Love is Not a Race: The Speed of Relationships

Everybody knows at least one girl with an extremely negative and pessimistic view on men and relationships. She thinks that all men are dogs because she’s been cheated on by every man that promised to be faithful. She believes that men only want to have sex because she’s been left by every man who got tired of waiting until she was ready to take it to the next level. She also knows that all men will leave, because all of the men she was dating dropped her like a bad habit and a lot of the time it was without giving an explanation. I used to know that girl very well. Matter of fact, I used to be that girl.

After being hurt and used a countless number of times, I was pretty much over the whole concept of relationships. I started to believe that maybe other people were created to be in great relationships, but maybe I was made different because it never worked out in my favor. From the guy who asked me to be the Godmother of his child with another woman while we were dating, to the guy who disappeared in the middle of our relationship after he had planned a couple’s getaway. Those experiences built my belief that maybe I was meant to be what the Twittersphere calls “#ForeverAlone,” because I couldn’t manage to find love as quickly and successfully as other people on my timeline.

I was frustrated with myself because I couldn’t understand why my love life was ending up like a rollercoaster ride. I felt like I was losing in love because I wanted things to change in my life, but I still had yet to start consulting God before involving myself in relationships. Also, I still didn’t stop asking God to bless relationships that he didn’t ordain in the first place. If I wanted things to change, I had to change the rushed view that I had on relationships so that I would make better choices in men.

I wanted the perfect man to show up and date me as quick as it looked like it was happening for others and I was getting exactly what I asked for…quick relationships. I was asking for a “McDonald’s” experience with the quality of a 5-Star establishment. McDonald’s is a fast food restaurant, which means that they can only put food on the menu that can be cooked in a matter of minutes.

Since most meals take longer than two or three minutes to make, they have resorted to adding chemicals to normal food like burgers and fries in order to speed up production and maintain appearance. For example, the bun of a McDonald’s burger has a plethora of dangerous chemicals including one chemical that is also used to make fireworks, which is dangerous to your body. And the French fries contain 19 ingredients, instead of just potatoes, oil, and salt. So, in reality, what looks and tastes like a regular burger and fries to you, is really just a build-up of chemicals stuffed in a white paper bag with fancy ketchup.

That is exactly the type of man that I was dating. He appeared to be a great man that was creating the relationship I desired very quickly, which I thought was amazing. But behind the appearance were a lot of harmful chemicals, red flags, and character flaws that I either subconsciously overlooked or just could not see until I took off the blinders and fully digested the type of man I had allowed myself to become involved with. That is when I learned that most men that are keen on getting into a relationship quickly after meeting me were hiding something that they didn’t want to give me the time to see. They feared if we took it at a normal pace then they would be exposed and I would leave, but if I discovered these flaws after committing to them then I would be more willing to stay.

I had to open up my Bible to see what God had to say about love and relationships, and it was in that moment that I realized that there was no way I could be losing because love isn’t a race. Love isn’t about who can get married the quickest and get the most likes on their wedding album on Facebook. Love isn’t about who can be posted the most as #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) on Instagram. Love isn’t even about how quickly can we move from being single to a committed relationship.

Love is about building a house. Nobody goes out and brags that their 4,000 square foot house was built in 3 days. Think about the responses and side stares you’ll get if you went out and told people that. They would automatically question things like the foundation of the house, the walls ability to withstand any natural disasters that may occur in the future, if the doors are in the right spot, and they would even question the builder of the house. Psalm 127:1 says “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

When the Lord is building your relationship in the same manner that he builds a house, you will notice that it may take some time. He has to remove you from your pain and heal the wounds of your past relationships in order for him to bring you into your present and future blessing. Love is not a race. Let God set the pace.

