I know. I know. You don’t really need to know how to be successful in a relationship. All the relationship issues you’ve ever had were totally the guy’s fault; you’re just reading this for a “friend” (wink wink). Well whether you’re doing just fine in your dating/relationship life or you’re finding it a little difficult to navigate these single streets, you're bound to find a little wisdom nugget or two here. Here's some things you want to seriously consider giving up if you want your next relationship to be successful:
1. Negative thinking- Let’s be honest here- sometimes we can sabotage a good thing just because we think that a guy is too good to be true. I remember when John and I finally went on our first date, we were on our way back home and stopped at a gas station to fill up ( we took a day trip to a neighboring city). When he went inside, I found myself snooping around his car because I thought sure I smelled some sort of cigarette smoke or Black & Mild remnants. I thought I had found what I was looking for when I discovered what looked like the plastic from a box of cigars or cigarettes. Aha! I thought. Chile do you know that ended up being the wrapper to a pack of gum?! John was definitely not smoking- I was just paranoid because of the type of people who were in my past, and I tried to project that on him. We laugh about it now, but it really had the potential to be a bad situation had John gotten offended or just did not want to deal with my craziness. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love believes the best, and so we would be wise to take heed to this Word. We need to learn how to trust people more as well as trust that God will not fail us if we are being led by Him in our relationships.
2. Thinking you’re always right- sometimes it can be hard for us to take a step back and think introspectively, but if you want to have a successful relationship and avoid a lot of turmoil then that is exactly what you’re going to have to do. A little humility goes a long way, and you want to be able to be the bigger person. This takes you being able to actually listen to the other person’s point of view in order to understand them instead of listening just to respond. I think James 1:19 said it best: “Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
3. Wanting to do everything on your own- Let’s face it:guys have egos, big ones! They want to be our hero and they need to feel wanted (and maybe even needed sometimes). On the other hand, as women, it can be a little challenging to let other people help us with anything because many of us have been doing everything on our own for as long as we can remember. What this means is that we’re going to have to make some adjustments, and in a lot of cases, those adjustments are mental and emotional at first. It’s necessary, however in order to make your relationship work because otherwise your man will feel like he’s not needed in your life so why even bother.
4. Neediness- Way to segway into neediness after just telling you not to do everything on your own right? lol But there's a difference...hear me out...I call this the needy and greedy syndrome. You know what I’m talking about. Sometimes as women, we want to take up all of his time, go out everyday, talk on the phone all night, and text every second, but we have to give our guys space and allow him his own time. It’s not attractive when a woman cannot do anything on her own, and sometimes it can come across as downright creepy. It’s important that we still have our own life outside of the relationship for the wellness of both parties. Don’t lose yourself in a relationship.
5. Rebelliousness- I know this one sounds a little harsh, but when I looked up antonyms for the word submissive, this is what I found-so take it up with Merriam-Webster. But seriously ladies, what is our beef with the word submission? You may think it makes you weak, but in actuality it takes a really strong person to be submissive. Plus there is a beautiful feeling of knowing you are submitted when it's the right person. It feels a lot like relief or a burden has lifted- I like to call it a beautiful freedom. Now in a dating relationship you are not called to be completely submissive to that person of course, but you're not going to be able to magically turn on a submissive button when you get married. Submission is an attitude and you want to get in the habit of practicing it in your dating relationships when you are serious about someone, especially if you know the two of you are headed towards marriage. For example, while John and I were engaged if he noticed certain things that were not expedient for me he would speak up about it such as me eating ice cream everyday when he knew I wanted to fit into my wedding dress. Now I didn't HAVE to listen to him. I'm a grown woman; I could eat ice cream every single day if I wanted to, but instead I decided to listen to my man and put down the ice cream. If there was a decision to be made in certain situations I deferred to him or let him have the final say EVEN if I didn't think it was the right decision. Men were created to lead and he has to be able to know that he can lead you without you combating him at every turn. Trust me, he’s taking mental notes of these things. These are the type of things that men look at when they’re deciding whether or not they can spend the rest of their life with a woman. So decide that you're going to just let somethings go in your next relationship. You'll be needing that skill in marriage for sure anyway.
