Whenever I share a blog or advice it comes from the heart. It is based on my own experiences or helping someone close to me. So today’s post was a little harder to put on paper as it forced me to look at my own relationship and face some hard truths.
When you are in a relationship, what are you doing to make your partner happy? I don’t mean are you giving them lots of material things, showering them with flowers, taking them on expensive dates. I mean when it comes down to the real nitty gritty get your hands dirty to make this relationship work type stuff, what is your partner showing you?
A girlfriend of mine has been dating her boyfriend for 2 years now. She said the other day that to have someone so intent on her happiness is such a new feeling to her that it is sometimes hard to believe and feel deserving of it. Shouldn’t we all wish and aim to be loved like this? Her man makes ever effort to make her happy in every action he takes. They are from different cultural backgrounds and he has researched several favorite family dishes to be able to not only prepare, but slay these meals for her. Arranging simple but thoughtful dates. And creating genuine bonds and relationships with her family and friends. His actions put an exclamation point on all of the words he has told her. He reinforces his words of love with actions that can leave little room for doubt. Of course there are always small annoyances, we're all only human.
I see this and can't help but to compare myself and others who aren't quite living in this euphoria. I think what you are willing to do for and show your partner and what they are willing to do for you is a huge indicator of how they value you and the relationship. Of course this isn't a hard and fast rule. sometimes people just don't know better or are just stuck in their ways. Sometimes it is a hardwired personality trait. However, I feel that more often than not, someone who truly loves you, who never wants to risk losing you, and who gains happiness by seeing you happy; that person is willing to do things to show you.
Men and woman are very different creatures, but at the end of the day we both want the same thing. We want to feel appreciated and not taken for granted. We want to be genuinely love. We want to feel safe and secure both physically and emotionally with our partner. Men don't want to be stressed and nagged but us ladies want to get our point across. If your partner has been harping on a certain behaviour or action and you refuse to change to make them happy (within reason of course!) ask yourself: Do you really feel about them like you say you do, or do you just like having someone there. Relationships are about compromise and without being willing to give a little to get a little it will be dead in the water or very very unfulfilling.
I think especially as a black community we have extra societal pressures. Our men are expected to be hyper-sexual, mandingo, uber masculine and without emotion. Our women are painted as angry, nagging, unsupportive. We hold onto our pride to not be soft, or fear of getting played to make us stick stubborn in our ways. Well what if we set pride aside for a moment and really considered our partner and what they are looking for from us. Could we concede to ultimately ended up in a happier position than we were before? I know when my man makes me happy I am looking for all ways to do things for him that I know make him happy.
It's cliche,but true. Actions really do speak louder than words. Tell me all day that you love me and I'll appreciate it. Show me? I'll give you the world. Being with someone who tells you they love you daily, but does nothing to show you, or worse, shows you the opposite is a special kind of hell. As I tearfully reflect on my own situation, I don't know where my next step will take me but I know what standard I have set for myself at this stage in life. I also know that I need to reflect on where I am being stubborn and what I see versus what actions I am blind to. While people show love in their own way it is important to show love in a way that is understood or desired by the recipient. If your husband wants you to cook for him and you want quality time, then address those needs. Don't feel that you showing your hubby you love him by talking to him all night fills his meter the same way your need for quality time won't be filled by him sending you flowers.
When you really love someone, you are willing to show them. Willing and wanting to do whatever it takes to make them happy and put a smile on their face. Lets work harder as a community to knock down the barriers between us and love each other like we need to be loved. Ain't no room for pride when it comes to matters of the heart...