The month of love is in full effect today! Although I’m single for the big day yet again, I’m still here to spread some love; or rather, some knowledge about love. I’m not one of those women who swears they’re anti-Valentine’s Day just because I don’t have a significant other to spend the day with. So, for those of you who are single right along with me, I’m here to discuss how to prepare yourself for the relationship that is yet to come. Over the years, I’ve had quite a few epic fails when it comes to dating. As much as I made myself see this as a bad thing, I’ve learned that it’s actually been a good thing. It’s opened up doors for me to learn about myself and what my wants/needs are in a relationship as well as what I can do to improve what I bring into a relationship. Thus, inspiring this post.
Do you bring the same attributes to the table that you’re expecting your significant other to bring? Too often do I hear people talk about what they want the other person to bring to the table. Yet, those same people don’t even know what they’re bringing themselves. I don’t mean this physically either; I mean this in a mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial aspect. Relationships these days have boiled down to sex, buying expensive gifts, and posing in matching outfits for Instagram. Which explains why most of them don’t last anyway. I’m not much of a materialistic, in the spotlight type of person so, it’s not hard for me to see that that’s just not enough. I need to know that my significant other and I are mentally in tune with each other. Not that we’re one in the same because that would be boring but, that we’re able to wise up and understand each other when differences occur. I need to know that the emotional well being is there. I don’t want someone who’s insecure, who’s possessive/obsessive, or who unnecessarily complains all the time. I want someone who is confident in their spiritual life. That’s as far as I’ll go with that because everyone is different and religion isn’t something I’m down with getting into a debate about. Last but, not least, finances. I know we like to avoid the conversation but, finances are one of the leading factors of separation/divorce. If you’re not with someone who has the same mindset when it comes to spending, saving, investing, chances are it won’t work. I know money seems like something petty to end a relationship over but, that’s reality. We can’t live without money and there needs to be an agreement about the flow when finances become a joint thing. I said earlier that we always talk about what we want, which is what I just did. The difference though, is that I know that I can bring all of these attributes to the table as well. A relationship in my eyes is not 50-50; it’s 100-100. If you’re going to expect someone to bring their all to the table then you need to bring your all too.
Do you know what kind of lifestyle you want? Yes, at the mere age of 23, I know exactly what I want when it comes to my significant other and our future life. I know that I want 6 kids, I know that I want a decent sized home where our family can grow, I know that I want to raise my family in California, I know that I want a few decent cars, I know that I want to be able to take family vacations as well as baecations, etc. I have my life planned out in my head to a T. Does that mean that it’s going to happen exactly the way I envision it? There’s a chance that it might not but, you still need to get to know someone and figure out if their idea of the future lines up with yours. There’ll be compromises along the way, there’s no doubt about that. If someone wants the complete opposite of what you want though and they don’t care to compromise, then stop putting in effort to build a relationship. Don’t sacrifice everything that you’ve hoped for and dreamed about for someone who’s not willing to budge for you. Compromise and sacrifice are two different things.
Do you know your needs? I’m a Cancer; I know that I’m needy. I know that I require a ton of patience, understanding, sensitivity, reassurance, security, and most importantly, affection. If I see someone as a prospect but, later find out that he has none of these, what’s the point? Of course, there are some things I can live without. After years of dating someone and once marriage becomes apparent, I wouldn’t need constant reassurance. Once I’m married and feel comfortable in my marriage, security would no longer be a concern. The gist of this though, is that we have needs in a relationship and some needs can’t be ignored or pushed to the back of our minds. It’s not being selfish, it’s being real. Don’t waste your time or someone else’s time by pretending that your needs are being fulfilled when they’re really not. Who does that benefit in the long run?
Do you have a type? As bad as this may sound, I’ve tried dating guys who weren’t my type simply because they seemed to be good men. I don’t care what anyone says, if you’re not my type, it’s going to be hard to accept and you may just get rejected. Looks aren’t everything, I get it but, there are some characteristics that I won’t settle for and neither should you. Truth is, someone can treat you well all day long but, if you’re not attracted to them physically, then you’re just not. There are plenty of fish in the sea and I’m sure you can find someone who treats you well and is your type all in one. You don’t have to settle for one or the other and don’t let people tell you that. It’s nonsense and I cringe every time someone fixes their mouth to say it.
Do you know your love language? This is the last but, most important factor of a relationship. If you don’t know your love language, shut down the whole operation until you figure it out. It doesn’t matter if your parents didn’t hug you growing up, it doesn’t matter if you never had someone tell you that you were beautiful, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never been in a relationship; none of those are reasons to just jump into a relationship; to fill a void. If you don’t know your love language, your relationship will fail. You need to know how you best show love, how your partner best shows love, and how you both best receive love. For example, I show love by being affectionate, I show love by being comfortable in my own skin rather than being shy. I don’t receive love well when I’m showered with gifts. I’ve said it before, I’m not a materialistic person. If you come to me with a ton of gifts, I’ll appreciate them but, that doesn’t prove to me that you love me. Those are men that I stray away from because sometimes, they seem to think that the more things they buy you, the more they deserve you. That ain’t it for me and it never will be. I’m not knocking people that receive love that way but, it’s something that needs to be known and discussed. Your love language holds the key to every aspect in your relationship.
Being in a relationship isn’t as easy as people like to make it seem. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a Valentine and don’t let the cute couples pictures on social media make you feel like you’re not where you need to be in your love life. Pictures used to mean a thousand words but, these days, you never know what a relationship is really going through from looking at a picture. All that glitters isn’t gold. Instead, spend this Valentine’s day going on a date with yourself; get to know you, start the process of falling in love with you so that you can love your future significant other the right way. There will be many more Valentine’s days to come.