 

Wait for This Type of Man

Wait for the man that pursues you endlessly. The man who will respond to your texts in a reasonable amount of time. The man who won’t ghost you with no formal goodbye. The man who will FaceTime you just because he misses your face and calls you because he misses your voice. The man who makes time for you each and every day because you are a priority in his world. The man who thinks you are the most beautiful woman walking the planet and you often catch him staring just because you are too captivating for him to look away. The man who never makes you second guess how he feels about you and will commit to you with no hesitation because he doesn’t want to risk losing you in his life. Wait for that man!

When you’ve had many hot and cold relationships, it can become tempting to settle for a lukewarm kind of love. Please don’t settle for less than what you desire! The love you want is out there, you just have to believe it. And yes, you may have to wait a little longer than you expected for it to show up, but trust me it will show up.  When the man you’ve always dreamed about does finally show up in your reality, everything you’ve had to go through to get to him will be worth it. Every time someone told you they loved you but treated you like they hated you will be worth it. Every time someone said they would never leave your side, but left your side without a formal goodbye will be worth it. Every time you got rejected when you were only looking for acceptance will be worth it. When you meet the man who makes you feel at peace with how he loves you, it will all be worth it.

Just don’t give up! Don’t give up on the love that you desire just because it hasn’t shown up yet. Don’t allow the hurt people that have hurt you to make your heart turn cold. And please…don’t allow the people that have rejected you to make you believe that no one will ever accept you because that is a lie. You want to know how I know that is a lie? Because you, my dear, are amazing! You are beautiful! You are everything the right man will desire and everything that the wrong man won’t be able to see because he is not meant to see it.

Promise me you will wait. Promise me that you will wait for the man that pursues you endlessly. Promise me that you will wait for the man who will respond to your texts in a reasonable amount of time. Promise me that you will wait for the man who won’t ghost you with no formal goodbye. The man who will FaceTime you just because he misses your face and calls you because he misses your voice. The man who makes time for you each and every day because you are a priority in his world. The man who thinks you are the most beautiful woman walking the planet and you often catch him staring just because you are too captivating for him to look away. The man who never makes you second guess how he feels about you and will commit to you with no hesitation because he doesn’t want to risk losing you in his life. Promise me that you will wait for THAT man because he is waiting on you!

The Necessary Ignorance in Love

In a society that prides itself on knowledge, being ignorant is a negative thing. No one wants to admit that they are unaware concerning anything, so we’ve adopted this mentality that it is acceptable to “fake it until you make it”. This mindset may work in your career, but this mindset is destructive in relationships.

The majority of people walk into a relationship with preconceived notions that they either developed from past relationships or from observance throughout life that they place upon their significant other. When you walk into a relationship with preconceived notions, you never allow the other person the opportunity to show you who they truly are.

You have to learn how to love the one that you are with. Love may not be a course that you can sign up for at your local college, but it is something you must enroll in to gain the knowledge of how to love properly if you are in any sort of relationship.

Assuming you already know how to love somebody is essentially claiming that you’ve become the master of someone that you’ve never served. The key to loving someone effectively is being ignorant during the process of learning how to love them and then by committing to always remaining a servant in expressing that love.

For example, I receive love in the simple and thoughtful things that someone I’m with will do for me. On the opposite end, most men are used to women that receive love in extravagant monetary gestures. I’ve had men that assumed that I require those same acts, but I would’ve actually been overjoyed with a surprise picnic in the park. That is because they brought the identities of their past girlfriends and preconceived notions and then placed them upon me. They were not willing to be ignorant in the process of learning to love me and therefore I was at the receiving end of an ineffective love. They were attempting to serve me a love on a platter filled with things I couldn’t digest.

Those experiences are what made me realize how important it is to enter every relationship with an ignorance that only your partner’s knowledge can inform. It is important to find out how someone receives love and what makes them feel loved in order to sustain a healthy relationship. After you’ve been informed on how to love the one you are with, you have to be willing to commit yourself to serve their needs of love on a consistent basis. If their needs of love are words of affirmation, then you must be willing to affirm them every single day. Don’t let the one you love experience a day without feeling loved. Relationships are work and you should only enter one when you are ready to consistently serve the other person’s needs of love because it is selfish not to do so.

