Whatever you are going through will always have its difficulty and inherent setback, but it is not the time to give up. The more you feel depressed or emotionally drained, then that is the time you must keep going.
Breathing has its trials and tribulations, but you are always conscious that you are breathing, that you are still moving forward, and that you still have more to accomplish.
You deserve to fulfill your dreams, to exercise your gifts and talents, and to have a positive influence in other people’s lives. Don’t take yourself out of the game just because you are tired, frustrated, annoyed, and suffering a little burnout.
That comes with the game of becoming someone significant, helping other people become significant, and leaving a legacy of significance.
If you need some mentoring, visit http://www.reginayfavors.com for tips and resources. Click the “Mentoring Tips” tab. You can also access the Favors Mentoring School title on Amazon.com: amazon.com/author/reginayfavors
Counterfeits take time, space, and energy. They look like the real thing, but as we understand counterfeits to be, they are not real. They have no substance. Their reality is imagined. They base their life plans off real people, who represent their hosts.
Counterfeits are symbolically like alien beings who need a host to survive and once they get what they need from an individual, they jump and latch onto another person, leaving the host drained of money, time, and energy.
This article briefly explores the role of counterfeits in romantic relationships and the lessons we need to learn to live in reality.
You lose a lot of money with counterfeits. You can’t seem to get your finances in order because the presence of the counterfeit demands duty and extreme loyalty. You are never truly loyal to yourself when you deal with a counterfeit. There is something in the person that makes you feel compelled to save him or her. You want to help counterfeits, steer them in the right direction, and be the source of their happiness even to your own detriment.
The counterfeit, thus, is that person who cannot stand on his or her own financial two feet. The person is like a toddler who pouts when he or she cannot get their own way. Toddlers whine and moan and accuse and adopt a strategy of silent treatment based on their understanding of silence. These toddlers then transition into adults with the same mentality and life objectives, which always include taking from someone else financially instead of creating a strategy to work and earn what they need for themselves.
Counterfeits struggle with adulthood. They are unwilling to put in the time and effort to manage their lives with dignity, integrity, foresight, vision, and general planning. You would never see a counterfeit conduct a self-assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The only strength they possess is manipulation and using it to get what they want. Their weakness is not being successful at manipulating their target to get what they want. They utilize manipulation as an opportunity to continue getting what they want. The threat to their existence is not being able to use manipulation to get what they want.
It is a simple assessment when you think about it because counterfeits are really clear about their objectives. They speak from their damaged souls as in “You owe a duty to me” or “You will never get someone like me” or “You’re a loser.” Whatever the language the counterfeit adopts is one that has a long-lasting impact on the host because the person is usually an empath, believing in the best of and for people and never assuming that someone would be so vile to be intentionally disruptive.
Counterfeits represent a disruption to order. They disrupt. They look into a person’s life, determine how to enter their life, gain a foothold, strangle whatever resources the person has, and essentially take ownership. You become their property. They are no different than a romantic partner adopting a dating rotation of men or women to meet their emotional, psychological, mental, companionship, and financial needs. For a counterfeit, you are a utility, a tool, a resource, and a point of contact.
The last point means that when counterfeits try to leave you for someone else, believing that the person will prove worthy in the end, and they discover that they have run into a counterfeit as well, then counterfeits usually return to the “house” that kept them fed, sheltered, and financially secured.
For a counterfeit, you will always be their primary point of contact. You are the person that the counterfeit calls when they are down, when they have left you for the umpteenth time, when they despise and exercise hostility towards you, when they pull you close to them so that they can continue using your resources, and when they are simply bored.
Counterfeits need action. They need the drama. They need the chaos. They need something or someone to jolt them back into life and living as frauds. Attaching themselves to a host makes it possible for them to live. It is similar to Neo in The Matrix. He has to hook up to a machine to live in another world. He can’t simply just exist and make his current world work for him.
He bases his decisions and life plans on existing in a world that could kill him and that is dangerous to his psyche. He would rather pitch a tent and live in chaos, although with skill to navigate it, than to live in a world that is certain and predictable. Neo ultimately lives in a fantasy land and is rather critical of reality.
The counterfeit holds the same ideology as Neo. Reality suggests that you must find and keep a job, get your own apartment, pay for your own apartment with your income and not money from other individuals, and manage your life with some level of predictability and certainty and stability even if you feel that it is boring. It is called being an adult, and being an adult should not be an option when you are an adult. You should not have a preference for being an adult when you are an adult. It should be a consciousness that you embrace. You are aware that you are an adult, and you respond accordingly.
Moving from consciousness to conscientiousness will require that you attend to the affairs of life. Sometimes life has its challenges. Sometimes life has its advantages. Regardless, it is life, and it is considered a gift that you should embrace, navigate, manage, mentor from, and employ wisdom. Living life vicariously through other people is enough to suggest that you do not have a personal life vision for yourself. The counterfeit who lives in someone’s home, consumes electricity and food, and never contributes is the person who you will always need to take responsibility for and the person who will be a perpetual burden when you know he or she is able and capable.
The major lesson to learn about dealing with counterfeits is that they will abandon you once they find another host. They never intend to stay in relationships. Instead, their goals are to find the next space, time, and energy to consume. They need both a physical and spiritual house to conduct their non-existent business. They have dreams for which they will never pursue. They talk a really good game, but they will never back up their ideas with work ethic. They are wanderers, professional vagabonds, and skilled liars who are incapable of addressing their own faults, fraud, and distorted belief systems.
Life Recovery Objective
The best way to recover from dealing with counterfeits is to understand that they are frauds and fraudulent in their dealings with people, businesses, and organizations. Pursuit of truth is just not the standard. Truth is not even an option. Truth is antithetical to the counterfeit’s belief system, which is based on a foundation of lies and distortion.
Counterfeits show you who they are very early. Do not help them. Do not give them money. Do not give them sex. Do not give them shelter. Do not give them life in your life. Do not give to a counterfeit. It is dangerous to give your time, space, and energy to someone who is a consumer and not a contributor.
At the end of the day, life is about contribution, which is defined as what you give to yourself and what you give to others, but there are limits. Giving must come with limits. You are never expected to be everything to everybody. You must first make yourself a priority and ensure that you secure yourself mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and financially.
Wherever there are gaps in your thinking, the time to heal should take a greater priority than the time to enter a romantic relationship. You must heal from dealing with counterfeits because their distorted vision can jump into you, and you may find yourself thinking the same way they do about time, space, and energy. Therefore, preserve your time, space, and energy.
Favors Single Life Tips: Sex as a Waste of Time (No Investment)
This is a snippet of the full article on the site.
Sex for a man who refuses to invest is truly a waste of time, and it is time that could be spent healing, visiting a therapist, and working on individual plans. Men who sleep on the couch distract women of purpose, and it is not entirely the man’s fault. It is the woman’s choice to entertain a man who would rather sleep on the couch than go out and work, who would rather sleep with some other woman than go out and work, and who would rather not pursue any interest at all than go out and work.
Visit http://www.reginayfavors.com to read the full article titled “Sex is Not a Solution for Laziness.” Click the “Blog” tab to access content. Thank you for visiting.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
The Regina Y. Favors Website The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
This is a snippet of the full article on the site. It is referenced below.
You cannot give someone purpose, let alone a man. A woman cannot teach a man how to be purposeful, how to pursue something that he envisions in his head, and how to create strategies for putting that purpose into action. Just because a woman has purpose and is willing to seek out ways to fulfill that purpose does not necessarily translate into a man with the same attitude and predisposition if he is not interested in recognizing purpose.
Visit http://www.reginayfavors.com to read the full article titled “Sex is Not a Solution for Laziness.” Click the “Blog” tab to access content. Thank you for visiting.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
The Regina Y. Favors Website The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
I am reminded of this scene in The Color Purple where Celie finally gets the strength to stand up to Mister. For many years she has taken his emotional, mental, and physical abuse, taking it like a good soldier during a time when women were perceived and transferred as property and during a time when women could not voice their opinions concerning their social and political conditions. It was a difficult time to be a woman because she was under the thumb of an abusive master who also had his foot on her neck.
Women would later feel compelled to fight back, albeit seasonally and sporadically. The political and social systems of the day did not permit women to utilize their intellectual wherewithal to challenge their current social and economic positions. Only if the woman was white and married to a man of social position and means did she have a chance to pursue difference.
Of course, discussion of a woman’s difference is not the purpose of this article. Instead, the purpose of this article is to focus on when men feel compelled to accept or “take a woman in.” Generally, a man would not use this language. Women, especially mothers and aunts who are forced to assume responsibility for their grandchildren or nieces and nephews, are the ones who use this language.
I am using this language to suggest how men might feel in choosing a woman who they do not want, a woman who is not their preference. It is the Mister-Celie dynamic in which Mister is forced to take Celie because Celie’s stepfather refuses to let go of Celie’s sister, Nettie. Note the use of the possessive because it offers insight into the topic exploration.
This is not the first time Mister has been forced to take someone who was an option over a preference. It is implied that because Mister prefers Suge Avery that he was forced to marry his wife and produce kids. Suge Avery is his dream and anything else beyond that fantasy is his nightmare, or his reality.
This article considers the belief system of men and how they feel forced to accept a woman who is not their fantasy for a woman who is their reality by exploring, albeit through summary, three films. Scene references to the films serve as bases upon which to glean information and support the main goal of the article.
The Color Purple
Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) discusses with Suge Avery (Margaret Avery) her feelings about Mister (Danny Glover) and their sexual encounters. She describes Mister as “doing his business” when he has sex with her. Suge suggests that sex is much more than a man going to the toilet on a woman, and this surprises Celie, who also offers another viewpoint about her relationship with Mister. Celie says that Mister beats her for not being Suge. In other words, because Celie is not Mister’s preference or even an option since he could not get Nettie, he resorts to physically abusing her.
Mister also ignores Celie’s counsel when she helps him with the tie choice. He hides the letters addressed to Celie he has been receiving from Nettie. He also treats her as a second class citizen in the home, opting not to support her mothering capacity with his kids from the previous marriage.
Mister periodically provokes anger in Celie by slapping her; she shaves him, and she is within an inch of slicing his neck until Suge stops her! The provocation reaches its breaking point when Celie explodes at the dinner table. She yells, “Did I ever ask you for anything?” It is here where Mister voices his opinion in his refusal to change his view of Celie, calling her ugly and suggesting no one would ever want her.
What Mister is projecting is that he never wanted Celie and that he has felt all these years he was forced to take her in. Celie was neither a preference, nor an option because Mister wanted Nettie and Suge, not Celie. This means that Celie was never in the running for any type of relationship with Mister.
The only positions that Celie truly served in the “marriage” with Mister were those of maid, body supply, and caregiver. There was nothing in Celie’s mental wheelhouse that Mister cared about. There was nothing in Celie’s spiritual being that Mister cared about. There was nothing in Celie’s wisdom capacity that Mister cared about.
Mister could not get past the idea that Suge was never going to be available to him. He believed that just because he fantasized about Suge Avery that that made her available to him as a preference or even as an option. Mister did not have what Suge needed, and Suge was still struggling with a father who rejected her because of her struggles with faith. Even if Suge was in her right mind to see Mister as a long-term romantic companion, she had all that time after his previous marriage and before Celie to put in her application! She never did.
Just because she showed up to Mister’s house needing help does not equally translate as her desiring his help. Just as Celie’s stepfather dropped her off at Mister’s house as a solution to his problems does not equally translate as Mister believing that Celie was a solution to his problems. Celie was a solution, but Mister framed her as a problem. He perpetuated this belief all the way until she gained the courage to leave him.
Whether she stayed or not, Mister was never going to see Celie differently; recognize her difference from his dead wife, Suge Avery, or even Nettie; and honor her difference because of the comfort and convenience and organization that she brought to his life.
When a man feels forced to take a woman in, he does not recognize her difference from others. Instead, he groups her with every other woman he lacks interest in and blinds himself to the idea that the woman he truly wants, wants him. He remains blind until his death.
He’s Just Not That Into You
The relationship dynamics within the film epitomize different men who feel forced to take a woman in. There are challenges in multiple relationships, but the same idea that a man feels forced to take a woman in is still present within all relationships. For example, Neil (Ben Affleck) and Beth (Jennifer) are two characters living together, one of which desires marriage and the other does not see the point of marriage. They have been together for seven years, and Beth desires to marry.
It is implicit in Neil’s decision to avoid marriage that there may be some childhood trauma. I believe his parents divorced, and this might serve as an indicator for why he does not value marriage. Beth, on the other hand, watches her sisters get married, which prompts her to appeal to Neil about marriage.
She argues that he represents certain guys who do not want to marry, but then in six months marry the first woman they meet. Beth feels that Neil is hypocritical in supporting Beth’s sister’s wedding and not the idea of marriage to her (Beth). Beth soon realizes that she might be a woman who never marries, proceeds to exit the relationship with Neil, and they go their separate ways. Neil does not marry anyone, and they reconcile and do get married at the end of the movie.
The interesting thing about Neil and Beth is that he felt forced to believe in marriage during the movie, but at the end, he felt that marrying Beth would make her happy, and he wanted to make her happy if he was ever going to have a chance at happiness himself. This is a different strategy the filmmakers adopt for this couple because it looked like Neil and Beth were never going to return to each other. Because of her father’s heart attack, they are able to reconcile.
However, I do not think it is the father’s medical condition that prompted the change in Neil’s thinking. He linked happiness with being with Beth, and once he was able to see himself happy and frame happiness for himself and the relationship with Beth, he no longer felt forced to take her in. As long as Neil refused to marry after Beth’s repeated appeals, he felt forced, which created the conflict and subsequent breakup in the relationship.
This means that when a man feels forced to do anything, he abandons responsibility, i.e., taking individual responsibility for the other person as married people are expected to do. Neil shifting his thinking places the onus of responsibility onto his shoulders, pushes him into a leadership role, and encourages him to embrace “Beth” as someone who is worthy of marriage, worthy of long-term commitment, and worthy of emotional, psychological, and financial support. He no longer feels forced. Instead, he feels honored.
However, the relationship between Janine (Jennifer Connelly) and Ben (Bradley Cooper) ends. Ben cheats on Janine. He struggles to let go of the idea of Anna (Scarlett Johansson). This means that Anna serves as Ben’s ideal woman. He may even perceive her as a preference. Conor (Kevin Connolly) saw Anna as a preference over Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin). This might suggest that the film perceives Anna as a preference. This further suggests global acceptance of Anna as a preference. Therefore, all other women are compared to Anna, and the other women in the film would be considered as options in difference to Anna.
This is a hard assumption to prove because none of the other women meet Anna, so there is no opportunity to place her among the women for comparison. Therefore, our only goal would be to assume based on what the filmmaker presents as evidence. Regardless, Anna is perceived as having more mate value than Janine if Ben is willing to sacrifice his marriage to Janine.
This brings us to the statement Janine makes at the beginning of the movie. She says that after their date, Ben didn’t call her for about 14 days, and so she decided to call him. Beth echoes this strategy in saying that she called Neil; she further suggests that there are no rules anymore and advises Gigi, implicitly, to call Conor. Gigi is unsuccessful in connecting again with Conor, who is preoccupied still with Anna.
The Ben-Janine dynamic reveals that the only reason why they are married is because Janine gave him an ultimatum, which suggests that he was forced to accept Janine. Ben reveals “his truth” to Anna about his marriage to Janine. For all the years they have been married, Ben has felt like a prisoner. People in cages always look for ways to get out. They plot and plan and attempt to exit their cages. Cheating is a form of exiting a romantic relationship, and Ben offers to move out of the home to make Janine happy. Of course, it is his way of making it easier for himself to have uninterrupted access to Anna.
Ben’s desire to exit the marriage is a desire that began before the marriage. When he did not call Janine back from a date, he was sending Janine a message that she refused to read and accept. Ben was not interested in moving from a state of dating to a state of building a relationship. In other words, he was still looking, discovering, and managing his life goals. Janine did not fit long-term into his romantic goals.
Without taking the necessary time to assess the situation, Janine gave Ben an ultimatum, Ben acquiesced, and then Ben was forced to take Janine in. Don’t forget that taking someone in does not always imply into someone’s house, per se. It means that Ben was forced to take Janine into his life when he had no plans or intention to pursue the option. Janine was not Ben’s preference. Instead, she was always an option that he married until he found his preference in Anna. To sacrifice his marriage and cheat with Anna suggests that Anna is the preference, not Janine.
When a man feels forced to take in a woman, it is usually because the woman is not his preference but instead his option, and he is using the option to pass the time until the preference comes along. This is a harsh statement to make, but when people cheat, it means exit. They want out of the current relationship and are willing to sacrifice it for the meaning they believe they will have with the romantic partner they really want. Keep in mind that Ben only married Janine in response to an ultimatum.
Diary of a Mad Black Woman
The last film reference is Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman where Helen (Kimberly Elise) and Charles (Steve Harris) are housed within an 18-year abusive marriage. Charles is emotionally and physically abusive towards Helen, and Helen is unemployed and bored with her life. Charles required Helen to sign a prenuptial agreement before their marriage out of concern that she might be in the relationship for the money, even though it is revealed in the film that the bulk of his money is “earned” by using the money he gets from his drug dealing activities and drug dealing clients to pay off judges.
Charles believes he had the insight early before their marriage to protect himself in the event that he did make it and make it big. Thus, Helen’s only contribution was her existence at the house, being a caregiver and a helping hand when he needed it. Charles never intended to stay in the marriage given the multiple affairs he committed, the children he fathered with one of his mistresses, and the ways in which he picks Helen up and drags her out of the house. He sits her outside on her literal butt.
When she arrives home one day from tending to errands, she is greeted with moving men and her things placed within a moving truck. Charles never informed her that he would be kicking her out. Instead, she finds out like everyone else that she is being forced to move out of the house.
Charles is moving Helen out for his preference, Brenda (Lisa Marcos), and his strategy is violence. He began their marriage with violence, and he ended their marriage with violence. The prenuptial agreement, although a useful document, was only used to distance himself emotionally from a woman he never wanted.
Thus, Charles forced himself to accept Helen. Helen was young, amenable, acquiescent, agreeable, and attainable for Charles on a smaller, beginner’s level. Once he leveled up, even through nefarious means, he wanted something that was not typically attainable for him in his current financial state but only achievable if he had money. In other words, Charles considers Brenda as one of his achievements.
By default, he considers Helen one of his failures or at least places her at a time when he was struggling. He got a Mercedes in Brenda but felt like he was driving a Honda in Helen. Charles consciously chose someone who was not his type. He chose in Helen a person he could get help, get sex, and get an ear when he felt stressed, but he did not choose a person who was worthy of investment.
Eighteen years of marriage means nothing to a person who drags someone out of the house. The marriage was ceremonial but not intentional. Charles never had an emotional connection with Helen. His connection was a soul-tie, and the relationship was toxic to the point that she had multiple miscarriages, lost her hair, and was consistently distressed. His choice to take her in made her feel bad!
Therefore, when a man feels forced to take in a woman, even if he is directly forcing himself, he will make the woman feel bad, make her feel like a fool for accepting the proposal, and proceed to destroy the woman systematically. Systematic destruction always includes emotionally, mentally, psychologically, spiritually, and financially.
The woman can live in a mansion, have access to financial resources, have a husband, and still be miserable because there is no love in the house. She can be the one to bring love, but if a man does not accept her love and systematically rejects her appeals, then there is nothing she can do. Helen, with or without money, should have left Charles many years ago. After all, she never had him in the first place.
When a man feels forced to take in a woman, it never ends well. The man will adopt a punishment strategy as in beating a woman because she is not the woman he wants, as in cheating on a woman because she is not the preference he wants, and as in systematically destroying a woman because love was never the goal.
It is never a good idea for a woman to engage and entertain a man long after she realizes that she is not going to get the love she needs in a romantic relationship. This is especially true of a man who has no desire to reframe the woman for love. The man would rather jump into a relationship with a woman who has done nothing for him all because she looks like something he wants, and she looks like the achievement he has been searching for in his life.
However, it is never a good idea for a man to invest into a woman who has made no contribution to his life because when he gets down, whether in health or finances, that woman who has put in no work will be the first woman who leaves him on his death bed. This is what happens in Tyler Perry’s movie, and it happens on a general basis with men who feel forced and retaliate against the woman who they perceive is not a preference and maybe not even an option.
It is better for a man to wait for the person he wants than to use many women as placeholders until he gets what he wants. Not every woman is forgiving, and many women are retaliating against men who have used them, who have treated them unfairly, and who have tried to ruin their lives all because they feel forced to take a woman that they do not want.
Life Recovery Objective
The greatest life recovery objective is to guard against romantic hastiness. The first time you feel that a potential romantic partner may be feeling forced to do anything with you, when you feel the individual is not cooperative, and when you feel the person is unwilling to move the relationship forward, then exit the relationship-building phase, take the time necessary to reassess romantic goals to ensure they align with life planning goals, and assume the relationship is still at the discovery experience.
It is unnecessary to attach emotionally when you are merely discovering who you are with the person, who the person is with you, and who you both could be together. The most important aspect of the discovery phase is to discern if the person is a problem-solver, if the person is an emotional runner, and if the person is financially stagnant in their life.
This will help you individually to determine their capacity for long-term commitment leading to marriage. If the man you are interested in has his stuff together, and you have your stuff together, both of you are more likely not to feel forced to be with each other.
I cannot stress enough the importance of securing yourself financially because it makes a huge difference regarding the decisions you make when you are not financially where you want to be in life. When you are financially down during a season, you can make the worst decisions. Sometimes when you are financially up, you can still make the worst decisions.
The difference is that you have some financial cushion to make a smoother comeback when you have savings, investments, and related resources. It is only when you have taken for granted years of opportunity to save money, and you get to a later season in your life where money is necessary because of a life setback, do you realize the importance of adhering to instruction concerning finances. Suddenly, you care about maintaining financial stability.
When you are in a setback, you have no other choice but to navigate through the setback to get out of it and then to reach comeback, which has its own processes, challenges, and potential successes. It takes extraordinary planning to overcome a setback, and homelessness is one such setback that you might find yourself navigating. It depends on what you do in your 20s that shape how you live in your 40s and later years.
There is nothing worse than a person in their 60s and 70s having to return to work due to unforeseen financial circumstances. No one should have to work past retirement age unless he or she merely wants the exercise, but it happens everyday. With rent, food, and transportation prices rising, it is no wonder if any of us will be able to afford a tent!
This is where the importance of financial planning springs forth from the ashes of ignorance and sprouts like the flower we know we need to water and watch as it continues to grow. If only we had the vision of seed time and harvest, then life would make much more sense. When you do not plant the right seeds, you will not receive an appropriate harvest. When you plant seeds that have greater consequence, you receive the appropriate harvest, i.e., the harvest matches the seed.
This article explores the concept of sex as a seed, the consequences that result from sex as harvest, and the impact it has on adult decision-making. The article argues that sex is not an appropriate solution for laziness, meaning that the more a woman gives sex to a lazy man, the more the woman will reap a harvest of inconsistency, perpetual laziness, and eventual homelessness.
Therefore, this article appeals directly to the woman who believes she can change and/or influence “her man.” If a man is not working, the woman’s goal should not be to light a fire under the man by giving him sex. That does not work for a person with a mindset to be lazy. Sex is not a suitable seed that will spring forth the harvest of a worker.
Work is not in the man; therefore, no matter what you do to help him along, he is not going to work! He is not going to attend school. He is not going to seek better for himself as an adult individual. He is not going to seek life elsewhere. Instead, he will continue to take up residence in and around your house, which includes your body, until you decide that he can no longer live there.
Adding sex to the relationship dynamic only prolongs the necessary conversations you must have to determine how long you will provide caregiving to an adult man. This article addresses the immediate romantic relationship dynamic and the woman’s belief that sex is a tool by which to push her man into purpose. It focuses on two areas for discussion.
You cannot give someone purpose, let alone a man. A woman cannot teach a man how to be purposeful, how to pursue something that he envisions in his head, and how to create strategies for putting that purpose into action. Just because a woman has purpose and is willing to seek out ways to fulfill that purpose does not necessarily translate into a man with the same attitude and predisposition if he is not interested in recognizing purpose. In other words, just because I understand that you need to get your car fixed, and I tell you, does not mean that you will seek ways to accomplish the task.
You may be more inclined to resolve an immediate problem, but the person whom you are with romantically may not perceive the same problem as one deserving of an immediate solution. A solution may come or the person may seek a solution eventually, but that does not mean that because you gave it importance that he also gives it importance.
For example, you have believed all your life that you need an emergency fund. You have experienced a downturn in your life, and the experience was so palpable that it reinforced your desire and need to sustain that belief system about maintaining an emergency savings fund. However, your romantic partner could have experienced the very same life circumstances and still argue that an emergency savings fund is unnecessary and that living for the day is much more realistic. There is no guarantee that the fund will last for the time needed and that it is better to spend the money now to maintain current adult living needs.
In other words, one partner is future-oriented; she envisions that setbacks are eventual, but they do not have to be perpetual. However, he envisions that setbacks are eventual, but they can still be perpetual depending on the type of setback. You can lose your job and remain unemployed for a long time until the job market opens again.
The man who sleeps on the couch is still future-oriented; he understands that the future is made up of successes and setbacks, but because he understands this, it does not make sense to him to plan for those potential setbacks until he experiences them. How do you know for certain that the setback will come until it comes? This is his thinking whereas the woman knows it will come, she will design a plan before it comes, and will be ready when it arrives.
The man is a procrastinator, but the woman is a planner. Because purpose is too much a future-oriented concept without an immediate experience, the man will procrastinate the learning processes needed to prepare for purpose so that when he walks into purpose, he will not be ready. He will not know what to do. He will eventually walk out of purpose unsure, unclear, and uncertain of what went wrong. He will say at the end of his life journey that it did not make sense to care about such things because until you experience it, you would not know what to do anyway.
