Girl, I Think I Found THE One!
10 Key Factors To Consider before Jumping into the Pool of Love
We've all been there! The girl sitting on the phone,
chatting up with new bae until the wee hours of the
morning, engulfed in laughter while exchanging life
stories, goals, passions, and desires. When you
finally get that first date, he completely sweeps you
off your feet by taking you to a trendy, chic spot,
with perfect lighting and a live band playing softly
in the background. At the end of the evening, he
walks you to your car, and like a true gentleman, simply opens your door and gives you a sweet, endearing hug WITHOUT trying to grope or kiss you. Five dates later, you find yourself falling deeper and deeper into that sacred space within your heart, where love dwells. So, how can you tell if you are falling in love or falling in lust? Keep on reading to uncover 10 key factors to consider before diving head first into the pool of love.
Some will argue that it's vain to first check off the attraction box, but is it though? After-all, the first fact we know about any potential mate is what they look like. Relationships are difficult. They take an extreme amount work in order to remain successful. In fact, they are so difficult that it is not uncommon for couples to fall in and out of love with one another over the course of their relationship.
"... 'those who marry will face many troubles
in this life'(1 Corinthians 7:28 NIV)"
Having a partner that you are physically attracted to, makes the low-points a little easier to endure. I mean, it's kinda difficult to stay angry at bae when he flashes that smile that first captured your heart. Forming a relationship with a partner that you have no attraction to will lead to future infidelity and heartache for every stakeholder within the relationship. Not only do you need to be attracted to your partner, but it's important to ensure that your partner is equally attracted to you.
#2. The Foundation
Every house is built on a foundation. The more leveled the land is before developing the framework required to establish the house, and the sturdier the material used to create the foundation is, the longer the house will stand. The foundation of any relationship consists of The Big Three: religion/faith, finances, and family. In order to build your relationship, you and your partner must be in agreement with every element within The Big Three. No, you won't change your mind later. No he won't change his mind later. It's impossible to proceed if you're not on the same page here. This is an absolute non-negotiable. PERIODT Poo!!
Falling in lust with "the representative" is so easy! I mean, how do you not fall in lust with the man that says all the right things? How can he not fall in lust with the girl that yields to his every desire, molding her moves to match the rhythm of his drum. Bringing your true self into the forefront is the only way to know if he will accept you for who you are. Does he love your quirky jokes. Is he okay with the fact that you don't like to shave your legs or your armpits? Can he accept your natural appearance? Can he accept your child(ren)? Revealing your true self to your potential partner can be intimidating and extremely frightening, but it's the only way to know if he can accept you for who you are, and vice versa. If he can love you through the corny jokes and quirky habits, then, it's okay to ponder if he is "the one".
#4. Respect AND Trust
I paired these together, because you can't have one without the other. There is no respect without trust and trust can't be developed without respect. A few years ago, I read book titled, Love and Respect, written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, that forever changed my perspective on respect in romantic relationships. In the book, Dr. Eggerichs described respecting your partner, in the same way you would respect your best friend. If they
don't answer your phone call, you don't call thirty times
until you get an answer; instead you simply leave a
voicemail, send a followup text message, and await
for their call. In the beginning of a budding relationship,
it's normal to question if new bae is indeed the person
he is portraying himself to be; however, once he has
proven that he is genuine, lean into him with a trusting
spirit. Mistrust will lead to passive and / or intentional
disrespect. It will cause you to invade his personal space
in order to acquire the answers you seek. Mistrust will
bring about arguments due to the lack of your security
felt within the relationship. If you do not trust new bae,
I challenge you to first look within yourself to learn
where the mistrust is coming from. Are past experiences holding you back, or does the lack of trust derive directly from new bae's words or behavior (checkout my previous post on overcoming insecurities)? If it is from past experiences, it is best to seek healing before embracing the new relationship. If bae is indeed the contributor to your inability to trusting him, then respectfully confront him with the situation in order to scope his view of it all. It could all really just be a misunderstanding, so it's important to hash it out before jumping ship. Trust and respect must be established early in the relationship, well before the thought of any nuptialistic thoughts arise. If you don't have trust, then please do not proceed.
