinking about yourself- you now have a whole other person that you need to be mindful of and take into consideration. Thinking that “my way is the right way” will lead you back to being single. Put that too the side and now find a way to incorporate your partner into your decisions. Someone once said to me” it is not you against him in a problem, it’s you and him against the problem”. That resonated with me so much! It taught me that I needed to stop fighting my partner and always trying to get my way and to start finding a way for the both of us to tackle the problem. This is not always an easy task, but it is definitely one that has me in it for the long haul.
Like I said earlier, I think I will go back to school to become a relationship counselor. It’s something that I am starting to find a passion in. In the meantime, Let’s take these tips that I mentioned and apply them into our relationships (both romantic and parental!) and see how we can make everyone’s lives easier.
As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!