On the other hand, the woman is a planner. Because she is future-oriented, it does not matter if she has immediate experience. She will begin planning to resolve feelings of fear associated with procrastination. She will be ready to walk into purpose because she has studied the problem or some aspect of it that she is consciously aware of, and she will create opportunities to be sure, clear, and certain of what to do when confronted with decision-making. She will not operate alone; instead, she will ask questions. She will say at the end of her life journey that it was good for her that she prepared because it is important to care about such things to help others and help herself.
However, when the woman is struggling to plan while entertaining a procrastinator, it is hard for her to address the issues and challenges that form in the relationship because she is more concerned with accomplishing her own plans. Therefore, she will ignore the man she is with because he is less productive and fearful to move forward. She will, instead, give him sex every time it looks like he cannot or he refuses to accomplish his own goals.
Giving him sex is a way for the woman to ignore him and his procrastination, and it fuels her desire to continue moving forward in whatever she is doing, whether it is connected to education or professional development.
You can teach someone how to solve problems, but you cannot make the person pursue problem-solving. All life is based on problem-solving. Your gifts and talents and skillset determine the degree, depth, and capacity for problem-solving. You were put on this earth for a reason, and it is incumbent upon you to discover who you are, what you will do, how you will use your gifts and talents to effect change, and when you will pass the baton to the next generation to continue legacy building.
When you perceive someone without this mentality, the goal becomes to pause, to wait. You do not hurriedly try to give this person a certain mentality so that he or she can come up to your level. You run the risk of solving his or her problems without their contribution.
No, you wait to discern their belief system, to discern their worldview, and to discern how they perceive the purpose for living. If the person does not know his or her purpose for living, then it would be difficult to determine their understanding about problem-solving.
The man who sleeps on the couch instead of taking a pen and pad and writing down a vision for his life is the man who is already operating in a vision for his life. His vision is laziness. There is a vision of work and productivity. There is a vision of entrepreneurship. There is a vision of advocacy. There is a vision of philanthropy and helping others.
Vision is all around us, and there is enough of it to go around and make life easier for other people. To sit back and not take hold of something to improve your life is tantamount to a person sitting back when the house is on fire and not lifting a finger to solve the immediate problem.
The person who is lazy is also the person who is selfish. To lie on the couch and not create a plan to contribute to the home and to the finances is to suggest that there is no need to invest and that exit is imminent. You invest in where you are. It is like the person who gets a new car or a house. The person wants to wash the car, add rims, get it detailed on the inside, and make it feel welcomed.
The person who gets a new house will furnish it, tell everyone about it, have a housewarming party, and come back to it because he or she knows that home is where the heart is. When you do not invest in where you are, you do not plan to stay. There is no need to invest because it is not yours. This is true even when the person lives in the house, runs up the electricity, eats all the food in the refrigerator, uses the water, and expects submission in a non-marital dynamic.
Therefore, the woman who uses sex as a solution for a man who has no personal investment into the relationship or into the woman is a woman who is delusional about what makes a romantic relationship, and she abandons sound reasoning about the purpose of the man in the home. The woman uses sex thinking that the man will further invest, but the man has already made up his mind about the relationship and that he has no intention to remain.
In fact, he will meet someone outside of the home who will hold him accountable. He will develop a relationship with the person behind the woman’s back, invest by finally seeking a job, tell the woman at the house that he is working hard to build a life with her, but then turn around and actively pursue the new woman and keep this strategy hidden. One day, the man will return to the woman’s house, pack his things, move out, and never return fully unless the situation with the new woman does not work out. The man in this case will do his best to make it work regardless.
Sex for a man who refuses to invest is truly a waste of time, and it is time that could be spent healing, visiting a therapist, and working on individual plans. Men who sleep on the couch distract women of purpose, and it is not entirely the man’s fault. It is the woman’s choice to entertain a man who would rather sleep on the couch than go out and work, who would rather sleep with some other woman than go out and work, and who would rather not pursue any interest at all than go out and work.
The trigger word is “work” because even if you do not have solid plans, you still have work to keep you busy, to light a fire under you, to encourage you to consider something better, and to maintain financial stability. When a person does not even want to work, then sex is not the solution to their problem. Their problem is rooted in a faulty belief system that suggests work is not the answer to a person’s problem. However, for an adult, who must live their life as an adult, work is the solution to a person’s problem. It does not matter what the problem is, being an adult comes with resolving everyday life problems.
Sex is not a solution to a person’s laziness. No matter how many times you provide sex to a person, it will only prolong you reaching an understanding about their lack of capacity for purpose, investment, and problem-solving. If there is no immediate desire to challenge the argument about sleeping on the couch and/or being lazy, then that lack of desire will always affect the emotional, psychological, physical, and financial dynamics of the relationship.
There will be no peace in a romantic relationship that is stagnant and not going anywhere, and the person who is lazy and sleeping on the couch is a visual representation of a stagnant relationship because he or she is not moving forward. Using sex to solve what should be an individual adult problem will only further perpetuate confusion, uncertainty, and contradiction. Sex is not an appropriate solution for a person’s laziness. Therefore, do not assume that it will be useful for resolving conflict. The conflict will always be there after you get out of the bed.
The man’s decision to exit his current relationship that he has with his girlfriend after he gets a better job is symbolic of using her as a come-up woman. My stepfather always told me to listen to what the man is not saying to get a real clue about how he thinks as a person, what he thinks about his woman, and where he is going in his life.
Just in taking the post at face value, the man thinks that the job he currently has (or not have) is sufficient for the relationship he is in. In other words, he is suggesting through this post that the woman he is with does not expect more from him than what he has now. He is also equating where he is financially with the type of woman he believes she represents. In other words, she is not his romantic preference, and when he gets a decent job, he will seek out someone who reflects his new financial capacity.
We don’t know what kind of woman he is with, but if he doesn’t have the decent job, then that means somebody in the relationship is carrying them both financially. He is also suggesting that just because his girlfriend may be doing financially better than him, he is not going to reciprocate the investment. She is investing in him, but he is not investing in her.
The irony with this situation is that the man feels entitled to whatever resources the girlfriend is providing, but he believes she should not feel entitled to whatever future resources he will obtain after getting the decent job.
Therefore, the woman who believes that the man she is helping will one day reciprocate will die believing that lie and never fully walk into the manifestation of that expectation. She will continue to pour resources into an empty well. She will invest time, heart, body, and money into a man who has no clue about building together or advancing the family unit forward economically and financially. As soon as he gets his decent job, he will drop the woman for some woman who did nothing for him. This is not bitterness talking. This is what the man outlines in his post!
There are some men who would be offended at this statement, “Let men build on their own” because they already understand the importance of a man standing on his own two feet. They already understand that they do not need a woman to guide their movements. However, there are still some men who would be offended at the very same statement because it requires men to recognize that they are adults and that women are no longer here to support them in all their efforts and lack of initiative.
This article explores the importance of why women need to step out of the way and let men build on their own as a solution to address the need of women to adopt a masculine mindset when “helping” their men. This article does not label women as masculine. Instead, this article serves as a prevention tool to usher women into a mindset that encourages them to recognize when a man is operating in his masculine and when he is not.
Ultimately, this article helps women to understand that if a man does not meet the standard, basic criteria for adulthood, he should not be considered for romantic relationship-making. First, consider the following two categories as suggestions for how to understand the rest of the article. Next, a discussion follows as well as a mini case study and life recovery objective.
First Man: The Go-Getter
The first man referenced is simply a go-getter. He seeks out education to prepare. He keeps a place of his own because he is an adult. He saves and/or invests his money, spending also responsibly. He handles most relationships with some conscientiousness about how to move, who to keep, and how to prepare for the next part of his life journey. He plans four moves ahead and consistently checks his status as he completes his goals.
When and if he ever gets knocked down, he has already planned for such setbacks, and he begins to initiate one or more strategies to help him overcome and continue moving forward. He is not the kind of man who will stay down long, especially if he has been down before. He has plans for his plans, and he understands how to use one plan to build on top of another.
Second Man: The Hustler
The second man is simply a hustler. His education is the school of hard knocks. He might keep a place, but it is rare. He usually lives at home with his mother or aunt, Nana, or Big Mama. Whatever money he “earns” is usually through hustles in the street.
He is not someone who would spend irresponsibly, per se, because he usually keeps money in his pockets, sometimes giving some of it to his mother, Big Mama, or any other mother-like figure, who might also be a girlfriend and/or common law wife.
He does spend money on higher budgeted items, such as cars, rims to go on the cars, paint job, leather seats, any other item that would have the car decked out and dressed to the nines! He is not as conscientious about relationship-making because all women are disposable, and he maintains a consistent dating rotation.
However, he will have a “real one” at home, a ride or die, the main chick, the core chick, and/or his woman. He is not conscientiousness about his future, opting to live for the day, never thinking he would die the next moment, and never envisioning a life journey as possible. He has no long-term goals, but he is good at maintaining immediate, short-term goals.
When this man gets knocked down, he does not have the tools and/or life skills to study the root cause(s) of his setback. Instead, he will use any excuse available to reason himself out of going down the right path. He would rather continue to work the plans he has been implementing than to consider something new.
The plans he has been facilitating . . . work, and to consider anything that might get in the way of his “progress” would prevent him from the moves he needs to make, even if such moves might fall under the criminal category and/or usher him into a perpetual setback.
Both men would be offended at the statement “Let men build on their own” but for different reasons. For example, the first man would take issue with a woman who adopts a masculine role in the relationship because the first man is considered an alpha personality, a “do-it-yourself” individual.
The second man would be offended at the statement because even though he would feel like his woman is treating him like a child, he would refrain from speaking up simply to enjoy the conveniences of a woman adopting a masculine role in the relationship. This does not necessarily mean that the second man believes he is feminine, but he would, by default, be operating in his feminine by sitting back and letting the woman take the lead.
The first man would never just simply let the woman take the lead. He has too much ego, bravado, and pride to let a woman lead him when he knows he is a born and nurtured leader, even if self-nurtured. The second man does not possess the same ego, bravado, and pride. It makes no sense to the second man to operate in his masculine if his woman has the capacity and capability to make life happen for him. Convenience plays a major factor in the second man’s decision-making.
All adults must understand the basics of obtaining and keeping a job, securing a place to live that is not someone’s direct house, and maintaining adult living with little to no financial help. These are the basics. Keep a job, keep a place, and pay for that place on your own, consistently.
When you live with someone, and you are not a tenant of record by signing an official, notarized lease, then you are considered homeless. Just because you do not live in a homeless shelter or reside on the street does not mean you are any less homeless. At any time, the person you are living with, whether that person is your man or your woman, can kick you out. That person can evict you whether it is legal or not. The person’s name is on the lease or the mortgage deed. Therefore, your only alternative would be to leave.
When you find a man who is of an adult age to have a job, have his own place, and financially maintain himself as an adult, and he doesn’t, then this means that he is not ready to engage romantically with any woman. He has not done the first thing necessary, which is to secure himself as an adult. Any woman who moves in a man is immediately making that person homeless. Any decision he makes from the vantage point of homelessness will be one of survival.
Therefore, his mind will only think about surviving the situation of living with you versus working towards maintaining himself as an adult. It does not matter what you do for him. He will never view you as a fully equal romantic partner while he is living at “your house.” There may be an exception to the rule if you both are getting married, and you believe that because you have the house, it would be better to move in with you.
However, this exception to the rule would only be valid and logical if he has a record of keeping a job, keeping a place, and maintaining himself as an adult, i.e., not living at his mother’s house and then moving into your house. If he is still at someone’s house, and he is not a tenant of record, then this means that he does not possess the knowledge and skillset to take care of himself as an adult individual.
You will discover this gap in his knowledge base when bills come due, when adult decisions need to be made as a couple, and when children are added to the family dynamic. You will know if he has it together when he is forced to have it together. Therefore, if he is showing you now that he cannot provide for himself as an adult, then this is not a person that you can build your life with romantically, let alone financially. He would need to go and get himself together before you make lifelong decisions. Otherwise, you are just taking care of a kid in his thinking. These are the basics.
Job, Business & Vision
I place these three categories together because I think they have some relation to each other. A man who does not want to work does not want to provide, even if provision is for himself. There is no getting around that statement. Hustling and criminal activity are not examples of working.
Work is working on a job. A man may place starting a business under the category of working, especially if he has a criminal record and it is hard for him to find and/or sustain a job. There are exceptions to the rule. But to do nothing or seek nothing or make excuses because he has nothing are examples of men, people in general, who have no vision for who they are, where they want to go, and how they plan to get there.
Vision is important. Even if you do not like your current job, and you think it is the worst thing you have ever encountered, it is still a job. It is still considered cash flow where y0u had nothing previously. It helps you build a record of work and successes as you continue to complete your goals. Work helps to build character, create financial stability, regulate your emotions, and help you advance and move forward. A person lying on your couch and in your bed is not a solution to your adulthood, nor is it a solution to their adulthood.
Therefore, vision begins with work, and it is followed up with planning. When you find someone unwilling to plan their way out of their current situation, that is telling for you because if you ever got down yourself, especially financially, then you could not lean on the very person you are housing and providing for financially.
The worst thing you can do is find this out when you are down. The case study that follows is an example of a situation that a woman, who we must assume did not know her man felt like this, would be expected to pick herself up without the man she is helping. Review the case study for insight.
Mini Case Study
This case study is about a viral post of a man who tweets that when he gets himself together, he plans to leave the current girlfriend he is living with. He does not plan to marry her despite suggesting that his girlfriend expects him to seal the deal.
Instead, he labels the girlfriend’s expectation as “entitlement” and suggests that she is not entitled to expect him to stay once he gets himself together financially. His post reads that once he gets a decent job, he is going to leave her and begin dating his romantic types. Read the post before going forward with the rest of the article.
The man’s decision to exit his current relationship that he has with his girlfriend after he gets a better job is symbolic of using her as a come up woman. I wrote the article that explores the come up woman as a topic of concern for women. Visit this link for more information if you are interested in reading the article.
My stepfather always told me to listen to what the man is not saying to get a real clue about how he thinks as a person, what he thinks about his woman, and where he is going in his life. It is clear from reading the man’s post that he does not have the job he wants but that he realizes he has to work towards getting the “decent job” for his knowledge base and educational background.
Just in taking the post at face value and without conducting any extended research, the man thinks that the job he currently has (or he may not have a job) is sufficient for the relationship he is in. In other words, he is suggesting through this post that the woman he is with does not expect more from him than what he has at the moment, good or bad. He is also equating where he is financially with the type of woman he believes she represents. In other words, she is not his romantic preference, and when he gets a decent job, he will seek out someone who reflects his new financial capacity.
He has the mindset to seek better than where he is, but this goal includes also seeking better than the woman he is with. We don’t know what kind of woman he is with, but if he doesn’t have the decent job, then that means somebody in the relationship is carrying them both financially. He is also suggesting that just because his girlfriend may be doing financially better than him, he is not going to reciprocate the investment. She is investing in him, but he is not investing in her. He might even use violence to make his point.
The irony with this situation is that the man feels entitled to whatever resources the girlfriend is providing, but he believes she should not feel entitled to whatever future resources he will obtain after getting the decent job. No, the man does not write directly that he lives with his girlfriend or who he lives with for that matter, but if he is making the case for getting a decent job and leaving the woman he is with, this suggests that he does not have the financial resources to make it on his own. In fact, he uses the word “Broke” to refer to himself, albeit implicitly. If he was not broke, or in other words financially independent, then he would not reference the word in the post.
Therefore, the woman who believes that the man she is helping will one day reciprocate will die believing that lie and never fully walk into the manifestation of that expectation. She will continue to pour resources into an empty well. She will invest time, heart, body, money, and spiritual thinking into a man who has no clue about building together or advancing the family unit forward economically and financially. As soon as he gets his decent job, he will drop the woman for some woman who did nothing for him. This is not bitterness talking. This is what the man outlines in his post!
What Women Should Do
What women should do going forward is let men build on their own. This means that if a man does not have a job, his own place to live, and the financial resources overall to fund his lifestyle, then it is not up to women to fill in the gap. Women are not required to invest in men. Men have the right to pursue their own purpose, their livelihood, and their goals without the input and intervention of women.
It may be difficult for a woman not to add her views on a matter especially if the woman is living together with the man, but that is actually the first problem. The man lives with the woman. This dynamic never works because a man will always resent living with a woman, and he will act out his resentment by cheating, engaging in self-destructive behaviors, and hindering himself from moving forward in his education, career, and finances.
Men who know who they are and what they desire to accomplish in life will outline specific plans, set definable and achievable goals, and begin activating in their purpose. You will never see a man without a plan when he knows what he wants to do and where he wants to go. He does not need a woman dictating to him how he should plan, where he should go, what he should do, and how long he should commit.
When a man knows who he is, he will begin operating in who he envisions himself to be. This man does not always need access to a father in the home. There is just something on the inside of him that knows that he must operate as an adult to get what he wants in life. Operating as an adult does not entail engaging in illegal activity. It requires that he walks out his path in the right way because he sees longevity in his future. To do anything but the right thing is to prevent himself from achieving his goals. A man of purpose must reflect purpose, and he must believe that he is needed in some personal area or professional domain in his life so that he is able to implement and sustain that purpose.
Women should get out of the way by not volunteering their money, time, heart, body, and spiritual thinking to men who have no purpose and/or to men who have no intention to stay around for commitment. The man in the mini case study is not a man who will stick around. He writes as much in the post. He has a mindset to seek a better job, but he does not have a mindset to build a relationship with someone who has invested in him. He does not have a mindset of reciprocation. Therefore, engaging in a romantic relationship with him is a waste of time, and this would create the greatest setback in a woman’s life.
Life Recovery Objective
The best life recovery objective when a woman has invested too much of her money, body, and time into a relationship with a non-reciprocating man is to guard against moving in a man. I wrote another article on this topic titled “Romantic Hastiness: Never Move in a Man.” Visit the link for more information.
In that article, I simply discuss how important it is for women not to move in men before they have gathered all the necessary information. Moving in a man affects a woman’s mental health, and this creates an issue with territory in the home. A man should have his own place. Then it becomes easier to make sober decisions where the relationship is concerned.
The best way to gather the necessary information is to do what we urge people who want to enter a career field: conduct an information interview. This means that you do not have time to be in bed with each other because it is the conversation you need to have to figure out who you are dealing with and what purpose they have in their life.
The more you discuss each other by engaging in conversation, the more you discover gaps in the other person’s thinking. Then this will tell you if you need to activate your deal-breakers. This will also tell you when you should refrain from building a man to let men build on their own.
One of the hardest decisions to make as a woman is to help a man when he is down. Women are notorious for moving in men when the men have lost their jobs or just because it may be more convenient to live together with their partners. However, moving in a man is detrimental to one’s mental health because the decision creates an imbalance in the male-female dynamic, man-woman engagement, and adult-adult cooperation.
Women are not supposed to move in men regardless of what they believe and/or what men tell them. Men are supposed to provide financially for themselves. They are adults. It does not matter how independent women have become over the years, and this discussion is not simply about role reversal. It is about forming and maintaining territories.
This article explores what happens when a woman moves a man into her home, i.e., what it means, and it offers tips for how to resolve the problem if this is a current issue. An audio lecture titled “Don’t Let Him Move In” follows the discussion.
When a woman moves a man into her home, it appears on the surface as a reasonable, logical ideal, but it is not an appropriate solution because men are gatherers, hunters, predators, and territorial. When a man moves into a woman’s house, it changes his territorial nature, making him subject to the domain of the woman’s house. This means that the woman becomes territorial, doling out dictates, demands, policies, and directions to a man who does not respect such ideals. After all, it is her domain.
The territorial nature of men creates the patriarchy we live in today, and men, at all costs, will maintain their patriarchies! A man would never fully be subject to a matriarchy. Even royal families headed by a queen are still subject to a constitutional monarchy that outlines and cements responsibilities, obligations, laws, and global influence. The queen might wear the crown, but the constitution turns the head. One step out of the political line disrupts the balance of the monarchy and the effect it has on its citizenry.
This, of course, is a very simple explanation, but it is appropriate to this discussion because a woman who moves in a man is acting like a queen, but she is not performing like a queen. However, the man is always performing like he owns the woman as property, and he manages the woman’s house as territory.
When the woman moves in a man, she inadvertently assigns rights to the man. The word “assign” is a contract term related to property law, which includes both real estate and intellectual property. When you assign, you transfer ownership and rights afforded a specific property or bundle of properties.
You no longer possess ownership. You may receive a fee, and you may negotiate and write a provision in the contract to receive a percentage of revenues, perpetually, but you have no other rights to the property. You do not have a title interest into the property when you assign rights.
However, when you “license” rights, this means that you still maintain ownership in the property, negotiated rights, a title interest, and you can receive a fee and future revenues connected to the property and that too, perpetually, if you create the provision. This is a very simple summary of the difference between assign and license, so it would be helpful to research the term “property law” or “real estate law” at your convenience. For now, you can follow the links provided.
Just know that when you move in a man, you are giving up rights to the apartment and/or house, and if there should ever come a time when you desire to terminate the relationship, you cannot simply kick the person out of the house or apartment. Whether that person is on the lease or not, there are statutes and provisions in tenant and renting law that govern how to exit a person from the place of dwelling.
When a woman moves a man into her house, she co-signs her eventual displacement, and she may be forced to evict her partner with exceptions. For example, if conflict ensues between you and your partner, and you have to call the police, the police would inform you that your man has rights and that the only way to get him out is through the courts using the eviction process. That could take time and money, and the process would require extensive study and preparation so that you are successful.
In addition, there would be a battle for territory in the house. As much as you may have the right to kick him out, depending on the length of time he has lived in your house, he may have the same right! If you placed him on the lease, and the lease runs out, you might also decide not to renew the lease and leave the house. If you choose this decision, then your man has successfully displaced you, symbolically kicked you out of your own house, and taken over the “territory” fully! This is done regardless of whether he stays or does not stay in the house. You are the one who leaves.
When a woman moves a man into her home, it affects her mental health. It is important that you understand that moving a man into your house has devastating consequences because the choice not only affects your finances, but also your mental health, your psychological well-being, your spiritual balance, and your emotional regulation.
You cannot operate fully in chaos. You cannot thrive in toxicity. The person inside you who wants to fight back to regain territory will eventually give up when you realize the other person has gained too much ground that you gave him. Loss of rights to your territory affects your mental health.
When a woman moves a man into her home, she immediately makes the man homeless. This is your home, not his. Just because he is living under your roof does not make him any less homeless. He is homeless because as a grown man he does not have his own place. If he is moving directly from his mother’s house to your house, then he just merely moved his homelessness around.
His mother’s house stopped being his house when he became an adult. Thus, if he is living in his mother’s house, he is also homeless. The only exception to the homeless rule in this case is if there is a legally binding lease agreement to which you both sign and notarize. Otherwise, if there is no agreement, and you decided to merely let him come live with you, he is not living with you. He is homeless. Therefore, until he requests to be added to the lease, you can kick him out anytime with exceptions.
When a woman moves a man into her house, she interrupts his learning process. This suggests that there was a process that required him to learn about finances, how to manage himself as an adult, how to keep a job, how to keep and maintain his own apartment, and how to pay bills. There is a process that every person who is entering adulthood must embrace, endure, and succeed.
Each time you set, endure, and complete a goal that leads to a record of success. Moving in with a woman interrupts that record of success because now whatever the man does at the woman’s house falls under the domain of that house, which includes the successes. A man’s successes are folded into the woman’s successes, and there is little distinction if the woman is responsible for all the finances and maintenance of the home.
It is like when a child brings something home. Whatever the child brings home goes to the house and not to the individual. If there are siblings, everyone gets a piece. The child rarely gets to keep the whole thing. Likewise, when a man brings home a bonus on his check, he does not get to keep it unless he hides it from the woman.
If there is an agreement to split bills, then that agreement should stand, but there should be some individual prerogative to keep something extra. It is what mothers tell their daughters: keep some things for yourself. This rarely happens within the dynamic of moving in a romantic partner. You hardly ever get to keep something for yourself because there is still the unspoken rule that you must disclose what you have and turn it over to the house.
In truth, there is nothing wrong with this ideology because you are two partners working to build something together. However, if you started an individual process to work on your finances, build an emergency savings fund, and/or invest, you interrupt your process when you move in a man. This will lead to frustration down the road because whatever you start, you must finish. You are inclined to finish, and when this does not happen, this lack of completion develops in you a mood that fuels a depression and that later creates anger. You have no idea how the anger got there, but it is there.
Anger now affects the relationship dynamic the man has with the woman. It affects the environment. Resentment grows, and it permeates the home. It feels like a weight that never lifts. The man and woman do not address issues, pain, hurt, and disagreements. Conflict becomes the norm. Sex is used as a temporary solution, i.e., a Band-Aid. The problems simply rinse and repeat.
Nothing ever gets resolved. Then the man is blind to the need to return to what was interrupted, and the woman struggles to regain some emotional, psychological, spiritual, and financial territory. Both are on the brink of relationship termination, and they do not know why. Until both the man and woman discover what they were supposed to learn, before the woman moved in the man, they will remain in an interrupted state. Interruption without resolution creates a setback, mutual and individual.
When you move in a man, you become his parent, or you fill in gaps in parenting style and caregiving. The only way to resolve the parent trap is to place him on the lease and require him to contribute financially and equally. This means that you both would be legally obligated to meet the stipulations in the rental agreement. You would be equal in this context.
If you both could not pay the rent, or you decided to break the lease, both you and him would be affected financially. The default judgment would not only be on your credit report, but also on his credit report as well. You live together, and you bear the responsibilities. Otherwise, if you do not place him on the lease, then he is no different than an adult child moving into your home. If you have a house, and you do not desire to put him on the mortgage or deed so that he equally owns the house, then he is definitely an adult child returning home.
I would never advise adding a man to your mortgage or to the deed. However, I would advise, with caution, to add a man to the lease. This will determine how serious he is about you and the relationship knowing that he would be financially affected if he changed his mind. He knows that you would remain in the apartment if he left or if you kicked him out. Regardless, if there is a default judgment, he would be financially affected by that decision.
