Tag Archives: relationships

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.

On a Clear Day

It is said that on a clear day you can see forever.  This morning, as I drove Super Son to school, from the Westside of the city, I could see the Renaissance Center with the sunrise gleaming off of it.  It appeared to be so close that if I hadn’t known better, I might have tried to reach out to touch it.  As I marveled, I said aloud, “on a clear day you can see forever”. That caused me to reflect on clarity in our minds and hearts as well. 

When your mind is clear, you can see possibilities as endless and limitless.  You are more open to change and therefore, more likely to adapt to situations and environments.  If your mind is clear of negativity and fear, you can make the impossible, possible.  If your mind is clear your faith and perseverance are stronger and challenges become opportunities instead of struggles. 

When your heart is clear, you feel love deeply and without fear of rejection or pain.  You can give of yourself to others fully and with trust, knowing that you may or may not receive the same in return, but it doesn’t prevent you from loving regardless.  If your heart is clear of pain felt resulting from your past, your ability to move forward into the realms of love in your present and future are not impeded.  You are then able to be loved in return, fully and deeply.

Sometimes we hinder our own success because our minds aren’t clear and we refuse to view things differently.  We stick ourselves in a box labeled “comfort zone”.  Sometimes our relationships fail because we hinder ourselves with fear and apprehension.  We stick ourselves in a box labeled “past experiences”.  This is neither a prosperous or productive way to live.  

I encourage you to clear your minds and hearts, not for anyone else, but for the limitless possibilities it will create for you; professionally, personally and financially.   Because on a clear day you can truly see forever.