Preparing Them For Someone Else…..

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Let’s paint a scenario. You meet a wonderful person. You two hit it off and seem to be going somewhere. Even though it seems things are getting serious, they never quite make it there. You see potential in them but the potential is never quite actualized. Finally, after being tired of empty promises you decide to walk away from the situation. Shortly after you then watch the person who couldn’t get it together with you, go off and get in the relationship of their dreams and give their all to this new person. It seems as if everything that you were asking for they are doing in their new relationship. Now if you’re anything like me this is a scenario you’ve encounter often. The harsh reality is some of us face this more than we should. I’ve often wondered what causes a person to not do right by you but be everything to someone else. Are some people simply just meant to prepare people for the next person?

There is nothing worse than trying to push someone to step into who you believe they can be, only to see them do exactly that with someone else. But the part that hurts most is not necessarily the fact it is with someone else, but that it is with the person who came in their life immediately after you. See there is something that strikes a nerve when only months, sometimes even weeks after you were trying to build this person up, they decided to go build with someone new. It causes you to feel as if there is something wrong with you each time someone else gets to reap the benefits of the work you put in.

The real truth to all of this is there is no such thing as preparing someone for the next person they will meet. While they may very well grow through their time spent with you, it does not mean you “prepared” them. The truth is, they had everything they needed to be the best significant other they could be. You didn’t teach them anything they didn’t already know. They just chose not to exhibit it with you. No one learns how to be a super lover months after dealing with you. It just shows they were capable the entire time and just wasn’t trying to show you.

Let me just say this though, it is not your fault. Well not completely your fault that is. You played a role in how much you invested, but it’s not necessarily a deficit in you. Sometimes it is simply bad timing. Sometimes you meet a person who may have every intent of doing right by you but it just can’t happen at that point in time. It doesn’t mean that you are any less than the person who happened to walk into their life when the situation got better. It just simply means their timing was better than yours. I know that’s a hard pill to swallow because sometimes we want things to be deeper than what they are. We want to find some inner wrong that we can try to correct so that it doesn’t happen again. But the truth of the matter is sometimes it’s just the wrong time and unfortunately there is no way to stop that from happening. The only thing you can do is try to recognize immediately that the timing is off and not allow yourself to get too attached and try to convince yourself otherwise. The best thing to do is to look at all the signs that are obviously telling you the timing is wrong and accept it for what it is. The sooner you accept that the timing isn’t right, the less likely you are to be hurt by it.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Why wouldn’t they choose me once the timing got right.” You want the truth? They didn’t want you bad enough. I know it hurts but I’m not here to sugar coat it. If they really wanted to be with you they would have. If they believed you were as great as they told you, they would have waited until the time was right and came back for you; but they didn’t. They rode off into the sunset with the next person. Let me be clear, this does NOT make them a bad person. We try to demonize people too often for making the decision they have every right to make. There is no rule stating that just because you’re a good woman or man that people must want to be with you. People have the God-given right to choose who they please. It just hurts and it sucks when it’s not you.

The other part is people should be more honest about where they are in their ability to build a strong relationship. Too often people know that they cannot do right by someone yet they will string them along anyway. Then when they are finally at a place where they are willing to commit to doing things right, they meet someone else. Again, it’s the whole idea of timing. But if you know your timing is off, do not let someone believe things can become more than what they are. You leave too many broken hearts behind when you are not honest about what you’re willing to give.

I think the best thing that can save both sides of this scenario is honesty. But I cannot stress enough how important to be honest with yourself first is. You know this person has shown you that they’re not going to give to you what you deserve. Yet you try to fight to make it work. You are so determined to make them do right by you that you’re willing to stick around for as long as it will take to get what you want. And while yes we can get mad at the person who went and was super partner to someone else, you have to be mad at yourself too. Stop allowing people to waste your time. You knew six months ago they were beating around the bush. You chose to wait it out because you convinced yourself that good things are worth fighting for. NEWSFLASH: Good things include people who actually show they want to be with you. Stop trying to spiritualize wasted time and energy.

My biggest thing is you don’t have to be anyone’s preparation stage. At the end of the day there is no such thing. You just have to do better at not allowing yourself to believe that someone is going to give to you what they already showed you they won’t. They also must do better at making sure they don’t sell dreams to people on things they know they’ll never live up to. I just want to make sure that you remain encouraged and know there is nothing necessarily wrong with you or them. Sometimes things just don’t work out how we would like them to. The key is to be honest on both sides so that no one is disappointed or hurt out of the situation. Just know that the only thing and person that you are preparing, is yourself.

