All Articles Tagged "compromise"
We’re always trying to get men to try our fruity drinks, or to come shopping at Target, or to watch a romantic movie. But pay close attention, and you’ll notice your man has been pleading for you to try all kinds of things with him. You thought he was joking when he asked you to do these activities, but he wasn’t!
Common was recently interviewed for O Magazine. In the interview, like in his memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Common spoke about how he learned how to speak up for himself. In relationships, in work or about his own abilities, Common took a backseat and let other people make decisions for him, even if they didn’t feel right in the moment. He provided this example of a time when he’d let his girlfriend decide for him:
For example, I like to go to church on New Year’s Eve—to spend that time with God. My ex would always want me to go somewhere with her instead, and when I did, I’d regret it. Now I’ll just say to a woman I’m dating, “I’m going to church—and I’ll meet you right after.”
(Just in case you were wondering that ex he’s talking about is Erykah Badu– but that’s neither here nor there.) Immediately, after I read it, I thought, Yo that exact same thing [almost] happened to me. A couple of years ago, I was in what can best be described as a long distance relationship. I was in school in Missouri. He worked in Illinois. And his parents, whom he was visiting for the holidays, lived in Wisconsin. Needless to say, the time we got to spend with one another was few and far between. But somehow, our schedules aligned and we made arrangements to see each other on New Year’s Eve. He was going to be in Indianapolis. I was going to be in Indianapolis, it would work. Except, the precious hours we’d spend together would have to be cut short because I was planning on going to church. Like Common, being in church on New Year’s Eve is important to me. I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year than thanking God for bringing you through the past year and asking Him to bless the upcoming one. There’s a power in that, which I don’t take lightly. So, as much as I wanted to see my friend as soon as he got into town, he’d have to wait a couple of hours. I did invite him to church. He declined. Cool, no problem.
It wasn’t until I discussed my plans with others that I started to rethink them. The day before my friend was supposed to come into town, my family and I were over my aunt’s house eating, lounging chatting it up. The maternal side of my family is Jamaican. I say that to illustrate the type of interactions we have. The conversation is open and brutally honest. American niceties and political correctness are thrown out the window. People will ask you probing questions, offend you out of love and just generally get in your business. Nothing is taboo…nothing. So, I wasn’t surprised when my aunt asked, with a smirk and batted eyelashes, what my friend and I were doing for New Year’s Eve. I told her, we were meeting up after I got out of church. My aunt got quiet and I could see her thinking about what she was going to say next. When she finally did speak, she asked me: “Well, don’t you think you can miss church since he’s coming all this way to see you?”
And for a minute, I thought about it. Was it wrong to make him wait an additional two hours, after he’d just driven 3 to spend time with me? Was I being inconsiderate? But no sooner, than the thought crossed my mind, I heard God’s voice. “This boy will disappoint you. He’ll let you down. I’ll always be there for you.” Well there you have it. Before my aunt had even finished speaking, I had my answer. I told her, “Yeah, I’m still going to go to church.” She shrugged and said ok, still not quite convinced I was making the right decision. But I knew God’s voice was right. I couldn’t put my faith in this or any man. My friend didn’t bring me through the past year, God did. And if I had a crystal ball, I would have seen two years later, he wouldn’t hold the same position in my affections. But God would. How stupid would I have looked choosing someone who could and would leave me over someone who’s never forgotten nor forsaken me?
I went to church and met up with him later, guilt free.
A couple of days after New Year’s, my aunt called me and apologized for suggesting that I skip church to hang out with my friend. She told me, after thinking about it, she realized she was wrong and I’d made the right decision. I knew she’d come around. And though I was happy she agreed with the decision, I didn’t need her approval. I already had directions from myself and a higher power.
But as Common and my other experiences have illustrated, it’s not hard to bend and compromise our core beliefs in life and love. A lot of us spend so much time trying to please others, we forget to honor ourselves and more importantly the higher powers we believe in. That’s dangerous. It’s an age-old lesson, but one that bears repeating: When you know something is right, don’t allow anyone, not a love interest, a trusted family member, not even yourself, to talk you out of your decision.