That is why I believe that love is a choice. It is a choice to seek knowledge concerning the receptors of your partner’s heart and it is a choice to serve the needs of their love throughout each day.

 

 

Need-Based Relationships & Lessons Learned

Most women are guilty of subconsciously choosing men that ‘need’ them more than they ‘want’ them…myself included. We’ll choose a man that needs emotional support during a rough period in his life. We’ll choose a man that needs financial support after he lost his job. It can be anything! We’ll choose a man that needs something that we can provide to them because it gives us a sense of security in that relationship. We feel secure in the fact that he has to stay with us because he has to have his needs met…but there is a catch.

I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Years ago, when I was much younger and naïve, I had met this guy who was going through a very rough period in his life. His mother was diagnosed with cancer, he was financially struggling after losing his job, and then he was also diagnosed with a health issue. He needed me. I was there for him. I would buy him groceries, I would take care of him when he needed me, I redid his resume, I would help him apply for jobs, I would take him on interviews…I even paid his apartment deposit (stupid…I know). Our relationship was purely need-based! One day, his mother was healed from cancer, he got one of the jobs I helped him apply for, and his health issue went away. Guess what happened next? He left me for a woman that didn’t give him half of what I gave him. Back then I was confused! How could he leave me for a woman that gave him breadcrumbs compared to the big loaf of bread I brought to the table?

Here’s the lesson that I’ve had to learn the hard way. Needs diminish once they are fulfilled. He needed me for emotional, physical, and financial support. I fulfilled his needs by giving him that…and more. Now that I fulfilled those needs and he was back on his feet, everything I used to give him was now considered useless. He no longer needs everything that our relationship was based on. That is the part of the story nobody thinks about. When you base a relationship on ‘needs,’ the relationship loses its purpose once those needs diminish or change. When you get with a man that only ‘needs’ you, he will leave you once he doesn’t ‘need’ those needs and get with the woman that he ‘wants.’

Relational Validation of Beliefs

Text messages. Phone calls. Silence. These are the different mediums of communication that men have used to end our relationship. Regardless of what method that was used, each experience ultimately ended the same…with me being the one left and never the one leaving. As a result of past experiences, I began to enter each relationship with the same mindset of “I wonder how long he stays before he leaves like the rest of them.” It was like I had begun to accept something that I didn’t see favorable to be accepted. I accepted the belief that my past experiences of men leaving had deemed me unworthy of a man staying.

Although I had accepted that negative belief internally, my surface efforts didn’t reflect the efforts of someone that had given up. On the surface, I was still actively trying to counteract the negative internal belief. I tried to counteract it by dating a different type of man but I still ended up with the same result. After multiple rounds of frustration, I felt like I had no other choice but to accept the initial belief that men are just going to leave regardless. I was just dealt a hand full of jokers in the deck of relationships. It is what it is and it was what it was…but it wasn’t. It wasn’t a valid belief because God revealed to me that it was my negative internal belief that was formed in past experiences that continued to cause me to subconsciously seek men who would validate that belief. If I wanted to change my beliefs then I had to experience something new. I had to experience a man that would never leave me. But here lies the problem… men kept leaving.

In one of my many real conversations with God, I blatantly said: “God, I’m not in the business of keeping men that don’t want to be kept so how am I supposed to find a man that won’t leave?” God responded, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5). At that moment, it felt like a spiritual light switched in my life. I didn’t need any man on this earth to stay with me in order for me to believe that I’m worth being around for. All I needed to do was to give my full and undivided attention to the one man that has never left me and will never leave me. If God will never leave me nor forsake me, then he has that power to bring that man into my life. Through Christ, I found my worth and my value. Most importantly, I changed my beliefs because I first believed in him and if I believe in God, then I must believe everything that his word says about me.

