All Articles Tagged "expectations"
Jada Pinkett Smith is taking another shot at addressing the persistent rumors that she and hubby Will Smith have an open marriage. The actress took to her Facebook page this past weekend to comment on the public’s preoccupation with the goings-on in her bedroom because, you know, we have to know. First and foremost, wrote Jada, is “trust and love.” That would include agreeing that one doesn’t “own” the other.
“Do we believe that ownership is the reason someone should ‘behave?’” she asked “Do we believe that all the expectations, conditions, and underlying threats of “you better act right or else” keep one honest and true?”
Jada added that she trusts Will, and he the same. “Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so,” she wrote. “This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one.”
So we get the whole bit about Will and Jada’s marriage being none of our business, (because, really, it isn’t) but her open letter has us thinking about the expectations we so often bring into relationships. How many of us can really say that we allow our significant other to be who they really want to be?
Read more at Essence.com
“College-educated, six pack abs, and works in a career that requires a collared shirt and tie.” Whether it’s after a series of hell dates, another Valentine’s Day spent resenting romance and any warm-blooded mammal with pheromones, or allowing the vapors of a steamy shirtless sex scene with Michael Ealy video cloud your head, all women will at some point find themselves either mentally or physically jotting down a list of things they want in a man, especially when repeatedly being confronted with what you don’t want.
As broad or specific as that list may be, I think it’s healthy to know what you are seeking in a man. Knowing what you want may not necessarily be the key to finding your very own Dr. Morehouse Man pushing a Mercedes Benz, but it will at least get you in the neighborhood. Having standards is important because as the wise Malcolm X once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Of course that saying had nothing to do with dating, but the adage works.
Somewhere along the way though, some women convinced themselves that having standards meant waiting for the first intelligent, attractive and financially stable man to come along and sweep them off of their Steve Maddens and carry them straight to a life spent between shopping malls and spas. It started to make less and less of a difference if that man was considerate, kind or respectful. Unfortunately, these same women thought it somehow made them better than women holding down the guy working part-time security to pay their child support, because at least they had “standards.”
The conflict I found with many women as of late is that they are confusing having standards with wanting to be saved. Most of us want a man to match our fly. Having someone on or at least close to your level financially, mentally and emotionally won’t make a relationship perfect, but damn if it doesn’t make it a little easier. There are less arguments about who’s paying for what, less pettiness and immaturity and less room for resentment and competition. Ideally, we would like to think love solves all these problems, but most women over the age of 21 know that real relationships are about more than those magical butterflies you get whenever he calls you, “Bae” (which I hate by the way, but ironically still use).
But let’s be real, are the standards you have more about wanting a man who’s your equal, or wanting someone who will do all the work for your life that you’re not willing to? How many times have I witnessed a woman making some contradictory statement like, “I need a man who can buy me nice things and afford to be able to take us to expensive restaurants,” when meanwhile they are living check to check and completely content with a minimum wage salary? Trust and believe that if what you really want is to be saved, there’s no shortage of caped crusaders waiting to fly in and upgrade you, but be honest about it. So often, women are walking around talking about how “classy” they are, mistaking the standards they think they have with what is really some kind of “Things I’m Not Willing to Do In My Own Life” wish list.
I’m not throwing shade at the housewives or the stay-at-home moms who are in marriages or relationships where they have come to a mutual agreement with their partner about the roles they both play. For example, a few months ago, when rapper Drake made a haphazard comment that Vanessa Bryant shouldn’t be entitled to a large divorce settlement because she “wasn’t with Kobe shooting in the gym,” she promptly responded, “I don’t need to be in the gym. I’m raising our daughters, signing checks and taking care of everything else that pertains to our home life.” And honestly, if that’s okay with Kobe, it’s okay with me. What I’m referring to are the thirsty Joe Camels parading their unjustified standards right through all of the good men that were, are one, digit short of the salary requirements of the relationship. Maybe he didn’t attend an Ivy League University, but does he make you laugh, stick up for you when it comes to his momma, work hard every day and know that being adventurous on a date is about more than choosing the Netflix movie with subtitles? Then consider yourself blessed.
