Some of us are guilty of holding onto love with someone we don't see it with just to have proof that it's there. Some of us are guilty of avoiding a perfectly good love because the timing isn't right and other worldly distractions that come along and interfere. And most of us have absolutely no idea what we're doing when it comes to love so we stay away, stay too long, ask the wrong questions, ask nothing at all, in hopes that an attempt it as promising as actual work. But nothing replaces actual work, my dear.
Let's face it, fear holds a lot of us back. And when it comes to our love lives, it's no different. Fear is the reason a relationship lasts well past its expiration date, fear is the reason you don't put yourself out there, fear is the reason why you don't give that nice boy from the coffee shop a chance to take you out.
Fear is urgent like a mothaf-----. But only because it begs, screams, and demand that you feed into its negativity versus setting yourself free to be open to love.
One truth that puts everything in perspective is that, in love, there are only two options of how a story will end. You will either get your happily ever after with this man, a ring, a house, 2.5 kids, and a family dog. Or, you will find that he is a dog, get your happily never after, send that man on his walking papers, and learn to love yourself alone, until your other love story comes along to show you your happily ever after. Either way, you eventually get that fairytale ending. You just have to be open, honest, and unafraid.
Along with this truth, this article seeks to focus around seven others that will hopefully help you navigate the sometimes murky and turbulent waters of love, dating, and marriage:
You can't date the potential you see in someone, then get mad when they don't live up to the person you thought they should be.
I used to be committed to people who were committed to remaining the same, but I still thought they would change for me. Although people can change and grow into their potential, it's not based on our timelines. We can't force them to change. People will only live up to the potential you see in them if they, too, believe that's who they are supposed to be. So, you can accept them as they are and love them unconditionally, continue waiting to see if they will change, or be honest about who they are and discontinue the fantasy version of the relationship.
Stop playing the role of a sidepiece, while praying you get the role as a wife or a husband.
Like they say, prepare for the position you want. For example, if I was auditioning for the role of the lead character, I wouldn't show up dressed like and ready to audition for the supporting character. There are a lot of people praying to be a wife (or a husband), but they're acting like sidepieces. They want a good relationship but sow bad seeds. As with anything – relationships, careers, dreams, etc. – make sure your actions are aligned with your prayers, morals, and values. In other words, can you see God in your #RelationshipGoals? If your relationship goals include someone else's spouse or lover, then it's time to re-evaluate them.
Never invest more into the wedding than you would for the actual marriage.
Some of us invest in the wedding – time, money, and resources - but we neglect to invest that much more into the actual marriage. The wedding only lasts for a day, but the marriage is supposed to last a lifetime. If you're not ready to put in the work, then you're not ready to put a ring on it. If you're not ready to walk through and weather the storms, you're not ready to walk down the aisle.
You can invest thousands and thousands of dollars into the wedding, but if you're not fully committed to the marriage, then don't expect a positive return on your investment.
No, our parents and grandparents may not have read certain marriage books, utilized marriage counseling, or attended marriage workshops/conferences, but today's a different day and every marriage is different. Some people have to work a little bit harder to overcome certain obstacles or to figure out this whole marriage thing. Besides, what's the harm in doing things to help make sure your love can withstand almost anything?
Just because they showed up for the wedding doesn't mean that they'll show up for your marriage.
Be cautious of the people you allow in and around your marriage. Everybody isn't cheering for you, so they may not be there for you when you need them. Unfortunately, some people are waiting to see everything fail. That's why it's important to surround yourself around positive and reliable people who: 1) are committed to supporting you and seeing your marriage work, 2) won't offer up “Girl, just leave him," as the first option when trouble comes your way, and 3) won't tell all of your business and spread gossip about you in the streets.
Everyone brings a set of individual issues to a relationship.
I recently heard this at a relationship conference that, “You don't have marital issues; you have unresolved single issues. In order to have marital wealth, you need emotional health." Marriage has a way of revealing personal issues you didn't realize were there. That's why it's important to constantly engage in helpful and healing activities that will help you grow spiritually, physically, and mentally, especially when it comes to mental health. We are constantly growing, but the day you start thinking your relationship or marriage is perfect, is the day you tell God you don't need Him.
"In order to have marital wealth, you need emotional health. "
Don't talk to social media about your issues instead of talking to your spouse.
Because everybody doesn't need to know everything. Even though you may think you're being discreet by posting subliminal messages, it doesn't take a genius to know if and when you're having marital problems. Often times, it's those types of posts that will cause you to crack open the door and make it easy for temptation, or mess, creep into your situation; all because someone on the outside looking in thinks they can fulfill a need they assume isn't being met. Besides, there is enough negativity in the world, so the last thing people want to hear about every single day is how fed up you are with your relationship.
Don't let anyone cheer louder for your spouse than you.
Married or not, I refuse to let someone else encourage or cheer for my man more than me. Nope! That's my job, and I take it seriously. I go hard for my man and he goes hard for me. Trust, the thirst is real, and there's always someone ready and willing to step in and take your place. For some women, it's the compliments, hearing “I'm proud of you," or “I appreciate you". For men, it's in the respect we show them, or the things we say and do to stroke their ego, because trust me – men need to have their egos stroked, some more than others. Considering the everyday hurdles of life, it's always nice to know the person you love the most is the person cheering the loudest.
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