  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
  • Be strong. Be Brave. Be fearless. You are never alone. (Joshua 1:9)
  • You are altogether beautiful…there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7)
  • God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. (Psalm 46:5)

“Penetrating your heart with God’s word is equivalent to looking through the highest quality glass. There you will find clarity. There you will find love. There you will find the man that will never leave you. There you will find the relationship validation you’ve been searching the world for.” – B. Janai

Chemistry vs. Connection: The Science of Dating

In chemistry, a chemical reaction is a study of what takes place after two substances are combined or exposed to the elements of other. When a chemical reaction takes place amongst two substances, the result can be one of two things; either the formation or the dissociation of the molecules. In other words, the result of a chemical reaction is either a connection or a disconnection.

When you feel the initial “chemistry” with someone you are dating, it feels as if you’ve finally connected to someone, but that may not be true. What if the chemistry you feel is just the initial chemical reaction of two people being exposed to the elements of each other? What if the chemistry you feel never turns into a connection?

If you’ve ever experienced the initial ‘chemistry’ with someone and then months or years later lose that, it’s a clear sign that the result of the chemical reaction was a disconnection, and not a connection.

The science of dating is taking the time to find out what the result of the chemical reaction of you and someone else is because it’s fine to date a chemical reaction… but it’s bad to marry one.

Lessons Learned in Love

I’ve been taught that when a man makes plans with me, to never get dressed before his car is outside because he may cancel at the last minute. I’ve been taught that when a man says he is never leaving, to open the door because they always say that before they grab their shoes and moonwalk like Michael or vanish into thin air like Casper. I’ve been taught that when a man tells me how special I am, to prepare to be treated the opposite. I’ve been taught that when a man tells me he loves me to plug my ears with cotton balls so that I don’t allow his words to flow into my heart because he’ll soon break it. I’ve been taught WRONG.

If you’re not careful the people you date will become your teacher. They will teach you what to expect and what not to expect in a relationship. They will teach you your value. They will teach you your worth. They will teach you all of these things, while you’re a student being taught a subject that you are qualified enough to teach…the subject of YOU. In an analysis of my past relationships, I realized that was the mistake I made. The reason I kept meeting the same type of men and kept experiencing the same relationships is because I had subconsciously swapped roles and no relationship was going to prosper until I reclaimed my proper title.

I used to be extremely passive when in relationships, but on the contrary I’ve always been aggressive when it came to my career. In relationships, I never asked for what I wanted. I never spoke up when I didn’t like something. It was like after a long day at work, I just wanted to get in the passenger seat of my love life and allow someone else to take control. But my relationship teachers did teach me one very important lesson. They taught me that when you get into the passenger’s seat and allow someone else to drive your life, they will end up running over you. So, I would like to take this moment and thank all of my past teachers. I wouldn’t be where I am without you. Throughout all of the bad, I found a lot of good. I found my voice and I will no longer allow someone to teach me the logistics of me. I’ve reclaimed my proper title, I’ve stepped into my classroom, and the first day of school goes a little like this:

Welcome to my class, I am your teacher, and I will be teaching a class entitled “The Logistics of Me”. There will be lessons and I need you to listen attentively as I teach you my worth. Listen attentively as I teach you my value. Listen attentively as I teach you how I expect to be treated. It is highly recommended that you study hard because if you do not treat me in the ways of which I have taught, then you will not pass my class. If this sounds too complicated for you, then I suggest you seek another classroom with a teacher that is willing to switch roles and be your student. If there are no further questions, then let’s begin. Pencils up. Books out. Class is in session!

Romanticism of Fear in Love

Love and fear are commonly subconsciously misconstrued in relationships because the vastly different words can carry the same feelings in one’s heart. I believe that if we were mentally and emotionally aware of the difference between the two then more people’s “I love you” would turn into “I fear to lose you”. Fear of loss is not love. Fear of lost is insecurity. Insecurity is the well-hidden root of a flower that kills the entire garden preventing anything from growing and any seed from harvesting if not initially unrooted from the relationship.

