Wisdom passed down from my mother and grandmother to help guide me on the journey that I now share with you.
On my quest for a deeper understanding and better tools to empower myself and others to succeed at the dating game, I have picked up many pieces of knowledge. The following three gems have helped guide me and are my personal Holy Grail pieces of dating wisdom. Given to me by my mother and grandmother I now share them with you.
“You can love and respect a person and not allow yourself to be collateral damage on their journey. Remember what is meant for you will always be for you in the end, so have faith in God's plan and let go.”
"Don't let anyone grow up on your time."
My mother said this to me after the traumatic break up with my baby father when my son was just one month old. These words have stuck with me ever since, as I have applied them to multiple people since. You are not obligated to anyone other than the humans you decided to birth. Therefore you don't own anyone shit. One thing that is important to look for when dating is compatibility, even in maturity and growth. Healthy, lasting relationships come from two people being evenly yolked for good and for bad. When you allow someone to grow up on your time, you allow yourself to become their collateral damage. Not allowing someone to grow up on your time looks like not placing your life on pause while you wait around for things to fit, not making excuses for a person's resistance to growth, and not falling for potential. You can love and respect a person and not allow yourself to be collateral damage on their journey. Remember what is meant for you will always be for you in the end, so have faith in God's plan and let go. Everyone grows at their own pace, and that is ok. That doesn't mean you need to allow another person's slower pace to dictate yours. You want someone who can keep up with you, not slows you down.
"You belong to each other, but you don't own each other"
My grandmother told me this one day years ago. Her and my grandfather have been together 54 years, and she used this to describe their relationship to me. Her point was that possession doesn't work in the long run. In dating, we want to make sure we do not allow the ugly face of possessive tendencies to intrude on our relationships. While it is nice to feel wanted, safe, secure, and at home, it is unhealthy to feel you own or control your partner.
"Marry the man that loves you."
My mother told me this when she returned from Kenya after the traumatic break up between my baby father and me. I was broken as I cried my eyes out about how I loved him despite his abuse towards me, and how I so desperately wanted us to be a family with our newborn son. As I explained my anguish and disappointment after years together and the failed plan that we believed would complete us as we sailed off into the sunset (honestly looking back, love really will make you think crazy things). My mother told me to marry the man that loves me. When dating, our mindset must be one of "do I like him?" "Is he worth my time?" Vs. one of "does he like me?" "Am I good enough for him?". As a woman, you have to hold yourself like a prize. This means you invest in yourself and live in your worth. The man you aspire to marry needs to be the man who reflects God's love for you. Not the man you are most attached to. Sometimes we love people, men or women, who don't love us even though we love them. That person is not your life partner.
It is always best to start by focusing on you, but I hope these gems help you how they have helped me.