Ready or Not (Part 2)

Happy New Year! So, I’m back and ready to pick up where I left off. In my previous blog I touched on people wanting love but not being willing to put in the work. I must say that this topic intrigues me simply because it’s the one thing that people want and no matter the race or class one falls into, it is this very concept that people can’t seem to get right. You see, the way my mind is set up…I’ve always been the type of person to step back and look at a situation and ask “Why and How”? I was the kid in class trying to make sense of how one man could fly around to every child’s house and still have time to make it to mine in just one night. Logically, it just didn’t make sense and later I found out why. They Lied!

So naturally, when I examine the complexity of relationships and how willingly we are to monkey bar from one to the next, I find myself asking why. Why are marriages falling apart? What hinders people from wanting to continue to put their best foot forward throughout the entire relationship? What causes people to be more open in the beginning and then slowly put their guards back up? How is it that a man can be so certain one minute that he met the woman he has been searching for to only shoot her the deuces and walk away as if that experience meant nothing to him? These are just some of the questions that I try to make sense of as I maneuver through my own dating experiences.

I recently came across the following statement: “When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever ties rather than to maintain commitment, but the extent to which two people in a relationship can bring up and resolve issues is a significant sign of the soundness of their relationship”. Say what!!? Now if this isn’t the truth then I don’t know what is? The majority of decisions we make in life, especially when it comes to how we deal with one another, is motivated by fear. Whether its fear of being alone, fear of losing the person you love, or fear of getting hurt (again), it’s all encompassing.

So fellas, think about it, when you first meet a woman you do what? Take her out, communicate your feelings, share your secrets, buy her gifts, and put your kidney on layaway just in case she needs it. You basically are being “That Guy”, the guy that everyone woman wants and still on the waiting list to get. And yes as women, we often times chop your approach up to “game”, which is not fair because most times you are being authentic and genuine in your pursuit. But Hi, my name is Woman and I got trust issues! Therefore it’s going to take consistency on your end for women to begin to see how genuine you really are.

Guys, is it safe to say that in the beginning some of the things that you do for a woman is out of fear of her not accepting you for who you really are or you losing her to someone else. And ladies, would it be safe to say that while he is “wooing/courting” you there is fear that he will stop doing these things over the course of your relationship or that he has some ulterior motive? For me, the answer is Yes! Unfortunately it is our past hurts that bring forth insecurities in the new relationship. And we can tell ourselves repeatedly that we are changed, healed, delivered and ready to embrace this new person in our lives but I personally believe that sometimes the real healing comes from experiencing a different result from a similar situation that occurs in this new relationship that caused you pain in your previous relationship. Are you following me? You may have to read that statement twice to actually get it.

Basically in this new relationship, you have to allow yourself to feel and go through whatever situation you are being faced with again. You have to be willing to throw fear out the window! And yes, it will feel uncomfortable and way all too familiar but in order to heal from the past hurt you have to allow this process to happen to you so you can replace it with a new feeling. Even if you believe that you didn’t play a role in the challenge you experienced, you can still take responsibility for your attitudes and feelings about what happened. You can choose to move on and continue to give that person the best version of yourself. In addition, you can choose to be completely transparent and let the other person know how their actions effected you. For some reason, we find it challenging to tell someone, “When you did this, it made me feel like ____”.  This type of dialogue is necessary and can only strengthen the relationship. You have to be willing to provide your partner with the proper information so they are better equipped to handle you in these moments. So the question will then become, Is she/he worth it? Is this somebody that I am willing to be vulnerable with? Do I want this person in my life? If your answer is yes, then DO THE WORK!

Unfortunately, it’s at this point where people find it challenging and decide that they rather cut ties. So, it’s on to the next relationship, only to continue the same pattern: “Find the right person, fall in love, fix your hopes and dreams on this person for your future fulfillment and if failure occurs, repeat steps 1,2 and 3”(Chip Ingram). This is NOT Gods design and thankfully so because it’s quite exhausting! Just as the Bible instructs us to renew our minds daily so we can discern the will of God (Romans 12:2), shouldn’t we then be applying this concept while entering into a new relationship? Shouldn’t we be operating with a renewed mind when meeting a new person?

So, how do you know if you are ready for Love? I personally believe that you are ready when your perspective shifts from what can I gain to what can I give to this relationship. You’re ready when you don’t allow fear to dictate how you operate in getting to know someone. You’re ready when you can fix your hope on God and seek to please Him and not only your mate because by seeking Him you will then become a better person in your relationship. You’re ready when you can understand that life’s greatest hurts come from other people and that at times you will have to extend grace and forgiveness, even when you think the other person may not deserve it. And lastly, you are ready when you realize that there is no perfect relationship but only imperfect people and we are all tremendously flawed, therefore when you find someone who you truly connect with and good for your soul, you do what is necessary to make it work. Easier said than done, but nothing in this world is more difficult than LOVE. And nothing is more worth it 🙂