Let’s face it, when a woman stands up for herself and won’t take no shorts, she’s usually – and unfairly – labeled a bi–ch. While our male counterparts don’t get branded the same way, women have to learn to navigate the murky waters of having dignity without being too demanding, competent without being overly competitive and feminine without being too forceful. It’s a tightrope act that gets slippery, especially when trying to get what you deserve from men and your relationships. No man wants to be with a bi–h in the sense that it means being with a woman who is always up in his face popping off. But most real men respect a woman who knows her value and isn’t afraid to ask for what she deserves. So if you’re unsure how to demand what you want in your relationship without being considered a “b–ch,” explore the following guidelines that may help you get the respect you deserve and keep you from being a doormat.
You and your man are two different people. You have two different minds, you’ve had two different days and so, sometimes, you’ll need different things. It’s natural in any relationship to pass on things you want, to let things run smoothly but there is a difference between compromising for the relationship, and compromising who you are. A pretty easy indication that the latter is happening is that your stomach dropped a little when you read that. But here are some other situations in which you can find the difference.
If He Wants To Be With You, He’ll Do Right By You: Why Ultimatums Might Be The Ultimate Mistake In a Relationship
“If you don’t marry me, I’m leaving!”
“I’m either going to be your wife to be, or your soon to be ex.”
“If we’re not engaged by the end of the year, I’m moving on with my life.”
How many of us have heard one of our close girlfriends or family members say one of the lines above? Or better yet, how many of us have repeated one of the lines above? Ultimatums are often defined as an uncompromising set of terms or demands given by someone, which can lead to the beginning of a new segment in a relationship, or the severing of one. Ultimatums are generally given by women to men, who have been in a monogamous dating relationship for quite a while, women who are cohabitating without the commitment of marriage, or women who are or have been involved in long-term engagements, and the general purpose of them in regard to relationships are to achieve the goal of marriage. However, my question to women who have given ultimatums and to women who may be contemplating the thought of issuing an ultimatum is, why?
Why would you give a man who says he loves you and wants to be with you an ultimatum? Or better yet, why would you not give yourself an ultimatum instead of your mate? One part of the definition of the word ultimatum people often overlook or ignore is the part where it says that an ultimatum is an uncompromising set of terms or demands. This part of the definition is vital because it lets people know that they should set standards and not compromise them. The mistake that is often made though is that both women and men do not set and establish individual and relationship standards at the beginning of a new relationship. And if they do, they do not maintain them and often become complacent. If people would learn to take the time to establish standards and keep them then maybe there would not be a need to issue ultimatums.
Ladies, issuing an ultimatum may bring you closer to achieving the goals you have set for your ideal relationship, but the goals you have set may not be the goals your mate has, or have in mind. And if you are planning to have a productive relationship then you must be on one accord with your mate. Also, if you do give your mate an ultimatum and you get the results/commitment you desire, is that commitment sincere? The ultimate goal of an ultimatum is to start something new in a relationship, and while it may begin something new, it may also bring forth the forcing of something that should not be. So ladies, if you are contemplating giving your man an ultimatum, ask yourself these questions before you do; 1. Why am I giving him an ultimatum? 2. Will giving him an ultimatum make him commit to me any faster? 3. Will the commitment be from his heart? 4. Am I prepared for results that are the opposite of what I wanted? 5. How much longer do I plan on staying in a relationship that lacks a sincere commitment? 6. Are we equally yoked, and have the same mindset when it comes to commitment?
Answer these questions open and honestly before you decide to give an ultimatum because you don’t want to make a mistake, and the mistake could be you pushing your man away, or you staying and missing the blessing that is your true soul mate…not to mention, blocking his too. I know some of you may be saying that ultimatums work, and that men need a little push from time to time, and this may very well be true. But it is my belief that if a man wants to be with you, and if he is indeed the man for you he will say and show so without any push from you, but a push from his heart. Ladies, it is said that you should not be anxious for anything, and if you believe this then there is no need to think about giving an ultimatum. However, if you do decide to give an ultimatum, give it to yourself. Ask yourself how much longer you will stand for something, set that standard, and do what you need to when you feel the time is right. But don’t pressure anyone else to give you what you want.
Do you think giving an ultimatum is a mistake?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
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According to Science Daily, a study conducted by Syracuse University suggests that it takes approximately one fifth of a second to fall in love. Although falling in love may happen quickly, it seems like it takes a little longer for your brain to catch up with your heart, and even longer for your emotions to give you the nerve to finally utter the words. Women tend to be a little more vocal about their emotions than men, but if you watch closely, his actions will show you before his lips tell you that he loves you.