The woman who moves a man into her home becomes an authoritarian caregiver in the relationship. This begins immediately with expectations the woman outlines. The authoritarian parenting style reflects strict parenting with high expectations and responsiveness from children. The parent focuses more on the disciplinary aspects of caregiving rather than solely nurturing. Children learn how to obey under this parenting style.
In contrast, with the authoritative parenting style, parents tend to be nurturing, supportive, and responsive to the child’s needs. They set firm limits with children, but they also create “teachable moments” in explaining rules, using both reasoning and discussion tactics. They listen to the child’s point of view, which suggests that the child is important, individual, and worthy of recognition. Parents under this style do not always accept the child’s point of view, but there is the high tendency to consider it.
Therefore, when a woman moves in a man, there is little consideration towards understanding the deeply-rooted needs of the man. In a superficial sense, women will commit to all the wifely-type duties, as in cooking, cleaning, being a listening ear, and having sex. That is surface level. Women who move in men rarely understand the man who is standing before her, i.e., what he wants in life, what he needs, what his desires are, what he fears, his inner conflicts, and his struggles to maintain consistency in his life.
Within this dynamic, the highest concern for the woman is his job consistency and whether he can bring the financial resources necessary to make the rent, pay the electric bill, pay the phone bill, put gas in the car, pay the insurance, and pay for food, equally. A man who cannot contribute is a man who is not useful. The woman in that moment can determine whether to keep him around or kick him out.
Most women rarely kick the man out of the house if he is financially short, opting to keep him around for sexual purposes. Thus, the process of ensuring he can consistently meet financial expectations is substituted for making sure he can consistently meet expectations in other areas of the relationship.
Although the woman might compromise and let substitution become the priority, she will still fuss and argue about the finances. She will poke, prod, and provoke the man to be more financially present in the relationship and even require that he take on a provider role. This means that the live-in situation was appropriate when the expectation was mutual contribution, i.e., 50/50 dynamic. However, the situation has changed when the man can no longer financially provide consistently, which prompts the woman to change the dynamics of the relationship from mutual consensus to hierarchical consideration.
In other words, the man was not required to be a provider at the beginning of the relationship when the woman moved in the man. When it becomes clear that he cannot financially provide consistently, then the provider expectation becomes the priority, which is just another substitution from the initial mutual agreement that he pays half the bills. The new requirement that he pays more than half the bills moves the woman out of her position, making the man now head of house, at least ceremonially. This new position of provider is without evidence, credibility, and/or legal record of marriage.
The irony is that the man still does not have the financial resources to accept the new position of provider even though the woman has now placed this as a title onto his back. He is walking with a title for which he has not earned, nor demonstrated capacity and capability. This is what happens when a woman moves in a man who does not have the capacity to operate fully in whatever title he accepts or he is forced to accept.
It is better for the man to get his own place, pay for that place fully for years, keep a job, and demonstrate an ability to sustain himself as an adult with consistency. Without a record of him maintaining his own place, it would be difficult for the woman to determine what kind of man he truly is given any possible expectation of marriage and/or long-term commitment.
There are many more areas that this topic may fall under. For example, a woman who moves in a man may be settling. She might have wanted one thing from the man but decided to settle for cohabitation. He might be settling as well. Instead of getting himself together financially and enduring that process until it is time to consider a romantic partner, he decides to settle with a woman because he simply needs a place to stay.
He may also need help in other areas. For example, his paycheck is not enough for him to sustain himself in an apartment alone. He is unwilling to get another job or a better job to ensure he can sustain himself financially as an adult. He would rather compromise his own personal peace and move in with a woman when he is not ready.
Another example is doing things out of order. If you are a Christian, you understand the importance of completing the marriage before living together. Christians and secular people alike do not always adhere to or respect that tradition, but it still has merit. The more you do something in order, the less out of order you feel in your relationships. It is when you get out of order that you experience the pain, frustration, anger, and resentment towards the relationship.
You had one thing in mind about the relationship but because you did things out of order, the relationship took on a whole different dynamic that you now believe you did not sign up for. That is the consequence that comes with doing things out of order because your steps, thinking, and belief systems are unpredictable. You do not know the next step, so you are walking blindly. Even when you believe you have this whole thing figured out, you realize that you don’t. It is better to do things in order to maintain order and to sustain predictability.
The last example is when you move in a man you essentially move in a squatter. The person becomes a squatter when he involuntarily loses his job, when he purposely loses his job, when he gets sick and cannot work, and when he decides simply that he is not going to leave your home regardless of whatever you say on the matter. He is a squatter, which is defined in legal terms as a person who unlawfully occupies an abandoned building or unused land.
Technically, the man you move in may not be a squatter under the legal definition because you let the person in. However, if the person is not on the lease, and if you leave the dwelling and he stays, then he would be a squatter for the apartment company. You and/or the landlord would be required to evict him through the courts. Just remember that squatters have rights. If you desire to terminate your relationship with the man you move in, expect a challenge to that decision because every state has provisions regarding tenants whether they are on the lease or not.
Before you move anybody into your home, let alone a man, know the tenant rights in your state. You can find some of the information on the government’s website, and the information is usually housed on that state’s office of the attorney general web page. Just use “renters rights” with your state as a keyword search, and you will be able to locate the information.
Life Recovery Objective
I will leave you with this encouragement. Do not move in a man as a woman. You are under no obligation to house a man. A man is an adult, and a man must create the opportunity for himself to win at his own life. He must be financially stable. He must have lived in a place of his own for more than a short time.
If he is fresh out of his mother’s house, or even out of a roommate’s place where he was even a tenant of record, he is still not ready to take on the responsibility of meeting the financial needs of his own place until he meets the financial needs of his own place and his place alone.
Women do not always have their financial stuff together. They have issues with credit cards and managing their finances. However, what they consistently do is keep a place, keep a job, manage based on their capacity, take care of their kids, and lean on someone when it is necessary to do so.
Women rarely hop from place to place, expecting men or family members to take them in long-term. Women tend to get their own place, keep the job to pay for the place, and sustain their adult living until they transition into the next season, which might include attending college and/or starting a business. Regardless, women get it done!
Therefore, if women know that they have this mentality, then they should not coddle the men in their lives. They should not project onto the men this lack of capacity when they reflect capacity. They should not say to the man, “I got this” when they have demonstrated the ability to take care of themselves.
The man a woman chooses should mirror her belief system, hustle, reasoning, and financial management. It makes no sense for a woman who is able-bodied, works, keeps her own place, and has dreams to entertain and/or move in a man who does not reflect the same core values.
The greatest life recovery objective I can encourage you to adopt is not to move in a man as a woman because you are under no obligation to make your man’s life work for him. He is only under personal obligation to recognize his issue, design ways to resolve that issue, and resolve the issue.
The more you take over for men, the more likely you will continue to operate in this role expecting something different. That is the true definition of insanity because if you do not learn from your current situation as well as your previous narratives, you are doomed to continue repeating the patterns.
You can die trying to make someone’s life easier. You can miss out on fulfilling the dreams in your heart trying to make someone’s life easier. You can weather sicknesses and illnesses trying to make someone’s life easier. Your only obligation is to make your own life easier.
To do that, you must focus on what is required for you to manage yourself as an adult and pursue that course of action. Stay on that path. This will lead to soberness of mind and help you better to determine if a partner is the right fit for you.
At the same time, do not move in a man as a woman because you are not that man’s wife, and you are not personally responsible for his well-being. You are responsible for yourself as a single woman.
The term “assignment” is specific to a divine calling. God can call a person to a place, a people, or a thing. The assignment is considered a mission or position that you must fulfill as part of that calling. For example, if we consider standard biblical narratives, we can argue that Moses was assigned to the Children of Israel, but Aaron was assigned to Moses.
Jesus came to Earth to save and restore the sinner so that he or she may have eternal life. Prophets served as intermediaries between God and humanity; their purpose was to hear from God and deliver divine messages. Jesus called and gave authority to the Twelve Disciples to drive out impure spirits and heal every disease and sickness. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote the Gospels we read today.
Lastly, the Apostle Paul wrote the epistles that influence Christian theology and explore the divine relationship between God the Father and Jesus. Paul’s purpose, through revelation, was to preach that Jesus lived in heaven, that Jesus was the Messiah and God’s son, and that Jesus would soon return. The Apostle Paul was assigned to the Gentiles.
Each person in biblical history and narrative was assigned to a person, a place, to do a thing and fulfill a purpose, and to carry out their assignment by receiving divine revelation and instruction. There is a difference between God calling you and you calling yourself. Only with divine revelation and preparation, which will always include some form of testing and correction, can you fulfill the assignment God may be calling you to, especially if you are to resolve a generational problem.
However, it is possible to ignore, disregard, and/or abandon your assignment. In the Book of Jonah, Jonah runs from God’s mission, which required him to travel to Ninevah and proclaim the Word of God. Instead, because Jonah was displeased with God’s divine mercy on the heathen, he ran to Tarshish, ended up being kicked off a boat, fell into a whale, and was spit out three days later. In the Christian tradition, Jonah’s “process” was symbolic of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection.
These concepts are not new, and many of us have read or listened to these biblical narratives while sitting in the church pews. They are merely a setup for understanding divine calling, assignment, purpose, and application of wisdom.
If you are not aware of your calling, gifts and talents, purpose, etc., it is important that you discover these areas of your life so that you do not live a lifetime knowing that you could have made a difference and contributed to the efficacy of someone’s life.
This discussion about assignment is important because you can be assigned to teach, to be a doctor, to be a lawyer, or to be anything that you feel you are intuitively and spiritually pulled towards.
The pull can be so strong that it is overwhelming because it is mixed with both excitement regarding the discovery and fear concerning your ability and capacity to carry out your part of the assignment.
You are not assigned to the whole world. You are only assigned to a specific purpose for a season. This means that you cannot get ahead of your season, and you cannot try to continue when your season is up.
Passing the Baton
Think about the track runner. The athlete prepares, manages his or her diet, listens to the coach, fails and succeeds, and then eventually competes on the track by running until he or she gets to the finish line. This is the general track running strategy.
However, in relay races where there are a set of runners running during a set of stages, the track athlete must pass the baton to the next person to compete in and complete the race. Passing the baton completes the race. Therefore, if you do not pass the baton, this will affect the other runners in the race and the overall sports competition objective.
Thus, you must know the limits of your assignment. This means that you must understand your assignment, the part you will play, the people you will affect, the thing you will do, and the season when your part will stop and move on to the next person assigned to solve the problem.
People who are assigned to a person, a people, a place, and/or a thing must understand that the purpose is to solve a problem and not create additional problems because of a lack of acknowledgment, validation, or unconditional support. When you are under assignment, you do not chart your own path, create your own road, or follow your own way.
There is already an established path God has set for you and the assignment, and He clears that path, creates the road, and directs you in the way. People go wrong when it comes to their assignment because they are trying to get somewhere before the time, they are trying to skip steps because the journey and preparation are too long, and they are trying to project onto the problem how it should be solved.
When you do this, you are suggesting that you do not really have a firm understanding of the problem and that you are going to work it out in your own understanding despite the failures and the need for correction waiting for you at the end of the road. This is what happens with people who try to change the dynamics of the assignment to fit whatever agenda they believe is better for the person, people, or thing.
Substituting your way for God’s way never ends well. You always end up going down the wrong path, and you never know what is down the path whether there is danger or success. Regardless, when we decide to do anything but what God and the assignment requires, we never fare well.
This article is about the ways in which we use substitution while under assignment. It focuses on how we do not fully understand the assignment and how our lack of understanding affects how the assignment is carried out. It centers on this idea that people believe one solution is better than the standard, even if the proposed alternative might be unethical, immoral, and downright dangerous.
The assignment is not just limited to the Christian tradition. It includes secular considerations and references certain types of people who compromise their positions of authority. This article explores two popular categories to consider when you are confronted with accepting your assignment and sustaining the work to completion.
Not understanding the direct role you must fulfill and how to maintain the assignment will affect how people view it, learn from it, and further it in their own lives. Substitution always leads to compromise, and compromise is the basis for sleeping with the assignment.
Lately, there have been rep0rts of teachers sleeping with students, especially female teachers who have come to light. The teacher, whether male or female, operates in a unique space. The teacher both teaches and prepares. The teacher identifies certain problems that might be plaguing the student, i.e., struggles with understanding the material, preparing, and applying knowledge.
When there is a gap in the student’s thinking, the teacher reassesses instructional strategies and seeks to close that gap by providing feedback. Then the teacher assesses again the student’s thinking, reasoning, and applying to determine if that gap has been closed and how to move the student forward. The teacher has solved both the instructional and student learning gaps when the student demonstrates understanding on subsequent assignments.
However, instructional and learning strategies are interrupted when an alternative solution is considered. For example, when the teacher sleeps with the student, this becomes a different lesson the student is required to learn. There are no requirements within the existing curriculum that permits teachers to sleep with students.
There is nothing in the federal, state, and local manuals and guidance that provides legal cover for teachers who sleep with students. The teacher was never prepared through education and learning and applying knowledge as a graduate student that teachers get to sleep with students as a rule, nor as an exception.
Somehow, the teacher, who has been trained to be an educator, has allowed for the mindset that sleeping with a student is okay and that it is necessary as a solution. Never mind that the teacher who sleeps with the student is not solving a learning problem, or an understanding problem, or an applying problem.
The teacher is solving a personal, emotional, internal problem specific only to the teacher, and he or she believes that sleeping with the student will solve her immediate sexual problem. She substitutes a problem that is outside of the immediate classroom for a problem that is inside the classroom.
The student is not crying out for sex! The student is not asking to learn sex. Don’t confuse biology and puberty-based issues for someone saying to the teacher, “I need you to give me sex.” That’s not what the role of the teacher is, and the student is not forcing himself or herself onto the teacher.
Somewhere the teacher is disgruntled with her life. She is not happy at home or with her chosen career. The person does not feel satisfied in other areas outside of the classroom. To resolve issues with personal dissatisfaction and frustration, the teacher clings onto the student, expecting the student to resolve her personal issues.
However, the student is not equipped to solve adult problems in the area of sex! The student does not have the full emotional, psychological, mental, and sexual capacity to understand such ideas. The student only understands student-based, intellectual and academic issues that are specific to his or her grade level, knowledge, and skill capacity.
How can a student who barely completes his or her chores at home also possess the capacity to reconcile adult thinking surrounding sex in the classroom? To answer this question is to suggest that not only does the teacher rape the student’s physical body, but also rapes the student’s learning process and progress, the student’s ability to recognize and solve problems, and the student’s capacity to sustain the understanding necessary to transfer skills to the next grade level and outside of the immediate classroom.
The student graduates with a distorted view of how to solve problems because the learning problem is substituted with sex. Thus, the student does not learn what he or she needs to learn as a student. Instead, the student learns how to place sex as a higher priority over any problem he or she needs to solve. The student ultimately uses sex to solve problems. The teacher leaves a student without an ability to build and sustain capacity for academic learning because that process is interrupted and substituted for another type of learning process.
The latest issue we have had with a correctional officer is the one in which former corrections officer, Vicki White, who was set for retirement, helped an Alabama corrections inmate, Casey White, escape using a mental health evaluation schedule as cover. I do not want to get too deep into the narrative, but here is a sample news link that you can read to gain insight. They were later caught in Indiana, she committed suicide, and he was returned to prison. Vicki White was 56 when she died.
The interesting aspect about being a corrections officer is that you are monitoring and guarding people who are being corrected for criminal issues. You receive training on how to monitor and guard. You read textbooks and theories and learn how to apply that information within the corrections environment.
You must be cognizant of inmates who may desire to con you, attack you, and/or maybe kill you. You have to adhere to policies, abide by state and federal laws, and resolve local and in-house problems when they are immediate, short-term, and long-term. You are prepared well to perform the job.
It takes extraordinary mental capacity to stand before people who are in jail and behind bars, who need to talk, who need to vent, who need to lie to reach that internal rise, and who need to murder because that, too, gives the person the dopamine he or she needs to do the time. You are standing before people who are doing time while you are clocked in under time. For the criminal and the guard, all you have is time.
In considering the discussion on time, this begs the following question: Since the corrections officer is confronted on a daily basis with the criminal’s struggle with time, why would the corrections officer desire to switch places with the criminal and be subject to the same time? If you put the question to the individual in this way, it would seem that the corrections officer would not even consider the possibility of trading places.
Both people are trading time, i.e., one person who committed a crime is trading life for time and one individual who works to guard criminals is trading life for money. One is getting paid, and one is not.
Then if the corrections officer is blinded to the idea of becoming the same criminal he or she is guarding, then this further suggests that the corrections officer does not respect the law in the same way the convicted criminal does not respect the law. They both have a problem with the law, the dictates of the law, the management of the law, the furthering of the law, and the validation to the law. The law is validated when it convicts the criminal of his or her misdeeds.
When the corrections officer helps the criminal, he or she is arguing against the validation of the law that convicted the criminal and is further suggesting that the law should not apply to the criminal. It has the same sentiment as “How could they do you like this? You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m here to help you.” The emotions form and support the belief system.
However, these are two different belief systems because one is clearly representative of federal and state legislature, codified, and appropriate, and one is individual, personal, and based on a biased belief system. In other words, the corrections officer is not the law, but he or she has substituted individual beliefs for existing law.
The only way to resolve the convicted criminal’s issue, if the corrections officer believes that the person has been wrongly imprisoned, is to fight the existing law, speak to legislators, and develop a better plan to reconcile the application of the law.
The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not require equality, per se, but it does require equal application of the law, i.e., equal protection. When there is a problem with the law, there are legal steps to repair the breach.
The corrections officer, who represents an extension of the law, is not the law. The individual cannot substitute as law. The individual can be arrested according to the law when he or she breaks the law. The corrections officer is blind to this ideal and relies solely on emotion to fuel a decision to break the law.
Therefore, the daily goal of monitoring and guarding the convicted criminal is substituted for the goal of monitoring and guarding the belief that the corrections officer and the convicted criminal are right, and the law is wrong. They both have reached consensus, or agreement, about disobeying the law.
At the end of the day when you sleep with the assignment, you do not agree with the requirements of the assignment. You believe that it does not have the merit you think it should have and that “your way” of handling and solving the problem is the better way. In other words, you believe your answer to the problem has merit.
Disagreeing with the assignment is an example of emotional running from something that you may have fear about and that you may not fully want to commit to because of other factors. This is why it is important to get a good understanding of the assignment, so you do not compromise your preparation, God’s instruction, and the person, people, or thing to whom and for which you are assigned.
You cannot simply do what you want. If we return to the Moses and Children of Israel example, if Moses did anything but what God told him to do, he would endanger the people he was leading. Moses had to listen to God in his dealings with Pharoah. There was a season of deliverance, and this required listening, coordinating, and walking out the plan that God had for the people to leave their bondage and enter the Promised Land.
What Moses received and applied in terms of divine instruction, his brother Aaron had to receive and apply and follow instruction. Instruction is measured by completion of steps and standards and rules and direction. You know you have completed the task based on the instruction you adhered to and followed accurately and appropriately.
If we put this in simple terms, if the math teacher tells you to show all your work on a math test, and you decide to write the answer, then that is not following instruction accurately and appropriately. The goal is to “show all your work,” and the teacher can only measure your understanding by the instructions you follow.
Likewise, there are existing rules, guidelines, policies, and laws on the books for how you should carry out a task to which you have been assigned and the path and road to finishing and completing that task based on instruction. When you run into a problem, there is a system in place to help you resolve that issue.
Designing your own system within an established system, especially if your system goes against the existing hierarchical structure, is to sleep with or compromise the assignment. In literal terms, as referenced within this article, you can compromise the assignment by actually sleeping with the people to whom you are assigned.
Compromising the assignment never works, and it never fares well in the end. Vicky White, the former corrections officer who helped the inmate escape, died essentially a failure because before the problem got to the point that she needed to help her lover escape, there were many more instances and warnings prior to that final decision. If Vicky White was struggling with love for an inmate, which is a problem that is counter to the goal of monitoring and guarding the inmate, then there were policies in place to counter any future decision.
There is always a way out of temptation to do wrong. She could have taken a leave of absence. She could have spoken with a supervisor to change shifts and assignment to that inmate. There were many more options than breaking the law and helping someone else break the law.
The man was in a corrections facility for breaking the law. To help him escape is to suggest that whatever he did to get into prison is mute compared to what she believes she needs to do for him now to get him out of prison. In other words, Vicky was trying to wipe the criminal slate clean. “He didn’t do what you said, and I’m going to make sure you all know it.” But she died not fulfilling her original assignment.
Therefore, be sure you know and understand your assignment. If you are on a job, and you are assigned to do a specific task, be sure to know the dynamics and boundaries of that task and complete the task based on the given guidelines for how to ensure the job is done according to standard. You can fail at your assignment. You can do something that makes you unqualified to continue with the assignment. Breaking the law is one example of becoming unqualified for the assignment. Getting fired from a job is another example.
God told Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses ending up hitting the rock, which made it impossible for him to enter the Promised Land. Exploring biblical interpretations of Moses, the rock, and the Promised Land are beyond the scope of this article, but it speaks to the idea that you can do well with the assignment and get to the end and not be able to reap fully the benefits because of one decision to adopt an alternative path.
Do not sleep with the assignment. In other words, do not compromise who and what God has assigned you to do. If you do not believe in God, then do not compromise where you are assigned today, as in the job you are working, the business you are running, and the family you are managing.
This is an interesting topic because it requires one individual to have insight into the dynamics of another individual’s relationship with someone else. It is characteristic of romantic triangulation, but it also reveals something about the person who cannot get over his or her ex. Many people leave doors open to previous relationships possibly out of some fear that the current relationship will not work and/or the previous relationship may still work if both parties could just talk.
But the person who is still struggling with the breakup from the ex of a previous relationship rarely reaches the clue that the ex simply no longer wants him or her or the relationship. It is the illusion that the person continues to sustain that the relationship is fixable if the two parties can just come together and talk and laugh and eat and have sex. People struggle to let go of previous relationships simply because of the fantasies they hold about those relationships and the fantasies they further create to sustain whatever love or heart or mindset towards that relationship.
Living in the past never works. As difficult as it is to help someone understand this concept, it is equally difficult to help someone give up the ghost, which is a term related to death, i.e., stop working. In other words, the person who struggles to let go of an ex struggles to accept the death of the relationship. The person struggles to accept that what was once functional is no longer functional. The relationship no longer works.
If you are honest, the relationship may never have worked because why would someone leave a relationship that is working? The answer to that question might suggest bias on the parts of both individuals. One person could say the relationship stopped working when one of the parties decided to cheat. The other person could say the relationship stopped working when one of the parties stopped performing preferred sexual behaviors.
These two attitudes towards the relationship speak to the disconnect and the lack of communication in the relationship that now one of the parties is trying to restart. However, when a relationship gets to a point where one of the parties is no longer interested in communicating and arguing and speaking their peace, the relationship is over.
There is nothing you, as one of the parties to the relationship, can do to reignite whatever flame that started the initial encounter. The relationship is essentially dead, and the only thing to do is to perform an autopsy to determine what went wrong, what to do better, and how best to proceed for the future.
This article explores how one partner of a relationship deals with a current partner who is struggling with the idea that the ex no longer wants him or her. In this article, I will refer to the individual as a woman who is with a man who cannot get over his ex, who is female, and who struggles to hear her suggest the words, “I’ve moved on.” The individual never says these words, at least not in a timely manner, but intimates as much, hoping the ex will get the picture! This, too, is a problem because people do not like the idea of closure. Keeping the door open has both its advantages and disadvantages.
Priority vs. Option
I wrote an article about the problem with exes who refuse to let go of their ex-partners simply out of the need to preserve ego. People feel entitled to the benefits of being with you even if you are no longer in relationship with them. My ex told me that his ex said he had a duty to her. This suggests that even if he got married to someone else, she believes to this day that he must forever make her a priority. If he is making her a priority, then the woman he is with is merely an option. That is a problem.
You cannot expect the current person with whom you are romantically involved to accept this idea that an ex can dip in and dip out of your relationship with someone else just because the person knows how to use the word “duty” in a sentence. Many times people embrace these open relationships and polyamorous thinking because it is just more convenient to juggle two or more partners than to sit down and have a conversation with a previous partner about the final termination of the relationship.
Therein lies another problem: using the word “final” in a sentence. Once something is final, it is hard to return to it and give it back life. If people who struggle with an ex can take the time to reflect on the relationship before engaging in another relationship, they may be able to reach the conclusion that the relationship died a long time ago.
It is never sound thinking to treat a person as an option when you really want someone else. If you are interested in making a life with the person you believe you love, then it is better to wait, reflect, heal, and return to that relationship rather than start a new relationship, hoping the person will come around. That is a deadly decision given today’s emotional and mental health climate. People are tired of being treated with disdain, disrespect, and dishonor, and they are choosing violence as the only answer to get your attention.
Use of violence, thus, is another problem because you have essentially destroyed your own life trying to keep someone from destroying your life. It is a vicious cycle of chaos and confusion that could be solved with a conversation. If we did more conversing, then we would get the answers we needed before further engaging in romantic relationships.
Arguments and Sex
People think that sex is the answer to all their everyday problems. Sex, like money, only exacerbates the problems you have in relationships because you never get to the root of your problems with the person. You never address the deal-breakers for the relationship.
For example, if cheating is a deal-breaker, then this is something that should be known early in the relationship. The cheating partner should not be surprised when you end the relationship because of cheating. The person who says, “I didn’t know you were going to leave me” is suggesting that you were not upfront with your standards. The person does not have the right to cheat on you, but if this is your standard, then this should be something you address early on in the relationship.
When you do not outline your standards, boundaries, and expectations, which is another article I wrote, you run the risk of creating communication gaps in the relationship. No one knows what you stand for as a guiding principle. No one knows what boundaries you have for the relationship. No one knows your expectations.
For example, if you want to marry, then setting the standard of dating for a period of time is something that needs priority consideration. You may only want to date for a year until you find the partner you want to marry and who wants to marry you. There is nothing wrong with setting that standard. However, what is wrong is not letting your partner in on the secret that you want to marry and not date forever!
