I cut ties quickly with someone I feel is not living up to what I deserve. My mother, sisters and friends had the same response every time: “You’re so picky, Salina. You should’ve given him another chance. You’re going to be single forever.”
I know what I like, what I don’t and the qualities I consider “must haves” for my future hubby. If the guy doesn’t possess those qualities, I’m not wasting a single minute of time. Not because I’m selfish or entitled, but because I’ve been in a place that was dangerously stagnant with someone I wasn’t supposed to be with. I got involved too fast. My heart overpowered my brain and we spent 6 years in an up and down, mostly darkened place that devoured our spirits. He is a great person, we just weren’t right for one another. So now, when I recognize immediate “no’s”, I am smart enough to overcome the slight attraction/ interest and walk away–slow jog, if we’re being specific.
I’ve had a few friends come to me for advice, asking how I refuse to settle and how I deal with the disappointment when the right one turns out to be the slightly left one. I decided to write in hopes this will help other people, like my friends, know when they’re asking too much, or settling for too less.
Reasons you shouldn’t go….
Sometimes we can overreact, over think, and let our imagination or insecurities take over. Everyone is flawed, but when in love or looking for love, “flaws” should be acknowledged, accepted, and never used as fire in a fight. If it’s not worth losing a relationship, let it go.
Personally, I’ve experienced the following at some point or another while dating. It would scare me or turn me away. Sometimes your intuition is right, other times it’s simply fear from the unknown. In reality, these are just qualities some people possess that shouldn’t be deal breakers at all.
- Blunt mannerisms– The “give it to ya straight” kinda people who say what they think before filtering [harsh] words. For someone as sensitive as me, this can take some adjusting because it may come across as they just don’t care. With patience and understanding, you may realize they do care, they’re just a little more callous than the average Joe. Not worth throwing in the towel if they have you in your feels.
- Shy– I can relate to this. I’ve talked to a guy who was super outgoing, and me, being an introvert, came off as a total buzz kill when we went out. I can’t help it, I’m awkward. I can appear rude to extroverts, but I’m just not built to mingle among large crowds. I knew it was a strain on the relationship, but I can’t change who I am. He wanted to go out and socialize and I wanted to stay home and cuddle. This led to arguments and frustration because he thought I didn’t care about him or what he liked, when in reality I was just super uncomfortable. Try to be more understanding and less irritated with the awkwards, please.
- Personal beliefs– This requires a lot of open-mindedness. No one is going to agree with every single thing you believe. If you’re looking for someone who does, that’s creepy. Why do you want to date yourself, ya weirdo? Different opinions on politics, religion, and other beliefs are healthy (to an extent–maybe a satanist shouldn’t date a baptized Jehovah’s witness). Learn to appreciate thoughts outside your own–you’ll grow more. I’m not saying relationships should always have different beliefs, just saying people with different beliefs can still have relationships. Don’t let differences scare you, let them educate you.
- Hygiene habits– does your man leave the toilet seat up and somehow miss the hamper every time? Does your girlfriend leave the sink full of make up and shower full of hair? If it’s not worth leaving them, deal with it. Work together on making cleanliness a habit; but know that some people really don’t mind the chaos of a dirty home–and you’ll have to learn to love it or leave it. Nag about it constantly and they’ll eventually grow to resent you.
If it’s not worth ending things, let it go. This doesn’t mean biting your lip a few times, it means LET. IT. GO. Don’t nag, don’t use it as fuel for fights, don’t let it chip away at something with great potential. No one is perfect; if she’s a smart, take-home-to-mama woman, deal with the fact she can sometimes be hard-headed or naive. If he’s loyal and honest but leaves the toilet seat up, prepare to fall in the loo a time or two. Sacrifices, sista.
Reasons you shouldn’t stay…
Ok, so you know when you’re trippin’, but sometimes you’re not as crazy as he/she would like to paint you out to be. I’ve got a crucial list of “must-haves” for my partner. If any of these are missing, I’m out. I believe every relationship should possess all of these characteristics. One-sided doesn’t work when it comes to these 6 must haves:
- Respect– This means at home and in public. You should never cut your partner down and always defend them in or out of their presence. You’re a team. If they are condescending, entitled, or rude to you, strangers or those with less than them, say good-bye. No excuses.
- Gracious with their time– Listen, everyone is busy. But if your partner is too busy for you 5 of 7 days in the week, and what they consider busy is gaming, drinking, sleeping or hanging with friends, this isn’t going to work. You shouldn’t be begging to spend the Fourth of July with him if you’ve been seeing each other over a year. You don’t need all of his/her time; you have hobbies and a life, too. But expect to be a priority in their life as they should be in yours. On the rare occasion you’re both free, you should spend it together. Make time for each other; honestly, if there’s interest and/or love, this really shouldn’t be hard to do.
- Ability to communicate/understand needs-If your partner isn’t listening to you as you voice your concerns, not expressing their emotions, or hardly talkative when you’re not physically together, this can be bad. I’m HUGE on communication. I need to hear words and I need my words to be heard. Communication can be more than words, too. Small but meaningful “thinking of you” gifts, comfort with a shoulder to lean on after a long day…etc. If your partner is not open to talk or unwilling to listen, the relationship. Will. Fail. Run, forest, RUN!
- More Than Physical- You need a mental connection -whether through similar interests, humor, or a strong chemistry. Lust often disguises herself as love. Once the lust fades, you may find yourself bored if your partner doesn’t intrigue you in more ways than physical. There needs to be some sort of butterfly in your stomach, can’t stop thinking of you all day vibe going on. If all you share is great sex and can’t stand each other outside the bedroom and you’re hoping for a long term relationship, it ain’t gonna happen, son.
- Trust– Trust doesn’t have to be immediate, and can sometimes be shaken. But a lack of trust can be restored with great effort. If your partner continues to be dishonest, hide things, disappear and betray your trust, LET. THEM. GO. Chances are you’re probably up many nights wondering where he/she is and what the hell they’re doing that they can’t respond to your calls or messages. These types are usually the best at apologizing to keep you from walking but never change their sketchy habits. They play the game well–realize the difference between a mistake and a choice. Lack of trust– unhealthy asf. Bye, Felicia.
- Stability– This may just be a must on my list, but I think it should be on others’, too. I pay my rent, my car, buy my own clothes and shoes and I expect my partner to do the same. I’m totally open to supporting someone you love when something unexpected happens, but I’m not supporting someone constantly. Stability is a sign of maturity, respect and value. Someone ambitious, driven and responsible are major turn-ons for me. Learn to take care of yourself so when you meet someone you know it’s from a true connection, and not something to just make your life easier. Someone jobless, without goals and dependent gotta go, bro. Save the drama for your mama.
Don’t run at the first sign of trouble. Like anything worth having, you’ll have to put in work. But, a relationship shouldn’t be constant work. You shouldn’t be teaching your partner how to treat you, how to respect you or how to love you. You shouldn’t be begging for attention or concern for your well being. Don’t let their actions hurt your heart while letting their words fool your instinct into staying. You shouldn’t hear the words “I’m sorry” more than you hear “I love you”. Love is comfortable, but comfortable isn’t always love–realize the difference.
You deserve happy, healthy and confidence that you’re right where you should be.
**Big thanks to my friends for allowing me to use our convos–I know they’re super personal and can be emotional to see here, but it’s for a good cause–love you all!♥ **