6. Posting recklessly on social media- Now ladies we have no business showing the world via social media what should only be reserved for our husband’s eyes- whether single or married. A man does not want the world seeing all of someone he considers his lady, and he also doesn't want to look bad to his friends and family. You may think you're doing him a favor showing everyone what he has but you may actually be embarrassing him...and yourself. Keep it clean and modest on and offline and you'll be sure to keep his respect and your dignity. There’s nothing wrong with looking nice and taking photos, but there is a way to do it tastefully that honors God and your mate. This starts even before you get into a relationship btw because some of your posts may even be hindering you from attracting the right type of guy.
7. Letting other people applaud your man more than you- I don't know about you but there is no one else who is going to stroke my man’s ego besides me. Sometimes as women we're always looking for the compliments, but we fail to forget that our men need that too. They want to know that you want them so remember to tell him how handsome he looks, how smart he is, how you like the way he handled that particular situation, or how appreciative you are of him. You also want to make sure that you’re supporting him in his ventures (to a certain extent if ya’ll are only dating). These are the types of things that set you apart from just any old woman, and he will begin to see you as a safe place.
8. Unfair expectations- Many of you may have this ideal guy in your head, and hey I'm here for it. If you've read any of my blogs then more than likely you've seen me mention the importance of having standards quite a bit. Now with that being said, there is a fine line between having standards and expecting a perfect guy. We need to learn to be a little lenient with people. I like to tell on myself so y'all don't think I'm picking on y'all so check it. One of the main things that was on my “list” for a mate when I was single was that the guy be a worshiper. I mean a CCM listening, knee bowing, snot coming all out his nose when the Spirit hits him type of worshiper buuuuut that's not what I got in my now husband, John. I mean of course he worships but that's not his main way to spend time with God (like me) and he can't really get into CCM, he's more of a Tye Tribett kind of guy. Now if I would have counted him out just because I couldn't scratch that off of my list, I would have missed out on the absolute love of my life. This is also a lesson of allowing the Holy Spirit into your love life. Prior to dating my husband I asked God to give me a detail about my husband. He later revealed that He would be heavily into the Word of God. So while my husband may not be a worshiper guess what? His main way to spend time with God is reading the Word; he is so passionate about studying and teaching it. So you may have these high expectations for a man and that's great, but be sensitive to the leading of the Lord when you're dating someone and He will tell you whether you're being unrealistic or not.
9. Selfishness- Now I know this section is not for you so you can just email it to your friend who struggles in this area (big wink). Marriage is a mirror, and one of the biggest things that mirror will reveal to you is just how selfish you really are. Do yourself a favor and get over yourself right now before you even enter your next relationship or even if you're in one right now. Start small at first if this is an issue for you. Maybe try sharing or relinquishing control instead of having to get your way in a particular situation. Whatever you need to do, just start now- you will be so glad you did.
10. Impatience- There’s a little word that I like to tell people about that packs a lot of power-GRACE. We need to learn to extend grace to other people. God so graciously extends grace to us every single day yet, we are quick to write people off the second they do something to offend us, hurt us, wrong us, or fail to meet our expectations. Just think about where you would be if God scolded us or threw us away every time we missed the mark...chile I would be out a long time ago if that was the case. We have to allow people the chance the grow, and learn and evolve and this will take patience. 1 Corinthians 13:4 starts with love is patient...every time I read that verse I just stop right there before even getting to all the other things because that in itself takes so much work. Again, if you’re just dating you are not called to be suffering- the dating season is your time to see if this is the person you can spend the rest of your days being patient with lol. But seriously you need to be getting in the habit of extending grace to people and not being so quick to judge them and throw them away.
***Bonus*** Never knowing what you want to eat- Ladies, according to men everywhere they are tired of us not knowing what we want to eat when they ask us. Then, when we tell them that they can decide what to eat we shoot down every single idea. We have to do better. This is ruining relationships everywhere. #staywoke
Still Hidden in Him,