Category Archives: Relationships

A Metaphor For Love

Consider a box. The box symbolizes your inner emotions and self that people don’t see. People generally don’t care to leave their box. You always have people that come knocking on your door, but most of the time you leave them on the outside and talk to them from the door. Occasionally you invite people in. However, these people are people you really trust. You don’t just invite anyone into your box, and preferably you invite one person at a time in. These people are usually family, best friends, and lovers. Whenever someone enters the box the environment changes, sometimes a bit sometimes dramatically. This is why we are so careful about who we welcome in.

However, there’s a big difference from loving and being in love. How I differentiate being in love with someone is when you two share a box. You live together, emotionally, in this box. Visualize a venn diagram pushing closer and closer until the circles are concentric. This is the process of falling in love. You and your partner will have twice as many people knocking on your door and you will talk to them from the inside you two share. You will learn to love your partners guests as he/she will learn to love yours. Sharing a box is the closest you can get to someone– that is being in love. Reconsidering the venn diagram image, the most intense love would be when the circles are concentric.

When you’re in love, your box isn’t individual anymore. The box– your box becomes unpredictable because another variable is present. But oddly, you don’t mind.

Photo Credits:

http://www.seniorservicesinc.org 

Making Amends: A Male Figure’s Impact

Father-daughter

We live within a very f**ked up generation.  I repeat, we live within a very f**ked up generation.  This generation is f**ked up for many reasons, but for the purpose of this post, I will focus on the “f**kedupness” that impacts the standard of love that some women are willing to accept from their male counterparts.  As a male figure who has been in a relationship for many years, I am glad to say that I am well aware of a female’s worth.  This awareness has been raised in a couple of ways: 1) I have been fortunate to be surrounded by admirable male figures who have treated their significant others properly, and 2)My relationship history has made me accustomed to giving my significant other nothing less than what she deserves.  In more specific terms, the only girlfriend I’ve ever had holds me to a very high standard. Not to say that she is demanding, but rather she expects an honest effort and mutual respect.  I believe this expectation stems from the relationship that she has with her father.  In this piece, I am going to propose a theory (one that probably already exists) on the correlation between a strong father-daughter relationship and a woman’s self worth.

Why is it that some women ACCEPT the bare minimum from males, yet others EXPECT the upmost quality.  I think the answer is simple: it all comes down to what they’ve grown to know.  Some women are fortunate and blessed to have been shown great love from the male figures in their lives since birth.  A father-daughter relationship can be instrumental in a female’s life in more ways than a father can ever imagine.  A father sets the standard for a women when it comes to what to expect in a man.  A father is supposed to be a strong protective, yet loving figure in a woman’s life.  These traits are what a woman will later go on to seek in life.  There is a saying that goes somewhere along the lines of “a woman looks for a man who is most like her father” (I know, I butchered it…but you get the point). My point being that there is a direct correlation, or even causation, when it comes to a strong father-daughter relationship, and a woman’s standard of self-worth.  It is no surprise that a daddy’s girl is unlikely to put up with a male’s shenanigans, simply because her father has shown her what to expect from a man.

Conversely, a woman who has lacked a strong bond with the male gender from the get-go is likely to put up with mediocre treatment for one simple reason: they don’t know any better.  What standard would a female hold in this position?  A woman can be so deprived of love and affection from the male figure that they would be willing to ACCEPT anything, instead of EXPECTING quality. Now, I am not here to diagnose the problem of every woman who can relate, as there will always be exceptions.  I am simply here to share a reoccurring theme that I’ve noticed in my mere 22 years of existence on this planet.  To take it a step further, I blame the generation before ours, for putting some women in the position that they’re in today.  To be specific, I blame them for having children without planning to have a FAMILY.  By doing this, kids…especially daughters, were done a disservice as a pivotal component in nurturing was left missing.  Unfortunately, it’s not looking very bright for our generation either, as it seems to be the baby boom 2.0 with a father’s commitment missing in many households.  This is however a whole topic on its own; therefore I will not touch on it in this post.  I will simply end this post by saying this: fathers and fathers-to-be in the future, let’s not do our daughters a disservice by not being integral parts of their lives.  Let us love them wholeheartedly, that way they will not be one day treated like the low-esteem women that some of us continue to play today. Let us set the bar extremely high, for what they should EXPECT from men.  Let us do our part to prevent the tears that we cause today from one day falling from the eyes of our daughters.

