It was a couple of days before I had a really major assignment due; an assignment I’d been slaving over the entire semester. The one assignment that could determine my fate as a student at my university. I was totally freaking out. The professor whom I had to submit the assignment to was also the director of the Media & Communications department and although she only stood at about 5’2″, she was nothing short of intimidating with her vague directions and her blasé attitude.
“If Jesus decided to come back before I have to submit this assignment I wouldn’t even be mad,” I text him.
“Lol, you’ll be fine. You’re smart and hardworking. Plus, you put a lot of effort into this assignment,” he replied. He followed up that text with a very thoughtful prayer asking God to help me focus, remain calm, and carry out the task at hand. It was like something clicked in that moment. That little nudge wrapped in a blanket of encouragement, sealed with a prayer seemed to be exactly what I needed. I let out a deep sigh, shook myself off, relocated my “mojo” and got back to work. I completed my project not long after.
I reflected on our conversation later on that night and thought “So, this is what it feels like to find someone who actively, positively, and genuinely contributes to your life.” When I really got to thinking about it, he’s been that way for the entire five years we’ve been friends and the last five months that we’ve been something else. I made a mental note that if he wasn’t the one, I certainly wanted someone with similar characteristics.
We’re all aware that relationships can take on a slew of different characteristics. There are those toxic relationships where your significant other seems to bring out the “crazy” in you. There are those damaging relationships that seem to magnify your flaws and amplify your insecurities. Then, there are those relationships that uplift and inspire, and whether they work out or not, you’re a better person as a result of them.
It took me awhile to fully grasp this concept, but now that it has clicked, I wish I had learned it so much sooner. The concept that love should be more substantial than superficial. Your significant other should be able to do more than just give you butterflies, make you blush, and whisper sweet empty nothings. Those same lips that whisper sweet nothings should eventually be able to utter words of substance and reassurance in the midst of challenging times and of course, you should be capable of reciprocating. It is a concept that seems so basic and a characteristic that should be so common, yet is so frequently lacking and overlooked.
In an article featured on Psychology Today, Dr. Alice Boyes discusses ten ways in which your relationships could and should help an individual to grow as a person. Some of the points that she made included:
- Relationships that provide “practical support that allows you to pursue your personal goals.”
- Relationships that provide “emotional support that helps you persist with hard things.”
- Relationships that “help you learn to trust that another person will be dependable and emotionally available to you.”
I’m not suggesting that anyone should look to another person or a relationship to feel complete, because I definitely subscribe to the philosophy that a healthy relationship consists of two whole people, but what I am saying is that if a person isn’t contributing anything substantial to their partner’s life, then exactly what are they doing?
Do you believe that your relationships should help you to grow as a person?
Jazmine Denise is a freelance writer living in New York. Follow her on Twittter @jazminedenise
All photos are courtesy of ShutterStock