relationships

Solo 4.0: You couldn’t wait, Now What?

Posted on Updated on

my first three installments in this series were about basically waiting to date. So it’s no coincidence that I’m focusing on what happens now that you couldn’t wait..

Being solo isn’t the end of the world.
There’s the saying that being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. It’s like you’re dating yourself. Even that could be a handful. You gotta love yourself,  spoil yourself.  Know what you like and don’t like.  Be comfortable in your own skin.
Being single should be one of the seasons in your life that you’re happiest. No matter if that season of singleness lasts a few months, a few years, or even your whole life. Your season of singleness is a time to focus on yourself. Discover what makes you happy, and keep doing it. Over and over and over again. Rely on yourself. Grow by yourself. Being by yourself doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. It should be just as fun, if not more, as dating someone.
Dating can be fun.  Getting to know someone, finding out what they like,  dislike,  etc. That brand new feeling. It’s refreshing. The first flirt,  first heart eye emoji, first date,  second,  third, first kiss, etc. Butterflies in the stomach feeling.. Right?
Dating isn’t everything either. I can’t speak on marriage or a whole lot on serious relationships that last longer than a couple of years,  but I can speak on dating.
I look at dating like a group project. A fun,  TWO person project. There’s a common task and goal in mind that you’re building towards. Finding out if this could turn into a serious relationship or not.
The idea about group projects is everyone has to contribute. It’s not required, but it’s the ideal thing. If everyone in the group contributes, the project should come out good. If everyone doesn’t contribute,  the project will lack.
Same goes with dating.  Both people ideally should want to contribute to building towards something greater. It’s not a requirement and either person can choose not to contribute and pull out of the dating relationship. Problem is, more times than not,  one person is always more interested in the ‘group project’ than the other. It’s life.  That happens.  But this is where the dating experience turns south. 
You won’t ever be able to make someone like you or be into you the way you’re into them. The best thing you can do is be into yourself so much,  the right person will come along and be into you the way you desire them to be. Naturally.
So just what happens when that experience between you two turn sour? It’s no longer dating at that’ll point. It’s now considered a situationship.
I’m not sure when this term was created but the word Situationship doesn’t sit well with me. It shouldn’t sit well with you either.
Urban dictionary defines a situationship as:
any problematic relationship characterized by one or more unresolved, interpersonal conflicts. usually confused with dating.
Problematic relationship ? But y’all were dating and having a good time, what happened? Interpersonal conflict? What the heck?
I’ll tell you what happened.. Somewhere along the way of you two dating, one of you developed deeper feelings and wanted more while the other would rather continue to date and not get too serious. I don’t do the whole situationship thing. Situationships are toxic. Usually at the dating stage, everything (well almost everything) is innocent. The conversation is good, connection is legitimate. Everything is fine. What causes a situationship is when the conversation starts to become a struggle because now all one person wants is to talk about it being a relationship, something more. And the other doesn’t want to hear it.
Okay, it’s not just the conversation that changes.
Usually situationships are the result of a dating experience that has progressed to the point of introducing sexual relations.
So what’s wrong with having sex with the person you’re dating?
Nothing, if you’re heartless and don’t care about your emotional, physical and mental security and integrity.
Sex is avoidable while dating, but is it always avoided? Nope. Does sex alone cause Situationships? No. But does it affect the health of the dating experience? Yes and no.
It affects the experience because you two are still at the level of learning each other, getting to know what that person likes and dislikes. Having sex at this point is tricky cause you want to know as much as you can about them without getting too physical too fast.
I was browsing Twitter for content about situationships because let’s face it, we are in the generation of social media .. I saw this tweet.
image

Interesting thought.

As I said, if you’re completely emotionless, then having sex with someone you’re dating won’t affect you as much… you robot

For the 98% of us that are affected by sex while dating, be extremely careful. I can’t tell you to stop having sex or stop dating altogether. I’ve been down that road before several times.
What I can say is, watch yourself. Make sure you and the other person have a clear line of communication. Hopefully, if the dating experience has progressed to being intimate, there’s consistent communication already taking place. You both know where y’all stand. Y’all both know how one feels about the other. What sex will do is possibly add more to what you’re really feeling about the other person or what you’re actually ready to feel, if that makes sense.