I want to repeat that I’m not suggesting women settle for any less than what they want, but if you are constantly complaining about being lonely due to the lack of good men, it might just be that you’re lacking good judgment. That doesn’t mean date a guy whose biggest problem is getting Hot Cheetoes’ dust from in between his Xbox controller buttons, but if no man is meeting your standards, said standards might be unrealistic. Stop lying to yourself that you’re intimidating or that there are just no decent men in your city, because the truth could be that you’re actually just difficult and pretentious, even worse if you can’t even bring the things you claim you want to the table yourself. Save the capes for the comics. If a superhero is what you want then it’s time to admit that you’re really looking to be saved, not seduced. Meanwhile, for those of us who want a “real” man, it’s time to get realistic and understand that checklists are for The Fresh Grocer, not your love life.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog Bullets and Blessings .
A date is a meeting between two individuals who may or may not have been previously acquainted, coming together for the purpose of getting to know each other. Dating is the process of continual encounters between two people for the purpose of furthering their knowledge of one another to see if they are compatible with each other for a potential relationship. These definitions make dates and the whole dating process sound pretty simple, right? So then why is dating so complicated?
I believe dating is complicated because people don’t have similar goals in mind when going through this process, and people make more of a first date and dating than what it really is–a simple meeting or meetings to get to know someone on a different level. People have the tendency to make more of casual dating than what it really is because some get caught up in focusing on whether or not the person is ‘the one’ and what they can potentially bring to the table, rather than enjoying the person for who they are and enjoying the dating experience as a whole.
Now I know the whole purpose of dating is to get to know someone to see if there is potential there for a relationship, but honestly, when a person is primarily focused on having a relationship, then they make the dating experience complicated for both parties. How and why does this happen? This happens because people miss the steps of effectively communicating about their hopes and expectations and are half scared to come straight out and say that they would like to soon move forward to being involved in an actual monogamous relationship. People often confuse dating and monogamous relationships because during the dating process, many fail to communicate whether or not they are dating each other exclusively, with the purpose of moving forward in monogamy, or if they are dating other people…especially when the dating experience becomes physically or emotionally intense. When two people are involved in a dating relationship and they start feeling each other, they somehow miss the step of both parties agreeing to be exclusive and end up in a semi-relationship without proper communication, and when this happens, individual expectations and goals change for one if not both people, and that’s where things start to get complicated. What people should do when dating someone familiar or new is take their time and enjoy the person for who they are and not focus so much on if they will walk down the aisle with them in holy matrimony.
One should also realize that just because they are dating someone, that does not mean that you are the only person that THAT individual may be dating, especially if the two of you have not mutually agreed to see each other exclusively. Many times when people discover that they really like someone they are dating, they want to pursue a relationship with them, but the other person involved may not want the same thing, thus leading to hurt feelings and bruised emotions-especially if and when things become physical. That’s why when you’re involved in the process of dating, don’t just limit yourself to one person. Dating is a fun experience that should be taken serious, but somewhat lightly at the same time. It is the process of getting to know someone, but it is also a process of elimination, and if you are focusing solely on one person, you have automatically eliminated and alienated yourself from one aspect of dating. Dating is a wonderful thing when mature people have effective communication and truly take the time to get to know each other for who they are for a simple or greater purpose. Take things slow while dating, know what your intentions are with someone, know their intentions with you, be clear about the expectations, explore your options and take your time…
Have you ever confused casual dating for a monogamous relationship?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin
A few months ago I asked, “Why Do Mediocre Men Have Such High Standards?” I was somewhat reminded of this as I caught the second episode of “Tiny Tonight” on VH1. An audience member asked Claudia Jordan and Trina what an ideal first date would be. More interested in cool conversation and a good time, Claudia responded, “I’m pretty much a simple girl. Like, I don’t need all the extravagant things. I kind of want to get to know the person, so a lot of talking. I like going to dinner. I’d even cook dinner for the man; I think that’s kind of fun. We can go bowling. I can see how you react when you lose or when you win. Are you a good sport? And I just like to keep it light and fun, especially for the first date. You don’t really want a lot of pressure.”
