On the season two opener of my podcast, I had a in depth conversation with my ex-boyfriend about why our relationship ended. The conversation was insightful at times and unnerving during others. All in all, I learned something new about myself during that conversation. The lesson was to “Listen to Understand” and not to respond.
I don’t know too many people, friends or family, who can truly attest to the fact that they listen in this way. If you’re too quiet of a person, then people perceive you as sneaky. If you’re too loud of a person, then people perceive you as aggressive and overbearing. Either way, you’re being perceived as something that you might not even be. Those people never listened to understand who you are.
What I discovered about my listening skills is that I too often listened to judge. I was usually right in every situation or so I told myself. I already had an attitude and had mapped out everything that I would say during a disagreement. I was not listening with my heart and mind, yet with my ears and mouth. I was listening to prove a point! A point that was not even factual.
Our relationship ended for one simple reason. There was a lack of everything. A lack of listening, compromise, understanding, love, connection, etc. Just because he/she/they make you laugh does not mean that it’s meant to be. It could simply mean that the person is funny. THAT’S IT!
In order to truly listen to understand someone, you have to possess empathy and sympathy and place everything you know in a separate bag. Grab a new bag and place all of the new and fresh information in it. Then, use your empathy and sympathy to dissect what you heard and you will be able to understand it differently. I know I did! I learned something about our relationship that I never would have known.
Love is in the air and people are breathing it all in. Or maybe that was just a thought of mine! More and more, I’m beginning to see that a lot of millennials are getting married. The pictures seem to prove a thousand different words with images that appear to capture the pure essence of love. That or either it’s simply just a picture.
On three separate occasions, I have been informed of the truth of what looked like a “Happy” marriage. This time, it’s the men that are proving to be unhappy. When asked why they went through with the marriage, each man responded by saying that “He thought it was the right thing to do”. All under thirty, each man admitted to feeling miserable in his marriage.
Each guy said he felt pressured by his or her family to go through with the wedding. He didn’t want to disappoint anyone. Neither man ever thought about whether or not he was disappointing himself. Going into a marriage based on pleasing others can lead to a destructive union.
When I think of marriage, I genuinely think about the rest of my life. I imagine myself to live until I’m ninety-nine years old. I visualize myself resting in a hammock near a great body of water at the age of fifty. I know for a fact that I will take my retirement money and cruise around the world. When it comes to marriage, I simply want to do all of these things with someone who satisfies my soul.
I was also told that marriage was a business. Although I’m not married, marriage should not be a business. If you enter into a marriage with that concept then that’s how it will turn out. Sometimes, businesses fail and you don’t always want to resurrect them. You might have a new idea and move on to it. Is that how you’re going to treat your marriage?
When marrying someone else becomes the “Right thing to do”, it becomes the wrong life to live. What happens when you’re no longer physically or emotionally attracted to your partner? You stay and then what? You live in misery and then what? You fall into a deep depression and then what? You lose yourself and you believe that love does not exist.
Before you propose, because it’s the right thing to do, think about the rest of your life. How long do you see yourself living? What are your plans for when you turn sixty-five? Do you truly want to spend that time with the person that you’re either married to or plan on proposing to? If you’re in a marriage now because it was the right thing to do, are you happy? Have you ever been?
It’s OK to admit the truth to yourself. That’s where you have to begin. It’s OK if things don’t work out. That’s you taking steps towards your own happiness. It’s OK for you to do what’s right for you. That’s living your best life!
What is the right thing to do? Societal pressures and familial traditions! Often times, we think that following in the foot steps of family or proving to be better than someone else is what’s right. Only you can determine what’s right for YOU because YOU know yourself better than anyone else. What feels right to you? When you figure it out then you will understand that that’s the right thing to do.
There is a true complex when it comes to dating. There are the issues of communication, honesty, faithfulness, etc. Sometimes, you have all of these things and yet something still feels as if it is missing. That something is usually a real connection.
Inclusive of myself, the struggle with dating the nice guy is that there is usually a lack of connection. This is not to blame on the guy or girl but rather an issue that is self-reflective. Sometimes, you simply know what and who you are looking for. All of the time, you should know what you are attracted to.
Turning away the nice guy can seem very trivial to most because that is usually the guy who meets all of the criteria on your checklist. Your closest friends and family may even begin to judge you for your lack of consideration and letting go of a “Good Man”. However, you are the only person who truly know’s what it is that makes you happy and you will know when you feel it.
The nice guy pays for all of the dates, he picks you up, he sends flowers to your job and he is very respectful to you at all times. He plans ahead, he makes himself available when you need help and even wants to be the person you call first during trying times. It sounds perfect, except for the part where you simply don’t connect with him emotionally or physically. What do you do?
So many people force themselves into relationships because of the materialistic offerings. Also, so many people are miserable in these same relationships because they never really truly connected with their partner.
Don’t feel like you’re broken if you continue to date but usually are not interested in any of them. You’re not broken, you’re unique! You are one of the few people who really know what love is because you feel it before you see it.
Don’t settle for the guy because he is nice! Wait for your love! There is no telling how long the wait might be but when you feel it, everything is brighter. I’ve figured this out about myself. I’ve been on plenty of dates within the last eight months and not once have I felt connected to any of them. I thought something was wrong with me at first but I realized that I’m just a rare commodity.
I do not enter relationships based on what I see but rather what I feel. When I feel it, I will know.
When you think of growth, you think of all sorts of things. Particularly, I think of the growth of one’s edges. I often like to welcome them back. In this instance, the type of growth that I’m referring to is maturity. When you look back on your younger self, are you embarrassed or ashamed of who you were then? I’ll raise my hand for all of you.