Avoid the situationships. They’re toxic. The communication has broken down. Theres a chemical imbalance of emotions and thoughts with yourself and the other person. You’re thinking you’re just being led on until they find something better or until it’s time for them to get serious about their life and career. You’re instantly regretting getting into this. Maybe you’re the one who is on the other side. You’re the one that isn’t into them as much as they are and you know it. Maybe you’re the one that just wants something better and this is just convenient for the moment. Bottom line: Someone always ends up getting hurt.

The way I believe it to be is this:
There’s being Single. Dating. Serious Committed Relationships. And Marriage. No in between. No blurred lines. No situationships.

It’s best to just wait. If you can’t wait, it’s okay to date. Just date smart. Know your worth. That’s all I’m saying.

J.

Advertisements

Communication.

Posted on Updated on

Communication. Two-Way Street. Different from a monologue. As personal as a face-to-face conversation. As broad as a job interview.

In today’s world, the main source and channel of communication is messaging. Social messaging. Instant messaging. Text messaging. Phone calls a thing of the past? No it’s just more accessible to be quick and type up a message and press send. Are there hidden codes and unwritten rules to text messaging ? Should every single message sent require a response? There’s a general stance on this medium of communication that would suggest that when communicating through text messages, the general state of the conversation is weighed upon the usage of words, as well as length of message. Since there’s no face-to-face interaction, nonverbal communication is a challenge. Tone of voice, and meaning behind the usage of words become a maze trying to determine what the person is saying and feeling.

So in retrospect, the way of finding out the conversation’s health will depend on length of messages being sent. If the messages between two people are short and not a lot of words are being exchanged, the conversation will be short lived. If the words are plenty and messages are lengthy , the conversation tends to have more substance and depth.

Should a person feel a certain way if a text message isn’t responded to? The answer lies in their message they sent said person. There’s a difference between a “Hi” and a “Hey, how is your day going” even if someone started the conversation with the second greeting listed above, that doesn’t warrant a response of “Great, how about you/Not so good, but what about you?” It could just be a “hey” in return, or vice versa.

Unwritten rules and general rule of thumb would suggest that the shorter the message, the less likely a response will be given. It’s implied that if a lengthy message with depth and substance is followed by a shorter message, there may be a lost of interest in current topic and/or overall conversation..

No assumption is made here. If someone writes a book and publishes it and asks for reviews, the one sentence review won’t come off as interested as the full page critical analysis. An argument could be made that interest was still shown even with said “one sentence” review. But the reality is , that author didn’t put his heart and soul into writing that manuscript for a “one sentence” review.

When should someone feel upset about not receiving a message in return, if at all?

Only when necessary. If your deepest thought or idea, or just something you felt you wanted to share with someone important was replied to with a shortened message, would you be upset? Should you feel upset?

Or would you be disappointed if you were the person who never received a message in return when you were the one who replied with a shortened message in the first place? Do you have a right to be upset?

Are you expecting too much from the person you’re communicating with without checking your communication skills first?

Communication is a two way street. It’s important both parties involved are knowledgeable about the written and unwritten codes of communication. Verbal communication is important. Nonverbal communication is critical.

Communication is vital to relationships. When communication breaks down, the relationship breaks down. When the relationship breaks down, there’s no immunity to the quarrels and arguments that arise from any and everything. A simple misunderstanding can turn a good day into a horrible one.

Communication is important to keep everything in order. Including unfiltered emotions and thoughts. Things tend to spiral out of control emotionally and mentally when communication has fallen apart.

When this has happen, the state of any relationship in this context is unstabled and could combust at any moment.

The one thing that’s missing horribly is communication. It starts and ends with communication. The two people must communicate thoroughly to reach an agreement, compromise, mutual understanding. In a relationship, this has to happen consistently. The two people involved must learn to communicate always and often.
At the end of the day, no one is going to force the issue. If the communication isn’t there after several attempts , it’s just not there.

There’s no other way to explain it.
Whatever the case, just remember..
Communication. Is. Key.

