Category Archives: Relationship Blog

Prioritizing Love

Priority – somebody or something that is ranked highly in terms of importance or urgency; the state of having preceded something else.

Prioritize – to order things according to their importance or urgency; to regard something as most important or urgent.

Temptation – a desire for something considered wrong; the incitement of desire or craving in somebody.

Necessity – something that is essential; a basic requirement; water, food, shelter, clothing, love and acceptance; the condition of being needed or required.  

Blessing – something to be glad or relieved about; a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.

Someone recently told me that a relationship is not a priority for them.  I’ve heard this a million times.  I believe that anything that someone wants badly enough becomes a priority to that person.  A person’s lack of desire for something doesn’t make it less important in life, just less important to that particular person.  According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our human needs are, in order of importance from most to least, (1) physiological, (2) safety, (3) social, (4) esteem, and (5) self-actualization.  Physiological includes what we know as basic human needs; food, shelter, sex, and breathing.  Safety includes security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health and property.  Social includes love, friendship, family and sexual intimacy.  Esteem includes confidence, achievement/success, and respect of and by others.  Self-actualization includes morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts. 

If you understand the Maslow Hierarchy principle, then you know that social includes relationships with others both related to us by blood and by emotion.  Our esteem is connected to our achievements and status in society.  If this is true, then why do so many of us look at love as less of a priority than career?  Why do we put our goals and desires to succeed and make money above having someone to share those achievements with?  Why do we prioritize love as the least important element in our day to day life?  Why do we view love as a temptation instead of a necessity? 

The happiest people I’ve ever met are not the wealthiest financially.  However, they are considered very wealthy because they have mates.  They have taken the time to cultivate strong and resilient relationships that include emotional bonds with their mates.  They have families, friendships and great sex.  They have prioritized love into their lives.  Then there are the single people who strive to make more money, gain more position, and obtain more respect from people whom they don’t share any emotional connection with.  They already possess the physiological and safety needs, so they feel that they can overlook the social needs and continue on to the esteem and self-actualization needs.  Do they ever go back and try to capture the social aspects?  Yes.  And sometimes they fail to do so because since it was not a priority to them, they passed on every opportunity for love that came their way.  In their minds when the opportunity arose, it was not the “right” time.  They had other priorities to concern themselves with that took precedence over love. 

Then there are the single people like myself who want everything.  We want to fulfill all five of the human needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy.  We believe that we can have balance, just like many of our married predecessors.  We may have even failed at love previously but we still believe it to be a necessity.  Unfortunately, we often find ourselves in encounters with the single, success-seeking individuals who do not view love as a priority.  They desire the money, status and respect of others, but do not desire to come home to the love and respect of a mate.  One of my biggest fears is being extremely successful, but not having anyone to share my experiences and success with.  Not having anyone to encourage my steps when I’m moving in the right direction.  Not having anyone to catch me when I fall or wipe my tears when I fail.  How lonely life could be with a huge bank account and no one to share life with.  No matter how much money I make, I can’t take it with me when I die [no one’s tombstone says “He made a lot of money”].  But I believe that I can share a love that lasts an eternity.     

People often throw themselves into their careers as a defense mechanism against love.  They fear love and the requirements of it.  Love requires commitment, focus, decisiveness, self awareness, honesty, and selflessness, among other things.  These requirements are often more difficult for a man, because in society men aren’t always celebrated for the wife they have, but instead for their professional achievements.  Love isn’t leisure, it is work.  You can’t take a vacation from love.  When love hurts, it can be debilitating.  There is no cure for love when it hurts.  When love is presented with problems, you can’t walk away from it, tear it down and start all over.  As a result some people opt to take the easy way out and decide not to include love.  Some people literally choose not to prioritize love into their lives.  They’re afraid of the work more than potential failure or pain.  In spite of our fears about love, under Maslow’s Hierarchy, without love, a human being is not “whole” in life.  A life without love isn’t living; it is just existing.     