Claudia’s co-hostess and rapper Trina, on the other hand, wasn’t as modest with her demands: “I’m more of like a sweep me off my feet type of girl. I just feel like, put me on a private jet; fly me away for a little while. Let’s have dinner, let’s have romantic one-on-one time on a little island, a beach, some sand never hurt anybody. I’m spoiled, like rotten, so I need all of the attention—not some of it.”
Read the rest of this post on HelloBeautiful.com.
“You’re so beautiful!”
“No, you’re so beautiful.”
“But you’re the fabulous one.”
“I only strive to be as fabulous as you!”
“Let’s do lunch?”
Is this the extent of some of your interactions with friends? Not that you don’t like each other, not that she isn’t fabulous and beautiful, not that you don’t wish each other well. Through the years, you may have made it a little past acquaintanceship, but fallen short of sisterhood. But somehow you know that you could never call her if you were having car trouble on the highway. You could cry with her over a movie, but you could never tell her about the past personal heartache you relived as you watched the film. You can’t be totally sure she wouldn’t judge you. She isn’t a bad person. That’s just the way she is. And you still consider her a friend.
When it comes to choosing and cultivating friendships, we all have that one friend who:
Has never been on time to a birthday party or spa date
Has always forgotten our birthday
Has betrayed our trust
Has made her life more dramatic and her problems bigger and more chat-worthy
Has trouble thinking before she lets rude things come out of her mouth
Shows up for the party, but is too busy to help us move
Just plain talks too much
Always criticizes our hair, makeup, or clothing, only “trying to help”
Never offers to pay for dinner or to pitch in for the movie
Only calls when she needs something
These offenses can range from annoying to unnerving to borderline unforgivable, but they are pardonable for some. They also affect a person’s ascension through our personal rungs of intimacy, rungs for which we can make adjustments: We won’t lend any more money to the friend who never pays us back, or we’ll tell our perpetually 30-minutes-behind friend that the 8:30 p.m. dinner reservations are for 8:00 p.m. Other misgivings, like betrayal, require a little more maneuvering.
The ideal definition of friendship has an easily- identifiable context, but I’ve learned that each individual friendship comes with unique expectations. As we get to know our friends, we recognize the ones to whom we can tell our secrets and the ones who are only good for superficial happy hour chatter. But how do we determine whether a friendship is toxic or tolerable?
In an article published in The New York Times, Alex Williams wrote about one woman’s assessment of “new friend candidates”
Thayer Prime, a 32-year-old strategy consultant who lives in London, has even developed aplayful 100-point scale (100 being “best friend forever”). In her mind, she starts to dock new friend candidates as they begin to display annoying or disloyal behavior. Nine times out of 10, she said, her new friends end up from 30 to 60, or little more than an acquaintance.
“You meet someone really nice, but if they don’t return a call, drop to 90, if they don’t return two calls, that’s an immediate 50,” she said. “If they’re late to something in the first month, that’s another 10 off.” (But people can move up the scale with nice behavior, too, she added.)
A bit harsh, I thought, since of the aforementioned friendship crimes, I’m guilty of at least five. It turns out that the older we get, the more aware we are of our own failings as a friend, and playing the grace card becomes a necessary component in our relationships. We cannot just cut off our friends lest we be cut. But what does a friend have to do in order for us to say, “Enough!”?
I’m not one for checklists like Prime’s, but I’ve learned that our propensity to keep track of how much we give when a friend is only taking is backed up by the social exchange theory of sociology; one that indicates the way we weigh risks and rewards of our relationships. We don’t keep track of our give and take relationships; it’s only when our giving trumps hers that makes us go “Hmmmm…”
There’s also what I call the theory of the psychic vampire: Do you feel better after you spend time with this person? Or has she drained all of your energy because the encounter (like most encounters with her) has a negative effect on you and your mood?