#5. Chemistry , aka"Je ne sais quoi"
In a relationship, chemistry can come in several different forms. It can be a raw sexual chemistry, which is generally derived from pure attraction to your boo-thang and it can also be defined as a genuine connection you share with one another. Do you both enjoy the same music, share the same passions, enjoy the same foods, or have similar hobbies? Those are are the surface level appearances of chemistry between two people that enjoy one another's company. The deeper form of chemistry consists of how you both communicate with one another. What tone do you both take when speaking with one another? Are you both able to decipher each other's moods? Do you both know when to back-down from a heated conversation. While chemistry can be learned, it's generally a mindset that you and new bae both walk into a relationship with. Natural chemistry brings about this je ne sais quoi (somethin' somethin') that can't be described. You just know when it exists.
#6. Gender Roles
Yes, this is very much so a relevant topic in 2020! Ladies, most of us desire a man that will care for us emotionally, physically and if we're being honest with ourselves, financially. A man that will protect us. Even the most successful women still desire a man that can hold down the household, with or without her help. My personal motto is, "You don't have to pay my bills, but I very much so, need you to be willing AND ABLE to pay your own.
"A husband wants to be seen as one
'who manages his own household well'(1 Timothy 3:4)"
Just like we have expectations for our man, he in turn has expectations for the woman he will be willing to say "I do" to. Before attempting to jump head first in love with new bae, you both need to ensure that your views on gender roles, lay within the same wave length.
#7. Life Outlook / Goals
The specific "what" you desire out of life is not what is up for discussion here. Ensuring you and bae both share the same outlook on what is important to you in life, as well as your end goals, is what's key. For instance, you might desire to become a stay at home mom, while bae might desire to become a successful self-made businessman. In this instance you both would essentially rely on one another in order for both parties to have a healthy a household. Your ability to stay home and raise the kids would rely on his ability to provide for your family with his sole income. Now, I'm not saying that it is not possible for a boss chic to pair up with a boss bae, however, you both would have to be on one accord as to how your children would be raised. If you desire to be a stay at home mom while bae desires to be an up and coming actor, then your goals will not fall in line, thus preventing either of you from realizing your future goals. Proceeding in a relations under which such a gap exists, will lead to feelings of resentment and disrespect for your future spouse.
#8. Actionable Ambition
We've probably all come across the guy that has grand aspirations for his life, yet his daily success is merely measured by the number of jump-shots he's able to land in a heated game of NBA 2K18. This might work for a hot second, but when you start to realize that his dreams aren't turning into spendable dollars used to keep the lights on, you will quickly either find yourself being a suga mama, or throwing him to the curb. Take the man for who presents himself to be, rather than for his potential, because the last I checked, you can't issue a check to potential. This goes for us as well ladies. You cannot hold a standard to a man, that differs from the standard you hold yourself to. So if you have a goal, if you have an ambition, actively pursue it. No man will respect a woman that can't get up to make a dollar for herself. Your expectations for bae, must match the expectations you have for yourself.
This point works hand in hand with actionable ambition. The man you allow into your heart should not only have ambition, but should fully support and encourage your purpose and desires for your life, just as you should encourage his! It's that simple. I've watched my parents live out a nearly forty-year marriage and have always seen my mother encourage my father as well has he encourage her in all of her endeavors. You might not agree with what what your partner has specifically chosen to pursue, but that should never prevent you from encouraging them to continue to find a way to obtain the level of success they desire. Failure to encourage one another will lead to resentment and potentially infidelity, and we all know that never ends well.
#10. Family Relations
You're probably wondering why this is at the bottom of the list. The way I look at it, a man that has a good relationship with his family will be the kind of man that is willing and able to provide the majority of points 1-9. A family man is one that is trustworthy and respectful. He has learned how to encourage his loved ones and has possibly even played the provider role to his family in one aspect or another. Now, the challenge that may exist for man that honors his family, is to learn how to incorporate you within the same space. While this might prove difficult in the beginning, the man that loves, respects, and values his birth family, will be the type of man to open himself up to building a family of his own with you.
If you are looking to get into a relationship, or are currently involved with a man that you are considering taking that next step with, create a checklist using these key points and see how many boxes you can check off. Keep in mind that not only is it important for you to check these boxes off for him, but it is equally important to ensure that he can do the same for you.