So, the “timing” isn’t right when you meet someone.  When did humans become powerful enough to control “time”?  Everything happens for a reason, and it happens when it should, not necessarily when we want it to.  If an opportunity presented itself unexpectedly for your career, you would view it as a “blessing”, not an obstacle or a temptation.  You would do whatever was necessary to take advantage of that opportunity.  You would fear losing the opportunity and never getting another.  You would conquer your fears, travel long distances, empty your bank account, sale your car, change your routine or schedule, you would change your plans, and you would even disappoint others in order to accept the “blessing”.  You would pray about it, increase your tithe offering, burn sage and anything else necessary for that blessing.  Sometimes people are also a blessing in our lives.  They are brought to us for many reasons.  Some people come into our lives for a season, some for a reason and some for a lifetime.  Someone who comes into your life that you feel a connection to may also be the one you are meant to love.  But if you are unwilling to take advantage of the opportunity, it will pass you by.  That person will then become a blessing to someone else who was unafraid of love.  I heard Steve Harvey say that more love songs have been written by men about lost love because men fail to see what they have until it is gone.  They don’t view love as a priority.    

Time waits for no one and some opportunities only come around once in a lifetime.  If you are willing to make sacrifices for achievements and material possessions, why would you not also make sacrifices for love?

Reaping a Bad Harvest

Karma.  It is a word used in the Hindu and Buddhist philosophies.  Its definition is the quality of someone’s current and future life as determined by that person’s previous behaviors.  The Good Book says, “You reap what you sow”.  The principles are the same.  You get what you give.  If you give heartache, drama and pain, at some point in your lifetime, the same will be returned to you, often in higher doses that are much more difficult to swallow. 

As I embark on this journey that is the fulfillment of God’s plan for me, I’m finding that I have to be very mindful about who I select to spend my personal time with and whom I allow into my inner circle.  Most of those people are loyal and understanding.  They know that my dreams are important to me and they support me completely.  Although I’m not yet at the level of success I am striving to obtain as the next reigning Queen of All Media, it’s just over the horizon because I’m working towards it.  As a result of my future plans for myself and Super Son, I’m very selective, especially when it comes to my interpersonal relationships with men.      

Before I began on this journey I had some painful relationships with the men in my life.  I had been rejected and heartbroken, even battered and abused.  I have healed from that and it made me a much better judge of character.  Now I can tell when man is a problem a lot earlier, sometimes even when I first look at him.  Even the men that weren’t problems have still caused me pain to some degree, even if unintentionally.  Then there are those few who know that they made absolutely no attempt to treat me well and they tried to take my kindness for weakness.  Those are the men who seem to think they always deserve another chance in my life – especially now.  Now that I’m in the Google search engine, my phone tings and rings from the “past loves”.  Those are the men who toss the word love into their text messages without fully understanding how to show love.  Now they see that everything I ever dreamed about is coming to fruition.  Everything they told me I would never be, I am becoming.  And they want back in the game. 

I find it most interesting that these same men, since ending their relationships with me, are having difficulty in their careers, with their families, with their finances, with their new woman; regardless of their level of education, upbringing or social status.  They are all suffering in one way or another.  The men who told me I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough or I didn’t make enough money to be their wives, are still single, and a lot older.  The women they pursue now mistreat them.  They are all reaping their harvest and it is rotten.  Attempting to invade my garden will not clear up their karma.  If they now know better, they have to do better.  The first step is not telling me what they think I want to hear in hopes that they can resuscitate what has died.  The first step is recognition of what they’ve done, followed by a sincere apology.  On the other hand, the men who treated me well are happy, successful, have financial security and very little drama in their lives, if any at all.  Their harvest is bountiful because they treat people well in their lives.  If any of these men wanted a second chance at a relationship with me, I would gladly consider it. 

When a person sets out to treat others with compassion and respect, kindness and understanding they often reap the benefits of those good relationships.  When a person is honest and considerate without being condescending or demeaning, they often receive respect from others.  When a person operates with integrity and good character, it’s a lot easier to accept them as an individual regardless of what you may dislike about their personality.  When a person shows you that they care for you with their actions, you can believe them when they say “I love you”.   These are the same people who are fully realized, happy individuals with good Karma.  And I am happy for them.   