Thoughts Of A Man

Posted on Updated on

Image

Everyone has thoughts… some captivating, others overwhelming.. no matter what it is, you’re always thinking. Here are my thoughts… 

Still Struggling

Something I shouldn’t have said or done something I shouldn’t have looked at or thought something I shouldn’t…the reality is the struggle is something serious. Everyone has a certain struggle. Fear, Insecurities, sin, etc. No one is less than the other, especially when talking about sin. Sexual sin is and has been my struggle. Premarital sex, masturbation, pornography, lust, all have been a weakness. Before even coming into realization that it was wrong and I was striving to live better, it was a feast, something I indulged in. I had no remorse for it. It was my gateway. Now I don’t do it nearly as much, because I know better. I’m convicted because I know what God says about it, but I still do it. Does it make me a ignorant sinner, or a struggling believer? All I know is I’m still struggling… and I need to change that.. Job made a covenant not to lust over a woman, and I need to do that same thing. When my mind wanders, I need to take every thought that’s not pleasing to God and take it into obedience to Christ. I must remind myself that my body wasn’t created for sexual immorality, but worship to God and service to others. And when the thought or the temptation of sexual immorality comes around I need to FLEE from it… So If I know better, why do I continue to struggle?? 

Patience…

My job, relationships, school, etc. A lot of things in my life require a certain level of patience. on my job, patient means the difference between giving up and staying encouraged when things aren’t going right. Or looking for a second job because of financial hardships. Patience could be seeking God before putting more applications in for a second job. Patience in a relationship means the world of a difference between starting a relationship without seeking God’s voice on if it’s the right time, and having a God approved courtship that leads to marriage. The difference between fighting and battling against sexual sin versus remaining pure and waiting until marriage.

Being patient at school is realizing no one is rushing you to finish school. No one graduates overnight. Finishing college has a few parallels to spiritual living. It’s not a sprint, but a marathon. Philippians 3:12-14 talks about pursuing the goal and pressing towards the mark. Just so it is with everything in life, with school. Pressing towards the mark isn’t accomplished overnight. A consistent, and persistent approach is key. I’m less than two years away from finishing college, so approaching it with a mindset that it is a marathon is what will get the job done. 

Relationships..

they have been both a strength and weakness in my life. The weaknesses have proved that I may not catch feelings at the same time “she” does, but when I do, they’re just as deep if not deeper. The problem with that is if and when the relationship ends, I’m stuck with feelings and she is on to the next one. This could possible end up hurting the next woman that comes along. Another weakness is my insecurities. Not realizing I had an opportunity to be apart of something special. A relationship is something to enjoy and embrace. And the person you embrace with shows you and or reminds you why you’re apart of it, and why they chose you to share that relationship with you. It’s up to you to be confident in yourself, the person you’re with, and the state of that relationship. There was a time I wasn’t confident on myself. I allowed my mind to trick me into believing I wasn’t good enough. I would say lesson learned but I can’t really say if I’m there yet. The insecurities of my past could hurt me in the future that is if I don’t decide to do something about it now… 

Then there are strengths. Relationships may not last always but they teach you how to learn from past mistakes as well as the people involved can help each other to grow. That’s a big positive. I don’t believe you stay the same from one relationship to the next. I feel a part of you changes. You start to think twice about some things. You learn to guard your heart more just as Proverbs 4:23 tells us. Even in the midst of a relationship you start to think back on how past decision and actions now set you up for either success or failure.. Wise decision making and relationships haven’t always been my strong point, but it’s rising up and overcoming the odds & persevering pass the hurt, turning away from selfishness and disciplining yourself.

Building a relationship is like building a house. You don’t build it from the outside in, and you don’t just build on top of anything. Foundation first! I must be honest, I haven’t always gone into a relationship with a foundation first mindset. I’ve gone in head first feelings on my sleeve, and in most cases, without any self discipline.

I want the relationship where there is a heart connection not just a physical connection. Not just having a whole lot in common, but having a connection that goes deeper than that. Our hearts have to be connected. the way two people’s hearts connect is that both hearts are connected to God.