A person should not be surprised that you want to marry. It should not come as a shock. Therefore, the places you visit for dating should be places that center on people who want to marry. People who frequent bars are looking for short-term mating strategies, i.e., sex. These are not people who want to marry anyone. In fact, some of these people in bars may already be married. These are not the places that will yield you the results you desire.
Instead, the places that will yield you the results you desire are those places that simply center on preparation for marriage. These are the places where people are of the mindset about marriage, long-term commitment, and future planning. These are not places that cater to short-term thinking, i.e., get in and get out. These are the places with people of sound mind, sound mindset, and sound belief system. None of these people in these places are confused about why they are there. In other words, if you join an online group for singles who want to marry, each of those people who join the group have decided to pursue this life path. They expect you to possess the same type of thinking.
The same line of thinking can be suggested about having sex while dating. If people are searching for short-term mating strategies, meaning they are unwilling for a season in their life to entertain long-term commitments, then you must accept their reasoning. You cannot enter their dating market that is flooded with sex and say, “Well, I want you to commit to me and not have sex with anymore people.” That does not work for a person with a different mindset. You will engender arguments from a partner you are trying to convert into a long-term romantic partner. People who want one-night stands want one-night stands. It makes no reasonable sense to tell a person what he or she wants when he or she wants something temporary.
Many partners who struggle to let go of an ex struggle also with this idea that they were going to convert the person to long-term considerations and their plan did not work out. You brought someone home for the night, and now you are trying to convert that person into a girlfriend or a boyfriend. You “caught feelings” as some would say, and now you are suggesting that the person is wrong because he or she does not reciprocate the same feelings. Arguments are usually created out of some misunderstanding about the current situation and/or a refusal to see the situation for what it truly is.
There is dating. Then there is courtship. Then there is pre-marital counseling. Then, of course, there is marriage. Each romantic relationship category has its own dictates, boundaries, standards, expectations, and seasons. People struggle when they mix seasons, bringing one person who falls under one category into another category and hoping that it will work out because they believe love is involved.
Sometimes love has nothing to do with it. Sometimes you can just meet someone at the wrong time in your life, and you can push for a relationship at the wrong time in your life. There are times in life when you should be resting and not working, and then there are times in life when you should be working and not resting. You just have to know the seasons in your life that require you to work and that require you to rest. How does this look? If you are running after relationships and you have not taken the time to rest your mind, you will burn out. You will affect whatever process you have been making. You will interrupt whatever progress you are reaching.
Working, i.e., pursuing romantic relationships, will affect your mind, body, soul, and finances. In other words, all elements of your life need a rest from romantic relationships! Without rest to your mind, you will find that you become more argumentative and frustrated in relationships, and you will bring those frustrations into other seasons in your life and other relationships.
You’re Not the One
You are not the one is one of those statements we all do not want to hear. A person who struggles to let go of an ex is a person who cannot reach an understanding about being someone’s option and not the person’s priority. I think people know early on in their encounters or relationships with you that you are not the one they are going to marry or be together with long-term.
I equally believe you know early on in your encounters or relationships with someone that the person is not the one. What is most confusing, however, is why you continue to remain in the relationship and pursue it as if you are considering it for long-term? The best answer to this question is people choose to remain in relationships with people they do not want out of sheer convenience.
A wife will stay with a husband she no longer loves or maybe never loved for 10, 15, 20, or 25 years and divorce that person once all the kids are out of the house, off to college, and grown adults. A man will stay with a woman he hates just so he can continue to have sustained access to his kids. Once that child grows up and can make fully adult decisions, the man will leave that romantic relationship.
A man who secretly believes he is gay will marry a woman just so he can have a place to stay until he pulls himself together financially. Then he will leave. He will say that he was unsure at the time he met his wife of his sexual status and that he now believes he is ready to embrace his truth!
A man will move in with a woman knowing he does not want her and knowing that he still loves the ex-partner until the ex-partner decides to give him another chance and take him back. He knows he is not going to be with the woman who may be a rebound for him, but he will stay in that relationship, tolerate it, not contribute, and secretly go behind the woman’s back and try to make things work with the ex-partner.
A woman will pursue a man knowing that she does not want him after she has gotten pregnant by a man who refused to marry her. The man she wanted did not want her. Instead of taking time to reflect on that truth, she pulls at the man she initially rejected because now she needs financial help.
In other words, people know early that they do not want someone. Just because they may return to the person of a previous relationship does not mean that they still want the person. I often believe that they need the win from rejection.
Ultimately, people do not like to feel the pain of rejection, and it colors their view about themselves and their capacity for relationship-building, especially if the relationship they really wanted fails or the person who they really wanted does not want them. That is a hard pill to swallow when your fantasies about someone outweigh your reality of the situation.
When the ex does not want your current partner is not only hard for your partner to accept, but also hard for you to accept that your partner still wants a person who does not want him. I do not know which one is worse: the fact that he cannot get over his ex or the fact that you entertain him not being able to get over his ex.
Therefore, this article is really about you! You are the one who is struggling more than your current partner who refuses to leave the person alone emotionally, psychologically, and maybe even financially. It is likely that he is sending money outside of the house he lives with you to cover the house he cannot even visit with her. He is funding a relationship that no longer exists!
Let that sink in for a moment. He is funding that relationship emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and financially, but the relationship stopped a long time ago. The person just refuses to let it go because of whatever potential he believes the relationship has for repair. You might have some sympathy for the person, but you also have to take into consideration that if your partner is still preoccupied with an ex and refuses to let her go, then it is likely that she has a hand in the matter. In other words, she is leading him on just as much as he is leading you on.
You are both being led by someone who is holding your relationship hostage. He wants to be with her, but she does not want to be with him. However, she also does not want to let him go for convenience, sex, money, or just to sustain whatever win she feels in the moment. This means that she is dangerous and to stay with your partner who cannot get over his ex will prove dangerous and self-destructive for you.
Once you understand that your partner is not going to let his ex go, then it becomes necessary for you to plan your exit. You cannot live in two relationships. You cannot thrive in your life still battling with your ex and his ex. Something has to give, and only you can make the decision because your partner refuses to make the decision for himself, for you, and for the relationship you have with him. You must plan your exit, even if it takes you one to two years to get him or her out of your life fully.
You must plan your exit because your very life depends on it. You must plan your exit because the state of your finances is at stake. You must plan your exit because even if the ex does not want him, they both could get married behind your back. You must plan your exit because your sanity matters. Just because they are crazy does not mean you have to be crazy along with them.
Be careful entertaining situations that do not serve you. If your ex is still struggling over letting go of his ex, then this means that you do not have a relationship with him at all. He is just at your house physically, but his heart is somewhere else. Staying with him in this dynamic leaves you in bondage. The way out of bondage is to reflect, self-correct, pray, and heal.
The topic When women marry their mothers is largely about dealing with rejection from a romantic partner. It is a difficult concept to understand because we typically identify a woman’s problem with her male romantic partner as one that suggests she married her father and that is why she is currently struggling with someone. Her father might have been abusive, and it is likely why she married a man who “looks like” her father.
In many cases, this can be true. Women can marry their fathers because of how they were raised and this can be based on how much exposure they had to their father’s patterns and behavior. If the father was abusive in the home, the woman might feel inclined to repeat the same pattern as her mother in marrying a man who is also abusive. The same can be suggested with an alcoholic father or any other issue that plagues the fatherly role in the home.
However, many people rarely or never consider that you can also marry your mother. This is especially true if your mother scapegoated you or designed ways to reject you within the family dynamic. You could have been the black sheep of the family. You could have been the one upon whom everyone projected all their problems, and your mother could have served as the facilitator for that family rejection.
For example, I lived in a home with a mother who pit me against my siblings, my siblings against me, one sibling against another, and everybody largely against her, as in adopting a victim mentality. My mother was emotionally and psychology insecure and immature, and even though she raised three kids as a single parent, she was still a kid herself. I believe she and people like her are stuck somewhere in their toddlerhood still wishing for their daddy or their mommy to pick them up when they cry.
It’s called insecure attachment, which is based on the caregiver-infant dynamic and how the parent responds or does not respond to the cries of the child. If the parent appropriately responds to the cries of the child, then there is likely a secure attachment, i.e., an emotionally stable and positive relationship between caregiver and infant. On the other hand, when the primary caregiver or parent responds on his or her own timetable to the cries of the child, i.e., just let the child cry without picking it up, then the child is likely to feel emotionally insecure, leading to an insecure attachment.
I do not want to get too deeply into attachment (secure vs. insecure) because I want to focus largely on how women marry their mothers. You can follow this link for more information. I usually address this concept in other articles and video lectures. You can follow my YouTube Channel to listen to audio lectures on this topic as well. For now, this article is briefly about how women marry their mothers, and it is an attempt to make a connection to partner rejection.
How women marry their mothers is based on the assumption(s) that you follow what you know. You do what you know. You understand what you know. You believe what you know. Since the first experiences with learning is typically passed from the parent to child, the assumption may have some validity.
Mothers teach their daughters how to clean the house, wash the dishes, take care of their siblings, and do basically everything that the mother would do except go out and work a job. This only happens when the daughter reaches a certain age and she can work. Before this happens, the daughter serves as a pseudo-parent, and this dynamic falls under parentification. Follow that link for more information.
Parentification is simply role reversal where the child takes on adult responsibilities because of an absentee parent or a working parent. Regardless, the child becomes parent-like and is expected to conduct himself or herself as a parent. Many latchkey kids fall under this category. The eldest child gathers the siblings, comes into the house, closes and locks the door, tells the siblings what to do, fixes everyone a sandwich and depending on age might cook from a box, and then all siblings wait until the true parent comes home and walks through the door. In many cases, this type of responsibility might be good for a child to learn about how to manage his or her siblings and manage household chores, but the child also does not get a chance to be a child. The child grows up too fast.
This happens with daughters within the family unit, even if they are not the eldest sibling. In past years, daughters were prepared for marriage more than they were prepared to attend college or go out in the workforce. The option of the workforce was simply for those daughters who could not get married, i.e., there was no one to marry them.
Today, it is different. Many women work and it is expected that they would work. They can choose or not choose marriage. They can live their lives as independently as they want or desire. Even though this is true, it is strange how some women still marry their mothers. They marry men who have the same disposition, belief system, thinking, and attitudes as their mothers. How does this look? Here are some examples of how women marry their mothers in the men they choose to engage romantically.
For one, a woman can marry her mother when she marries a man who lays all the burden on her and takes none of the responsibility for himself as an adult. She marries the same person who laid all the burdens of being a pseudo-parent onto her when she was a child. She assumes the role of “mother” in the same way that she was expected to mother her siblings.
For example, a woman who moves a man into her home who has no job is likely the same strategy she saw her mother adopt with her father, stepfather, or any other man. The mother took on the responsibility of being the provider to “her man,” and she did not ask for much in return other than for him to be a body in the bedroom and a man/father figure around the house.
Fast forward years later and the daughter is doing exactly the same thing, believing her situation is different from her mother’s past experiences but realizing, through criticism, that she chose the same kind of man as her mother. The mother is not lazy. The man is lazy. The daughter is not lazy. The man she chooses is lazy. Both women are the same in how they choose and reconcile their romantic strategies. Both women are the providers they need to be for the men they have chosen.
Another example involves financial management. A woman can marry her mother when she marries someone who is equally bad with their money. The mother passes down financial mismanagement strategies as in not paying credit card bills on time, writing bad checks and hoping the work pay will be deposited before the check bounces, and possibly stealing.
The daughter marries someone just like her mother when she struggles with the man who would rather steal, rob, and/or burglar than get and sustain a job. He never keeps the money he steals, which makes it necessary to steal again to get money. It is the same cycle the daughter sees with the mother.
Let’s put this in context. The mother is not good with money. She keeps a job and manages to keep her and all the children in a home, but she struggles every month to manage her money. She might pull at someone to borrow money. She might pawn some items. She might even have to sell some things to make the rent at the end of the month. In rare cases, she might move in with a family member who will take her.
But she never quite learns from her mistakes with financial mismanagement. She just pulls, pushes, threatens, and expects someone to pick up the financial slack. In this scenario, she never expects the man she lays with to assess the current financial situation and offer help. Instead, the mother only expects him to do nothing so she can complain about him doing nothing.
The same is true of the daughter. She chooses a man like her mother who does not contribute, is expected not to contribute, and makes no effort to plan to contribute. She chooses in her mother a man who rejects the opportunity to step up as a man and be the man in the situation. She chooses a man who rejects her as a partner worthy of financial provision at the most basic level: food, clothing, shelter. She chooses a man who lacks provider thinking and who is not even willing to provide financially for himself let alone for anyone else.
Thus, you might find women who are financially strapped choose other methods to solve their immediate financial problems and do so without the help of the man living in their house. For example, these are women who will get two more jobs to sustain the financial life at home. These are women who might start a business to bring in money. These are women who might pursue working at a club as a stripper. These are also women who might even prostitute. Regardless, these are women who will “get it done” despite the lack of help and/or the expectation of help.
The daughter becomes the mother with the same type of man who refuses to do anything and/or she does not expect the man to do anything or just be a man. He is the same type of man who does not think the woman (daughter) is worthy of provision. In other words, the daughter is more likely to repeat the patterns of her mother by seeking additional work, exploring different opportunities, and projecting a “get it done” mentality than sitting down with her current romantic partner and addressing the financial elephant in the room. “You are not working. I need you to find a job, so we can pay these bills together. If you do not want to work, then you can no longer live here with me.” The daughter, like the mother, will not issue this demand to their respective partners. It does not seem reasonable, and it is also counterproductive.
Women who marry their mothers are women who ultimately struggle with rejection from their mothers. The daughter marries the mother in operating the same way she does, the belief system she perpetuates, and the strategies she adopts. If the mother rejects something, so does the daughter when she becomes older. For example, the mother might reject the notion that education is necessary and decide that working a job for 25 years is more productive.
The mother can validate those claims because of the financial stability that comes with working that long on a job and getting a pension at the end of her service. The daughter would then co-sign with the mother, choose a “good job” that gave her 25 years of work, and then retire with a pension at the end of her service. They both believe the same thing, operate the same way, and see life as how they believe it is to be. They are not willing to entertain a different strategy. They reject the unknown.
The unknown when considering previous examples explored within this article is a man who works! They reject a man who provides and has a provider mentality. Instead of accepting the belief that there are men who provide for their families, they reject that idea for the one that requires them to do all the work. They may use such statements as “You can’t depend on a man” or “Sometimes you just got to do it yourself” or “I’ve always been independent, and I’m going to stay independent.” These statements are self-defeating and contribute to the distorted view the mother has and that she later passes down to the daughter through table talks, phone conversations, yelling throughout the house, and the two or three jobs she works to validate her claims.
The mother’s distorted view about relationship-making and how it is important for both parties to a romantic relationship to participate and contribute equally is rejected and abandoned for the belief system that she is in this world alone and that she cannot depend on anyone. The daughter accepts the same worldview, expresses her consensus, and the two of them, i.e., mother and daughter, walk in agreement. Mother and daughter are the ones who are married and not each to their respective partners.
When a woman marries her mother is simply based on the idea of rejecting commonsense about how to approach and resolve a problem and accepting the fact that the problem cannot be solved and therefore life should continue with a distorted view. There is no need to remove the scales off one’s eyes if one does not care to see the situation correctly, appropriately, and productively.
The “come up woman” does not know initially that she is a come up woman, and it is arguable if she ever truly discovers her status in and out of the relationship with a romantic partner. She never plans as a come up woman. She never designs strategies from the angle of come up woman.
She only plans for the relationship that she has with her romantic partner to work. Why else would she be in a relationship with someone who has no intention to remain in the relationship? The come up woman plans from the perspective of long-term. She envisions the future that her partner refuses to acknowledge. She is, indeed, a visionary.
The primary problem with the come up woman is that she spreads herself too thin with investing, emotionally encouraging, and financially funding her partner’s needs, desires, and wants with the expectation and hope that the relationship she has with her partner will convert to long-term.
If she is already married to her husband, whatever she does she believes is for the good of the family and her husband. Whether her husband reciprocates, she would still invest. She would still nurture. She would still give her very life to ensure that her family has what it needs. She would still support her husband through trials, tribulations, bouts of infidelity, statements of “I’m sorry,” and protestations of love despite the lack of truth to validate the sentiment.
However, the come up woman is no one to be played with. She has a purpose. She is conscientious. She has the personality of a bulldog when she sees something she wants. She needs to feel emotionally secure, financially safe, and psychologically necessary.
She gains a sense of belongingness and affiliation when she is with her husband and family and friends. She is the life giver everyone needs, the conversation everyone respects, and the wisdom that everyone applies. Although she may be perceived as the come up woman in her husband’s eyes, unbeknownst to her, she is more than a mere place placeholder. She is nobody’s substitute!
The secondary problem with this understanding is that the come up woman does not understand who she is, how her partner has framed her, and the consequence that will ensue once her husband decides to exit the relationship. The husband has already cultivated a backup mate as a form of mate insurance to secure his future romantic life.
He has laid claim to someone else who is not a come up woman to honor, but this person has done nothing for him. He frames his current partner as someone to leave behind because it is like leaving behind his struggle. When he chooses someone else different from the come up woman, it is to signify a measure of success.
This article introduces a possible research plan to study the come up woman. The ideas explored within this article are subject to change, but they are similar to other research projects that I have completed and that are also ongoing for similar reasons.
Those research projects include exploration of rebounding, rebound relationships, romantic setback, romantic hastiness, and psychology-related concepts such as mate value, mate preference, mate retention, mate replaceability, and mate switching.
This research project will support another research and writing project I am considering on emotional eviction, which may further segue into a larger, more comprehensive undertaking. All research projects are in progress. The introduction of ideas and thinking surrounding these concepts are explored through writing blog articles and creating audio lectures. Writing helps to keep a record of ideas.
You may review a recent article I wrote that explores the come up woman as a target (similar to a case study) for discussion to gain insight into my thinking about this concept. The previous article is about the costs of mate switching.
The following questions gauge your thinking about the concept of the come up woman, your status as a come up woman if it applies, and whether you believe you are susceptible to engaging another romantic relationship as a come up woman in the future.
Do you know the definition of the concept “come up woman”?
Have you ever been a come up woman?
When was your last experience as a come up woman?
How soon did your ex-partner exit a relationship with you to pursue his next romantic interest?
Would you ever pursue being a come up woman in a future relationship?
What are your social, cultural, and financial perspectives about the come up woman?
Think about these questions as you read through this article. This is a preliminary questionnaire and is subject to change or extend based on future research and critical thinking.
The argument surrounding the come up woman is that she is necessary for a man to be able to pursue his own dreams. She may be a person with dreams, but those dreams are put on hold to facilitate a greater purpose. That purpose is the man’s purpose, and he will manipulate and control the relationship to pursue his intentions.
This means that there is a level of insecurity with a man who struggles to support his woman’s need to pursue her own purpose in life. In fact, the way in which he facilitates ensuring that he goes before her is symbolic of getting ahead of her. He must go first!
For example, a man who says that he wants to know if a woman is real and that a prenup is necessary to separate finances prior to marriage is a man who cares about his assets, as he should, but he can also be a man who is unwilling to ensure his partner is financially secure if something should happen to him.
This means that certain men who project what is seemingly reasonable conditions for marriage onto a future partner can still operate with ulterior motives. If finances are considered separate coming into the marriage, and if the prenup is iron clad to the point that the wife gets nothing if they divorce, then what is the expectation of the wife who exits the marriage through no fault of her own?
This question is necessary to consider if the husband desires that she also does not work. She is not earning any money while in the marriage. She is expected to support her husband emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually throughout the marriage, which also includes a requirement to support him in pursuing his dreams.
This looks like a wife who may serve as the first receptionist for his company, a wife who is there at the foundation of the business, a wife who is expected also to tend to the house and bear his kids, and a wife who, when the husband decides that she is of no more use, is expected to leave quietly and do so without even a hint of bitterness.
Because the husband frames her as someone he can leave, he structures the marriage to facilitate and perpetuate this argument. When thinking about her role and whether she can now pursue her own dreams, the husband may ask the following questions and make these sample statements:
Are you sure you want to do that? Is it time?
We are still working on the business. It’s not time to go back to school. Just wait until we get to a good place.
This is my business. This is my house.
The last statements are about emotional manipulation and control to keep the wife in the marriage. If a woman gets it into her head that she is going to do something, and she is good at follow through, then she will get it done. Men who frame women for the come up understand the nature of the come up women.
By the time the husband has reached the last statement he knows he is on his way to making the right moves to push him further into his dream. This means that what he has been doing and what his wife has been doing to help him is working. He is about to make it! It is at this point where the husband assumes possession and where and when the wife or long-term partner becomes the come up woman.
When the husband shifts into territorial thinking, from “we” to “I” and “my,” the come up woman cannot stay. She must leave. The husband now creates a campaign to exit her out of the relationship. This campaigning always begins with seeking an affair partner, reflective of the woman who has made no direct contribution towards achieving his dreams.
The husband’s argument, thus, is not about whether the come up woman is useful and has been a major contributor to helping him achieve his dream. She doesn’t need to be honored for that. After all, she is a wife who is supposed to be a helpmeet, according to the Bible. That’s her role anyway. Why would she need to perform any other role than being accessible and available for her husband? She doesn’t need flowers for doing what she is supposed to do. She doesn’t need recognition or honor.
However, the new woman in his life does need such honor. She deserves to get all the praise for choosing a man who is now successful, for making the right decision to be available for him as he continues to make his social climb, and for introducing him to a new way of thinking about money and connections. The wife has no such connections and possesses no such thinking about how to make moves that matter.
Essentially, the husband prepares to discard the come up woman because she represents struggle, and he does not desire to take struggle with him where he is going. The new woman represents success, albeit false, and he wants to take and maintain success where he is going. This is the husband’s argument.
The characteristics of the come up woman always fall under certain personality traits and mindset. It is clear that the come up woman has character, high morals, wholesome values, integrity, staying power, follow through, and heart. There are also some characteristics that make it easier for men to play her and mishandle her gifts, talents, and kindness.
Most come up women derive from a family dynamic where they were expected to be people pleasers. The helpmeet they are to their husbands begins with helping their mothers in the home. They are expected to be available for their mothers, at will and with consequence if they do not comply, and they are expected to run the house as a pseudo-parent.
They suffer under parentification in which they are subjected to role reversal, serving as a caregiver to their siblings. If they do not have siblings, then mom and her issues becomes the next project, and the come up women usually have had to serve in some caregiver roles for their mothers.
Then they pass that type of thinking into a marriage, and they are essentially taking care of their mothers all over again. In other words, the husband becomes the new mother. The come up woman feels that she needs to sacrifice herself and her own well-being to ensure her mother and by extension, her husband, get what they need. It is a never-ending cycle because the provision of help and assistance continues even when the come up woman gets sick.
The personality traits of a come up woman fall under the Big Five, which is a psychology concept I discuss in all my writing and audio lectures: NEOAC. Study the visual for insight.
Strangely enough, the come up woman embodies all these characteristics and personality traits. I have not conducted any official research concerning this assumption, so this discussion is highly presumptive.
The visual suggests that the come up woman prefers routine and predictability and less opportunity to embrace curiosity (openness to experience). The come up woman is more hardworking and less impulsive (conscientiousness). The come up woman can be or is expected to be withdrawn emotionally and less outgoing (extraversion).
The come up woman may be too empathetic, which means that she is less suspicious and critical (agreeableness). Lastly, the come up woman may be anxious and prone to negative emotions, which leaves her less even-tempered and less emotionally secure (neuroticism).
These immediate ideas should be validated with research intent, which requires the development of a research question, hypothesis, data gathering, literature review, and topical analysis. The development of this idea in applying the Big Five to the concept of the come up woman is ongoing. It will begin with compiling and writing a literature review.
The mindset of a come up woman falls under the distinctions between fixed mindset and growth mindset. Mindset is also a common topic I discuss in various articles, have taught in my English classrooms, and feel the need to apply it to different topics within my writing projects. Mindset is a very useful concept.
The come up woman believes she may epitomize a growth mindset because of her undying loyalty and her commitment to stay the course in her marriage, through the trials and tribulations, and her struggle to remain consistent with the help she provides her husband. However, if she is still with a partner who frames her as a woman to use, and who will discard her as soon as he is financially able, then the come up woman really reflects a fixed mindset.
For example, when challenges affect the immediate romantic relationship, the come up woman does not address those issues. Instead, she applies her critical thinking skills to areas of the husband’s dream that need resolution. In other words, she resolves the working relationship she has with her husband and not the emotional and psychological and romantic relationship she has with him.
It is the passive aggressive nature of her problem-resolution skills that positions one issue over another and that positions his needs over her own. The come up woman takes a back seat. Without a firm foundation for the marriage, it is subject to crumble when pressure hits it.
When the issues of the romantic relationship are abandoned, maybe not completely, the come up woman focuses on the practical aspects of helping her husband reach completion of his ideas and supporting his efforts towards achievement. Arguments and personality clashes cannot be resolved. The come up woman does not know at this point that the husband no longer wants the romantic aspect of the relationship.
The business and “making it” are what matters going forward. But even if the husband does not outline his own criticisms of the relationship, subconsciously the come up woman feels the emotional disconnect. Instead of utilizing a growth mindset, she will remain in a fixed mindset, focus all her efforts on validating the ideas of her husband, and then be genuinely surprised when she is discarded from the relationship and the husband’s life.
In other words, the come up woman’s efforts will eventually plateau. She might help her husband reach his highest level of achievement, thereby preparing him for some other woman, but she will never reach her own achievement within the marriage, failing to prepare herself for new levels of success.
Although she would have allocated all efforts to ensuring her husband is successful, he will leave her as if she is a failure. Thus, she becomes a failure in her life and with her relationship. She will take this mindset into another environment, maybe a different marriage, and struggle with reconciling her contributions within the previous context.
