May 7, 2018 3:37 PM
I have worked with a number of single women who are searching for happiness in relationships. The thing is sometimes we are forcing a rectangle to fit in a square and in order for this to work we make plenty of sacrifices. So many sacrifices that we no longer realize we are lowering our expectations, needs, desires, and wants all to be in a relationship which might fail to make us happy. What if what we really need to do is set expectations, express our emotions, and verbalize our needs. What if a healthy relationship is one where we are able to express ourselves and the other person is able to respect our views. In this post I will share with you the top 3 things to consider when building a healthy relationship.
Set Expectations: As a woman, and specifically as a black woman I have been told numerous times that my expectations are too high. “No one will meet those.” “There isn’t a guy out there that will be able to check all of your boxes let alone half.” “That type of guy doesn’t exist.” Don’t hedge your trust on the opinion of others. Remember all things are possible just trust in yourself and God. There is nothing wrong with setting expectations. The truth is, if you don’t set any then you allow anyone to walk into your life, you settle for whatever you are given, and however the person decides to treat you. If you don’t make it clear from the beginning, you will struggle with whether it is worth making it clear later on.
Express your Emotions: Expressing our emotions is not easy, it’s scary. It can seem foreign because the majority of us didn’t grow up seeing it in our homes. We didn’t see others expressing their feelings when their needs aren’t met, displaying the ability to be vulnerable. For most of us we equate vulnerability with weakness. And as a black women I was told I am strong I can control my emotions, I can handle anything, I can “deal” with it on my own. As a girl growing up in our society I learned early that "men are strong and I am seen as weak," so I have to prove them wrong, right? I have to prove that I am strong, that my emotions don’t impact me. The truth is vulnerability is the foundation of strength. To be able to express your emotions to others and show self-compassion even when others do not, that’s courage. This word vulnerability is what connects us in the deepest way to others. It’s what drives relationships because it’s raw and real. If you want to quickly weed out the healthy relationships from the unhealthy ones, communicate your emotions and pay attention to who will show compassion towards them and attempt to understand them. After all keeping them in your head as thoughts that eventually lead down a bottomless hole isn't helpful. Remember being vocal puts us at risk of losing others, which is scary, but if we don’t stand up for ourselves how can we expect others to.
Say What You Need: What is it that you need from the other person? What do you need them to do or say to add to your life and not just exist in it? There is nothing wrong with having a need or verbalizing that need to someone else. If we didn’t need anything from others why would we be in relationships? Maybe your needs change weekly or daily, maybe you have a few that are constant. Perhaps you need someone in your life to listen to you talk through challenges or someone to support you by helping you to carry your daily stress load. Maybe you just need someone to be affectionate with after a long day of work. Whatever your needs are there are some you can fulfill and there are others you could use help with. There is nothing wrong with admitting you need a little help. In relationships we sometimes give what WE think others need but this is an assumption and unless we know for sure what they need we might be spinning our wheels in the wrong direction. We can’t expect others to read our minds. We must tell them specifically what they can do to be a good companion or friend. If we put our needs out there we might be suprised at how other's receive it. It can be difficult to find out someone can't meet our needs, but sometimes that's the truth that allows us to let go and be at peace.
~ Her Healing
Photo: Lakeshia Marie @akosua7