That’s why God has to be the foundation. Because if He’s not, the relationship is just built on sinking sand, crumbling into the depths of heart-break, lies, and even soul ties. Read Luke 6:46-49. Making God the foundation in all that you do including relationships, means you have to listen to and obey His word… Something I haven’t always been good at..

God is speaking…Am I listening?

Sometimes I feel I’m not like I know I need to, at times I want to, but it feels like I can’t hear Him if I tried. Everything around me is static to my ears when I’m trying to listen to Him. The reason you get static is because of poor reception. The thing about poor reception is, it’s not what’s being received, it’s what is in the way of the satellite or digital antenna receivers receiving a clear signal. In this case, my ears are the digital receivers. I have a spiritual antenna. And lately I haven’t been picking up a clear signal. Usually dust in space and the weather are reasons satellites don’t receive a clear signal. So what are my reasons for not receiving a clear signal from God? what’s distracting me from hearing God’s voice loud and clear? ME. I’m the reason I can’t hear God like I want and need to. God is speaking to me, that I can be sure. But what is He saying? Is He saying remain patient in searching for a second job, or taking a chance on a business and entrepreneur opportunity? What about my family, my relationship, my job, my relationship with You God? My sins, fears, and doubts have separated me from You, but You haven’t moved, I did. Forgive me Lord. Forgive me for doubting You, and myself for having fears & doubts, forgive and purge me of my presumptuous sins, the sins I did last night, last week, the sins I’ve yet to commit. Re-engage my heart in my life, in all that I do. Engage my heart in my relationship with you O God. 

Clear out the distractions in my mind, the hurt and guilt from my heart, and immorality from my spirit so I can hear from You clearly.!  In You son Jesus name AMEN..

My thoughts…  

Fruits of the Spirit: Love.

Posted on Updated on

What better time to talk about this fruit than valentines day, right? Love. Its a word that in some, if not all cases, appears to have been misused, overused, misunderstood, taken for granted, abused, abandoned, disrespected, lied on, rebelled on. (And I’m just talking about the word itself, let alone the people who dare use the word in vain).That’s merely a duplicate, a poor replica of what love really is… the “love” that gets trampled on, and misused, is only temporary. It doesn’t last….

There is, however, a love that no matter who misuses it, or if we simply relive the realization that this world needs more of it each and every day..is that it’s an UNLIMITED SUPPLY of it.  You can always make more of it. It doesn’t have an inflated price on it like gas, so it never loses its value, despite contrary belief. It’s ALWAYS there, ABUNDANTLY FLOWING. 

So where can I get this unlimited supply of love that’s always there??? And what’s so special about this love, contrary to what “I” think love is??? 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16.

 God loved us THAT much that He took His Son and  took His life as a sacrifice for us, and He calls for us to believe in Him and believe in the purpose of His son Jesus Christ death on the cross for our sins. That wasn’t done of religion on Christ’s behalf, or abandonment on God’s behalf, neglecting his Son, NO, that was done out of love.

When you love, you make sacrifices. BUT you also obey!! Obedience is better than sacrifice, but Love is fulfilled by doing BOTH!!

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:37-40

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love……My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this:to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. -John 15:9-10,12-13. 

Love must be sincere. Hate what is eveil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. -Romans 12:9-10

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another…….This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters -1 John 3:11,16

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love……This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God: but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. -1 John 4:7,10-12

God’s love is purely amazing. Nothing else comes close to it. we can’t ever match it, but we can live in it. We won’t be able to love somebody more than He loves them, we won’t even be able to love ourselves as much as He love us, but it’s HIS love that makes it possible to share love, and be loved.

Thanks to Him, we have the honest, and RIGHT way to love one another. We are to esteem one another above our own self. Considering other’s interest above ours. We should give before we receive. Most importantly, we shouldn’t ever walk around expecting to be love, without showing some first. You shouldn’t have the mindset of Oh, since they don’t show me love, than I won’t show them any. That’s not how it works. Since HE loved us first, WE should love one another. it’s that simple.

