There are many theories, instruction manuals, and movies on how to find the perfect person to be in relationship with. Some of this advice is good, and some of it is not good, some filled with sarcasm and humor, but the best advice I have ever received is from the Word! With that being said, it’s seems like everyone is on one side of the relationship spectrum, trying to be the perfect mate, or trying to find the perfect mate. Popular culture has given us a blueprint to follow for relationships, but I encourage you to take your mind to a higher place. Seek to be in a relationship that is modeled after the love of Christ, and the relationship between Christ and the church. Based on my own personal experience, here are my relationship top 5.
These are 5 characteristics that I encourage you to look for when thinking about a long term relationship.
- Trustworthy– In a world where social media is so prevalent…you need a partner that can be trusted. Someone that will keep their word, and conduct the relationship with integrity. Trustworthiness also includes having self-control. Look, we all know that men are very visual, but he should not be ready to jump ship every time a big butt and a smile walks by. 🙂 Ladies, if you ever have to resort to becoming a private investigator with your man, checking his phone and emails, and following him around…this may not be a healthy relationship. Remember God can be trusted and in turn we should be able to fully trust the one that we are in relationship with. **Sidebar** If you have had an instance where trust has been broken in your relationship, all is not lost. Trust can be regained…if, and only if BOTH parties make a grand effort to get things back on track.
- Mindfulness– Webster defines mindful as: aware of something that may be important. YOU are important, and your relationship is important. For most people, especially women, the small things really matter. Isn’t it nice to have someone thinking about you, and do small random acts of kindness. That just because phone call. That “good morning, beautiful”. He knows you like flowers, and so he brings flowers just because. He knows you love Mexican food so he randomly brings you that delicious chips and queso that you love. Mindfulness reminds you that you are not an afterthought, and this must go both ways. Do sweet things for him as well. This is not some fairytale concept…this is biblical. Scripture tells us in Isaiah 49:16, that our name is engraved in His hand…the Lord is mindful of us. Now, don’t take this overboard, the random acts will probably not be every day or every week. But please take notice of the small mindful things he does for you.
- Willing to Communicate– We all have heard this 10 times over in many different ways, but it’s true. Communication IS key. Now I will admit, at times there is a huge disconnect between the way men and women communicate, but if you are ever going to be in a successful relationship…you MUST learn to communicate effectively with your mate. I want to take it a step further. If you are in a relationship, and you and your partner are not on the same communication level, but he is WILLING TO LEARN, hi-five yourself, you may just have a keeper on your hands. That is good news. In a study conducted by Louann Brizendine at the University of California, results showed that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day to men’s 7,000. So need I say more on this?? Learning to communicate effectively with your mate can be challenging, but it is definitely worth the effort. **Sidebar** Please be aware that many men are equipped with the gift of charm, and charisma, they can talk circles around you make you forget the real issue at hand. Don’t let anyone play mind tricks with you. Also, don’t let anyone confine you to a text relationship…you only talk via text message. No. Communication is fundamental to a healthy relationship, so I respect anyone who is willing to give it their best try.
- Supportive– Years ago, a guy friend actually shared with me that a man likes a woman that gives him something to support. Have your own thing going girl! Let him be your cheerleader for once. Let him support your brand, your business, your cause, your talent…You get the idea. In the book His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. Willard Harley he details the top 5 unmet meets of men and women. Interestingly enough the top 5 for men are support based, and the top 5 for women are emotion based in my opinion…still with all of that…women need support from their mate. I love to see President Obama loving supporting Michelle, or Jay Z in the audience singing Beyonce’s music. Ladies, pay attention to the way your man shows up for you. Is he proud of you, does he speak well of you to others, is he interested in what you have going on? Again, this is biblical. Thankfully, the Lord promises to never leave us, or forsake us. In a nutshell, he says I will always be by your side, I will support you.
- Similar Values– <<<NEWSFLASH>>>You cannot change a person, they have to want change for themselves. Do not, I repeat do not, get into a relationship thinking “oh I will get him to change”!! Please. This is setting yourself up for unnecessary pain, and frustration. Make sure the person you are in relationship with has a similar value system as you. I am not saying you have to be carbon copies of one another because there is something very refreshing about diversity, but certainly make sure you both see eye to eye on your “dealbreakers”. Here are some topics that should be discussed at length before getting too serious. Does he desire marriage, spiritual/church habits, views on children, who will handle finances, how to handle immediate and extended family, what types of “entertainment” will or will not be accepted in the relationship, etc…? If you inspire him to be a better man, that is wonderful, but if you are pushing and urging him to do things he is not ready for, that is a disaster waiting to happen.
Before we close, I just want to say this. Ladies, wait for the man God has for you. It is not your responsibility to chase a man, and grow him up. In practical terms, initially, our only responsibility to show interest…let him take the lead, or you may find yourself still having to lead years down the line. 🙂