Commitment these days

I think that if you ask a millennial what their dealbreakers in a relationship are, the chances are high that you’ll get quite a list. The truth of the matter is that marriage isn’t what it used to be. More people are getting married and changing their minds about it afterwards. There’s also the trend of getting married later in life so marriage is not seen as the only avenue to financial stability. We see better examples of co-parenting and amicable splits. Our parents and grandparents may have stayed married because they felt that they had to but millennials don’t feel the same way. We know that life is too short to be with someone that you can’t stand and that you can’t put a price on peace. It’s one thing to be married but another thing entirely to be happily married. No relationship is worth keeping at your own detriment just to say that you “hung in there.” Lately, I’ve met quite a few middle-aged people who are staying in relationships where their partner is actively sabotaging their goals. Their sole reason for staying is because “Jesus hates divorce.” And at the end of the day they have to make a decision for themselves or for the relationship. I personally believe that being alone is better than being alone in a relationship ESPECIALLY when it’s not healthy.  Regardless of age, it’s important to put yourself first because no one else ever will.

Living life anyways 

While I’ve always known it to some degree, I think there’s some merit to doing what you want to do whether or not you have a significant other. Recently I was talking to someone older who did not look like me and she told me how much she admired black women because they’re so strong and independent and don’t need a man. Now naturally I wanted to provide the scholarly answer and educate her based on my years of research and the fact that my dissertation focuses on black women. But I didn’t and decided to keep it moving. It was still intriguing to me how that mindset is still so active and alive even outside of our own circles. Don’t get me wrong, companionship can be a great thing but being with the wrong person can be worse than being alone. I was talking to someone else this weekend who has resolved not to ever travel outside the country–or outside of the Southeast until they have a significant other. I just don’t feel like that’s a good reason to put all your goals on hold. There’s always something that can be done to have a better quality of life that doesn’t involve someone else. Regardless of whether or not someone shows up for you to spend your life with, you still need to have something to show for your life. Even if it doesn’t consist of parenthood with 2.5 kids, a dog and a picket fence. While I’m not an expert on living your best life, I can honestly say that sometimes you absolutely have to step outside of your comfort zone. 

Inspiration

I’m always inspired by people who go after what they really want to do and who live life on their own terms. I’ve always had a love hate relationship with work. Don’t get me wrong I like helping people, but doing it constantly just drains me. And while I don’t have a bad attitude and I don’t snap at people when I’m tired, it’s just exhausting at times. Unfortunately human need isn’t confined to normal business hours and it’s hard for me to leave something without a sense of completeness. Working in the healthcare field adds another layer because there’s literally always something to be done. Even leaving after a long day of work means that there are still things that have to be done. Today I felt inspired as I received several phone calls from recruiters regarding open positions and I was strangely comforted as those phone calls reminded me that my job is definitely needed. I spoke to a colleague of mine who only takes one contract job per year and spends the rest of her time writing and doing talks on things that she’s passionate about. Having a purpose in life is so important and I think that it’s good to balance helping people with also taking care of yourself. I definitely need to do better.

Emotional Hostage

Relationships can be tricky things. There isn’t a “one size fits all” formula that will work everyone. People want someone who will complement them because opposites tend to attract and it’s hard to have a good discussion when someone agrees with you ALL the time. But sometimes a relationship can develop into something like a hostage situation. You’ve seen it. There’s the couple who are always fighting and are constantly breaking up and getting back together again. One partner is always trying to distance themselves but they can’t stay away.  The other person knows exactly what buttons to push and what to say in order to have the other partner cave in and stay with them as an emotional hostage. It’s a cycle of dysfunction that has become comfortable. While some people can end a relationship and remain friends, the best way to end an emotional hostage type of relationship is to stop having any contact with the person. Change your number, find a new hobby, move somewhere else, etc. It can absolutely be done but it takes effort, determination, and action to move on with your life and leave the dysfunction behind.

How to ruin your chance at finding love

I read this article and just HAD to share it. Definitely guilty of some of these things at one time or another and I’m sure a lot of people can relate. There’s so much truth to it. 