The come up woman’s contributions did not manifest into success, especially success in the marriage. This is something she has to live with emotionally, mentally, psychologically, spiritually, and financially the rest of her life.
The obvious psychology perspectives are ones that I have discussed in multiple articles and audio lessons. They are the ones that address mate value, mate preference, mate replaceability, mate retention, and mate switching. Take some time to review those concepts in previous articles. Click the “Blog” tab.
Mate value: the perception of one’s mate value compared to the mate value of available partners on the mating market.
Mate preference: determines who a person chooses and how much that choice has an impact on their health, status, and number and quality of offspring.
Mate replaceability: defined as abandoning a partner who does not fit one’s mate preferences.
Mate retention: based on mate value and it includes two types of behaviors: benefit-provisioning (compliments, gifts) and cost-inflicting (insults, sexual jealousy) mate retention behaviors.
Mate switching: short-term mating strategy defined as someone leaving one mating relationship to remate with another partner.
The come up woman has lower mate value. She may represent quality mate value as an individual woman, but her connection to a man or husband who has framed her as someone to leave and abandon suggests that her mate value is lowered compared to someone the man or husband perceives as having higher value.
This means that the man or husband prefers the new woman or any other woman besides the come up woman. Even if he knows the come up woman is the right person for him, and she has proven her worth, it doesn’t matter. He will discard her because she does not fulfill his mate preference.
His mate preference can be a woman who falls under a certain beauty standard. It can be a woman who has social status and comes from a good name. It can be a woman who is young and sexually appealing. Regardless, the man really does not outline his mate preference, and I’m not sure he knows what it is. The only thing that matters is that he has sustained access to whatever resources he needs to continue fulfilling whatever goal he has in the moment.
When a man or husband does not plan to stay with the come up woman, he will replace her based on any condition he sets and/or changes. If he required that his woman or wife cook at the beginning of their relationship, then this no longer matters when he designs strategies to exit said relationship.
This does not mean that he will not eat what she cooks. It just means that he begins acting out what he thinks the relationship should be until he leaves! He will not go so far as to insult the wife about her cooking, but if she threatens to leave because she does not feel emotionally fulfilled, then he might use mate retention behaviors to keep her in the relationship and/or marriage.
These include both benefit-provisioning and cost-inflicting. All this does is set up the man or husband to replace the woman or wife. Eventually, the time will be ripe for mate switching.
The Man Who Uses
If it is not clear about who the man is who uses a come up woman, then I’m not sure if there is still enough room to explore this idea in this article. Regardless, it is important to consider this individual and what he brings to a romantic relationship and how he frames the come up woman for use and discard.
The man who uses the come up woman is a man who needs financial resources. Love and emotional support are second to assets and resources that he feels he needs to get him to where he wants to be and where he wants to be that is recognizable and financially successful. Maybe he comes from a poverty background or a toxic family dynamic. For this type of man, he needs to get to a place in his mind that is not necessarily financially stable but more along the lines of representing financial abundance. This same man does not do the work, directly, to get to a place he wants to be financially and socially.
This is why he uses the come up woman because he knows she will put in the long efforts, long nights, consistent contribution, hard work, and persistence. He knows that she will endure whatever he throws at her emotionally, psychologically, mentally, physically, and financially. In fact, her finances are his finances because he never keeps a job long enough to save money or make any true financial contribution to “his dream.” When she is not up to the task to complete anything he wants her to do, he will pout and moan that she is not a good woman and that she needs to stick it out with him through thick and thin.
In other words, his push to get her back on task is based on the underlying expectation that she is a “ride or die.” He will continue to frame her in this way until she finally breaks. This makes it easier to discard her, validating his assumption that she does not have what it takes to go the distance. This assumption is his ultimate justification for mate switching, mate replacing, and mate discarding.
In completing this preliminary discussion on the come up woman, I am reminded of a viral post that got the attention of both men and women. In the following visual, the man suggests that he does not plan on remaining with his girlfriend once he finally gets his life together.
This supports the assumption that men who use women for a come up opportunity do so because they lack the finances to maintain their own adult living. It is better to use the resources that a come up woman has, i.e., house, car, money, etc., than to create opportunities for them to get these items without the assistance of a woman. Read the visual. It is enlightening. The full visual is at the end of this article, marked as an addendum item.
What this man is suggesting through his “truth” is that he never planned on staying with his girlfriend, which is clear. This also suggests that he would have been willing to stay years with his girlfriend until he found a decent job. Finding a decent job could take a lot of time given the fact that you may not always have the education and/or experience necessary to land that type of job.
Therefore, he would have been willing to tolerate the situation with the woman even through unhappiness, unfulfillment, and instability. Whatever is necessary for him to get to the next level of his life, then that is all that matters. If he has to sleep with the woman, eat her food, take her money, and let her be a nurturing force in his life, he will do it. He has other plans and such plans do not entail sustaining the relationship with the woman beyond his initial goal of landing a decent job. That is his goal, not the development of a romantic relationship with the come up woman.
In concluding this full discussion, return to the initial visual of the woman sitting in a homeless shelter. The come up woman is really emotionally homeless in a relationship where she is framed as someone a man or husband can abandon and ultimately leave. That picture is sufficient.
There is no need to explore it further in this blog article. Just remember that if the come up woman ends up in a homeless shelter, this suggests that there is little reconciling her life by sustaining the status of come up woman. To get out of homelessness, whether physical or emotional, she will need to address her belief system, reflect on her life, and move forward out of the type of thinking of being someone’s ride or die to the detriment of her own life and dreams.
Therefore, future activities on this topic might include a full exploration of how the come up woman becomes homeless after dealing with a man or husband who has drained her of emotional, psychological, spiritual, and financial resources. An additional exploration will consider the concept of rebounding and rebound relationships. All research and writing activities are in progress.
The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
The resources within this section do not represent the full exploration of the topic. They begin the discussion. The source list is subject to change. You may also click the “Rebounding” tab for a complete list of resources. It is the official research tab for the site. A topical bibliography is available on the “Toxic Encounters Books” tab as well.
Dillow, M. R., Afifi, W. A., & Matsunaga, M. (2011). Perceived partner uniqueness and communicative and behavioral transgression outcomes in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 29, 28-51. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0265407511420191. Accessed 28 June 2022.
Favors, R. (2021). Toxic encounters: Why people pursue rebound relationships. Favors Publications.
Shimek, C. & Bello, R. (2014). Coping with breakups: Rebound relationships and gender socialization. Switzerland: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. Retrieved from http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/3/1/24. Accessed 28 June 2022.
Cheating is arguably the precursor to partners choosing a different mate. People justify their reasons for cheating based upon perception. What they perceive their partner as not doing for them is worthy of a consideration to cheat in the relationship.
What people do not understand, however, is that cheating equals exit. When you cheat, you are saying to your partner that you want out of the relationship, even if you allocate as much effort to remaining in the relationship.
This could include utilizing benefit-provisioning mate retention strategies such as giving compliments and/or buying gifts to retain your partner. It could also include cost-inflicting mate retention strategies to retain your partner; these are defined as insults and sexual jealousy.
Cheating thus, is that cost-inflicting mate retention behavior that people often overlook because I believe that when people cheat, they are really bluffing. I have a video where I explore this idea. They are trying to get the person to do what they want, and they are using cheating as a facilitator. People also cheat because there is some insecurity or some unhappiness in their personal lives.
They think that cheating resolves whatever problem they are experiencing. Instead of addressing the issue directly, they step out of the bed of the core relationship, locate an affair partner and cheat with that person, and then return to the core relationship as if nothing ever happened or as if their decision has no consequence.
To people who cheat in this way, it is like stepping out to run by a convenience store or a burger joint to get something to eat and then returning home. They think it is as natural and simple as an everyday decision. They don’t envision the feelings they have as something long-term, but they still want the opportunity to seek happiness, albeit temporarily, elsewhere.
They are not the kinds of people who have adopted cheating as a lifestyle, as something that they will never give up. No, what they believe they are doing is merely something temporary. Even if they want to keep the opportunity, they also believe the feelings will pass.
The problem with this logic is that it initiates and perpetuates a belief system concerning cheating, using cheating to replace a mate for whatever reason and adopting cheating as a solution driver. Many people validate their belief system with cheating as something that they feel they must do.
These are people who cheat academically, professionally, and/or personally. Their life can’t work unless they are cheating, and cheating within different contexts is essentially skipping steps. But consequences are always at the end of the brick wall.
Therefore, journal your belief system about replacing a mate using cheating as a facilitator. Provide an example of a time when you were forced to replace a mate.
What was the context?
Why were you forced to mate switch?
Your choice to mate switch may not have anything to do with cheating. You might have decided that it was time to end a relationship with that person.
Regardless, some major issue precipitated the mate switch. Take some time to consider why, the impact, and your worldview today. Consider your belief system, whether it is new or sustains the old.
Mate switching is a short-term mating strategy. It is defined as leaving one mating relationship and re-mating with another partner. People create many reasons to justify leaving one partner for another. Some of these reasons are validated with cheating.
Given the implication of the visual, what would be a reason(s) why you would mate switch?
Monitor their current mating relationship for both benefits and costs.
Evaluate alternative potential mates while mated.
Circumvent the guarding tactics from a current mate.
Engage in extra-pair infidelity.
Deploy exit strategies.
Switch to a new partner.
Here are some research sources if you are further interested in the concept of mate switching. Some sources may require a subscription, but you should be able to locate a source using a keyword search such as “mate switching pdf.”
Spielmann, Stephanie S., MacDonald, Geoff and Anne E. Wilson. “On the Rebound: Focusing on Someone New Helps Anxiously Attached Individuals Let Go of Ex-Partners.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. October 2009 35: 1382-1394. 22 Jul. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Mate switching, unfortunately is a common practice. People exit and switch romantic relationships like they exit and switch out their clothing. There is no true loyalty in romantic relationships today. If a person can cheat their way out of a relationship, then the person will cheat and will do so to the detriment of the other partner.
They will ignore the common consequences to pursue their own ideals about the next partner they want to entertain, never mind the fact that they are currently in relationship with someone. Their current relationship status does not matter. All that matters for a person interested in mate switching is that they have the option to switch and that at any time their mate preference becomes available, they will pursue that option and mate switch.
There are common reasons why partners may mate switch. The reasons may be obvious given the complex nature of romantic relationships; some reasons may be new to your understanding about relationship-making. For example, some partners may grow sexually bored with each other. This is an obvious reason because people do not always enter relationships by having conversation. They have sex first and hope everything else will work out. They burn out with sex and then realize that they do not have anything to talk about. Therefore, the relationship ends because it didn’t consist of substance in the first place.
Another obvious reason might involve personal conflicts. As much as people love to say that they do not want to fight, people love their conflicts! They love the arguing, chaos, and drama that envelops the relationship. They do not know how to talk to each other or communicate their ideas without yelling. Their communication style is simply to raise their voice so they can be heard. When they get their chance to speak, they really do not have anything substantial to say, so they return to raising their voices.
Maybe they saw this communication style between their parents. The parent who backed down made it possible for the other parent to get his or her way. That was success for that parent. If yelling loud enough to get a parent to back down was considered success to that parent who “won,” and the child saw this dynamic played out, then he or she might adopt this same strategy for the romantic relationships he or she encounters. If the parent who did all the yelling got his or her way and also left the other parent by mate switching, i.e., getting someone else, then the child would definitely find the strategy of changing mates effective, especially with using the communication style of yelling.
Finances always play a contributing factor in the temporary separation and/or permanent termination of romantic relationships. One person may be sound in financial management and another person might struggle to live and pay their bills. Bringing those two partners together under one roof and integrating finances into the romantic relationship might be fine in the beginning because the relationship is new and sex-filled.
Neither partner is paying attention to the fact that one of them is bad with money. It isn’t until they get emotionally, psychologically, and sexually sober that they both realize there is a problem with money management. For the financially sound partner, the money management issue must be resolved, and this person usually provides a deadline or a firm expectation. If the financial issue is not resolved, the person is likely to exit the relationship through mate switching.
Mate switching is a very important phenomenon that affects individuals and families and society in general. If you have so many people changing mates, it affects cultural, political, and economic dynamics. People jumping from one relationship to the next will influence how their kids view the world and relationships. Mate switching has devastating consequences. It is better to ask questions early in the relationship than to go at the relationship nonchalantly with a carpe diem style of emotional management, hoping for the best.
This article introduces the concept of mate switching and provides a scenario target in exploring the “come up woman” as an example of a partner who must endure mate switching when her partner decides to discard her for a new person.
Partners who mate switch are not surprised by their own attitudes and strategies. Sometimes these are people who have developed the skill of mate switching, looking for that one person they believe fits them in all areas of their lives and who can bring the ultimate relationship satisfaction. They have been essentially holding out hope for the one!
The article explores the concept, provides some useful resources, and offers a writing opportunity to resolve issues in misunderstanding about relationship-making and how mate switching affects the relationship development process. Rebounding and/or rebound relationships is briefly referenced within this article.
You can find this topic fully explored in Chapter Five of the book. The section on mate switching includes a case study that focuses on assortative mating, which is defined as different dating market values applied to a person who might be considered high interest, low interest, or no interest. With this category of mating, people tend to mate with people similar to themselves, such as high value people mate with high value people or something as simple as tall people mating only with tall people. Click the link for more information.
The content within this article is subject to fair use.
What is mate switching?
Mate switching is a short-term mating strategy. It is defined as leaving one mating relationship and re-mating with another partner. People create many reasons to justify leaving one partner for another. Some of these reasons are validated with cheating.
To cheat is to exit the relationship. Once you decide to cheat on your partner, you are already suggesting to the person that you want out! You may not say these words, and people usually do not voice their desire because they want to keep the relationship at arm’s length. They still want to maintain the convenience of the core relationship because of the unpredictability associated with the affair partner.
Contrary to what people think about cheating, it is a form of mate switching, and it is precipitated by a desire to exit. Cheating is just one of many forms of mate switching. Those forms are discussed within the next sections.
What are the costs of mate switching?
The costs of mate switching are always based on the initial reasons why someone chooses this option. The person can feel like he or she is in the right even if there is no true justification for the decision. The following circumstances can prompt a mate switch:
Unanticipated costs associated with staying with one mate
Changes in mate value of either partner
Arrival of a new mate or potential mate
Partners often mate switch when they feel there is a value discrepancy in their current partners. The mate switching hypothesis is based on activities that lead to adopting a “walk away strategy” from the romantic relationship. Mate switching in romantic relationships includes one or more of the following strategies:
Monitor their current mating relationship for both benefits and costs.
Evaluate alternative potential mates while mated.
Circumvent the guarding tactics from a current mate.
Engage in extra-pair infidelity.
Deploy exit strategies.
Switch to a new partner.
Monitoring, evaluating, and switching to a new partner are all time-consuming activities that suggest intent to leave. People who feel secure and satisfied in their relationships do not feel the need to seek happiness elsewhere.
The fact that one of the partners thinks engaging in extra-pair infidelity will resolve the unhappiness factor is a sign that there is no desire to remain in the core relationship, which makes it feasible to deploy exit strategies. Mate switching begins in the mind and in the heart before it is followed up with action.
Mate switching is also perpetuated with emotions. With rebound relationships, for example, a romantic partner will adopt an emotional exit strategy and switch to a new partner but will retain the right to continue the physical aspect of the rebound relationship at-will along with the core/new relationship.
The partner will monitor and evaluate both relationships, consider potential mates, and discard if necessary or especially when one of the relationships begins to be challenging. It is the “dating rotation” that people have adopted today to keep from developing a long-term relationship with just one partner.
Mate switching also allows people to increase their mate value. Even the affair partner who forms the basis upon which a core partner decides to leave the core relationship is somewhat advanced socially, economically, and financially when that partner has social standing. Even if the way in which two people get together is considered haphazardly and morally wrong, mate value increases as a result of mate switching. The costs may outweigh the benefits for the core partner, but the benefits outweigh the costs for the affair partner.
When People Mate Switch
People mate switch during different seasons in their lives. Mate switching can be convenient or inconvenient for reasons people only justify as important for them. Men and women base their mate switching on a variety of factors.
For example, mate switching allows men to create and maintain multiple short-term mating relationships such as sexual affairs, low commitment relationships, and one-night stands. Mate switching allows women to assess current partners’ mate value and exit when the partners are not meeting certain criteria, usually benefit-provisioning. Mate switching, however, may result in loss of social support, damage to reputation, and revenge porn.
If you cheat on your current mate, it will affect relationships within the family unit. Mate switching could inevitably result in loss of mate value. Withdrawal of financial support is usually a consequence of mate switching.
Women often need to monitor their partner’s mate value to track the progression of the relationship and to determine when to continue investing or begin disinvesting. Women will usually explore potential alternative mates when their partners fail to provide.
Women will always monitor their own mate value if they increase in status through their own efforts, if they suddenly inherit resources, or if they become attracted to a potential alternative.
When people mate switch is predicated oftentimes on the emotional feasibility of the relationship, but as noted, people will mate switch if it becomes financially inconvenient to remain in the relationship.
The Backup Mate Hypothesis
Both men and women cultivate backup mates. It is a major contributing factor that decides when people mate switch. It also provides the answer to why people mate switch when they are in highly satisfying relationships.
The backup mate hypothesis is useful for people experiencing high relationship satisfaction. Women and men report having backup mates and would actively use cost-inflicting behaviors to prevent partner defection. Men and women perceive cultivating back up mates differently.
Women would be more upset if their backup mate began dating someone else or even fell in love with someone else, the irony being that it is okay for one partner in a relationship to cultivate a backup mate and expect the other partner to remain faithful and loyal. Women would try to prevent their backup mate from pursuing and/or marrying someone else. When breakups do occur, they usually end up in re-mating with a new mate.
People who break up with partners without transitioning to a new partner are forced to enter the mating market. Rushing too soon into a relationship may come off as desperate leading to poor mate choice. Baggage is likely a prerequisite for a new breakup. Rebounding is part of the re-mating process, albeit useful for some as a short-term mating strategy.
The mate switching hypothesis has its advantages and disadvantages. Partners usually mate switch based upon resources as well as “good genes” in terms of parental investment. However, mate switching may not always be necessary or may not be a necessary option. Mate switching is the ultimate backup plan for reasons already explored within this article.
Sample Scenario: The Come Up Woman
The come up woman is replaceable. There is no other way to put it. The come up woman is subject to fall under mate switching when it suits her partner. This woman will invest time, money, heart, body, spirit, and mind into a romantic relationship with a partner she deems is eligible for relationship and with whom she can see herself pursuing a long-term relationship. In fact, most come up women are married. Their partners have married them with the requirement of undying loyalty, i.e., the ultimate ride or die.
The come up woman never envisions, however, the emotional, financial, and physical discard. While she can “see” herself long-term with her partner, she is blinded by her ego that she can keep him once he gets back on his financial and emotional feet and then subsequently abandons and rejects the relationship. The come up woman, although extremely capable, conscientious, and intellectual, she really does not have vision for the relationship other than maintaining it with the hope that her partner does not leave.
In other words, I think the come up woman gets a sense about her partner that he is the type to leave and that there is no guarantee that she can keep him even with all her efforts. However, she does not envision him framing her as a person he can leave. It never dawns on her that he framed her for abandonment and emotional eviction from the very start of the relationship. This means that he never planned on staying in the relationship. He just needed a place to stay, a few bucks in his pocket, some sex, some food, and some brief companionship, maybe even a mother!
But staying in relationship with the come up woman was not something he planned to do. In fact, it was the ultimate goal to label her as a come up woman, endure the relationship for however long he could, go back and find that person he really wanted to love and impress, cheat on the come up woman, and then ultimately leave that relationship to marry the woman he has been wanting secretly from the first time he met that person. Unbeknownst to the come up woman, she did not know “her man” was really somebody else’s man. She did not know that she was dealing with a person with a divided heart.
The come up woman is nobody to play with, however, but she is a person who has been rejected the greater part of her life, in and out of relationships, likely scapegoated within the family dynamic, and probably suffered under childhood sexual trauma. Some of these experiences have encouraged emotional sleeping and psychological wanderings. It is only when she realizes that she has been, indeed, a come up woman, that she realizes it is time for change. Otherwise, if she does not pursue change, she will always be the one with whom men mate switch and leave.
Questions for Thought and Discussion
Based upon this discussion, what are some of the exit strategies you have deployed in previous romantic relationships? What were some of the reasons you used to justify the exit? Would you use those same strategies today? Add your comments below.
Dillow, M. R., Afifi, W. A., & Matsunaga, M. (2011). Perceived partner uniqueness and communicative and behavioral transgression outcomes in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 29, 28-51. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0265407511420191. Accessed 28 June 2022.
Shimek, C. & Bello, R. (2014). Coping with breakups: Rebound relationships and gender socialization. Switzerland: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. Retrieved from http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/3/1/24. Accessed 28 June 2022.
It is a difficult reality to reconcile how much you value a person when the same person does not value you. The longer you remain in a relationship that is not serving you, the easier it becomes for you to abandon your own beliefs and values concerning the soundness of relationship-building. You essentially abandon yourself.
You abandon your capacity for thinking through a situation, your ability to resolve problems, and your inclination to call something what it really is. You eventually give up. Even if you remain in the relationship, something in you has died. It becomes easier to let the relationship ride itself out, whether it continues or fails, than to decide to end it because it is simply no longer working. The relationship has become dysfunctional, but you struggle to put that label on it because you hold out hope that it will, indeed, become functional again.
However, there is never a guarantee that a dysfunctional relationship will return to its proper function if this is not the original goal. The initial goals you set for a romantic relationship matter. For example, if you begin a relationship and/or marriage with the idea that if it doesn’t work out, you can simply leave, then you will create situations to facilitate and further this argument.
If you begin a relationship and/or marriage with the idea that if your wife or husband does not do what you want that you will just get somebody else, even still keeping the relationship, then your focus will be on finding that person. You will position yourself around who you think is the “right candidate” to fulfill this goal. Until you locate the person, you will keep your current relationship at arm’s length. You will do the push away to pull backtechnique with your current partner because you do not plan to stay in that relationship. In your mind, you just haven’t found the right person, but the one you’re with now will do.
If you begin a relationship believing that only your needs are important, as in projecting traditional values where the woman does not have a voice, then you will create an environment indicative of hostility and toxicity. The person upon whom you are projecting these ideals will resent you, especially when the idea of traditional values should be mutual. It is not just one person serving the other. It is both parties coming together to serve each other, the relationship, and God if you believe in divine marriages.
When you discover that the relationship you are in is not one that is conducive for long-term success, or you did not set it up for long-term success, then you must return to the reasons and justifications you placed on the relationship to make it matter to you and your partner. It is hard to conduct a self-reflection exercise while you are in the relationship. In some ways, it is much easier to be out of the relationship and look back on it than to be in it and look back on why things are not currently working.
People love to survive but not overcome, so it makes it easier to continue what is not working in the relationship (surviving) than to address issues before they become perpetual problems (overcoming). To address issues is to suggest that problem-solving is at the heart of relationship-making. You cannot get through a relationship without understanding challenges may arise but that you have the capacity and communication styles to meet and resolve those challenges. If you do not have experience recognizing and resolving challenges as an individual, you will definitely have issues resolving challenges while you are in a relationship.
There are different personalities at play. While you may be a conscientious person, your partner may not really care to be so focused. You may be routine and predictable, but your partner might like risk. You may be anxious over finances, but your partner may not care about having a six-month emergency savings plan.
These are some of the ideas that form the basis of many problems when they are moved to the forefront. If your household account doesn’t have the money it needs to pay basic shelter costs, then somebody in the relationship has a financial management problem. That truly needs to be resolved before it becomes a greater problem that leads to you both becoming homeless.
Establishing the initial goals for a romantic relationship involve each of you understanding your individual standards, boundaries, and expectations. If you are still in a relationship that you have labeled consciously as toxic, then you are choosing to remain in that relationship for whatever reason.
Thus, this article is about establishing standards, boundaries, and expectations, or SBEs, prior to engaging in a romantic relationship and/or marriage. Without appropriate individual SBEs, you, your partner, and the relationship will struggle. The article explores different examples applicable in every romantic relationship.
You must establish individual standards. What are standards? Standards are something established by custom and/or general consent and that serve as a model or example, such as a direct point of reference. When you are forced to make a life-altering decision, your standards should be your point of reference, which is used to judge or evaluate something else.
For example, you are faced with a decision to move in with your boyfriend when you really desire to marry before shacking up. The standard in this situation is that you do not want to engage in a pre-marital, live-in arrangement. You may not have a problem with pre-marital sex, but you believe that if you live with your boyfriend, there is a chance that it will not convert to marriage.
Therefore, your standard is to judge and evaluate the decision based on the belief system of your boyfriend who does believe in pre-marital shacking. When you are contemplating the decision, think about these questions:
What do you do?
Do you agree with your boyfriend?
Do you maintain your standard?
Do you support your belief system over your boyfriend’s belief system?
This is your dilemma. For you, this might be a character dilemma. This might be a spiritual/faith-based dilemma. This might be a traditional values dilemma. This might be a dilemma that you believe has no resolution, especially if you think that not moving in with your boyfriend will cause him to leave you.
But the question you have to ask yourself is also this: Why can’t my boyfriend respect my wishes about moving in together? To answer this question, you must also consider your boyfriend’s standards.
He believes in living together before marriage. Therefore, why don’t you respect his wishes about moving in together? In other words, this issue can go both ways. He could say that you are pressuring him into marriage. You could say that he is pressuring you into waiting on marriage.
Do you maintain your standard?
Do you maintain his standard?
Of course, only you can answer this question(s), but if you are willing to change your standards, then this means that you do not have a standard regarding the issue of moving in together before marriage. This further means that it is not a standard and that it is truly an option, if you give in to your partner’s demands.
The alternative to changing your standards about pre-marital shacking would be to exit that relationship and choose a relationship that supports your standards. If your romantic partner is unwilling to agree to your standard, then that is your own bet. It comes with a risk of losing the partner and/or the partner feeling like you are placing an ultimatum on him and the relationship, but you must maintain your standards. It doesn’t make sense to have standards and not maintain them.