Photo Credits:

www.simplethingsinmylife.com

Why Relationships Fail: 5 Reasons

Fairy-tale Beginnings, Nightmare Endings

A lot of people who are desperate to be loved, find themselves committing to a relationship once they come into contact with a person who does an unusual thing or two to sweep them off their feet.  Relationships like these are rushed into because the couple doesn’t take the time to study one another and really find out if they are compatible for one another.  This is what I refer to as a fairy-tale beginning and a nightmare end.  It’s a fairy-tale because the way you fall in “love” is so full of dream-like occurrences that you end up being blinded to reality.  When you do in fact come back to earth from this high, the reality setting reveals a multitude of problems that one could consider a nightmare. The Kim Kardashain 72 day marriage is a perfect example of a “love” that began with an fairy-tale yet ended with a nightmare because the couple barely even knew each other.

Lust vs. Love
A big reason why a lot of relationships are short-lived is the lust vs. love factor.  A lot of people find themselves committing to another individual in the form of a relationship simply due to a mutual physical attraction which is mistaken for love.  This physical attraction creates the delusion that there is some form of emotional connection which is worthy of a commitment, when in fact the only connection is in the sack.  In such relationships, the other basic needs of a healthy relationship are not catered to, which leads to dissatisfaction in every regards besides intimacy.   Cheating and a lack of commitment are usually the end results of such relationships, as certain voids are left unoccupied.  In other cases, the two individuals settle for being friends with benefits or simply “cutty buddies.”
The Ex-Factor
As I had mentioned in “The Effect of Your First Relationship: First Cut is the Deepest” the ex has the power to ruin future relationships.  Besides the capability of the ex to lure you back into an unsuccessful relationship with lingering problems, the ex has the power to leave a scar on your expectations of a partner.  If your ex cheated, you might falsely expect your current partner to cheat.  If your ex broke your heart, you might find yourself having your guard up, etc.  The ex-factor is one that has the power to disrupt progress in any future relationships.  It is very important to keep your ex’s in the rear-view in order to be able to move on in life.
Unsatisfied Needs
As human beings, we all have needs.  Sometimes, the desire to fulfill these needs serve as a major contributing factor to why we develop relationships in the first place.  Be it a need for communication, care, attention, or even sex, relationships tend to be the solution to most of these needs.  Unfortunately, when such needs aren’t satisfied, or are no longer satisfied, individuals tend to look elsewhere for fulfillment. This search for fulfillment can sometimes lead to cheating, which ultimately leads to a break-up.   In other cases, this leads right to break-up, depending on how important this unsatisfied need is to the individual.  
Me vs. We
A relationship is meant to be a foundation built on togetherness and commitment to one another; unfortunately, many forget that a big part of a successful relationship revolves around giving up selfish needs for the betterment of the union.  This unwillingness to make sacrifices usually leads to the demise of a relationship.  Doing what is best for you is never a wrong thing, however if you truly value your relationship, doing what’s best for the couple should be the priority.  When both individuals are too caught up in pursing what’s best for themselves as opposed to what’s best for the both as a whole, the relationship typically comes to an end.
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The Effect of Your First Relationship: First Cut is the Deepest