#relationshipgoals: Why I hate this hashtag…

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#relationshipgoals It’s the hashtag I see at least a few times a day. Every time I turn around I see a picture on social media ending its caption with this hashtag. Usually I try not to be negative but this is one of those things I genuinely dislike. Let me explain myself because I don’t want to come off like I’m being bitter. Recently there was another hashtag that broke the internet which was #foreverduncan. Social media was buzzing heavy when the video of the beautiful couple surfaced. For those of you unaware, a gentleman decided he would record the day he decided to propose AND marry his then girlfriend. Everyone was talking about how a real man knows what he wants and makes it known. There were tons of videos that adorned #foreverduncan #relationshipgoals. This was all short lived when all of a few days later the back story to the Duncan union came forth. The same people who were saying #relationhshipgoals then started saying they would not have waited that long for someone to propose to them. This story is exactly why I can’t stand this hashtag. How can you say goals to something you know nothing about?

For years I’ve watched this hashtag takeover. Picture after picture, post after post I watch people put this hashtag as if it is something you just casually say. “Y’all look so cute. #relationshipgoals.” “I absolutely love y’all #relationshipgoals.” No one ever says relationship goals to anything of substance like “Y’all communicate so effectively #relationshipgoals” or “y’all make sure you always support each other #relationshipgoals.” You know why? Because those things aren’t something you would find on social media. You can and should only share so much with the rest of the world about your relationship. So you’re basically saying that looking cute in a picture is a goal? What gets me though is how quick people turn on their relationship goals. Or people you once swore you would never be like are now your relationship goal of the week.

Look at Dewayne Wade and Gabrielle Union. I think most of us can agree that they are a cute couple. They take awesome pictures and appear to be happy. They make chocolate love look good. Let’s scroll back a few years though. When we found out that Dewayne had not only cheated on Gabby, but also produced a baby through this infidelity. Now I’m not saying this to judge them, I’m saying this to judge society. We crucified Gabby for staying with Dewayne through this. We called her stupid, insecure and weak. We got mad when she blamed herself for it all. Then low and behold, they had the wedding of the century and magically the #relationshipgoals started making its way back to their pictures. So my question is what part of their relationship is your goal? The child produced out of infidelity while the world watches, or the part where you blame yourself and get called stupid? Oh silly me, you just want the part where she walks down the aisle in a beautiful white dress and make cute snapchat stories. NEWS FLASH: it doesn’t work that way. When you say #relationshipgoals, you say it to the whole relationship. Yes, we see a happy couple now but we don’t know what they go through on a daily basis and clearly we see this was not an easy road.

I can only speak for myself but I never say relationship goals to any relationship. I know that sounds stuck up but I have my reasoning. I don’t care if it’s a celebrity or a relative. The reason I will never say relationship goals to anyone else’s relationship is because I don’t know the ins and outs of anyone’s relationship. Not my friends, family, co-workers and definitely not any celebrities. There is not a couple I know that I follow on a daily basis that I know every tidbit of their relationship to state that their relationship is a goal of mine. I’m just careful about what I say is a goal. I can see a couple and say #relationshipgoals but not know that the wife has been cheating on her husband for the last three years. You wishing for someone’s relationship but you don’t know her boyfriend has PTSD so they struggle with going out for date night. Let me say this, a couple may very well have a healthy and loving relationship. The issue for me is I may not want that love story. Just because it is healthy doesn’t mean it has to be mine. When we make someone else’s relationship our goal, we find ourselves trying to mirror their relationship and then get disappointed when it doesn’t work. It’s because it’s not yours. I know a lot of people who have healthy bodies. That doesn’t mean their body is a goal of mine. I may not even look right with their body. I would rather have my own body and make sure it is healthy in relation to my body type. It’s the same for relationships. Healthy does not mean a goal. At the end of the day, healthy for you may not be healthy for me.

The point I’m trying to make is society is obsessed with wanting what everyone else has. Everything that everyone else acquires looks more appealing. The issue though is we don’t know how other people got what they have, especially when it comes to relationships. We idolize the unknown and claim it to be something we desire. I know people right now in relationships that make their relationship look like a fairytale on social media, but don’t even know if they really love each other. Yet they stay getting #relationshipgoals under their pictures. Everyone wants to be Beyonce’ and Jay-Z but I think we all can agree, NO ONE knows the true depth of that relationship. Let’s stop wishing for what the next person has and start loving and appreciating what we have or what we desire based off ourselves. Think about what you desire in your relationship such as trust, fidelity and open communication and make that your relationship goal. Erase out of your mind this concept of trying to have what someone else has and strive to create what you want in your own relationship.  You’ll never be able to see the potential in your own situation as long as your focus is on someone else #beyourownrelationshipgoal.

The Notebook Effect

While catching up with family and friends one day, a friend of mine offered up the suggestion of the topic the Notebook Effect. The name alone intrigued me so I listened intently for where she was going with the analogy. She begged the question, “How long should someone wait for someone else to choose them?” At this point I was sold on the topic because I had posed the question to myself many times over the years. I’m just going to tell you upfront, I am not going to give you a direct answer. You all should know by now giving magical numbers to answer complicated questions is not my thing. I would like to though explore this concept and what impact the media plays on people’s decision on the matter.