You must establish individual boundaries. What are boundaries? Boundaries are defined as understanding that you are two separate individuals with differing needs and wants. This does not mean that you perceive yourselves and the relationship as two separate entities. This just means that you come into a romantic relationship with needs and wants and desires, and it is important to outline those needs and wants and desires to determine both connection and compatibility.
This is why sitting down with pen and pad and outlining what are considered your boundaries is definitely important before you make any romantic decisions and definitely before you engage the mating market. Determining what your boundaries are very early while you are single is your priority next to establishing and securing yourself financially.
For example, there are different types of boundaries that you need to become familiar with and to set. There are sexual boundaries. There are family boundaries. There are financial boundaries. There are spiritual boundaries. There are career-based boundaries. There are drugs and alcohol boundaries. There are health and physical boundaries.
If you find yourself overindulging in anything to the point of excess, then you struggle with boundaries. If you expect your partner to maintain solid boundaries while you cross boundaries, then the relationship would be headed for that eventual brick wall. Each party to a relationship needs to establish firm boundaries, two of which are discussed within this section: sexual and family.
Sexual boundaries are important. Whether you are single or married, it is crucial that you set the right sexual boundaries for your sexual and physical capacity. I do not advocate pre-marital sex, but if you are going to pursue this option, then definitely consider what you are and are not willing to do. You are under no obligation to perform what are really considered wifely duties outside of marriage, but I also understand that people will do what they feel is best for them. I did in my past, but I do not advocate this option today.
Therefore, discussing the types of sexual acts you will facilitate and perform with your partner is an important discussion. Too many times we jump in before we understand the dynamics of who we are, what we what, what we are willing to do, and how long we are willing to entertain the option. You need to be just as upfront about what is important to you sexually as the man.
In addition, a man should not surprise you about what he wants on the day you both engage sexually. You should not be surprised that he wants a certain sexual act and put you on the spot to commit to the act before you are ready.
This means that communication is key!
In addition, remember that a man will want the world from you in the bedroom, i.e., your entire soul, but that does not mean he will commit to a romantic relationship. If you desire a romantic relationship, then reconsider your sexual boundaries.
Family boundaries must be preserved. It is clear that there are mama’s boys and mama’s girls or daddy’s girls, but when you marry someone that marital partner becomes priority. Family members, who are typically women including mother and sisters, are usually the ones who interject and project their ideals onto “your relationship” with your partner. I am all for respecting my man’s mother and her sister and the family in totality, but I am not for a man placing me on a lower rung and assuming that he will be made a priority without consequence.
Getting together with your partner to discuss family boundaries should be part of a pre-marital counseling session discussion. You need to be able to iron out what is important to you as a romantic partner, what you are willing to compromise on when it comes to his mother and family, and how to reconcile pressing issues that are family-related, especially when it comes to finances.
Whether his or your mom or other family member needs extra money is a discussion you need to have because if your partner gave his mother money every month while he was still single, then what would be the expectation going forward while he is married? Does this obligation continue? Is there any room for flexibility? Can the amount change? These are questions deserving of answers, and these questions also apply to you if you are giving your family members money of any kind.
The last area of boundaries is dealing with your partner’s exes as well as dealing with your own past ex issues. I do not believe in maintaining contact with ex-boyfriends. I have never had a husband, so I don’t need to reference an ex-husband. But I do not believe in keeping friendships with someone who is no longer with me. I also do not have kids, so the exception where the ex-partner is concerned would be the kids’ mother or father. Even with that situation, there still needs to be boundaries. Exes with kids will always be a tricky situation until that child turns 18 years old.
Regardless, maintaining friendships with ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends is likely worse than dealing with the family directly because an ex-partner is always territorial and believes he or she still has claim to your partner. Ex-partners think that your partner has a duty to them and the relationship. For example, my ex-partner struggled to leave his ex alone. She didn’t want him, but he still struggled to end things with her. Therefore, I had no choice but to end things with him.
During “our relationship,” she would call him, claim she didn’t want him, tell him that he still had a duty to her, never told him where she moved to, and had a new man in her life that she bragged about to him. He still kept running emotionally back to the source of his pain, and she never let him go until I let him go. Then she no longer wanted him. Dealing with exes is a major discussion opener because there are so many triangulated relationships and people generally like to keep their exes at arm’s length that such a decision will definitely have a negative impact on your relationship with your partner.
If your partner is cheating, which is a sign that the person wants to exit the relationship, then you have to make a decision about whether to stay in that relationship. You have to set this as an individual boundary before you enter a relationship. Once you are in relationship with someone, and you discover cheating, it is hard to exit that relationship immediately. You may still leave it, but there are so many emotions involved that you reason staying to fix something that might be irreparably broken.
It takes a lot of foresight and forethought to cheat. Nothing just happens. People have to think about cheating to cheat. If you know this beforehand, then determine the best solution for you to the problem of cheating. Just remember that if you stay, you are permitting the violation.
Therefore, the alternative to maintaining your boundaries is to permit the violation, i.e., to shift and/or change the boundary line to fit whatever situation you are in with your current or future romantic partner. This means that you will never have peace in that relationship despite your many attempts, facilitations, prayers, and decisions. That is the cost you must count before you decide to enter that relationship.
You must establish individual expectations. What are expectations? Expectations are defined as the strong beliefs you have about the proper way someone should behave or do something. Expectations are not always personal and/or individual. Expectations can be cultural.
If you grew up in a two-parent home where dad worked and mom stayed at home to nurture and raise the kids and maintain the home, and this is a family dynamic that you believe worked for your family, you would be hard-pressed to abandon or throw away this expectation. It is what you know. It is what you experienced. You feel your parents had success with this dynamic. After all, they are still together!
However, not all people grew up in a two-parent family dynamic. In fact, most people have been raised in a single-parent home. This is what they know. For all intents and purposes, they find this dynamic successful. The single-parent home encouraged the children to attend college, be successful in their individual lives, be hard workers, and contribute back to their communities. This was an initial goal set for the family, i.e., parents work to send their children to college. The children fulfilled their part of the bargain.
This is the bargain a person who comes from a single-parent home understands while a person from a two-parent home understands that the mother stayed home. That is the bargain from that family dynamic. Therefore, if your partner expects you to stay home and not work, and you come from a family dynamic of hard workers, the expectation that you stay home might conflict with your own expectation to pursue a career. Why else did you attend college? Just to stay home and not do anything with the degree? Not to pursue a career at all? These are some questions you might ask your potential partner or if you are married, your husband (or wife). What matters to you might not matter to your expected partner.
Outlining expectations is the most important aspect of pre-marital counseling. If you are already married, there is always room to discuss expectations, especially as they relate to roles. It is an issue that needs resolution, and the longer you struggle to discuss expectations, the easier it is to enter a state of anger, frustration, and subsequently bitterness.
The alternative to changing your expectations, when considering the expectation that your husband or wife might want you to stay home and tend to the kids, is to find a partner who is fine with their partner pursuing work outside the home, whether male or female. This is only necessary if you as a woman want to work and your partner does not want you to work.
If he does not want you to work, but you decide to work, then you run the risk of having a disagreement that will affect the family dynamic and the romantic relationship. This is why discussing family dynamics is just as important during the pre-marital counseling phase of the relationship as discussion about any other aspect of the romantic relationship. The more communication, the better the peace.
These are the standards, boundaries, and expectations that are deserving of both an individual and collective discussion with your future partner. Once you understand what you are willing to accept or reject as an ideal, belief system, and/or personal philosophy, then it should be easier to vet the right partner appropriate for you. Knowing these ideas also helps you to discern if you are appropriate for someone else.
If you are struggling with your finances and you have not adopted a strategy to resolve that issue but your partner is financially sound, then you may not be appropriate for that person either right now or ever. You cannot bring past ideas into a new situation. Past ideas can infect the relationship, thereby making it dysfunctional on its face. This means that you still need to do your individual work so that you and your future partner can align in interests, desires, wants, needs, standards, boundaries, and expectations.
Couples do not always last because they don’t love each other. Couples do not last because each individual, separate from a relationship, has not done their respective work, has not determined whether he or she is truly compatible and ready for relationship-making, and has not established a firm life plan that reflects appropriate standards, boundaries, expectations. In other words, each person does not have the necessary consciousness to navigate their own life, let alone a romantic relationship.
The alternative to setting standards, boundaries, and expectations is to move through life without limits, with too much risk, and no fixed philosophy and/or belief system. You must have a guiding light. Whether you believe in God or not is your personal preference, but you still need something that provides direction, instruction, correction, and leadership. Instead of choosing the alternative path, choose life. Choose to create standards, boundaries, and expectations so that you can measure personal and professional success.
I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring you are in the right financial mindset before considering a romantic relationship and definitely before considering marriage. Financial soundness and stability are both necessary as an adult. Without some insight into the importance of this mindset, you will likely have a negative impact on the relationships you engage and maintain.
As much as this was the practice in the past, no one wants to marry while broke. If you are broke and economically distressed, marrying someone with the same mindset is not going to solve your problems. You may get together and pool your resources, but you both will still operate with the same mindset surrounding financial management.
In other words, you are two blind people leading each other into that metaphorical ditch. Once you are in a financial ditch, it is next to impossible to dig yourself out of it unless you get the knowledge coupled with action necessary to navigate the exit.
I wish we were much more aggressive with finances and accumulating a financial understanding, especially about how to live financially free and well. I have never experienced financial freedom. In fact, my life has been filled with living from paycheck to paycheck, losing a job and trying to make financial ends meet, failing to pay bills on time, struggling to create a solid financial life plan, and wishing for a better financial future.
I know financial heartache, some financial relief, and some financial understanding but never enough to pull myself fully out of a financially distressing situation. Just because I was able to get a job and return to work did not mean that I had reached financial freedom. It just meant that I got back on track and returned to living paycheck to paycheck. That is no way to live. The feelings that surround my desires to move financially forward and not continue living in the past serve as the bases for why I created my books and why I am building a brand.
But as I have noted in various articles, romantic hastiness does affect your finances. You cannot enter relationships with this idea that finances are not important and that when you get into a relationship, you will just make it do what it do. That kind of thinking never works, and it doesn’t work long-term. You and all of us need a solid financial plan to live financially well and subsequently to live financially free.
This article extends the financial conversation we need to have before we consider or enter romantic relationships. As much as we believe love is enough to sustain a relationship, it is truly not enough. People divorce all the time because of money, and they can still love each other. No one wants to live broke, and no one wants to die broke. If you can understand those two points, then I think it would serve you well.
Here are eight (8) scenarios I am thinking about concerning romantic hastiness, encouraging you with sincere urgency to get your financial house in order before engaging a relationship. There are a couple of scenarios that address current status in a romantic relationship.
SCENARIO #1: HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION
You just graduated from high school.
The time after graduating from high school is not the time that you should be considering a romantic relationship. It is the time where you must think to yourself, “Where do I want to take me?” This means that your knowledge base is everything you have learned from home up to and including high school graduation. Think about these following questions:
Where do you want to take yourself?
What do you want to do?
Do you want to register and enroll in college?
Do you want to start a business?
Where do you now fit?
Even if you do not know the answers to these preliminary questions, regardless, you know you need a job before you can consider any other aspect of living. What job do you want? In other words, you have more to think about in terms of securing yourself financially than worrying about a relationship romantically.
In other words, you must secure yourself financially because you are an adult even if you don’t think you are, even if you are still living at home, and even if you are not certain what you want to do. If something happened to your parents or any other fallback situation, what would be your fallback? What would be your plan? These are important questions that deserve answers.
When you do not plan or create a life plan, you are likely to take anything just to fill the time. In addition, when you do not have a plan, people will plan your life for you. You will find yourself on paths that will take some time to exit. The time before and after high school graduation is the time you need to plan, not engage in a romantic relationship.
SCENARIO #2: YOUR FRIEND’S HOUSE
You’re sleeping in someone’s house.
Contrary to what people think and understand, sleeping in someone’s house or on their couch makes you homeless. Homelessness is the state of having no home. That person’s home is not your home. Unless you both entered the apartment and/or home with the intention of being roommates and signed a lease, you are living in “their house,” which means that the person can kick you out at will.
There are laws that prevent a tenant of record from kicking you out immediately. If you are receiving mail at the place, then you may have temporary rights. However, your name is not on the lease, so you do not have complete rights, and the tenant of record can pursue eviction proceedings.
The most important thing to remember is that homelessness can include living in a shelter, with family and friends, on the streets, and other types of structures that are not your own by definition and/or by record.
Therefore, this begs the following question: If you fall under the definition of homelessness, then why are you pursuing a romantic relationship?
The first thing you should be doing is securing your own place to live, not going on dates and meeting people in a bar and engaging in sexual activities as if the sex will solve the immediate problem of homelessness.
You may get someone to “take you in” after meeting them and a relationship forms, but the resolution to the problem of you not securing yourself is still down the road. It is a problem that you will need to solve. The person who lets you come live with him or her can still kick you out!
SCENARIO #3: JOB LOSS
You just lost your job.
Losing your job is the worst thing that can happen to an adult because you are always expected to take care of yourself financially. But when you do lose your job, it puts you in a vulnerable position because even if you do have savings in the bank and/or investments, it still may not be enough to sustain your existence long-term.
Think about the individuals who never saved any money at all and who are forced to live with their parents and/or friends. It is doubly hard for them if they have kids and are married. It can be humiliating for a man to move his family in with another man and his wife. There is nothing worse to bruise the ego.
But in the case of a single person who has lost their job, entering the dating scene to find someone and to soothe your pain is not as important as re-securing yourself financially. A person you meet in a bar is a distraction from the immediate need of finding another job. The job is not going to find itself, and you do not have the financial resources to take off from working for at least a year. Therefore, the greatest priority is to get back on the metaphorical saddle and find another job.
Even if you had a boyfriend or girlfriend who let you come and stay with them, this does not absolve you of the responsibility of solving your immediate problem. It is still there for you to solve, and when we engage in distractions, this prevents us from developing the skill of solving problems. Managing life as adults is all about solving problems.
You cannot get away from solving problems. It is easy to get confused about solving problems as a kid because if you continue to mess up, mom or dad will fix the problem for you. However, when you are an adult, you are the one required to solve your own problems. That can be daunting if you have not practiced this as a skill.
SCENARIO #4: ROMANTIC ARRANGEMENTS
You moved him in.
Any man you move into your house is a sign that you are being financially irresponsible. For one, do you have the financial means to take care of another mouth? This is a grown person who needs to ensure that he has the finances to take care of himself should something happen to you.
You are giving him the wrong understanding about adulthood when you move him in without expectations, boundaries, and standards. In fact, you are ignoring your expectations, boundaries, and standards. I will go one step further, do you know what your expectations, boundaries, and standards are when it comes to romantic relationship-building, especially when determining if sufficient finances will play a role? This is, yet, another question deserving of an appropriate answer.
Many times, women move in men without a true plan. They give money to men without a true plan. They make themselves completely financially vulnerable without a true plan. They move primarily with their emotions, which further means that they are basing whatever solutions they dole out to a man as if they are mothers to their men. When you treat a man like a child, he will always act like a child, resist, and leave when it is financially convenient, even if he finds another woman to “take him in.” You lose financial balance and soundness entertaining a man that you move in.
He is a man. If a woman can pull herself up through education, working, and engaging in entrepreneurial pursuits, then a man can do the same. Whatever you see yourself doing, a man should be able to do that and more. When this does not happen, then that is not the relationship you should consider because you would be carrying the financial burden and load of him as a man. That is a costly enterprise.
SCENIARIO #5: PROJECTING PERSONAL VALUES
You need a husband.
Sometimes parents can push a man or woman on you too soon. Some parents operate with an understanding that the only way you can navigate life is with a husband or a wife. They still push this ideal that if you don’t get a good job, go to the military, or get some education, then marriage is your only option.
There is a problem with that logic because once you enter the arena of dating, it is hard to stop dating. People should stop dating once they get hurt and decide to take some time off, but this usually doesn’t happen because people are also gluttons for punishment. It is much more convenient to stay in the dating market than to exit it. Add love to the mix, and it makes it difficult to concentrate on the immediate task at hand, which is to get your financial house in order.
You spend money dating, but you do not spend money planning your life five years or 10 years ahead. Then you enter marriage with the mindset that money will fix any problems you have personally when you still have not addressed any of your individual problems. You basically keep going around in circles, and you’re not even 25 yet.
Planning those years from 18 to 25 are the most important because what you do in your 20s sets you up for success in your 40s. No one tells you this. If you are going to marry, do so with the frame of mind that finances are important and that financial management can break or sustain the relationship.
Don’t jump into a romantic relationship just because it might be convenient. It might work long-term because there are some relationships that form under different circumstances and they seem to work. However, if you are single and can take the time to set yourself up, then that would be a better option because once you marry, you must consider the marriage as priority and what is necessary for the marriage and not necessarily solely your individual priorities.
SCENARIO #6: CHEATING
You cheat on your romantic partner.
Cheating is a major problem when you adopt it as a belief system and subsequently as a lifestyle. Cheating is the epitome of romantic hastiness. You set a new financial goal when you cheat. People often think that they are not doing their partners harm with a little cheating here and there. Cheating is something that they believe they need for them. It is something that they do occasionally. They wouldn’t even call themselves cheaters.
Again, there is always a problem with logic that is convenient for one person and inconvenient for another person. One partner believes that cheating is a necessary evil while the other partner believes that the necessary evil creates physical, mental, spiritual, and financial harm. When you cheat, you take money out of the core relationship, out of the main house, and out of the future for the relationship. Your heart is divided between two homes.
If there are children involved, then not only is money allotted to funding the core home, but also it is allotted to funding the home of the affair partner.
Money is also allotted to funding all children involved. It is like the man who has multiple children who is also placed on child support and the majority of his paycheck goes towards meeting that court-ordered requirement. In other words, there is no money to save, plan, build wealth, and leverage as an asset because all financial resources are immediately expended before consideration.
Thus, cheating has its greatest consequences on a romantic relationship because the consequences are not just emotional and psychological and spiritual; the consequences are always financial. You throw money out of the house when you cheat. In the same way that you throw away the relationship, i.e., throw over your partner for another, you throw away the money you earn. If you are repeatedly cheating, it is likely out of spite. It is not worth the trouble.
Cheating is one of those areas you need to consider before entering a romantic relationship or maintaining one if you have already started the relationship. If your man cheats at the beginning of the relationship, then rest assured he will cheat during the relationship. If you stay with him, you run the risk of dealing with a man who may possibly father a child outside of your relationship with him. If you marry him, there are consequences that may affect you.
For example, if there is an issue with child support, the court might attach a lien to your finances if he cannot pay “his child support.” It is called a lien placed on jointly owned property, which includes bank accounts and any non-exempt property. Exempt property is considered clothing or an automobile you use for work whereas non-exempt property is considered assets you can leverage and which can be garnished such as work pay, valuable items, and second homes.
This means that if you marry someone who has an ex with children and you have a joint account with your partner, the ex can attach a lien to any joint property you have with your partner to collect unpaid child support. This article provides an overview of the concept.
Keep in mind that the greatest preventative medicine to romantic hastiness is to call the relationship what it truly is. It is the Maya Angelou popular statement that is often repeated: “If a person shows you who they are, believe them.” Don’t run the risk of getting financially stuck with a romantic partner who is financially obligated to another person and their child together. This is information you should know and ask early.
SCENARIO #7: GIVING A MAN MONEY
You give him money.
One of the toughest decisions to make for a woman when she is in a romantic relationship is to determine whether she wants to give her man money when he needs it. This is a hard decision because if we love someone, we do not want to see the person suffer. Heck, it’s our man! Why can’t we be there for our man?
The answer should be “Yes, help your man out.” However, real men of substance will tell you to never give to a man. Most men who care about how their women perceive them will not take money from their women. They will find another way to get it done, i.e., solve the problem.
There may be some exceptions to the rule. I highly doubt it, however. Any man who asks money from their woman is not financially responsible. Some men will say that they asked their women for money as a test to see if she would give him the money. But women don’t need tests to determine if they will give money to their men. Their nurturing qualities make it possible for women to give based on emotions alone. They assume a motherly role and begin treating their men like a child when confronted with a financial issue. It is not right, but it is hard for a woman to hear that her man needs help and she not help him. Women don’t need such tests.
Therefore, if a man is asking a woman for money, whether to test her or not, it is because he is likely trying to determine how much of her money he can get. He is essentially trying to separate her from her money by creating investment projects or anything that requires her to give him money. A financially responsible man does not need a woman’s money for anything. He will get what he wants on his own, and he would never ask her for the money to get it.
Therefore, never give a man money. You are not in a relationship with a man to fund him or his lifestyle. A woman will prostitute herself, strip, work multiple jobs, and manage her kids, and do whatever to provide for herself and her kids.
A man should do the same. This is why determining if your future partner or husband has his financial house in order is important because there is nothing worse for a man needing money from a woman. You will become his perpetual mother, which will lead to him emotionally distancing from you, emotionally evicting you out of his heart and the relationship, and then when he gets his financial life together, i.e., he finds another woman with greater financial resources, he will simply leave.
Set boundaries around finances if you choose to date. Make sure you keep your finances intact because then it will make it easier to discern when your man is not financially sound. Do not give men money. You will always regret it, and it is irresponsible of you to assume that finances are the solution to your man’s problem with failure to work or keep a job or save money.
SCENARIO #8: CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS
Sleeping in someone’s house falls under the category of homelessness, but being homeless includes multiple sub-categories: emergency, episodic, and chronic. There are various government-based resources that help you understand the concept and provisions in the law to guide people from homelessness to permanent housing. It is a subject that I have some personal familiarity with and that I also had to overcome. It took some time and planning, and there is still some residue from those experiences, but I am now on the right track.
The thing about being homeless and suffering through it at possibly different times in your life is that it can be distracting. That’s a strange statement to write, but homelessness can be distracting because you do not realize that you are homeless. You think to yourself that you have just hit a life snag or a road block and that you will get yourself back on track. It is not as serious as you think.
But when you realize that it is hard to pull yourself up financially and that you are now forced to shelter hop or live with parents or friends, then you realize that being homeless is your reality. This means that you must begin taking it seriously. Otherwise, you can remain homeless for years, and you can die in your homelessness.
Therefore, when you are homeless, you need more than the mission of getting yourself back on track. You need a vision. You need to envision yourself not only exiting homelessness, but also never returning to homelessness. It is like once you start something, you have to keep it up. In other words, this is why people often return to homelessness because it is like something they started that they have to keep going. It is hard for them to see outside of that financial ditch.
Think about the concept of recidivism, which is defined as the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend. The person understands the habit of committing crimes and not the habit of living life with financial and economic stability. People might initially commit crimes because they have a money issue, and they believe the crime will solve that issue.
Whether they want a little money or try to live like a baller, the initial intent for pursuing crime is based on an immediate financial issue or at least it is their perception that they have a money issue that they believe requires a criminal objective to solve the problem. However, when they continue to pursue this option without considering any other option, it becomes the habit they adopt, the pattern they develop, and the belief system they perpetuate.
Now they are a criminal, and they will continue in their criminality until they are caught and corrected. But people rarely receive and apply correction when they know they have the option to reoffend. Only a select few adopt a vision for a better life and then begin the process of moving forward on a productive path.
The homeless person with a set belief system is no different than the criminal in perpetuating a state of mind that needs challenging. For example, this is why instead of planning, homeless people will spend whatever they get. Instead of taking the money they get from a disability check, they would rather live outside and occasionally get a room for rent. They don’t see living in a room until they can do better as beneficial. Living in a motel or extended stay is still considered homeless, but if it is the only shelter option you have until you can do better, it would be better to choose it than to live solely on the streets.
It is important to consider multiple arguments. People who have been homeless for multiple years either do not want to exit their homelessness or they struggle to adopt a consistent life plan. Maybe they do not have a plan at all. Regardless, there is nothing on the inside of them that is tired of their current condition to make the necessary change(s).
There is an interesting article I stumbled onto years ago during my preparation for homeless advocacy. The article explores the different causes and/or personal contributing factors of chronic homelessness and the impact it has had on a person struggling with it for 25 years. The individual notes that being homeless was like being invisible and feeling like an outcast.
For many years, he took on that mantra, which kept him homeless. It wasn’t until his physical and mental health started declining that he realized he needed to make a change. He moved out of invisibility into vulnerability, which made it possible for him to be seen and accept the help of people who wanted to help.
Change always begins with seeing the reality of the situation and not just the fantasy. If you are still homeless at the 25th-year mark, then that is living with the fantasy of homelessness, riding out the challenges as if you are on a camping trip, and then sustaining your existence because you believe you have no other options.
If you have some finances coming in, even while you are homeless, there is possibility for change. However, engaging in a romantic relationship while homeless will only exacerbate your current problem because you will be too busy trying to sustain that relationship than trying to exit homelessness.
Always understand that if you are suffering through a financial crisis in the present it is because you did not plan financially in your past. Whatever you are going through now, as in losing your job without an emergency savings and/or becoming homeless because you cannot pay your rent, this happens when you do not financially plan.
Not everyone has to be rich to have an emergency fund. Not everyone struggled during the recent financial crisis and/or the pandemic. Some people have savings, investments, and other types of financial assets to sustain themselves during financial loss. This means that they had the foresight to assume that loss is possible even when you plan. Essentially, they cared enough to plan.
Get your financial house in order before you engage in any type of romantic relationship. There are a series of steps you must take before you consider any romance alternative. Those steps always include understanding your needs:
What are your immediate financial needs?
What are your mid-range financial needs?
What are your long-term financial needs?
To answer these questions, you should always consider conducting a SWOT and adding financial planning as your target:
What are your financial planning strengths?
What are your financial planning weaknesses?
What are your financial planning opportunities?
What are your financial planning threats?
These are questions that need answers. If you are great at not spending your last dollar, then this could be a financial planning strength. If you struggle with setting boundaries with your finances when it comes to giving to family members, then this is definitely a financial planning weakness.