I know that my life is a road trip, full of interesting stops along the way.  However, I can’t drive forward, if my car is in reverse.  I can’t fulfill my heart’s desire for mutual love if I allow those who do not love me to inhabit that space.  I give to others and I’m being blessed in return.  As I compare the two types of men I’ve had in my life, I am thankful for both.  They have helped make me who I am today and who I will be tomorrow.  To those who were loving and supportive, regardless of how it ended between us, I’m thankful for the experience and friendship.  To those who tried to break me, damage me, belittle me and who doubted me, I appreciate you also.  Because now I am fabulous.  And the best revenge is to be fabulous.      

I encourage you to be mindful of how you treat each other.  Be careful of how you treat those whom you profess to love.   Love is an action word, not a filler in place of remorse.  You only get one life and you don’t want to spend it reaping a harvest full of bad Karma.

A Good Thing

I was in the hair salon yesterday, reinventing myself again, when this young lady came in to make an appointment for herself.  After some conversation with her and my hair stylist, it was discovered that this young lady thought that she had a relationship dilemma.  She had a man in her life who wanted a relationship with her.  He had told her and shown her in numerous ways.  He had done all the things that men do when they want a woman in their lives as more than a pretty accessory; he had taken her to his friends’ weddings, introduced her to his friends and relatives, spent quality time with her, even though he lived in another state.  If you’re single like me, you realize that often a man can live down the street from you and you will never see or hear from him.  Here she was with a man that clearly loved her and wanted to care for her.  But she was indecisive about her role in his life.  Men know when they want a woman in their lives and they know sooner than they are often willing to admit.  On average, they know within thirty to ninety days of spending time with that woman.  This man had waited for her for a full year.  I asked her was there anything bad she could say about him and her response was ‘No’.  Then I asked her did she think he was just too good to be true and she said ‘Yes’.  Ah-ha! THAT was the REAL dilemma. 

So many of us have been defrauded and betrayed in relationships that we develop a very unhealthy sense of cynicism.  We believe that because of everything negative that we have previously experienced in our relationships that everyone we meet with be a repeat of the same negative energy – over and over again.  Without realizing it, we talk ourselves out of a good thing.  We sabotage our own happiness because we do not believe in its existence. 

This young lady reminded me of myself SO much.  We’re even born under the same astrological sign – Capricorn.  But the biggest difference between she and I is that I’m almost six years older than she is and I do not have someone in my life that treats me the way her man treats her.  Yes, I told her that he is her man, but she’s the only person that doesn’t know it.  I don’t know what I’d be willing to give to have a man love me to that same degree or greater.  I’d love to have someone to share my achievements with, my ideas with, and my life with.  I’d love to be in her shoes and many other women would also.  I told her that there are women somewhere who would sit on top of rooftops with sniper rifles to get the man that she has.  Even though I often feel like I’m being held hostage as a single woman, I’m surrounded by people with healthy relationships and good marriages.  Therefore, I have a pretty good idea of what one looks like.   I told her to go get her man and the other women in the salon agreed. 

It’s disheartening that for so many of us we are waiting for the other shoe to drop.  We constantly believe that a person is just too good to be true and that their motives are to create harm and pain in our lives.  We let our pasts hinder our ability to love and trust.  We aren’t receptive to that level of emotion.  We are unable to be vulnerable out of fear.  We forget that other person is also a person, who may be just as nervous and fearful about us as we are about them.  We talk ourselves out of a good thing

I’m speaking about myself as well.  I’m known for talking myself out of a good thing.  I’ve had so many painful relationships and I’ve been rejected so often that meeting a good man who has the capacity to love me sounds like an urban legend.   I over analyze gestures of admiration and wonder ‘why’ about almost every little thing.  However, I’m learning that when there isn’t anything wrong, you shouldn’t create something wrong in your mind, just so that you can be right about there being something wrong.  If there is in fact something wrong it will manifest on it’s own without you applying energy to it.  I’m trying to be more open to that part of me that wants love so that I can accept it when it arrives.  That doesn’t mean that I turn my bullshit meter off.  It just means that I need to stop talking myself out of a good thing.  Maya Angelou said “When a person shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”  A person that isn’t good for you will show themselves to you.  The person that God made for you will also do the same.  All you need to do is believe them.