Being that I’m still young and under thirty, some people (Older) would probably disagree with growth at this age and reference that “I still have a lot to learn”. I won’t disagree with that part, however, I have learned a lot in the past five years about myself. Relationships, whether they are friendships, partnerships, or personal relationships, have been quite the area of growth for me. Let’s do a little bullet point presentation of some of the things that I’ve simply grown out of over the past five years.
This list can literally go on into a dissertation entitled “How I Stopped Giving A F**k and Stacked My Money Up”. Honestly, five years ago, I was a complete mess. I was very naive and easily manipulated. I was quick to please and slow to catch on. I wanted to please everyone around me and I wanted attention for all the wrong reasons. Fresh out of college, I found myself doing a lot of things that I now regret. I was dating the wrong guys and befriending some of the wrong people. Fast forward to five years later and I’m absolutely enamored with the woman who I’ve become. I know better and I do better; not because of wanting to please others but because better feels good to me.
I’m better in my friendships, partnerships, and I’m still growing in the relationship area. However, I know I’m better in that also. I’m doing better with those things. Maturity is one hell of a drug!
If you could give your 22/23-year-old self advice now, what would be the main point that you would want your younger self to know?
If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’re almost or over the age of thirty. Why would I assume this? Simply because I hope you know that you’re ALMOST THIRTY.
Everywhere you turn and every post that your scroll past, there it is. It stares you right in the face and sometimes it even taunts you. The simple hashtag “Relationship Goals” can undoubtedly ruin your day. Why is that? Why do we have such low expectations of partnerships? Just because you see a picture that portray’s happiness does not mean that it’s actually true. I simple despise that hashtag! Not because I’m jealous or scorned but simply because it’s just another marketing tool.
So many young people or people in general yearn for a relationship. Social media increases that desire with all the perfect pictures. That’s when things start to go left. Examples of “Relationship Goals” are plastered all over the internet and is reeling everyone in. Why do you have the same relationship goals as someone whom you’ve never met? I understand that we as a society idolize celebrities. I understand that celebrities are influential. However, I’m a bit confused as to why I would want the same kind of relationship as Drake and Rihanna or Ciara and Russell Wilson. I don’t personally know either of them and I don’t know what they do or how they interact with each other behind the camera’s.
You basically want someone to take pictures and stunt with on social media. You want to be seemingly happy. Does that mean that you’re OK with being alone while Facebook or Snapchat is not live? Do you actually know what you’re looking for in a relationship? Do you know who you are with or without a relationship? Who are you trying to impress? Do they even know you?
People have invested their time in your relationship via social media by liking all of your posts. Four months into the relationship, every picture of “Him” has vanished. You may not think it’s anyone else’s business but you owe every invested follower an explanation. What happened? I thought you all were “Relationship Goals”. Soon after, you find yourself in another relationship one month later and the hashtag resurfaces. It becomes a ploy. People start judging you and your social media becomes a platform for bullying.
It’s rarely about goals when you simply want to “Make Pretend”. If that’s the case, you should simply take a picture everywhere you go and make it #Lifegoals. Figure out who you are and what you like to do. Find something that sparks your interest and implement it into your life goals. Go traveling (around the world and not just to Miami), start a support group, write a book, direct a webseries, become a famous blogger, go back and finish school, reconnect with your childhood friend, etc.
Again, you’re almost thirty! Stop with the #RelationshipGoals and plan some #Lifegoals. It’s not cute nor attractive. Know who you are and what your limits are before you enter a relationship. Be sure that its REAL and then decide whether or not to share with the world.
If you’re a responsible adult by now, I’m sure you have experienced some sort of ignorance from an employer and your supervisor. This issue among us millennials is very prevalent because we are a group known to speak up and show out. As the popular internet saying goes, “We are not our grandparents”!
When it comes to work ethic, I would like to think that I have a great one. I have a little bit of OCD and a need for all things to be done and finished. I also have a knack for being sarcastic. I will also tell a cruel joke because I feel like it. One thing that I don’t have is the power to hold my tongue. I WILL CALL YOU OUT!
It is one thing to seek other employment because you know your time with said company is coming to and end but it is another thing to be terminated for unspecific reasons. Supervisors (In my case) will work day and night to find any specific reason to fire you. They will throw insurmountable loads of work at you but you will finish, ARMY STRONG. Some supervisors feel superior and in control when they pile up your work load. You ask for help because it starts to become overwhelming. You don’t receive any help because the supervisor is petty and he/she has developed a strong disliking towards you.
Now it’s time for a supervision! You have practiced day and night on your speech that is about to be handed on a platter. Before you get to speak, the supervisor critiques your performance with false accusations of your tardiness, lacking work ethic, paperwork pile up, etc. You have been written up for poor work ethic and failure to complete required documents within a specific time frame. The supervisor also threw in the fact that he/she didn’t like your sarcasm.
Because you are a millennial and pettiness literally flows through your blood, you have recorded every conversation, supervision, made copies of your completed work with dates, and even recorded every time that the supervisor was late. You hold these things hostage because you know that another supervision will take place.
Now, it is probably frowned upon in the work place but some of us have very little tolerance when it comes to dealing with terrible leaders in the workplace. You have all of this evidence waiting to be anonymously sent to the director of HR. I have learned to keep record of everything because of a situation all too similar. Some people are not meant to be in leadership roles but somehow they manage to move their way to the top. These are the “Leaders” you have to watch out for. They will shade you for dear god life and throw you under a bus.
You come back with an eighteen wheeler and palm tree from Punta Cana!