Psychology Today suggests, among other reasons, that healthy friendships end when “criticism and put downs are a regular part of your conversations [indicating] this is not a friendship that will enhance your emotional health,” or “when you have an emotional ‘growth spurt,’ and you…find that your old best friend isn’t able to go along with you into a healthier future.”
Then there are the total breakdowns. Your best friend shared your deepest secret, stole your man or committed another heinous violation of trust that makes you question whether she’s on your side in the first place. Are these types of relationships irreparable?
How do you set expectations in friendships? Which imperfections are you willing to overlook and which ones are absolute deal breakers in the way you maintain relationships?
More on Madame Noire!
- Heyello! 11 Bahamian Celebrities We Love And Per The Usual, A Few Surprises…
- The Thirst Files: How He Dickmatized Her
- Down With The Brown? Celebrities Who Look Black…But Aren’t
- Long Hair? You Do Care! 6 Ways to Get It to Grow
- Usher, It’s Time to Move On, You’re No Trey Songz
- Ratch On Ratch On Ratch: 7 Moments You Had To See From Part 1 Of The Love & Hip-Hop Reunion
- Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making of “Love and Basketball”
By Kavita Patel
Last week, I had a three-hour intensive session with a client, during which we talked through how my client, Kerry, owns her own business and feels like she is constantly working hard at her job and in her persona lrelationships. She is tired of being single and wants to feel supported in her life by a man she loves. And while I completely understand what she was saying, a red flag went up for me when she said she consistently feels like she has to do it all on her own.
As we were discussing her relationship with her parents, I started to see a pattern of her admiring both her mother and father for the fact that they always have her back. Her dad exemplifies this — not only in his relationship with her — but with his entire family and friends. I dug a little deeper and asked her why is it so important for her to feel like someone has her back. She said, “Because then I know that I am fully supported.”
The dots started connecting for me. When we admire something about our parents, we put them on a pedestal around that specific characteristic. When you place one or both parents on a pedestal, you put pressure on yourself to be just like them. Usually, you do not give yourself credit for already being great in this area and continue to work toward being just like your mother or father.
This was showing up in Kerry’s life in how she so desperately wanted a man to have her back and somehow kept attracting men that did not. This was happening for Kerry because she was putting so much pressure on herself to constantly uphold the values of her parents. Always being someone else’s support system meant that their was no space for someone else to be her’s. Hence, she was consistently feeling like she has to control her life and is tired of not having a man be her support system.
Read Kavita Patel’s advice for how to ease up on yourself at YourTango.com.
More on Madame Noire!
- The Benefits Of Having A Bestie With A Boyfriend: 7 Relationship Tips To Learn From Your BFF
- Oldies But Goodies! A Few Of Our Favorite Back In The Day Boos
- Let’s Say Chuuurch! 8 “Holier Than Thou” Celebs…
- If It’s Broke, Fix It: Why Some Friendships Are Worth Sticking Out
- The Bottom Chick: Is This You?
- Where Are They Now? 9 Blue-Eyed Soul Singers We Used To Jam To
By Nancy Slotnick
It happens when you least expect it. That’s what they say anyway. But I was always expecting it. And it still happened for me. It didn’t happen how I expected it. I met my husband on the street. When I was single, I had opened a dating Café with the idea in mind that necessity is the mother of invention. I had imagined that the right guy would just walk through the doors one day. But it wasn’t happening. So I set out to look outside my Café and take matters into my own hands. I met my husband within 2 weeks of that.
But my story is not typical, I know. Many people swear by the “least expect it” story. Here’s one example from this week’s post on the Matchmaker Café fan page:
@Britta Alexander: It was for me! I finally gave up on finding the one, moved into a loft in Brooklyn, practiced my violin day and night, and my future husband was listening to me through the walls. Turns out he was the roommate on the other half of the shared loft. So there’s a strategy: just move around and live with complete strangers!
So I tried to analyze the common denominator of these seemingly contradictory philosophies and here’s what I conclude. It depends how you expect it. If you have too much negative attention on it (i.e. why isn’t happening?!? I have such bad luck with dating!! ☹) then it can’t happen. If you feel entitled to meeting someone but are not doing the work on yourself, it can’t happen. If you are so busy working that your Cablight is not on, (like I was) then it can’t happen.