     Your first major romantic relationship, regardless of how early or how late it occurs, has the power to change your love life forever.  It has the power to transform your view on love, the opposite sex, and the nature of relationships.  In many ways, it can “make you or break you.”  Knowing this is not suppose to scare you from relationships if you are yet to begin one, but this knowledge can give an individual a better understanding of why they are the way that they are in a relationship, or why they are so fearful of a relationship.
     In life, the basis for reaching conclusions is comparison.  You may find yourself saying “My new girlfriend is great,” but on what basis do you make this statement?  Be it that she possesses traits that your female friends lack, or that your friend’s girlfriend lacks, the reasoning for this claim is based on comparison.  Unfortunately, the object of comparison in many relationships is the ex, in particular your first love.
     Your first love changes the way you see things from there onward.  The relationship you had, or the way your first love treated you, sets the standard for what you will expect in a relationship.  If your first relationship happens to have been a bad one, its unfortunate, but you are very likely to lower your standards for what you look for in a relationship.  In other instances, that relationship scar might scare you away from even attempting to start a new relationship.  For that reason, your first love will always be a part of you.
     We all know of that one friend who puts up with her boyfriend despite his cheating, abusive behavior, etc, and we have no clue as to why she does.  The answer is simple, she knows no better.  The way her first relationship went might have taught her that such occurrences will happen in every relationship, or at least every relationship that she is involved in, so she has grown to accept that.   She might cry about it every day yet fail to leave because it is imprinted in her mind, because of her first relationship, that things will never change.  This is a perfect example of a relationship lowering the level of expectation for future relationships.
     The impact of the damage that your first relationship can have on you is not limited to putting up with unnecessary baggage alone.  Your first relationship, in more ways than one, contribute the insecurities that you may develop and take into future relationships.  Let’s go back to the example of the girl who puts up with her boyfriend cheating etc, if she’ able to grow out of that relationship and move on to another, she might automatically begin to suspect that her current boyfriend cheats.  Simple actions, such as interacting with other females in a friendly manner, might strike the girl as a sign that her new boyfriend cheats, simply because those same signs that she once avoided could have led her to figure out that her ex cheated.  The root cause of such insecurities usually traces back to the first serious relationship that altered her views on relationships as a whole.
    Fortunately, not all relationships have bad outcomes.  Some of us are fortunate enough to be put in a situation where you almost have to pinch yourself every now and then to make sure that you are not dreaming because the relationship you are in is too good to be true.  Relationships like this higher your standards and make you extremely picky in the future (that’s if, of course, this almost perfect relationship somehow comes to an end).  Being picky isn’t a bad thing, it’s a great thing in fact, because it shows that you  aren’t willing to settle for anything but the best, or at least what you consider the best.  If you are currently in this position, you may want to thank your first love, because they most likely played a part in making you this way.  If you are not, whoever it may be is an ex for good reason.
    I’m not here to provoke you to contact an ex and blame them for making you the way you are in regards to relationships, I’m just here to provide a perspective that you may have never considered.  Giving your heart to someone, or committing to a relationship is a risky decision that we often find ourselves making. The effects, whether good or bad, are bound to change your outlook on relationships as a whole.  So ladies and gents, before you engage in any activity that can possibly scar your mate for the rest of their lives, think twice.  Appreciate them for giving you the power to do so, and reward them by being the reason why they settle for nothing but the absolute best that they deserve.

Photo Credit:
mscrys.deviantart.com

5 Keys to a Healthy Relationship

1) Communicate Effectively 
As with any form of interaction that involves more than one person, effective communication is very important.  It is important to be able to share your feelings and opinions with your partner in a manner that will not create chaos.  Being an effective listener is essential to effective communication.  Be the shoulder to lean on when your partner has had a rough day and needs someone to vent to, be the one they can always count on to understand them when no one does, and lastly be the one they can always count on to have their back.
2) Embrace the Similarities yet Respect the Differences
Most couples are bound together by a list of things that they usually have in common.  Be it interests, views, hobbies, etc, these similarities play a big part in why two people decide to form a union.  As time goes by however, you may start to notice the differences among the two.  Instead of demanding your partner to change their ways or leaving the relationship, accept them for their opposing views/actions, and respect it.  After all, God made us all unique human beings.  Besides, what fun would it be to date someone with identical qualities as you?
3) Compromise
The art of compromising is a necessity whenever different views come together.  Take for example deciding upon where to go for dinner; if your partner wants to go to a fancy restaurant that specializes in steaks yet you want to go to a cheaper more convenient spot that has great seafood, what do you do?  You compromise.  You may have to give up some elements of your stance, perhaps broaden your range from just seafood to a restaurant with all types of foods.  In some instances, it’s okay to sacrifice your desires for your partner, as long as you know that they will one day return the favor.  Compromising presents a win-win situation, even if the results don’t come up immediately.
4) Have a Healthy Sex Life
This view might be a bit controversial and might differ from person to person based on religious views, age, etc, however engaging in sexual activities of any sort have been proven to relieve tension that may otherwise cause unnecessary arguments.  I’m not saying that a relationship should be a hump fest where one is only “in it to get it” however, it is a proven fact that a healthy sex life relieves stress and makes an individual happier.  If the couple is yet to engage in any sort of sexual relations, then I advice to by all means wait till marriage, however, if both individuals have been sexually active in one form or another in the past, they are bound to have needs, therefore those needs should be taken care of to avoid unnecessary tension.
5) Don’t Give Up on Each Other
Break ups today occur far too often and are by many means unnecessary.  Many couples find themselves leaving the relationship as opposed to working on the relationship whenever times get hard.  In my opinion, obstacles are just another way to strengthen a relationship as long as they are overcome.  Walking away from the situation will not solve it, therefore don’t give up on your partner whenever the going gets tough.  Work with one other, provide support, and save the relationship, for love is hard to find.


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