Non-Negotiables

Non-negotiables are the standards each individual has when involved in a relationship, whether it is professional or personal.  If a person’s non-negotiables can not be met or exceeded by the other person, they are willing to walk away from both the person and the relationship without looking back or having regrets.  Professionally, non-negotiables may include examining a person’s integrity, knowledge, work ethic and character.  Business people often choose their business associates in a similar manner that they would choose a mate; by asking questions based on their non-negotiables.  Is this person honest?  Is this person knowledgeable?  Is this person reliable?  In a pinch, would this person step up or lose focus?  Is this person punctual and respectful of my time?  Is this person organized? What does this person bring to this relationship that will benefit me?  Can I learn from this person?  Consider the last mate or the last business associate you had.  If they didn’t meet or exceed your non-negotiables, how long did you continue the relationship? 

Non-negotiables should be realistic.  They should also reflect who you are as a person and what you can offer to others.  You should not expect more from others than you expect from yourself.  If you have high expectations of yourself, it is only natural for you to feel the same towards those that you do business with or have personal relationships with as well.  Successful people do not surround themselves with people who constantly fail.  Ambitious people do not surround themselves with people who lack ambition.  It’s not the natural order.  Strength attracts strength and success attracts success. 

Non-negotiables considered when selecting a mate, may include having children, how to educate and discipline the children, financial goals and security, where to live, how to celebrate family events and holidays (which is especially crucial for blended families), along with other identified topics that you are steadfast about or that could result in arguments if the other person disagrees with your outlook.  When entering into a relationship, a person’s non-negotiables are never to be assumed.  Communication is vital.  You should always ask the other person what their non-negotiables are, and be honest about yours in return.  This conversation can take place anytime after the second or third date with the same person.  During the conversation, if you want to be married, you should express your desires to find a life spouse early so you can discover if you are potentially wasting your time or not.  Likewise, if you are interested in a more casual, noncommittal relationship, you should express this as well.  Don’t be afraid of discovering that the other person is not on the same page as you.  Everyone you meet isn’t going to have the same desires and goals you have simply because you share a physical attraction for each other.  Having this conversation too late can easily result in hurt feelings and resentment. 

As a single woman, I know that some men may be seeking a wife, but not right now.  Those are the men that I tell to call me when they are ready.  If a woman holds on to the dream that he’ll change his mind if she just hangs around long enough, a lot of time could pass.  She could potentially miss the opportunity to meet the man for her because she wasted her own time or operated out of desperation or fear.  It is true that when two people meet and find themselves attracted to each other, they decide within themselves what their intentions are.  However, they don’t always share their intentions with the other person. 

Remember when we were kids and the boy would pass a note to the girl?  The note usually said something similar to ‘Do you want to be my girlfriend? Circle yes or no’.  That’s The Question.  Traditionally a man would ask a woman the question when he felt that he wanted to spend time with or exclusively date a woman.  Then one day, men stopped asking the question and women started assuming that after a certain ‘reasonable’ amount time had passed, that there was a relationship in place.  As a result, there are people who think they don’t have to verbally communicate their desires in order to have a relationship.  These are the same people who never discuss their non-negotiables with each other, but expect the other person to “know” as if by osmosis.  This creates the potential for dramatic situations to arise, along with misunderstandings, arguments and hurt feelings. 

We wouldn’t conduct business in this manner and expect to be successful.  We wouldn’t tell our business associates that they should know what we expect when we’ve never concisely communicated our business expectations or goals to them.  We wouldn’t expect positive results from others who didn’t understand the way we do business.  Your personal relationships are another form of business.  How well you handle your business, determines the results you get out of it.  Communicate your non-negotiables effectively with others.  It will save you time, energy and improve your overall success, both professionally and personally.