Read about how love can happen when you least expect it on YourTango.com.
More on Madame Noire!
- Unforgettable Underground Films: 8 Black Cult Classic Movies We Love (And May Not Want to Admit)
- Figuring Out Fake Friends: 6 Signs That Your Friends Might Be Green With Envy
- Weekend Wrap Up! Willow Has Something to Say to the Critics! Brandy Wants to Babysit Blue Ivy + More
- Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful: Do You Have Pretty Girl Problems
- Almost Doesn’t Count! Celebs Who Never Quite Made It Down the Aisle”
- Baby, Bye! Celebs Who Took Their Baby Hair Too Far
- Thirsty Much? Bathroom Sink Photos & Other Sexually Charged Cries for Attention
I once wrote about an emotionally abusive relationship I was in a few years ago. As hard as it was to discuss it to a bunch of people I don’t know (you amazing Madame Noire readers), it was even harder discussing it with people that I did know well. My friends, though they might not have understood why I stayed, or what my mindset was while I was going through it, were very understanding of me. However, my family… well, that was a different story.
I was raised in a two-parent household. My father, being the head of a family of four daughters and a wife, always tried to tell us about how a man should treat a woman. He would tell us us how we shouldn’t take certain things, and reminded us that no matter what, we are beautiful and deserve to be treated with respect in all aspects of our lives. My mother told us the same things, and reminded us to place high value on ourselves. So when I revealed to my family what happened in my past relationship, it was as if I could feel the heaviness on my father’s heart and I could see in his eyes a feeling of failure. My sisters and mother couldn’t understand either, and they would engage me in conversations, trying to figure out why I committed to staying with him all that time: ”Okay… so WHY didn’t you leave???”
Things got even stickier when I decided to see a counselor at my college. I remember telling my father and having him yell, “That’s weak! You’re not weak! You’re a Koger! You’re better than that!” I have to be honest, it was hard feeling like I’d disappointed my family based on the choices I’d made, because we all know that feeling like you disappointed anyone at all is hard to handle sometimes.
But, let’s examine this frustrating concept of disappointment. Typically, disappointment happens when someone falls under expectations. You sit there and try to examine why they behaved the way that they did. Thoughts begin to pop into your head like, “I don’t understand why he/she/they would act that way!” However, a lot of times, people are not seeing people individually, but they are seeing them through what I like to think is a personalized version of the “reflection principle.”
Though there is a “reflection principle” in the complex mathematics theory universe, I’m discussing the principle with people (and if this principle pops off, remember where you heard it first, folks!). It’s when a person places their own strengths and weaknesses on another person. I feel as though voluntary friendships are based on this principle. When you meet someone, to create a better mental bond with them, you begin to find similarities with that person and you begin to see yourself in them.
However, when a person begins to waiver and becomes more like who they really are, doesn’t it seem like sometimes we might take it harder than that person? It’s because we’re suffering from the reflection principle. We’re looking at their situation and we’re trying to understand why they would behave the way that they did, because you would have never behaved that way; and that’s what you need to realize. They are not YOU.
Disappointment happens because we place ourselves in the situations and see how we would behave and don’t see how people couldn’t fathom doing the opposite (because if nothing else, you’re just a chasm of common sense at all times, right?). However, things are always different when you’re personally in that situation. Instead of chastising a person for their poor mistakes, try to stop seeing them for how you want them to be and see them for who they truly are: flawed individuals, the same as you are.
As for my family, my father never did understand how and why I let myself be in an emotionally abusive relationship, nor did he understand or fully agree with my decision to go to counseling, but I did it and I loved it (and honestly, I’ll be the first person to suggest it to people). My family might not fully understand why I do certain things, the same way I have those head tilt moments trying to figure out why they behave the way they do, but it’s all about seeing people for how they are. And when you do, true relationships can be built and grow from knowing the nooks and crannies of a person’s true being.
What are you reflecting on others? Let’s discuss @kkoger.