He’s always looking for reasons to spend time with you
Did you ever notice that he’s always looking for an excuse to be in your presence? “Wanna do lunch?” “Do you need a study buddy?” “I was in the neighborhood, I figured I’d just stop by.” Sound familiar? People who are in love look forward to spending time in the presence of their love interest and go out of their way to make time for you, sometimes when they really don’t have much time available.
Females can be so soft, so accommodating, so understanding. It’s our charm, and our curse. We want to be the cushion our man rests his head on after a long day. We want to be the easiest part of his life, his support system and his unrelenting comfort. We want to be these things so much, that sometimes we forget about ourselves and our needs. For fear of being demanding, we can become a doormat. But never forget that, he should be all those wonderful things to you too—supporting, comforting, understanding. If you’re not getting what you need, admit it to yourself. Even if you understand why he can’t give it to you—even if you can come up with a dozen excuses for him, excuses don’t keep you warm at night.
He couldn’t pay for me forever
It’s true—if you link up your lives, it’s just not sustainable for a man to pay for you every single time you get popcorn at the movies or a pack of gum on a road trip. He may even let you foot the bill on meals sometimes. But, paying for someone isn’t about covering somebody who couldn’t cover themselves. It’s about treating someone. And that is a concept that should never leave a relationship. If your man has gotten lazy about treating you, always expecting to just go Dutch on every single bill, even on romantic dinners, or just looking at you to foot the bill, don’t just make the excuse that he can’t pay for you forever. No, he doesn’t have to pay for you forever, or every single time. But, he should still occasionally be treating you.
Tags:are you a doormat, boyfriend, choices, compromise, considerate, dating, doormat, easy, excuse, frustrated, healthy relationship, how to get what you want in a relationship, how to get your needs met, is he meeting your needs, Madame Noire, making excuses for men, selfish, unhealthy relationship, what makes a good boyfriend
You have to be generous to have real love in your life. You need to be willing to change and compromise from time to time, but, it’s too easy (especially for women) to be the only one changing, compromising and giving for the relationship. It worse if you change so often and so much that you start to not realize it. And if you’re constantly in that type of relationship, you may have codependent tendencies. Here are some common signs of codependency:
You never try to disagree
A major trait of a codependent person is a strong desire to avoid conflict, at all costs. You may think it’s no big deal when your partner says one little thing that you don’t agree with, but you swallow your words so as to avoid conflict. But, swallow your words enough and you’ve got a partner who thinks you agree with him on everything, and you’re not being yourself, all for the sake of being with somebody. It’s all right to have an opinion…and a backbone.
How important is sex to a man? Would he be willing to forgo sex in a relationship? A few years ago I decided to take a hiatus from dating to regain focus of my life as a single woman. I didn’t want to engage in any type of relationship with the opposite sex because I needed time to learn how to balance everything that was going on in my life. With this hiatus, I realized that I subconsciously and consciously made the decision to practice celibacy. I say I made this decision subconsciously and consciously because during this time, subconsciously, I did want to have sex, but I didn’t want to deal with the emotional and possible physical consequences that come along with it, and I didn’t want to have another meaningless sexual experience. Consciously, I had plenty of options and chances to indulge in sexual intercourse, but I didn’t, and that’s when I realized I was going to try and be celibate. After this realization, I decided to do some soul searching to really understand why I was celibate, and to decide whether or not I would stand firm on this decision.
During my soul searching, I reflected back on each of my relationships, and I discovered that I was sexually intimate with the men I was involved with before I had a chance to be intimate with them. I didn’t take the necessary time to learn who they were and develop a close and personal connection with them for the people they were before I developed a connection with them sexually simply because I was physically attracted to them. I also realized that I went into each relationship with my feelings and not my faith, which in turn led me to be misguided. After this discovery, I made the decision to forgo any sexually intimate interaction, and remain celibate until I am married. The beginning of this journey wasn’t difficult because I was on a hiatus from dating. It almost seemed easy and unreal, but when I decided to go back into dating, things got real. I met a wonderful man that I seemed to have everything in common with. We liked the same foods, we communicated well with each other, we share the same favorite color, and on and on. Most importantly, we both wanted to start our new relationship as friends.