The financial planning opportunity is any area that needs consistent learning. There is always an opportunity to learn differently. Of course, financial planning threats include not financially planning at all. Not envisioning your financial future is the greatest threat. Jumping from one financial situation to another is also a financial planning threat. Not resolving your belief system about financial planning threats is the ultimate threat of all.
You can never not plan enough. The most important takeaway is that you are 100% responsible for yourself financially, even if you may have help in different forms. There is never a guarantee that the help you do get from someone will be forever. This means that you are always responsible for planning.
Engaging in romance at a time when you should be planning financially is a distraction that can create multiple setbacks and make it difficult for you to get back on track financially or establish a financial life track.
Dealing with a capable man is triggering for an independent woman who has suffered endlessly through parentification, which is defined as a type of role reversal whereby parents require their child or adolescent to act as a parent to their own siblings and assume adult responsibilities.
The psychology research is ripe with scholarship on this topic. I will not reference scholarly articles in this article because I want this to be a smooth read. However, I will leave a hyperlinked select list of accessible resources that you can read at your leisure.
This article serves as a universal reflection for all those individuals who were the eldest siblings, particularly women, who were expected to act as parents while they were younger, and who subsequently struggle to recognize and deal with a capable man once an opportunity presents itself. This article is also about the capable man who may have had the same experiences with parentification, who makes decisions based on emotions, and who is also financially stable.
Process of Parentification
There are two types of parentification: emotional parentification and instrumental parentification.
Emotional parentification is the most harmful because the child or adolescent feels responsible for the emotional well-being of the family. Within an abuse context, the child is responsible for helping the siblings work through their emotional regulation.
With instrumental parentification, the child or adolescent participates in the physical aspects of parenting, which requires shelter maintenance. This is usually required when the parent(s) works outside of the home.
During the process of parentification, the child or adolescent is expected to act as the parent as in completing physical tasks, which may include cooking, washing, cleaning, paying the bills, and providing assistance to the younger siblings. In certain family dynamics, a child or adolescent may be expected to act as a translator for their parents.
Each family environment has its challenges, especially if the sibling who is forced to act as a parent at a young age must also be an emotional confidante or mediator between siblings and between the siblings and the parent. In other words, the child or adolescent is expected to “step up” before he or she is ready and before he or she completes their own lifespan development.
The Eldest Sibling
It is the eldest sibling who usually experiences the brunt of a hostile, stressed, and maybe depressed parent who has checked out of the family dynamic, assigning larger responsibilities to the child or adolescent. Another common family dynamic is the single parent household in which the one parent works predominately outside of the home, leaving the caregiving of the other siblings to the eldest sibling.
When this happens, there is the realization that all siblings have become latchkey kids and must obey and interpret instructions for how to return to the house after school, how to lock the doors and not leave until the parent comes home from work, and how not to make too much noise so that the neighbors are not alerted. In the past, latchkey experiences were the norm. However, it is almost criminal to leave your eldest child home with their siblings, alone, today.
In addition to these mental and intellectual tasks, the eldest sibling will cook, clean the house, wash the clothes, and prepare the siblings for bed if the mom or dad comes home late from work.
For a sibling who is not yet 12 years old, these responsibilities can be many and the demand to “make sure it’s done before I get home” must be met while also managing unruly siblings who say, “You’re not my mother. You can’t tell me what to do.” The parent also says to the eldest sibling, “You’re not their mother. You can’t tell them what to do.” These are confusing messages for a child or adolescent who is expected to act in the role of a parent while the parent is away.
The eldest sibling must parent, be a parent, and act out what he or she thinks the role of a parent is without much guidance, instruction, planning, and validation. The parent merely says to the eldest sibling, “Do it because I said so.” Thus, there are no teachable moments under the rule of parentification.
Passing the Torch
This dynamic, when the eldest sibling is female, is passed down and transitioned into the romantic relationship where the individual who is now a woman, who has had no true childhood, is expected to manage a house with her own children while living with or married to a man. She is expected to carry on a romantic relationship and deal with the concept and role of a man with which she has no direct experience.
Although her mother may have direct experience living with a man, the eldest female sibling does not typically see parental roles modeled while serving as a pseudo-parent herself. Mom or dad might have had a boyfriend or girlfriend, but there was no true longevity that assured the eldest sibling some comfort that mom or dad could now feel free to take on the role of parent(s) and loosen the grip of parentification off the eldest sibling.
Struggles With Choice
Parentification is like shackles around the neck and even the foot on the neck of a child or adolescent who cannot exit what might be deemed as pseudo-slavery because the expectation is too high to ignore, challenge, disrespect, and refuse. The child or adolescent has no choice in the matter, and this lack of choice is present in the dynamic of the romantic relationship she later has with her partner who she further deems just as much a child as her former siblings.
In other words, instead of choosing a romantic partner who is competent, capable, and conscientious, she chooses her siblings in a mate. For example, she chooses the brother who refused to clean up after himself. She chooses the sister who snitched on everybody to their mother or father. She chooses what she has been exposed to and what her experiences reveal. In a man she chooses what is reflective of her mother or father.
She chooses the mother who worked and never came home at a decent hour and when she did, it was simply to yell and shout and discipline. She chooses the absentee father (or mother). She chooses the “father figure” who comes in and out of the house to “take care” of her mother. She chooses her experiences instead of choosing a romantic partner who is different from all the people referenced. Essentially, she chooses what she knows. She chooses what she has carried.
Lack of Modeling
This is why it is difficult for a woman to deal with a capable man because a capable man has never been modeled to her, and she has no idea what he wants, what his goals are, how he moves financially, and the depth of his intellectual capacity. The woman who struggles to deal with a capable man is a woman who was required prematurely to think for herself and for all her siblings and contemplate what her parent needed and wanted.
This suggests that in a toxic family dynamic the woman never felt secure, sure, and/or stable. This woman was trained and nurtured to cater to her mother’s needs, not the needs of a man. Even if the single parent was her father, she was not trained to understand what a man wanted. She would have been trained only to understand what a father wanted. Those are two different needs.
That, too, is just as dangerous because catering to a father is different from catering to a romantic partner. As a child, you are expected to obey a parent. When you get older, the obedience transitions into honor where you respect the parent’s wisdom and the fact that they have walked out the steps you are now forced to take. That’s honor.
However, when it comes to catering to a romantic partner, such as a husband in this scenario, the marriage vows call for “love, honor, and obey.” At the same time, the transition of “authority” from father to husband requires that both parties to a marriage, for example, serve each other. That, too, is an expectation that must be met if the marriage is going to succeed.
When a woman, who was forced to be a parent at a young age, now decides to marry someone who is an adult, there is no true transition for that woman out of that type of thinking. Just because she is now grown and does not have to live with her parent and rear her siblings does not mean that she has the readiness to be in a romantic relationship and/or to be a romantic partner aside from being a pseudo-parent.
There is so much toxic undoing that must be addressed before a woman deals with a capable man for which she has no understanding, no love language, and no direct experience. Before she can even consider engaging a romantic relationship with someone who possesses an adult mentality, i.e., a grown man who is actually a man who espouses grown-up thinking, every relationship she enters will fail because she will be too busy trying to “rear” and “parent” her partner instead of love and nurture the romantic relationship as one that requires a different set of ideals, goals, patterns of behavior, and application of wisdom.
Past relationships for the woman struggling to deal with a capable man always reveal that she has dealt with men who demonstrated no capacity and/or conscientiousness for pursuit of adulthood. These are men who refuse to find and/or keep a job long-term. These are men who struggle with their own childhoods. Maybe they, too, were expected to grow up fast in their own family dynamics.
These are adult men who have never had their own shelter, who jump from job to job, who have only lived with women, and who have no life plans towards security and stability. They, too, might have had the same experiences as younger children with parents who provided no stable shelter or financial stability, who jumped from job to job, and who pursued no consistent life plan.
These are men who are essentially kids in their thinking, and the woman who has suffered through parentification just moves her strategy from caring for her siblings over into the romantic relationship because it just seems logical. In fact, it is the logic she knows!
Within this romantic relationship context, she will go out and work because of the modeling, i.e., her single-parent mother or father worked. She will expect the man to stay home and keep the kids because that is what she did. In some ways, in requiring the man to watch the kids while she is at work, she is having a pseudo-conversation with the parent who made her watch her siblings. She is punishing “her man” because she felt her mother or father punished her in requiring her to assume a larger responsibility, i.e., a parent. Because she never saw a man work, it only makes sense that the man in her life doesn’t work.
From these ways of thinking, she designs the “independent woman.” This label serves as an armor, a protective shield, and a worldview. However, the worldview is distorted because it is not based on any legitimate ideology that suggests consistent stability.
The woman who frames herself as an “independent woman” works from a mindset that is forever fixed on this ideal that the only way to address challenges of any kind is to do so using a metaphorical but fictional cape.
This means that she is forever putting out fires that she believes exist in her life and in her romantic relationship with a man. Instead of simply developing within a romantic relationship, she is always parenting the relationship from an emotional distance.
This style of parenting validates her assumptions and strategies of being an independent woman, which is really a function of independence from her mother! In other words, she is perpetually designing life-based and life planning strategies to distance herself psychologically from her mother. In rare cases, the strategy of emotional distancing can also apply to the woman’s relationship with her father.
Therefore, she is not truly an independent woman because the emotional ties that bind her still function like puppet strings. She is essentially sitting on the lap of a ventriloquist talking through her to her romantic partner. In other words, when she speaks to her romantic partner, it is her “mother” or father speaking to him.
Out of her heart flows the issues she has with her mother or father, with her siblings, with her upbringing, with her forced development into early adulthood, and with the idea that all life and planning centered on serving her mother, i.e., her needs, wants, desires, expectations, values, standards, and requirements. The woman who struggles with a capable man never practices on a man before she engages a romantic partner.
Even if her single parent was her father, that is not practicing on a man who she will have to sleep with, serve if she is married, and carry on life in a romantic relationship. Those are two different ideologies.
There isn’t much conflict resolution with a woman who experienced parentification because the woman adopts the same mentality as her parent in expecting the man in her life to abide by her standards. It is the transitioning of the “Do it because I said so” argument that should not apply within a romantic relationship.
Not all strategies are useful in different contexts. A parent has the right to require the children to obey rules blindly and without question. However, no adult individual has to obey a romantic partner blindly. Instead, adult individuals within a romantic context walk in agreement and respect the hierarchical, divine structure of marriage. The divine hierarchy of marriage is beyond the scope of this article and is a discussion for a different day.
However, it is important to address emotional running, which is much more prevalent in these romantic dynamics because instead of addressing conflict, the woman is more apt to walk off, slam doors, cook without purpose, and maybe yell and cry. She is still having a relationship with the parent who required her to take on a parental role with her siblings. When she yells, cries, and complains to her man, she is still speaking to her mother. She is still having a relationship, non-sexual of course, with her mother.
In certain cultural dynamics, you can never address the issues you had in childhood as an adult. Because of such social and cultural restrictions, women do not always get the opportunity to express themselves emotionally. Even when they “get grown,” they are still expected to “hold their peace” and not address the very same battle that originated in childhood that now has a presence in adulthood.
Instead, it becomes more feasible to run emotionally than to address the fact that the woman lacks full emotional development. In other words, she was robbed of her ability to engage, learn, manage, struggle, and then learn again from emotions. She did not learn how to regulate her own emotions because she needed to adopt a consciousness for the parent’s emotions as well as for the emotions of her siblings. There was never any time to care about how she felt and what she thought and whether it was important for her to have a voice. Running from these realities was much more feasible.
The Capable Man
This article arguably should have begun with a discussion of the “capable man,” defining the concept, exploring what the capable man is and is not, and understanding the impact a capable man has on society, the family structure, the home, and on himself directly. So let’s now define it or attempt to define it using life examples. Defining the concept is based on the advice my stepfather gave me concerning how to judge a man and his intentions.
For example, I have a personal experience. My stepfather suggested that I ask a potential mate how long he has been out of his parent’s house, if he has his own place, how long he has had his own place, whether he has any furniture in that place, and whether he has a job. The conversation was based on the following questions:
How old is he?
Does he have his own place?
Does he have a job?
How long has he been on that job?
What does he do?
Where does he live?
How long has he lived there?
Does he have furniture in the place?
Does he live with someone?
These are all questions that he wanted me to ask a potential mate. This was before any other decision I made regarding the person.
My stepfather did not live in the house with us directly, but the visits I had with him were always informative, and his life strategies helped me to understand this aspect of life. Even though I was very slow to take his advice, I still respected the wisdom, but his wisdom conflicted with the “wisdom” of a mother still struggling over the relationship she had with my stepfather.
My stepfather is considered a capable man, always having his own place, keeping a job, demonstrating some level of wisdom, and moving through life with sound financial strategies. He is the same person who said, “Whatever you start off doing in the beginning, you will have to keep up.” This is one of many statements he shared with me.
He is also the man who divorced my mother for another woman, maintained an an emotional and direct hold by impregnating her with my younger sibling, and left a family dynamic broken and chaotic and hostile. His “capability” had a toxic impact, which further influenced the relationship that I had with my mother and the relationship I was expected to have with my siblings as the eldest child. I had to suffer through parentification because of the change in dynamics from a two-parent to a single-parent household. The change in family structure created a stressful, depressing, and emotionally divisive environment.
The capable man can be both a supportive and a divisive figure because the capable man can choose to stay within a working situation or choose to take his ideals, knowledge, and resources to another environment without notice.
The capable man also has his stuff together! He is someone who is an adult, who is financially responsible for himself, and who has his own experiences with a family dynamic that might have been conducive towards future success or might have hindered development at a younger age that rears its head sometimes in both actions and speech.
In other words, the capable man could have also derived from a family environment in which he was expected to participate in parentification, taking on the responsibilities of managing his siblings, expected to be a pseudo-husband to his mother (i.e., emotional incest), and struggling to turn over money earned from working a job when it could be the very thing that saves him from his current environment.
The capable man is just as determined not to be what he grew up in as the independent woman is determined not to be her mother. The capable man and the independent woman are one in the same because they usually struggle to overcome the very same family dynamic where they were expected to be grown before they were grown.
However, unless the woman who struggles with a capable man begins to address her own mother-based issues, she may never cross paths with a capable man because even though they derive from the same family dynamic, the capable man is much more financially secure in how he reconciles life. The woman, on the other hand, bases her financial decision-making on “people pleasing” her mother, which always ends with negative consequences.
This does not mean that the capable man struggles less with emotional regulation. As a capable man, he can also be an emotional runner. It just means that there is something the woman needs in a capable man, and there is something the man needs in an independent woman. What each needs is based on the family dynamic, their current state of mind regarding the family dynamic, and how they both can overcome that family dynamic and serve each other romantically, soundly, and stably.
Life Recovery Objective
It is hard to determine what the capable man and the independent woman need as fully functioning adults. There is not a lot of room in this article to suggest their needs, and it would be premature to offer any guidance without sitting down first with both individuals to determine their upbringing and also without consulting the psychology literature.
The better, universal goal would be for people to address issues deriving from childhood, not with your parent but with yourself. You cannot sit your parent down and address issues because in their minds, “they did the best they could.” They will ride the wave behind that statement until they die.
This does not suggest mockery or sarcasm. It just means that people honestly believe that they do the best they can with what they know. If you as an adult suffered through parentification as a child, it might be likely that your parent was also expected to take on the role of parent in his or her childhood.
There should be some challenge, however, to the statement of people doing the best they can because it is one thing to struggle with one child, but it is quite another to continue having children and treating each child with hostility. Children do not ask to be born. I know that has become a cliche of sorts, but it is nonetheless true.
Therefore, children and adolescents by extension should not be expected to take on the role of a parent. There is nothing wrong with responsibility and training kids early to shoulder some aspect of solving problems, but children are not parents! A major life recovery objective would be for parents to consider whether they are ready for parenthood. The child is not obligated to “share in the load.” That’s what parents are for and kids should be able to remain as kids without the fear of being forced to be a parent.
When these considerations are met, there will be less women who feel the need to adopt the independent woman mantra in response to their hostile mother and less men who feel the need to move their capability to different contexts when they feel their emotional and/or psychological needs are not met.
The capable man can be just as psychologically damaging to a romantic relationship as the independent woman. Again, they are both the same beast. They both need to take off their respective capes and live life as just 100% responsible adults without all the filters.
The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
The following are resources on the topics discussed within this article. You are free to research the topic of parentification at your own convenience. This selected list should provide you with some direction. If you are searching for sources that do not require a subscription fee, choose a keyword or key phrase such as “parentification pdf” to focus your search.
Otherwise, you might be required to pay for sources. At the least, you would be required to sign up for a free account. The sources are a bit outdated because these are the ones I was able to find with a downloadable PDF. To stay updated, always seek scholarly sources dated within the last five years.
Soysal, F. S. O. (2016). A study on sibling relationships, life satisfaction and loneliness level of adolescents. Journal of Education and Training Studies. Vol. 4(4). Redfame Publishing. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1088516.pdf. Accessed 21 June 2022.
Mate replaceability is defined as abandoning a romantic partner because he or she does not fit your overall mate preferences.
We often replace a mate simply out of convenience, or because a core partner is not “acting right,” or for reasons that have nothing to do with relationship. Some people replace a romantic partner because it is a habit that they have developed over the years.
Some people replace a mate out of sheer spite and/or sport. Some people replace a mate because of haste, thinking and believing the mate is cheating and deciding against reason to follow it up with some action. Some people replace a mate because they are testing the waters, so to speak, to see if the person will reach out first. Lastly, some people replace a mate because they feel entitled to do so.
This article is about mate replaceability as a belief system that people adopt and how it affects the development of romantic relationship-building overall. Jumping from relationship to relationship is never the answer to deep-rooted issues for which you may need therapy, counseling, journaling, prayer, and any other tool that could help you work through your abandonment issues.
Typically, if you are abandoning a partner by using mate replaceability as a belief system, you are ultimately rejecting that person before he or she can reject you. There are always deep-rooted issues when it comes to rejection.
This discussion derives in part from Chapter Five in Toxic Encounters: Why People Pursue Rebound Relationships, Part I, which is available on Amazon. In addition, one or more examples are provided in this article to make the case about mate replaceability as a belief system as well as psychology-based topics to help you further understand the concept. Further, a list of resources is available at the end of this article. You can also click the “Rebounding” tab on the website to access the full research bibliography. The article ends with video resources as well.
I remember an episode of Martin where Pam met an older romantic partner in Simon, who characterized himself as impulsive, falling in love quickly, and married six times. Pam thought she had met the one! But Simon gave her a wakeup call, suggesting that he only believes in staying married for two years and that all his ex-wives have been financially supported.
Pam did not want to take the risk of not having love long-term, so she broke up with Simon, gave up the financial potential, and complained all the way to Gina’s house. Pam even gave back the engagement ring!
Strangely enough, I didn’t realize the impact of that episode until I experienced a breakup. My situation was largely about rebounding. My ex-partner could not let go of his ex-partner, a person who did not want to have anything to do with him but wanted sexual access at whim. He thought she wanted him back. She knew she didn’t want him back. He ended up marrying someone else.
It was my first true experience and understanding about mate replaceability. I had friendships where a friend replaced me for another person, but I had never had a true romantic situation where I was cognizant that I was being replaced.
I am very glad that he chose someone else because in choosing that person, he might be a better husband to his new partner. But I have always believed, too, that you cannot mess over good to get to better. However, his relationship is not my business. His marriage is his own, and I have moved on.
Rebounding is that type of mate replacement that people often employ when they are mad at a core partner. There is a difference between the core partner, whether you are married or enduring long-term cohabitation, and the rebound, side chick, mistress, and any other derogatory term used to describe someone having an affair with a male partner.
Rebounding is defined as a short-term mating strategy with which one person who has recently broken up with a core partner consciously seeks a rebound as a distraction and/or as a coping mechanism. Rebound relationships do not last long, but there are times that the partner of the core relationship will attempt to keep the rebound at arm’s length to maintain the attachment.
A core partner of a romantic relationship usually refers to the marriage context or to a long-term live-in situation. Partners continue in the relationship with the expectation of fidelity and loyalty. They commit to each other with the hope of reaching forever. However, there is never a guarantee that two romantic partners will last until one dies out of the relationship. Divorces and breakups are always standing nearby like two friends waiting for their chances.
When there is a divorce or breakup on the horizon, rebounding, or “getting yourself out there again,” becomes the mate replaceability tool that people use to distract themselves from the pain and the ensuing grief to come because it is just much easier to project investment into something else that may be fleeting than to project care onto the individual self who needs it the most.
Mate replaceability, thus, as a belief system helps to validate one’s choices and preferences for moving hastily from one romantic situation to another without time for self-reflection.
Mate Retention Behaviors
Mate retention is based on one’s perception of mate value, which is further defined as the perception of one’s on mate value compared to the mate value of available partners on the mating market. There are two types of mate retention behaviors:
Benefit-provisioning mate retention behaviors
Cost-inflicting mate retention behaviors
The following definitions derive from the Toxic Encounters books. The hyperlinked citation is housed also in References.
Benefit-provisioning mate retention behaviors are behaviors that men largely use to increase relationship satisfaction. Benefit-provisioning mate retention behavior includes compliments, gifts, expendable resources, etc.
Cost-inflicting mate retention behaviors are behaviors that men (and women) inflict on their partners to keep them from leaving the relationship. Cost-inflicting mate retention behavior includes sexual jealousy and limiting a partner’s social contacts.
After reviewing these two types of mate retention behaviors, these definitions beg the following question: What if a romantic partner’s behavior never changes after employing one or both strategies in response to a conflict? In other words, just because you bring someone flowers or use sexual jealousy to get someone’s attention does not mean that the person’s mate value will increase or that your perception of the person’s mate value will change.
It is not whether the person’s mate value changes or your perception of the person’s mate value changes because if you believe in replacing a mate after time has passed, then you simply believe the mate is replaceable. This belief is predicated many times on whether you have someone waiting on your decision to choose him or her. Some people do not need to rebound to another partner to replace a mate. Some people merely just need to rebound to a single life existence without using one of these behaviors as a guide.
Regardless, mate retention behaviors are relative to one’s perception of how central the romantic relationship is to their overall existence and whether the other partner is worthy of retaining. If not, then mate replaceability as a belief system kicks in and kicks the partner out!
High Value/Low Value
The last part of this discussion on mate replaceability as a belief system is about the difference between high mate value and low mate value. People will terminate relationships based on a perception of a partner’s mate value as being high or low according to global beauty standards and ideal attractiveness.
For example, there is the concept of the “come up woman,” in which a man who does not have the financial resources, yet, will marry a woman until he gets to where he wants to be, then drop the very woman he called “ride or die” for a woman who did nothing for him. He will project a status of high value onto the new woman while label the previous partner as low value once he defects from the relationship.
In other words, abandonment of the lower value partner is imminent, even though he hasn’t revealed this as a secret objective to the partner. Fear of losing the current partner while he is “trying to make it” will cause him to use one or both mate retention behaviors discussed within this article to retain the mate until he is out of the financial woods!
Therefore, a man, based on his perception of a mate, partnered to whom he believes is a lower value mate will replace that partner with a higher value mate, thereby risking termination using cost-inflicting mate retention behavior. For the time the individual is in relationship with the come up woman, he will allocate every effort towards mate retention.
However, when the financial situation changes, then the goal of a man in this situation would be to maintain high status, look for a woman with a desirable trait that reflects high status, and then officially replace the previous partner by marrying the new partner.
Thus, mate replaceability was not a new belief system the individual adopted. Instead, it was the goal the whole time in the relationship he had with a previous partner. In other words, the partner never intended to remain in the relationship, whether it was a marriage or long-term live-in situation.
Lastly, men are not the only ones who will defect from a romantic partner. Women who believe that status matters and that marrying a man with a higher mate value is important will also replace their mates with someone they believe can provide a lifestyle. These women are different from the women who believe that men should be financial providers as a standard relationship objective; in other words, these women are not gold diggers, as some people might assume.
The women who want the lifestyle and the finances to support the lifestyle are the ones who would be willing to mate poach to get what they want. This means that these are the women who will leave a lower value mate for a higher status man to support their financial fantasies. It is important to note that higher status people report greater life satisfaction. Refer to the Conroy-Beam et al. (2016) article for more information.
Mate replaceability as a belief system is predicated on the personal argument that people do not wake up one day and decide to defect from a romantic relationship because of whatever reasons they suggest. People who leave a romantic relationship leave because they want to leave.
Even if you do everything for people to make them want to stay, if leaving is in their heart, if replacing you and previous partners is their habit and pattern, and if deciding that you have fulfilled whatever goal they needed you to fulfill is complete, then that person replaces you for what he or she deems on the road to better and later best.
For this type of person, it is not always personal. It is like a business transaction. However, people have real feelings and when those feelings are involved, it makes it difficult to sustain mate replaceability as a belief system, considering the notion that you, too, might be replaced by someone you want to keep.
Shimek Cassie and Richard Bello. “Coping with Break-Ups: Rebound Relationships and Gender Socialization.” Switzerland: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 04 Apr. 2014. http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/3/1/24
Spielmann, Stephanie S., MacDonald, Geoff and Anne E. Wilson. “On the Rebound: Focusing on Someone New Helps Anxiously Attached Individuals Let Go of Ex-Partners.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. October 2009 35: 1382-1394. 22 Jul. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
The following video resources represent exploration of social psychology topics on how people determine you are replaceable because they know longer want to work with you and/or because they desire to utilize a short-term mating strategy when they are struggling with a core partner. You can access various YouTube videos on these topics. Here are the videos:
When People Believe You Are Replaceable
Using Rebound Relationships as a Short-Term Mating Strategy
Mate replaceability is defined as abandoning a partner who does not fit one’s mate preferences. Abandonment is predicated on a current partner’s mate value: high mate value or low mate value. Abandonment of a partner might be unproductive if an alternative is an even poorer fit.
Given the implication of the visual, what would be a reason(s) why you would replace a mate?