More on Madame Noire!
- What’s Black Enough For You?
- Confession: I Felt Joy Hurting a Man
- Well, Hiya To You! Shouting Out Some Of Our Favorite Black Imports From Britain
- Why I Think Natural Hair is Indeed a Political Statement
- Where You Been Cherie Johnson?
- Grieving Over a Girlfriend: 7 Ways to Move on After a Break-up…Between Friends
- What’s Black Enough For You?
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?
More on Madame Noire!
- Uh, Somebody Lied to You: 8 Misconceptions About Single Black Women
- Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Dating the Ex’s Friend & Waiting for His Libido
- Bet You Didn’t Know: The Secrets Behind The Making of Love Jones
- Should Meagan Good Stay Off The Pole?
- The Frazzled Day When My New Man Almost Met My Ex Man
- Loving All of Yourselves: Embracing Who You Were Then & Who You Are Now
- Saving the Straightened Strands: 6 Tips for Taking Care of Relaxed Hair
Chris Rock once said: ”When you’re meeting a person, you’re not meeting them, you’re meeting their representative.” As true as that is, when you spend a lot of time with someone, after a while that façade begins to fade and you can see the person for who they truly are. Within times of joy, turmoil, despair and anger, true emotions begin to fill in those holes of their personality and you begin to see past the shell of the person and into who they really are. When those times happen, I believe in Maya Angelou’s saying: ”When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
When I was in college, in one of my psychology classes I learned that by the age of four, the personality that you have then is pretty much the one you’re going to keep. Not saying that you’ll keep the perspective of a four year old, but if you were selfish when you were four, you’re pretty much going to be a selfish so-n-so when you’re 44, if you’re not already. There have been recent studies that challenge that theory, but honestly, I still believe it. I do think that people can change, but I do believe that the fundamental aspects of a personality will be set by four. Will you be an extrovert, or introvert; a giver or taker; a sociopath or a person who watches sociopaths on Maury?
If there seems to be a problem in relationships (whether romantic, familial, or work-related) the problem can be traced back to one person expecting a certain type of behavior or behavioral change and the other person failing to meet their expectations. To the person who’s upset, the expectations seem easy enough to understand and to follow; however, this person just seems to fall under the bar constantly. Who’s really at fault in all of this?
Honestly, if you’re expecting someone to change, then maybe you should change your expectations? Resentment grows when people consistently make poor decisions. Each time that person fails to meet your desires, until you come to terms with it, you’ll remember the multiple times they’ve failed you. And like pipes under pressure, you’re going to eventually explode on that person. Marriages end because of this type of dilemma.
Sometimes you have to consider that maybe your expectations are out of whack for that person. There are always signs of a person’s true nature. When those signs occurred did you notice them, ignore them for the sake of the relationship, or hope for a change? When engaging in a relationship (of any kind) with a person, one of the best things to do is to embrace that person for who they are, faults and all. Of course they’re going to fail sometimes, because they’re imperfect and human. The same way that you’re going to fail under someone else’s expectations. By having that mindset or embracing their faults, it might allow you to have grace for the other person. Not saying that you need to stay in a frustrating relationship that is going nowhere (because the person in question continuously does the same crap over and over that they promised to stop doing… not that I’m bitter or anything), but unless you terminate that relationship, all you can do is accept it. Until then, when that cat shows you their true nature, accept it when it meows, and stop expecting it to bark. If barking is important to you and you do move on to another relationship, try to find a dog next time.
More on Madame Noire!
- Nip & Tuck: Women Who Slipped Their Plastic Surgery By Us
- There Goes the Neighborhood: 8 Ratchet Things You See When The Temperature Rises
- Convenience or True Love: Which Is Your Relationship Made Of?
- MAD MEN: Male Celebrities Who Always Look So Mean!
- Real Love: Weird Signs Of A Good Relationship
- You Can’t Handle The Truth! Things Men Lie About To Spare Our Feelings
- 7 Ways to Encourage Yourself
- Watch Your Mouth! Things You Should Never Say To Your Man