Don’t Rush To Commitment:
In no way is this an all inclusive list enough and everything on this list will not apply to everyone, but no need to get defensive and dismiss any of it because of your personal blinders or naiveté. Also, I am no expert on successful relationships and I have never had a really good one but I do learn from my mistakes and from others so take it for what it’s worth. But wonder what things you could look out for and check off your list before you decide to run and commit to someone? Here you go…….
- Jump out there with both feet and get your feelings hurt (two or three times if you have to). Get this out of the way as fast as possible. Know what it feels like to get hurt but be careful this can various effects on you especially the following…
- get hurt and don’t know how to forgive, you internalize it and start hurting others (Bad Idea)
- get hurt, know what it feels like and know that you do not want to inflict on someone else. In the process you learn how to not be naïve and what signs to look out for when someone is wasting your time (Good Idea)
- Live and Date! Too many of us read too many magazines, hang on to the words of octogenarians who lived in a different generation like the gospel and/or are just plain idealistic in what we think our mate should look and act like. No better way to understand what you like, dislike, will put up with and won’t put up with until you actually give it a try.
- Take some time to yourself. Jumping from one relationship to another never really gives you the time to debrief and know yourself. If you can’t live with yourself, what makes you think you can get someone else to live with you? Dependence on others is not healthy in the least bit.
- Assess those around you who influence your approach to relationships (directly and indirectly) and make sure digest their words with a filter. Understand their unique situations and why they have their perspectives. A single father, your best friend and a happily married woman might all give you the same or different advice on relationships but understand why and learn from them. They will not climb in bed with you and your future partner when the lights go out. At those moments, you are all left alone to deal with your situations by yourself.
- Have a good idea of how you want to live your life before finding a partner. You will eventually need to compromise on some of those things but at the very least, have a starting bargaining point. Sample questions:
- What type of church do you want to get married in? Do you want to get married in a church?
- How many kids do you want to have?
- How involved do you want your family to be in your marriage life?
- Go out and purposely try to do all those things that you cannot do when you are settled. Example: Try to schedule 3 different dates in one week or even better if you are gifted with words, go out and try to pick up a guy/girl and have a one night stand!!! Even if you find it disgusting, if you actually go through with it, then maybe you just aren’t ready. Having a husband/wife will not prevent you from doing things that you are not ready to give up.
- Ask people that know you well…..Do you think that I am ready? Not your twitter friends, friends that you only talk to on FB. People that actually know the best and worst of you. Those that have been there for a while and don’t mind telling you the truth. Even better, ask those who have been in successful relationships for at least 5 years for their thoughts. Ask why they think you are or aren’t ready to settle…..if you find a trend in their opinions….you might want to listen. 360° Feedback!
- Believe in something bigger than yourself. Getting married for you isn’t enough. Have other stakeholders that you would not want to disappoint when the going gets tough. Whether your ‘god’ or ‘family’, there has to be something bigger than you. Makes it more difficult to quit during hard times.
- ‘To err is human…’, so choose your friend ‘circle’ carefully. Nothing worse than trying to do right while surrounding yourself with those doing the opposite. We are all only as strong as the availability and intensity of our temptations. We are inherently human and remaining committed is a daily practice for some
- Read ‘Before You Do’ by Bishop T.D. Jakes. No need to explain this further.