Now lovers, those of you who are in a relationship, seriously dating, or happily married, first, I praise God for all of you, and pray that He leads and guides you in your own relationships with each other and continue to diligently seek Him!! Second, I haven’t forgot about you all. 

Bearing the fruit of love in a relationship is definitely a delight. Whether starting off dating, or married for years, having a Godly love in your relationship is so vital, I can’t say that enough…. but what makes that love in a relationship Godly??? 

Let’s see what God’s Word says..

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. -Ephesians 5:21-24

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up or her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. -Ephesians 5:25-28

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. -1 Peter 3:1-6

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.  -1 Peter 3:7

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. – Proverbs 31:10-12

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. -Proverbs 18:22

The scriptures in Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 basically speak from themselves, so I wont even offer my commentary. But i added the two Proverbs scriptures for those of you, including myself, that may be in a season of dating or singleness. Those scriptures in Proverbs were written, I believe, to show those who are single who it is they should be looking for. [in this case, my single brothers, the type of woman in Proverbs 31 is the one you should be praying for and setting your sights on, not the one in Proverbs 5, and 7.] 

Then there is the group of people who are in a season of courtship, Godly dating, or may be already engaged. This is the season where you must seek God even more. Because this is the time when you will decide if this person is the one for you. If this person lines up with the Word of God, and God has placed it on your heart that there’s no other one for you, then there will be more fruit to bear in that relationship!!

No matter the personal season that you’re in, you can ALWAYS bear the fruit of love. Share with your family, your friends, co-workers or classmates, Share with a complete stranger. Remember The fruit that bears so plentiful is LOVE!!! It’s the fruit that’s sweet to the taste, and it’s the fruit that is so sweet to produce!!

Love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. -1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Expectations 2.0: Falling Short

Posted on Updated on

One thing about expectations, one way or another, something or someone falls short of them.

You let someone else down when you don’t meet theirs, you let yourself down when you don’t meet yours.

In studying various books, workbooks, hearing sermons on manhood and womanhood, and overall just hearing what it means to grow and mature as an adult, we all have dreams, aspirations, we set goals, and ultimately those dreams and goals come with expectations.

But along the ways of life, along with those goals, what you set out to accomplish, what you would like to achieve, you meet and make friendships that evolve into relationships. Sure the dreams and goals have the expectations to meet in order to achieve and accomplish what you set out to do to be successful, but what about those friendships?

Not meeting someone’s else expectations in a friendship/relationship can prove to be crucial, but it’s when in the midst of the relationship, regardless of the particular ‘relation’ between the two, you come to realize that maybe, just maybe you didn’t meet your expectations. You fell short.

Perhaps, you didn’t expect nothing on your part, and expected everything out of them..

Definitely a different perspective from the last time my fingers touched these keys, the last time a pencil hit the pad to begin to unload what was on my mind.
Many a time, I’ve gone about things in my life, goals, dreams, interactions with other people, with a certain expectation: Always succeed at it.
Don’t disappoint.

It’s different knowing that you’ve let yourself and somebody else down. You battled, defend, preserved, and wanted to express everything you felt, but all that came into your mind was knowing that you had fallen short.

And now a missed opportunity looms over your head, a dream that might have broken, or possibly a friendship that quite isn’t the same because of an expectation you originally thought you had over the friendship based on a title, but all along it was more on the actions of the people involved, yourself included.

Falling short has two sides to it, one you choose to stay there and not get back up and dust yourself off and try again, and two you can remain there and beat yourself up, and allow yourself to get over a missed opportunity, an expectation that you didn’t reach.

Accomplishing goals in life have expectations, deadlines, certain strategies that must be implemented. Dealing with people is another thing.
what and how you expect yourself to be around them, relating to them, not necessarily expecting everything out of them, but expecting all the more from yourself, means all the difference from a healthy interaction between you and your close or best friend, or your spouse, and a relationship that’s on the rocks.

You can never expect anything more from a friendship or relationship, then to realize there will be adversity. not every moment will picture perfect, not every opinion will be agreed upon or perceived the right way. How you handle each situation, controlling your emotions in the moment, and responding and relating to that other person will mean all the difference in a healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant friendship and/or relationship, or falling short every time..

Expectations..