Relationships are beautiful experiences…the opportunity to know another human being on an intimate level, in ways that no other person does. Each experience, with each individual we encounter is different. I even watch my own interactions with my friends & family and they are very different. What I tell my best friend of 20+ years, I wouldn’t necessarily tell my girlfriend of 2 years and what I tell my sister, I wouldn’t necessarily tell my mother and what I tell a man I’m in a relationship with, I wouldn’t necessarily tell my boy. In all of my relationships, I want the foundation of what the relationship stands on to be real. I have removed several people from my life because I find it hard to understand or even relate to people whose existence, story, life is one lie after another. I have even distanced myself from family members who are that way. There is a difference in not telling someone something because it’s personal to you and you choose to keep it to yourself versus lying to try and make a particular situation look better than it really is. Being there for each other, supporting each other, through the good times and the rough times is what builds relationships. Celebrating with friends/family when its time to celebrate, crying with friends/family when its time to cry and just being there when they need someone to be there, that’s what its all about. Now I have had my challenges when it comes to some relationships. I have friends that some of my family members and other friends continuously ask “Why are you friends with them again?”. I have had to take a few steps back from a few of my friends a couple of times, and sometimes you need that but everything eventually works itself out.
Shifting gears to dating relationships…
I have had many discussions with my friends and family about dating and what women want vs what men want and where to find the median between the two. I’d like to share my personal perspective as well as some of those discussions with you. I think what most people want in a relationship is transparency, honesty, trust, support, respect and unconditional love. On that list, I will add two more that I have learned are very important; focus and time. I’ll explain those two later on. Far too many people come into relationships carrying baggage from all of their past relationships and they drop it right into the lap of the new person they are with. When you’re getting to know someone, that should be a good time. A time when you feel a little nervous, a little anxious, when you’re longing for that first conversation, excited about the first date and anticipating the first kiss. A time when you are ready and excited to explore everything about that other person. It’s difficult to feel excited about something new, when the newness of it all gets cut short by attitudes & moods based on unrealistic expectations. What makes it even worse is that the person on the receiving end just can’t quite figure out where it’s all coming from.
Because I am a woman I can only speak from that point of view and one thing that I know women do that gets a lot of us in trouble is have unrealistic expectations about someone that we just met. I was talking to a group of friends about that the other night and a few of the guys said that men sometimes do the same thing. We connect with someone new and we go home and daydream about what they will be like, all of the super wonderful things he will do for us, how much better, smarter, nicer, sexier, loving he will be than the last guy (who, by the way, we can’t stand now) and when they don’t live up to the fantasized expectations, we are disappointed and a lot of times we cut it short and we keep it moving. I wonder how many relationships would have gone the distance had the fantasy taken a backseat to his reality and how much more wonderful, if given time, that reality could have been than what was made up in fantasy land. Hats off to the people who live in reality. To the people that understand that it takes time to get to know someone, that it takes focusing on that one individual to get to know who they really are. I understand the dating process and most times men date several women and narrow it down to the one they are most interested in and women do the same thing. I’ve noticed that not everyone takes the required time to get to know that person…I mean really get to know them. Explore them like an expedition. Take time to learn them inside and out, that’s what relationships should be about. Knowing and understanding the intricate parts of a person and what makes them the way that they are. Simply taking the time to do that says a lot about that individual. In having discussions with several of my friends, what happens is that sometimes one party is interested in getting to know the person they are dating, until what seems to be “something better” comes along. They see someone shorter, taller, cuter, thinner, thicker, shorter hair, longer hair or whatever…and their mind starts wondering and their eyes start wandering over that way instead of staying focused on what they have directly in front of them. That’s one reason I believe that time and focus are important. If we can take the time to really get to know someone, and give them our focus we may just have exactly what we need & most of what we want standing right in front of us.
I wish that I had the answers to solve the relationship woes of single people. I wish that I were a guru of love and could show people how to get it and keep it. I wish that not another woman or man would get a broken heart at the hands of someone else who decides to act selfishly in a relationship. All that I can say is that still I believe. I believe that there are still people with integrity, that have character, that are trustworthy, that are honest and kind, that think of others before they think of themselves, that want to give something real in order to get something real. I believe that out there somewhere is that one person for every other person. My prayer is that everyone that is in pursuit of something real, like I am, will find just that…something real…something that lasts.
Peace & Love,