Assume that being independent and being in a relationship have to be two mutually exclusive things.

via 27 Ways To Sabotage Your Chances At Finding The Love Of Your Life — Thought Catalog

 

 

Lessons from 2016

1. Just like the Jazmine Sullivan song, “forever doesn’t last always.” You can’t control the choices of others but you can decide your reaction 2. Online dating is hard and doesn’t always yield the results you want. Assume everyone is lying until proven otherwise and it’ll be ok. 

3. It’s ok to live outside the box for a while. A normal 9-5 doesn’t and won’t fit everyone. 

4. Appreciate the small things and don’t sweat the big stuff. Take it all in a stride.

5. Don’t take people who care about you for granted. Life is short.

What Your Girlfriend With Anxiety Wants, But Won’t Ever Ask For — Thought Catalog

@BYONELOVEShe wants your reassurance without you perceiving her as ‘needy’. She wants to hear you say you love her and that you’re not going anywhere. She wants your arms around her as you say it, showing her with your affection how much you care. She wants you to understand and not be annoyed when she…

via What Your Girlfriend With Anxiety Wants, But Won’t Ever Ask For — Thought Catalog

 

Without adding any snarky comments and making a generalization about “all” men out there, I will say that this sounds nice. It’s interesting how people who appear so self assured in other areas of their life can feel so unsettled and anxious within a relationship. I think that it’s because there’s something that is out of their control. It feels weird and different and naturally some anxiety ensues because you find yourself really self-doubting for the first time in a while. Great article

Reflections from this week

  1. Life is hard. It’s messy and doesn’t have any promises or absolutes. But it’s easier to go through those stressors having money. Just like it sucks to be sad but its more comfortable to cry in a Bentley than on your bike.
  2. Advance planning is important. It’s hard to make crucial decisions when you’re still reeling from emotions and you have to think clearly. It’s better to get it out the way and not worry about it than to scramble last minute.
  3. It’s important to take some initiative and find out what resources are around you. After all, it’s better to know someone and not need them than to need someone and not know them.
  4. Questions are good. Ask them.
  5. Keep an open mind. Just because things have been done a certain way for a while doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved or become more efficient.

Loving on and moving on

Again, I ran into this blog post and absolutely wanted to share. There comes a time when you realize that no matter what, you can’t love someone into loving you. It’s a hard reality to face because we want to believe that our love can change someone who doesn’t want to be changed. I’ve had a similar experience of the writer and I have to admit that it’s not comfortable at all. But time helps and it gets better as you move on. You learn to love from a distance and be ok with that. 

Manik RatheeI thought I was prepared to see you again. It’s been about a month since I’ve seen you last and that was a train wreck in itself. It’s been a few months since we’ve spoken and that ended up with me in tears. The girls and I were relaxed, having a few drinks and…

via I Love You, But It’s Time To Close This Chapter In My Life — Thought Catalog

The Single Life

This weekend I went to a young adults relationship seminar sponsored by one of the local churches. The subject was on being single. Growing up in a church environment I’ve attended hundreds of seminars on relationships, marriage, and being single. I went to this one hoping to find some real life advice/feedback or encouragement. Boy was I wrong. I realized how much I’ve changed since being a teenager. The speaker focused on being a whole person in yourself, not worrying about being married, blah, blah, blah. I’ll take some accountability and admit that I’m definitely more cynical than I was as a single person 10 years ago.  I know people who are genuinely happy waiting for  “the One” to manifest and I think that’s great for them. While I’ll never go out of my way to talk about how much I absolutely hate being single, I can say with confidence that it’s not my favorite thing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with all the “advice” coming from (self-proclaimed) religious people. There are those who promise you’ll find someone and those who say that you’ll have to learn to be content by yourself. I think that optimism is good but one must also be realistic. I prefer not spending my life waiting to do things because I want a significant other to join me. I don’t think that one should put their entire lives on hold because they are waiting on someone who very well may not even exist. As nice as it would be to have someone who is invested in me to make major decisions with, I’m not a fan of the current dating climate. I think I’m just over it. At least for a while.