For the few of you who may not know, the Notebook is either one of the best or worst love stories ever told depending on your perception. It tells the story of two love struck people who are forbidden to be together because of their socioeconomic status. After the young man leaves to war he returns to find his old flame is engaged. Mind you the entire time he was away he was writing letters declaring his love for her but she never received the letters. Anyway they reconnect and the sparks fly, but as I stated before, she is engaged. She eventually as you can imagine makes the tough decision and chooses her once forbidden love. Now there is a lot of moments in which this man goes out his way to prove his love for this woman. He is constantly hoping that she fights against what others say and that she goes with her heart. This even brings up the issue of how much should you have to do to prove to someone you are right for them. That’s another post for another day though.

Maybe some of you have never been in this type of situation. For the rest of us, it is a scenario we often dread. The one in which you have fallen for someone and you BELIEVE (this is the key word here) they have fallen for you too. This is where things get sticky and vary for everyone. There is usually some kind of barrier that presents itself and makes it difficult for the two of you to be together. It could be distance, careers, lack of time or whatever. Either way, there is some barrier that supposedly (another key word) keeps y’all apart. So the problem then becomes, how long do you wait until the situation has rectified itself? I think the first question you have to ask yourself is, “Is this issue a real reason not to be together?” I think sometimes we make bigger issues out of things than what there really is. I know for a fact after looking back over situations in my own life, there were times me and that other person could have made things work. Instead we chose to give up on things because we created unnecessary roadblocks to what may have been a successful relationship. If the roadblock is real, you have to be honest with yourself and ask “is this person worth waiting on?”

The key question is do you believe that two people are meant for each other? That is the determining factor when most people decide to wait on someone. Most people wait to be chosen because they believe in their heart they are meant to be with the person they are waiting on. I personally believe two people can be made for each other. I also believe they are not the ONLY two people made for each other. I do not believe that there is only one person made for each of us. If that were the case it would be very discouraging trying to find that one person on an earth made up of over six billion people. I do though think it is very difficult to walk away from someone when you BELIEVE (that word again) this person is someone made for you. The point I’m making is there is more than one person made for you so that should be a determining factor to whether or not you should wait on someone. When you know you have the potential to meet someone else with these same great qualities, it is less pressing to wait for this particular person. Just keep in mind though, you have to actually meet someone else with these same great qualities. If it was that easy you wouldn’t be in this predicament though. Just saying….

The question that has become more pressing to me though is beyond time. My concern is now is, are we romanticizing breaking up happy homes to get the person who was “meant” for you. Going back to the Notebook, again as stated before, this woman was engaged. According to Biblical standards, an engagement is the first step to the marriage. Yet we love the fact these two characters got together. Another great example of this is one of our favorite tv couples, Dewayne and Whitley from A Different World. We all say one of our favorite television moments is when Dewayne boldly proclaimed his love for Whitley on her wedding day and she chooses him. While on one hand this seems extremely romantic because we always knew they should be together, we never discuss how her almost husband had to feel. Yes, two people in these situations got the person and their happily ever after. There is a third forgotten person though who was dragged into the situation who now has to pick up the pieces of what just happened. Is it ok to still hold on to someone that has moved on to someone else? Has entertainment and media made us believe this is ok?

Me personally, I believe that people need to come to their realizations about people sooner than later. If you know deep down in your heart you really want to be with someone, do not drag other people into your fear of committing to the person you know you really want. It is unfair to the person you’re passing the time with when you know your heart is with someone else. You knew the whole time you wanted to be with another person. As far as the other person, you have to do your own soul searching as to whether or not that is something you are willing to do. Are you ok with the idea of ruining someone else’s relationship to be with someone? Yeah the media makes it seem romantic but is that something you can live with in your relationship moving forward? The argument to that is if you believe you were made for someone, should you have to suffer without them because they messed up and got with someone else? Should you deny yourself the person you BELIEVE (and here it is again) is made for you?

I am all about evaluating yourself and your specific situation. I cannot tell anyone whether they should wait for someone or not. What I can tell you is there are some factors to consider before you make such a decision. You have to look at the situation for what it really is and how you really feel. I have seen people successfully wait on people and I have also seen people unfortunately waste a lot of time on people who weren’t trying to be waited on. The key is being completed honest with yourself and that person. You also have to be willing to take the risk either way. If you decide to wait you risk heartbreak, rejection and time lost. If you decide to walk away, you risk losing the opportunity at a great relationship, your heart’s desire and the possibility of never finding anyone else like them. My only advice is to take the risk you know your heart can handle reaping the repercussions of for the rest of your life. Just be sure to make that decision off of sound judgement, not off a romanticized skewed view of society. Just remember that honesty is the key to unlocking your hearts true longing. Choose wisely…….