Let me start this off by saying that these next 11 things I'm about to say are all my opinions…there isn't any scientific research that I've done to prove my theories, but I can say that my experience as a relationship coach keeps bringing me back to some of these same things. I think sometimes as coaches or even just as friends, that like to give advice, we just say very cliche things without thinking them through. So, I figured I would address a few. I can admit I've probably said a few of these things before, but as I've gotten older I've gotten more mature and with maturity comes evolution. What's behind some of the advice we give so freely, so often?
- Just Be Yourself
This sounds so empowering, but how easy is it really? Do you have a good sense of self? Are you attractive in spirit and the energy that you give off? I think too often we spit out, "be who you are" to people or they say, "I am who I am" when many haven't really taken time to self-reflect. They may not realize that the person they are may be toxic and the root cause of their relationship woes. Just like with a job interview you shouldn't go on a first date airing out all of your dirty laundry and letting all of the skeletons out of your closet just for the sake of "being yourself." When you've come to be in a healthy and happy place then you can present your BEST self…the one that the world has been waiting on and the one you have been diligently working on.
2. The Man Should Always Pay
In the words of Uncle Luke "Hold up, wait a minute!" You do know it's 2017 right? You also know that women are breadwinners and business owners; and oh by the way many are asking MEN out these days. With that being said sometimes it's okay for a woman to pay for a date, especially if she initiated said date. I do fall in line with the rules of chivalry and agree that the man should at least OFFER to pay but if she takes the initiative and they have a relationship based on reciprocation then her wallet can open from time to time to pay for an outing.
3. Hanging your hat and heart on "potential"
I'm sorry but we shouldn't be dating based on IOU's and credit. If you're dating this needs to be a cash transaction because more than likely you will get what you pay for. I've heard of way too many times when a relationship is rooted in the potential of what someone could be it goes horribly wrong. We're talking about someone's potential to be faithful, potential to be financially stable, potential to be a worthy parent to their child(ren)…the list goes on. People aren't what they say, they're what they do. If someone hasn't shown you what they claim they can be, most times they never will. This isn't to say that you can't believe and support someone, but it is to say that you should put more weight on what someone is actually showing you vs. what he or she may just tell you.
4. Wait 90 Days Before Sex
This advice had scores of women on day 91 angry and upset because they thought sex anytime after 90 days was some magic spell for a perfect relationship that came with a fully committed and in love partner. The advice is very noble but the underlying point wasn't to be taken literally; it was to be patient before giving up this part of yourself to someone so that you have a better idea of who the person really is as you can gauge true compatibility. Sex confuses things and list will have you thinking you're in love when really you just had an orgasm. Sex won't make a person stay and it alone doesn't make someone a worthwhile mate. The take home message is SLOW DOWN and don't make sex the focal point while building a relationship.
5. Play Hard To Get
Can we please stop this immature train of thought right now?! Now notice I'm not talking about SEX because I think you should be patient in that area anyways, but I'm talking about this cat and mouse game people keep playing. Yeah I know what you're thinking "men are hunters and they like to chase" and yes that might be true but mature men's knees hurt and they are tired and out of breath. Instead of 'chasing' how about we just reciprocate energy and effort instead of giving someone the cold shoulder in the hopes that it will make them keep pursuing you. I'm all for having patience but someone shouldn't have to keep guessing whether or not you are into them. If you are then be clear about it so everyone can jump off of the emotional roller coasters.
6. Give him/her an ultimatatum
Folks really are outchea giving ultimatums talking about "if you don't marry or commit to me now we are done." Yeah it sounds extra bold like some Starbucks Coffee except the fact that if you're at the point of ultimatums then you already know the answers to your questions. Since actions speak louder than words, a better approach would be to let the person know that you can see you aren't on the same page or in the same season and because of that you are choosing to remove yourself from the situation. That's a lot more empowering than walking around kidnapping people and making demands like you're holding folks hostage.
I know some of you might get a little upset because maybe you've been following this advice and hell maybe I gave it to you years ago but if it's not working than stop it…stop it now. Oh, and by the way there is more where this came from so stay tuned fot part 2!