I recently had a young man who appeared to be in his late 30s stop me on the streets and tell me a really disheartening story about his unhappiness with the state of relationships today. I stood there attentively listening to his story of so many abusive dating situations and his final comment to me was, 'I'm just trying to find a life partner to share my life with. So why is that so difficult today?' This conversation forced me to do some serious reflecting about my own relationships. I thanked him for his confession and comments and told him I would give my advice for all to read and hopefully understand.
Often times when we enter into a relationship we are so caught up in the other person's looks that we really don't get to know them for who they really are. When it comes to making the decision about choosing a person for a relationship in hopes of them eventually becoming a life partner, no one wants to make a mistake. Fortunately, today's dating scene still has thousands of people out here looking to meet the 'one,' so it appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding Mr./Miss Right!
The most important part of dating today is learning to love yourself first before you set out to love someone else. So many of us have not learned to live from a place of peace, joy and happiness within ourselves because we are so busy trying to make someone else love us. I challenge us all to learn to love ourselves more in 2008. Here are a few tips for those of you who might be seeking love this Valentine's Day. Start with asking yourself the most important question: Are you really serious about finding and keeping a life partner? Once you find that person you want to get to really know ask yourself the following: What do you plan to do with each other outside of the bedroom? All couples need to share something deeper and more meaningful than just sex. You need a common life purpose. Letting sex be your decision maker of whether or not this person is your potential life partner is the #1 mistake people make in today's dating. Choosing a life partner should never be based on love.
But how well you can openly communicate with this person is based on trust. If you are seeing someone who does not allow you to express your thoughts and feelings, then you might be dealing with an abusive person. Often, we are afraid to open up with the person because we feel as if we will get 'punished' or hurt for expressing our honest thoughts and feelings about the state of the relationship. If you can't freely express yourself to your partner now, then you have a potential indicator of a future abusive relationship. Another question you need to ask yourself: Is this person continually trying to grow or are they in a rut? We should all try to continually become our better selves and if one of you is trying to grow and the other isn‚t you will eventually reach an impasse. Also, watch how they treat others; it's one indication of how they will treat you.
As you continue your quest to find your life partner, remember that you only attract what and who you are. So if you continually find yourself with the wrong 'one,' then there is some growth within yourself that must be made. The road to loving another is to first love you. Here's to everyone finding a healthy and happy relationship in 2008.
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Dear Chat Daddy,
I'm a 26-year-old single male from the north side of the city. I've been dating this one guy who is 30 years old for a few months now. I find him very interesting for various reasons. There are days when we can talk for hours on end; we both enjoy movies and dining out. Here's my problem with the relationship: We have not had sex yet and I'm starting to think that he is stalling because he has a set of rules about sex too soon in a relationship ruining the relationship. The other night while talking, he said to me 'If I do decided to have sex with you will you feel the same about me in the morning?' Plus he's always talking about being in a committed relationship. He says because I keep avoiding discussing a long-term relationship with him, he's not having sex with me. Chat Daddy, I'm going to be perfectly honest with you—I'm not sure if I'm ready for a commitment relationship right now and I'm not going to commit with someone I've not had sex with. Please advise.
It is what it is
Dear It is what it is,
Thanks for your letter, but you need to be perfectly honest with your boyfriend instead of me about the fact that you are not going to commit to him with or without having sex. So many of us tend to go into sexual relationships based on false assumptions and bad choices because we tend to want and desire sex with someone for the sake of just having sex with them with no real intentions of committing to the person. Most people should take their new relationship slowly just so the two of you can develop a certain level of trust and chemistry between you them before jumping into the bed. A person who places a longer time restriction and limitations on sex will eventually come off as too controlling or intense for the other person, thus making they want to move on if they are not really into the relationship. Here's to you taking control of your raging hormones while seeking a long-term relationship that will be built on love, understanding and commitment. In the mean time make sure you are wrapping up.
Dear Chat Daddy,
I'm wondering if I should I tell my sister that her 17-year-old son is gay. My nephew is graduating this year and plans to attend college in New York City, where he would be majoring in the performing arts. He wants to audition for roles in Broadway plays. I'm only concerned about my nephew because he acts so flamboyantly that my sister must be blind if she doesn't know. I would leave it all alone, but my sister detests gay men. She is a college-educated professional, and not prejudiced—but her ex-husband died of AIDS. He was in the closet and on the down low and got married... ( You know the story. ) Anyway, after finding this out, my sister and my nephew have to continuously get tested for AIDS. My sister has been so devastated over her own personal situation that whenever we spot what she considers a gay man, she can't even stand to be near them. I'm really concerned about my sister and, now, my nephew. Please give me some guidance on this matter.
Learning to let go
Dear learning to let go,
We all really need to be more accepting of people wanting and needing to admit their sexual preferences without so many negative comments, arguments and struggles that are associated with coming out. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister and the terrible injustice that has happened to her and your nephew. There are many people who are suffering now with HIV/AIDS-related issues due to their creeping and deceiving boyfriends, lovers and husbands. Your sister knows that her son is gay. Just like you feel a gay vibe, so does she. Your sister is still bitter about her husband and all of the changes she has had to go through. She is carrying the guilt of her husband's infidelity. At this point in her life, she must begin to heal while looking for her pursuit of happiness. Just for the record, because your nephew is interested in the performing arts does not mean he is gay. And so what if he is? If you are indeed oving and concerned, you should be supportive of him. Have a talk with your nephew about his life and reassure him that you are there for him. Most importantly, teach him how to protect himself no matter what his sexual preference is and why. Encourage them both.