I recall one evening when I was on the phone with my new male ‘friend’. We were engaged in a great conversation when the subject of celibacy came up. I shared with him that I have the honor of teaching a class on celibacy very soon, and I told him that I was nervous about it. He then told me that I would do fine, and as he started another sentence he abruptly stopped and asked if I was celibate. I replied with a nervous, yet firm yes. He immediately replied “Oh, oh no, I can’t do that…yeah, we are definitely going to be just good friends.” I said okay, no problem, and started to move forward with the conversation. While moving on to a different topic, I noticed the tone in our conversation went from upbeat and funny to slow and drab. Where there were no awkward moments of silence in our conversations before, there were now more than enough to make up for it in this one. I could tell my friend was uneasy about what I told him, but what did it matter? We were just friends anyway, right? So my decision to be celibate would not affect him in any way, right? Wrong.
I believe my friend thought we were going to develop a great friendship that would lead into an even greater monogamous relationship; and with a relationship comes sexual intimacy. Or maybe he thought we were going to be friends with sexual benefits, and with news of me practicing celibacy his thoughts were shattered. As much as I tried to move forward with the conversation it was difficult, because I knew my friends thoughts of me and our relationship had changed. After our phone call ended, my decision to be celibate and the effects of that decision stayed on my mind. Yes, things got really real.
After hearing and comprehending his reaction, I was slightly disturbed, and a little disappointed because subconsciously I thought we were going to develop a great friendship that would lead into an even greater monogamous relationship without having sex. But clearly I was wrong. And even though I was flabbergasted with his reaction, not once did I doubt the decision I made because I’ve learned to stand firm on the standards I’ve set in regard to my body and relationships even if it hurts.
I’ve also learned that I can’t expect someone to change their expectations to meet my standards, and not to change my standards (my non-negotiable standards) to meet someone’s expectations; they are who they are, and I am who I am. Although it is still slightly difficult for me to grasp the fact that my friend and I will only be friends, I respect his honesty, I look forward to our growing friendship, and I am looking forward to learning and growing on this journey through celibacy and dating.
Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
Have you tried to be celibate? How did that affect your dating life?
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While talking to an older woman that I once worked with about relationships, she suggested that I write down all of the traits I wanted in my future husband. This list, she said, should even include those superficial things that I wanted in a man. She then told me to read over the list anytime I needed a reminder and most importantly ‘don’t bend’ on the requirements. Although I usually take heed to the advice given by older women, now two years later after revisiting the list that I had created full of superficial qualities and all, my single self has suddenly realized that a little bending won’t hurt; and most importantly there comes a time when a girl must learn to compromise, even on her precious list.
Although a firm believer in women, or anyone for that matter, not settling when it comes to relationships, there is a difference in settling and compromising. Settling means going against everything you feel, want, and believe in order to be in a relationship. Compromising means to bend a little on some things of lesser value (height, size, looks, etc.) and instead focus more on those things of greater value that a man may possess. And while everyone’s definition of settling will vary because we all place greater importance on different things, my basis for not settling means to not bend on those things that go against my values and my happiness. And at this point in my life, everything else is up for debate, even the Boris Kodjoe lookalike that I anticipated meeting one day.
I often consider three things before compromising my list of requirements. First, I ask myself how does he make me feel? There have been times when I actually enjoyed spending time with a man but blocked my feelings from progressing because he didn’t look good on paper.
For instance, he made me laugh and genuinely cared about me, but he was two inches too short from what I considered acceptable and he had a laugh that sounded more like a giddy school girl than a grown man. Plus he wasn’t the cutest guy out there. So although I enjoyed spending time with him, I let my superficial requirements persuade me otherwise. Of course, you can never base decisions on mere feelings, but now when someone makes me happy or I enjoy being around him, I at least open my mind to explore the possibility of a relationship.
I also consider if the things that I dislike about him are upgradeable. For instance, if I hate the way he dresses in public, is this something I can assist him with? If he at least has potential, there is room for compromise.
The other thing I consider before compromising is if he meets the core requirements I want in a man. These core requirements revolve around my morals and values. Basically, does he value family, have a spiritual background, and work hard, although he may not be rich in terms of wealth?
The reality is, if a man can make me happy, is respectful, and shares the same values that I have, I at least attempt to look over those superficial qualities that can’t solely make a relationship. It’s important to know that looks alone won’t make you happy, but a man whose goal in life is to make you happy will.
I am not trying convincing you to ditch your infamous list of requirements. Nor am I suggesting that you marry someone who adores you but you can’t stand the presence of him. I am only suggesting that you consider compromising on some of the things that won’t make or break your relationship, keeping in mind that it’s never a good idea to settle, but instead compromise. And trust me, there is a big difference.