We The People…have romanticized the presence of fear in our relationships. We no longer hold but have lost grip of the truths of love to be self-evident and have written our declaration of the dependence of fear in the name of love. And now we’ve offered fear a permanent residence in our relationships. We’ve offered fear a position at the wedding altar. We’ve offered fear a pillow to rest at our shared bedsides. And when the romanticism of fear begins to fade and strangles the air out of our relationship because we’ve loved with a closed fist instead of an open hand, we are left giving a eulogy because the cancer of fear has spread and now the relationship that we thought was forever has lost its battle for love in Stage 4.

I know this because I’ve grown up witnessing relationships founded in fear and lost in love and I’ve seen the outcome when two people fail to separate the two. When someone says “I can’t live without you”, I will recommend them to live. When someone says “I don’t know what I would do without you”, I will recommend them to find out. All of that romanticizes fear and 1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” so if you love me in fear then our love is flawed.

I don’t desire to be loved in fear. I desire to be loved in pure love and a relationship doesn’t have to be perfect for the love within it to be perfected. To love or to fear…that is the question.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

True Colors: When People Show You Who They Are

Depending on your experiences, you may view people that walk into your life in a certain way. If you’ve been hurt by relationships, then you may view any potential love interest as a future heartbreak. If you’ve been hurt by friends, then you may view any person being nice to you as a future deception. Your experiences have the tendency to shape the lens that you see people through and the colors that you see people with. But what if I told you that it was time for some new glasses?

I was talking to a friend of mine who saw every person with colors of distrust. She refused to give anyone a chance and when I inquired more into her reasoning for doing this, she responded with the popular Maya Angelou quote, “When people show you who they are…believe them.” My follow-up question was “How can someone show you who they are if you’ve already made up in your mind who they are going to be?”

While I agree with the quote, I disagree in the way in which she was using it. Just because one person shows you that they cannot be trusted does not mean that everybody else will be the same way, but many people make the mistake of coloring people in their present with the colors of the people in their past.

When you color your present with your past, it is a defense mechanism to block people from hurting you, but whenever you block one thing, you also block its opposite. If you block hurt, then you block help. If you block heartbreak, then you block love.

Although it’s hard, you have to stop blocking people and allow every person the chance to show you who they are without prejudgments and assumptions. When you make an assumption about someone, you are basically deciding the thoughts, actions, and beliefs of a person without their input.

Whenever a new person walks into your life, hand them a blank canvas and an extensive color palette. The blank canvas allows them the opportunity to paint whatever picture of themselves that they choose and the color palette allows them the opportunity to show you their true colors without being limited to the colors of your past.

Allow each person to show you who they are, and then believe that.

Progression of Rejection

As a woman who has been disappeared on in the midst of relationships, I have a sore spot for men that leave without a warning. It is the deepest rejection that I had ever felt and I asked God to never allow that to happen again. I didn’t want to feel the pain of unworthiness and rejection again because it was a heavy load to bear. What I didn’t realize was by me asking God to cease rejection in my life, I was asking him to allow me to entangle myself in relationships that he has not intended for me just so I can feel accepted instead of rejected. Which one was worse? Rejection or relationships that serve as life detours for the sake of my insecurity feeling momentarily secure because someone was finally accepting the love I was offering.

Today, I backtracked my request to God. Today, I asked Him that every relationship that He has not intended for me rejects the love I try to offer it. I asked God to allow every man who is not meant to be in my life to leave me expeditiously, if not sooner. Today, I realized that I prefer the temporary pain of rejection than the permanent pain of intertwining myself with a poison that accepted my love but detoured my destiny. Today, I gave up pleasure for the progression of pain. The pain of rejection is transportation. The pain of rejection is transporting me right into the arms of the man God has called to be mine and me to be his and I’m ready for the ride. There is a progression in God’s rejection.