Here are some research sources if you are further interested in the concept of mate replaceability. Some sources may require a subscription, but you should be able to locate a source using a keyword search such as “mate replaceability pdf.”
Spielmann, Stephanie S., MacDonald, Geoff and Anne E. Wilson. “On the Rebound: Focusing on Someone New Helps Anxiously Attached Individuals Let Go of Ex-Partners.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. October 2009 35: 1382-1394. 22 Jul. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Mate retention is based upon mate value. There are two types of mate retention behaviors.
Benefit-provisioning mate retention behaviors are behaviors that men largely use to increase relationship satisfaction. Benefit-provisioning mate retention behavior includes compliments, gifts, expendable resources, etc.
Cost-inflicting mate retention behaviors are behaviors that men (and women) inflict on their partners to keep them from leaving the relationship. Cost-inflicting mate retention behavior includes sexual jealousy and limiting a partner’s social contacts.
Given the implication of the visual, what mate retention behavior would you focus on to retain a mate?
Here are some research sources if you are further interested in the concept of mate value. Some sources may require a subscription, but you should be able to locate a source using a keyword search such as “mate retention pdf.”
Mate preference determines who a person chooses and how much that choice has an impact on their own health, status, resources, and number and quality of offspring. Mate preferences motivate people to choose mates that best represent their ideal attractiveness.
Given the implication of the visual, what do you prefer in a potential mate?
Mate preference is discussed within my book titled Toxic Encounters: Why People Pursue Rebound Relationships, Part I. I explore the concept using psychology scholarship.
Here are some research sources if you are further interested in the concept of mate value. Some sources may require a subscription, but you should be able to locate a source using a keyword search such as “mate value pdf.”
Here are some research sources if you are further interested in the concept of mate value. Some sources may require a subscription, but you should be able to locate a source using a keyword search such as “mate value pdf.”
It is difficult to reflect on areas of romantic hastiness, especially considering that we believe in every relationship we encounter. The ways in which we believe in our relationships is through investment. We invest and/or pour into the relationship with resources, love, heart, body, and mind.
Why else would we be in a relationship if we are not going to take it seriously?
This is a question that needs serious consideration because we often hang onto relationships that do not serve us well, but we end relationships that can teach us something. Typically, the relationships that we ignore and push away are the ones that I believe can “grow us up.”
For example, we usually kick away the stable individual, i.e., the one who has his or her finances right, the one who has a stable home, the one who does not job hump, and the one who has a stable worldview. We don’t want those people. No!
We want the people we feel need us the most: the unstable. These are the people who do the opposite, especially when it comes to getting and maintaining a job, seeking and discovering a life purpose, and executing consistent stability. We want the people that we have to take care of and then complain about having to take care of them.
We want the lazy, the procrastinator, the double-minded, the jealous, the hasty, and the loser. I don’t mean loser from a negative viewpoint. I mean loser from a perspective of a person who starts something just to stop. The person is preoccupied with the habit of losing, and that person will start something just to quit it and then complain that no one is giving him or her a chance.
The more you hang around that person, the easier it becomes for you to get distracted, adopt their mentality, and enter your own state of losing and subsequently becoming a loser.
Therefore, journal your experiences with romantic hastiness. Think about a particular individual that you “took a chance” with and reflect on that relationship and your culpability. How were you hasty?
In multiple blog posts, I wrote about the importance of being willing to leave rejection. If you are in an environment that is toxic and it manifests as one individual repeatedly rejecting you for whatever reason that person comes up with in the moment, the time and courage to leave is now. As I also noted in those articles, rejection is part of life. There is no guarantee that people will accept you, but there is guarantee that you will be rejected.
Rejection is almost like breathing. You should expect it. Just as you should expect people to have malice in their hearts towards you, then you should also expect people to use rejection to trigger and provoke you. It is inevitable, not from everybody but at least from one person. Those discussions were about shaking the dust off your feet and moving forward into better environments and better ways of thinking. Click the “Blog” tab for sample articles.
Even though rejection is part of life, it is still psychologically damaging and may cause emotional deterioration if you do not address rejection in your life; address the people who reject you, i.e., their attitudes and belief systems; and address the impact rejection has on you academically, professionally, and personally.
Addressing rejection is especially important when you do not understand the purpose of it and how it might apply seasonally to something you are going through or entering. It is the personal issues with rejection that I want to address in this blog post, specifically focusing on the romantic side of individual decision-making and the direction God may be taking you if you desire marriage.
The goal here is to connect this discussion to preparation for marriage. In other posts, I tend to focus on considering pre-singles counseling and living your best single life. However, as I consider the possibility of marriage at a later age but with an informed understanding, now is the time to think about the ways in which God prepares you, particularly a woman, for marriage. Men can still learn from this article too.
Therefore, this discussion is largely focused on the idea that God will introduce two people who may be divinely ordered and/or approved to marry, but it could be at the wrong time. It is the typical “right person, wrong time” dynamic where introduction is only necessary for a time and not for the beginning of the romance aspect of the relationship.
You may feel rejection, but the goal is to begin devoting your time to understanding what God wants for you and how you need to prepare for the future marriage. Time with God is important to get guidance and to train for a new understanding apart from sustaining single life.
This article focuses on the king’s heart, as it is represented and explored in the Bible. I only want to focus on one main scripture to make my case, which is that God prepares the born-again Christian for marriage based on a different, yet non-democratic dynamic specific to marital partners understanding hierarchy and divine order. Although I reference more than one scripture, the main scripture for this article is as follows:
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
Parts of this scripture are explored throughout this article, whether directly or indirectly.
Before going further into this discussion, I need to make a clear distinction between “Christian” and “born-again Christian” and how one of the two applies to the Christian marriage. You, as an individual, can identify as a Christian, meaning that you grew up in a Christian home or in a non-denominational environment and you read the Bible exclusively, but you can also be not born-again, or in common parlance, not “saved.”
Growing up in a Christian home and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior are two different understandings. The discussions within this blog article apply specifically and exclusively to the born-again Christian who is expected to follow the dictates of the Bible and the Christian faith, even when following God in single and married life may be a struggle.
If you identify as Christian but have not accepted salvation, then this discussion may not apply to you specifically. This does not mean that you cannot glean from this discussion what you will, but you are not subject to the dictates of the Bible if you are not born-again, if you are not saved.
That is a different topic and beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say, the discussion below is appropriate for one audience: the single or married individual who is a born-again Christian and who is expected to follow God, the Bible, and the theocratic tenets of salvation.
The last information I want to provide before going into the discussion is the admission that I am not married, and I have never been married. Therefore, it is much easier for me to make what you may deem as assumptions. However, I have lived together with someone, and in doing so, I realize today that I did not make marriage a priority. That is why that relationship did not move forward into marriage. Living together, solely, was the priority.
My attitude has since changed, and living together does not require submission to authority or submission period, even though as single people we often perform marital duties while not married. I have since deleted that belief system out of my knowledge depository, and I would rather pursue today what the Bible says about marriage.
Here begins the discussion.
Although we live in a democracy with the expectation of following its laws, dictates, and orders, the marriage context is situated truly under a theocracy, which is defined as a system of government where the priests rule in the name of God or a god. Under the Christian faith, we use the capital “G.” This is standard. Jesus is considered the ceremonial and literal Priest in this scenario.
I use the term “democratic” because we think that marriage is equal in our commonsense about how we should live and navigate the context, whether you believe it is an outdated institution or not. In some cases, we can run the home in a democratic fashion as we hold discussions and vote to make decisions, but the marital context is more hierarchical, authoritative, and succession-based.
God is over man, the husband, and the husband is over the wife. This does not mean that the wife does not have voice in a marriage. This does not mean that the wife cannot speak to God on her own. As Christians, we are responsible for our own faith-based, non-religious relationship with God. We cannot rely on the coattails of our parent’s or husband’s faith to satisfy the relationship we need to have individually with God. It is a system of hierarchy and order, not a system of authoritarianism where one person rules over the other without consequence.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
Husbands in a marriage should not expect to conduct themselves without agreement with that scripture. It is not optional. However, wives should also understand that agreement means eventually wives will need to come under a greater authority when final decisions are required. No, I would not want my future husband to be blind and lead us into a ditch because of some of the decisions he might make for the marriage, but I also understand that there must be order in the home.
Order encourages peace.
Just as we submit to a higher order of thinking, i.e., democracy for social and professional navigation and the Bible for spiritual direction, we all must understand the importance of hierarchy, position, order, and ultimate decision-making within a marriage. God is always supreme. At the same time, the husband of a Christian marriage is divinely expected to be the higher authority in the home after God.
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
This scripture is important because what you bind on earth in terms of marriage is what is bound in heaven concerning the very same marriage. If you put your mouth on your marriage negatively, you are essentially sowing negative seeds in your marriage. If you commit infidelity within the marriage, you are binding infidelity in heaven. There will always be a consequence.
It is the decisions you make that have a greater impact on your relationship with your spouse and your relationship with God. They run both concurrent and consecutive. It is concurrent in the sense that you both suffer at the same time because of one party’s decision-making. It is consecutive, or maybe successive is a better word, because your decisions have an impact on your children and future generations.
In addition, whatever God says about marriage in the Bible is what God says about marriage in the Bible. It is a divine institution and divinely guided by the dictates of God’s Word. This is why it is important to get a good understanding about the role of both the husband and the wife within a marriage.
The democratic, political institution of marriage is distinct from the theocratic, divine structure of marriage. There are laws on the books that permit marriage of all kinds, except with minors, but God recognizes the divine institution as prescribed in the Bible. Please keep this in mind as you read the rest of this article.
But I digress.
My purpose for writing is to address how we should interpret the “king” in the scripture and connect it to the concept of rejection. “The king’s heart is in God’s hands.” Let’s stay with that part of the scripture. For a potential divinely ordained marriage, God can withhold for a time the bringing together of two people who are to marry and carry out God’s calling in the earth.
Each person usually has some kind of relationship with God, and each person has been managing their respective life tasks individually and separately from ever meeting each other. But when God holds up a divine union, it is not for each person to cry and yell and get upset and stay in a perpetual depressive state. It is for each person to begin to work out their own respective issues, apart, so that when God does bring two people together, they will be able to fulfill God’s purpose with a mindset of order!
I’m rambling a bit, but I do have a point.
For example, you can meet the right person but at the wrong time. Make no mistake that if a person you met and then broke up from never returned, then “that person” was not the right person! Any person God has for you will be for you, and that love will return.
However, if God introduces two people together initially to serve a temporary purpose but then all a sudden there is a disconnect, and provided that these two people are called to serve a higher purpose, then it is God who separates the two people. In other words, it is the right time to meet, but it is the wrong time to create and further a romantic situation, especially if the potential for sex might happen.
Then this would throw off the order. The two parties to the relationship would be more concerned about the sex than about fulfilling God’s purpose. Then this might lead the two people to believe that they are more compatible sexually than relationally and/or divinely.
This means that God can turn the heart of that person away from you for a time until you continue to work on you and on areas of emotional and financial disconnect and struggle. I am reminded of Bishop T. D. Jakes’s DVD series titled “Life’s Little Setbacks” in which he discusses the purpose of setback. I will summarize the quote.
The purpose of setback is not for you to cry and say to God, ‘Woe is me.’ The purpose of setback is to determine areas of weakness and fix them before going on to greater battles.
Bishop T. D. Jakes, The Potter’s House
I have based the writing of all my books, the developing of YouTube lectures, and all related materials on the concept of setback, and it has served me well to understand that there are areas of weakness that I must continue to fix before I go on to greater battles. Marriage, indeed, has its challenges, battles, setbacks, and successes. Preparing for a marriage mindset is important.
One such area of weakness is this struggle with rejection, which we all have experienced. But struggling with rejection in a marriage will undoubtedly create greater anxiety because you expect your partner to accept you. However, what happens when you are triggered by an action or a word he or she says to you without the person knowing the implication? You will find yourself moving into emotional expressions, which might turn the other person away.
There is a video I have been watching lately, taking notes, about the need to get healing from the spirit of rejection. It is a new undertaking. In the video, Tiffany Buckner of Anointed Fire YouTube channel suggests that “when you do not get healed from rejection, you go after rejected people.” What I believe that to mean is that rejected people are like magnets for each other. They attract each other.
But rejected people also pull away from their significant other, friend, or family member because they are, in fact, rejected people. They live in that understanding and state of mind, and where the mind goes, the body follows. Ms. Buckner suggests that only God can heal you of your rejection. Books help. Therapy is important. However, to overcome rejection, you will need to begin addressing the agreement, how you see and believe that rejection works for you.
If you are constantly and consistently triggered by rejection, and you respond, you are in a pattern that you believe is working for you. When you are rejected, you cry and moan and say, “Woe is me,” but you do not address why you continue to cry and moan and say, “Woe is me.” If you take that type of thinking into a marriage, the marriage will not survive. It is like taking old belief systems into a new context.
“Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”
If you take old belief systems into a marriage, i.e., the way you handle problems primarily as a single adult versus cooperatively with a marital partner, you will find that the old system of thinking will negatively impact the way in which you should govern your home under a new system of thinking.
It is a different order.
What you do as a single person has no true relevance for what you will need to do as one marital partner of a marriage, and unions and live-in situations, i.e., shacking, do not count. As I noted in a previous article, single women should not serve single men because they are both equal under the system of shacking, and there is no existing, mandatory hierarchy that a single woman should have to respect. Neither should a single man serve a single woman. They are not married, and they have no obligation to the other to serve the other based on the dictates of the Bible.
If you do not agree with the Bible, then the court system places no consistent expectation of two single people living together to be responsible for the other. There are exceptions to the rule, but those exceptions largely fall under “renter status” and/or “common law marriage.” If two people are living together with rental laws that govern the distribution of community property for common law marriage, after a certain time period, then those state-based exceptions apply. See your state provisions for more information.
The second interpretation is based on the other parts of the scripture: “Like the rivers of water, he turned withsoever he will.” This part of the scripture suggests both God’s divine guidance and prerogative. It is God who determines when He will turn the heart of a king, and king merely represents the person with authority, maybe ultimate but not necessarily supreme. Regardless, when God turns the heart of a king, there is a time limit. It is like a door that only stays open for a short time before it closes.
“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
God can open doors that no one can close, and God can close doors that no one can open. In other words, you should never think that you have all the time in the world to do something or marry someone or fulfill God’s plan for your life.
The time is always now, even if the time requires preparation and development. People think that they have all the time in the world to love someone or return to someone or believe again for that relationship, but once that door closes, it is closed. Thus, this part of the scripture also suggests timeline, time limits, and boundaries. God draws the boundaries.
It is significant to understand the role of rejection, God’s timing, and the threat of exes. There is another article I wrote about the problem of exes coming back. It is the ex who thinks and believes he or she has all the time in the world to come back and make things right with your future partner.
This is problematic because their reappearance shifts the growth and development of the current relationship, even if two people have not met, yet. A person seeking to come back into your life is hard to pass up because you always believe that you can solve that situation and resolve any issues in that relationship to move forward into possibly a new beginning.
The problem with this logic is that some relationships are simply over. Even if you have the prerogative to return and try and fix things, you cannot fix a dead relationship or a relationship that has run its course. Length of time in the previous relationship, length of prior knowledge about the person in the relationship, and length of hope and desire to make the relationship work does not matter when the relationship has expired emotionally. The belief system is old, and you cannot take an old belief system into a new way of thinking. Both cannot coexist and function well together.
Therefore, I believe God makes allowances for the person still struggling with an ex-partner. “Like the rivers of water, he turneth . . .” can mean more time is needed to get you and your potential partner to address your issues. I, myself, do not believe in maintaining contact with an ex-partner, but my future partner might struggle in this area.
Therefore, God allows for this time by using rejection as a temporary tool. In this case, rejection is conditionally based on your willingness to address your issues and the time God is giving you to do your individual work!
What the second interpretation suggests is making the most of your time. When God introduces you to your potential partner but then disconnects you two so you both can address your struggles this strategy is for you both to do just that. It is what most people say about making the most of time to learn, grow, and prepare. It is that scripture about counting the costs before you build, in this case, before you initiate, build, and sustain a marriage.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”
To finish a marriage is reflected in one person dying out of the marriage, i.e., to death do you part. Divorce is not finishing a marriage. A long-term separation is not finishing a marriage. Declaring yourself single while separated and/or legally married is not finishing a marriage. Finishing a marriage is based on what is reflected in the scripture.
“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”
I believe if either party dies out of the marriage, then this gives that one party divine permission to remarry. The clock essentially restarts.
The most important aspect of this discussion is preparation. I took the long way around to get to this point, but when God uses the tool of rejection, i.e., separating for a season both parties God has divinely brought together for marriage and for a specific calling and assignment, it is important to take that opportunity to align yourself with what God thinks about marriage, about why he has brought you two together, and about what purpose you both will fulfill.
I earnestly think two people know when there is a connection and when God is bringing them together. God does not always let you in on everything about the situation, but there is some recognition of difference that suggests two people are coming together in marriage for a higher purpose. Therefore, if you are struggling to work out the emotional aspects of your experience after God has introduced you to who you might possibly marry, this is not the time to cry and moan and pout.
This is the time to think long and hard about the costs associated with marriage, the responsibilities you will need to adopt as a marital partner, and the understanding of marriage as a divine institution, structured hierarchically to ensure God’s will is effected in the earth. You cannot have marriage without order. You cannot have order without understanding how God regulates the king’s heart.
I’m not sure if I will write another article on this topic or something related to it, but it is a topic that is of interest to me. I hope to continue to learn as I, myself, prepare to enter the divine institution of marriage.
We often jump into romantic relationships before we have had the financial conversations. We always believe that the relationship and its dictates will just work itself out. Why should there be a need to plan beyond merely moving in together, or getting the marriage certificate, or finalizing any other decisions related to relationship-making? To answer this question is to consider how people perceive the relationship.
Each person likes the other, and each person is aware of what it takes to maintain the relationship. At least that is what each person thinks. When all other discussions about finances fail, couples believe that they can prioritize the sexual aspects of the relationship to maintain and sustain claim to the relationship.
However, finances and sex are not the only considerations for determining if you might be ready for a relationship. Implicit in the title of this blog article is the financial question, but this article is not only about finances. Discussion of finances when entering a romantic relationship should be a given. No one should assume that just because each person has a job that the financial conversation has concluded. There is more to discussing finances than merely fulfilling the job question.
But I digress.
True relationship engagement discussions should center on emotional readiness, temperament, personality, belief system, traditional views, worldviews, politics, and spiritual choices. Can you fund the relationship is not simply about finances. It is about whether you have the emotional and psychological wherewithal to consider entering a romantic relationship, as all relationships require that you invest, or pour, into the relationship who you are, what you believe, and whether you have the heart of a finisher.
For example, if you are fresh out of a relationship due to a breakup, the immediate temptation is to seek a rebound relationship to close gaps in receiving relationship benefits. I have a whole series on rebound relationships as they relate to understanding relationship failure and readiness. Click the links that apply to your current situation.
Entering another relationship a few weeks after a breakup, and for some people sooner than that time period, is emotionally self-destructive and possibly psychologically damaging because your heart has not healed from the previous relationship, and you would be bringing in hurt and pain and distorted belief systems into the next relationship.
This means that because you are suffering and dealing with relational and emotional gaps in your heart and thinking, you do not have the capacity to fund another relationship emotionally at the moment. In other words, you do not have the appropriate emotions to give to another relationship.
This is just one of multiple examples I explore in this article. There are different ways people fund relationships, besides finances, and the concept of funding is explored universally within this article. Finances is also discussed at the end of the article.
“Funding” is simply defined as the action or practice of providing money for a specific purpose. It is an obvious definition for the word. However, funding for the purpose of this article is related to the words “resources” and “supply.” When you place funding within these concepts, it opens the door to discussions about psychology, mindset, goal orientation, life plans, mentality, and spiritual considerations. Only a few of these concepts are discussed within this article.
If you supply your romantic relationship with a distorted view about how relationships are developed, this view, along with your actions, will affect the potential of the relationship to last a long time. For example, a person who just exits a relationship is still gripped with the worldview of that relationship and that person.
Whatever issues that relationship failed to resolve, one or both partners will believe that issues do not get resolved in relationships and that the only way to resolve any issue is to step outside of it and adopt an alternative solution. This further leads to people adopting alternative views.
This is why people choose to cheat because cheating allows one partner to exit the relationship for a time, solve a problem that he or she thinks is immediate, and then step back into the relationship as if there is no longer a problem. The cheating solved the problem in their view.
That is a distorted belief system because as a solution, it suggests that cheating is the only answer to solve relationship problems instead of going to counseling or communicating to the partner hurts and pains caused within the relationship.
Your mindset matters. I have included within multiple articles discussions on use of Carol Dweck’s “Changing Our Mindset” chart where she explores the distinctions between fixed mindset and growth mindset. You can access iterations of that chart by conducting a Google search or by clicking the link. For now, the most important question to consider is based on the notion of whether both partners are willing to change their mindset.
If you come to a romantic relationship, especially a marriage, with the mindset that if the relationship does not work out you can leave, then you will continue to leave multiple relationships. This mindset is akin to the two-year mark individual who thinks the development of romance is only good for two years.
You may hear the person say, “I’m only staying married for two years. After that, I go my way. You go your way.” The first two years of any relationship presents its challenges and to end the relationship at this mark suggests that you do not think that challenges can be resolved.
Therefore, how are you using your mindset to fund the relationship?
If the mindset about the relationship has limits, then the relationship has limits. This means that a discussion about expectations is warranted. Whether you expect a relationship to move past the first two years or the relationship to end at the two-year mark is an important conversation that both partners should have before moving forward into long-term considerations.
Personality & Compatibility
It is difficult to get along with someone when you are not compatible. Personality is significant because you can be a person who is conscientious, but your partner is lazy. You can be a person who is curious, but you prefer routine. Different dimensions of personality are explored in a popular psychology concept: The Big Five Personality Traits. The concept is further discussed.
The following figure summarizes the Big Five Personality Traits. The traits derive from The Five Factor Model of Personality developed by McCrae and Costa (2003). If you are interested, you can view a chapter on this topic here.
Understanding one’s personality and how that person conducts their life as an individual is important for determining relationship compatibility. People often suggest that having a connection with someone should be the first determining factor of the relationship because it is the connection that will help you to sustain the relationship. I now believe this is true because connection will help couples get through and overcome various issues that plague the relationship. When there is no connection, the relationship is doomed to fail.
However, beyond connection, compatibility when it comes to determining if one’s personality is a good fit for a romantic relationship is also important. Review the following visual on the Big Five Personality Traits. Gain some insight where you feel it applies to your relationship and/or your romantic considerations.
Figure. Big Five Personality Traits
I think the two most important aspects of this visual is Neuroticism (N) and Conscientiousness (C). All other areas of the model can be renegotiated, sustained with boundaries and expectations, and resolved when issues arrive.
However, how a person handles anxiety and how conscientious a person is about their follow-through are the two most important aspects of personality that determine if you can really fund the romantic relationship.
Essentially, what are you serving the relationship, if we examine the concept of funding and relate it to mutual serving and/or servitude?
Are you serving the relationship with negative emotional regulation that you refuse to address?
Are you willing to renegotiate how you will fund the relationship with a better understanding of your attitude and resolve any issues that might plague the relationship?
These three questions, along with determining if both personalities are compatible, cannot be overlooked when considering a romantic relationship.
It is hard to work with someone who has no vision when you have vision. It is hard to work with someone who jumps from job to job and you are financially stable. It is hard to work with someone who blows up when triggered when you have learned how to regulate your emotions. It is hard for someone to deal with a partner who takes too many risks while ignoring the consequences and how those consequences affect the other partner and the relationship overall.
In essence, it is hard to merge personalities and bring those personalities under one roof and call that relationship a marriage. You must be conscientious about your relationship and understand that it is not one that you can easily exit just because you feel the desire to do so.
Once you marry, you are required to walk out that process all the way to the end. To complete a marriage is based on the marital vows: to death do you part. Divorce is failure of a marriage. This does not mean that you are a failure; however, it does mean that you and your partner did not finish the job. You did not manage the task of marriage beyond the conflict.
Now it is very easy for me to make these assumptions because I have never been married. I have had two live-in situations, many years apart, but they did not convert to marriage because I did not make marriage a priority. I wanted other things for my life, which included college, and I wasn’t willing to abandon that dream for someone who was not ready to marry or who may not have been marriage material at that time. I definitely was not marriage material, and I can reflect on this and understand this as truth.
I came to understand through reflection that I was not marriage material initially because I had too many emotionally and psychologically damaging experiences that just needed repair through journaling, praying, writing, and reading. It is only now at a later age in life that I realize I would have destroyed myself and my past partner had I gotten married. I needed help! I still need work, and I’m doing my work as I write and develop content on overcoming setback. It is important for me to continue this journey of self-reflection while I also prepare for marriage.
Therefore, given the fact that I do want to marry today, it is important that I understand the ideas put forth in this article as the beginning of my own consideration process to determine if I have the capacity and capability to fund my future marriage. In other words, do I have the emotions, the psychology, the mentality, the spiritual development, and the financial management to fund a marriage? Do I understand what marriage is and what contribution I will need to make to endure and complete a successful marriage? These are two questions that demand further reflection. They suggest the importance of adopting finishing as a life goal, in general, and finishing as a romance goal, in particular.
Now that I have outlined the emotional, psychological, and mentality aspects of relationship-making, and the ways in which we can be hasty when considering how we might fund a relationship, I can address finances. This will not be a technical discussion because you can conduct an Internet search on the dynamics of financial management. This is a psychology-based discussion based on emotions and how we move our finances with emotions.
In bringing forth some of the ideas explored within this article, if you have a sound mind, you will execute sound finances. When you are moved by your emotions, you tend to lead your finances using emotions. The ways in which we are moved emotionally with our finances is demonstrated in the relationships we form and maintain.
For example, you give when you should set boundaries. You spend when your money should be resting. You volunteer too much of your finances for people who will not work or pay you back. You skip learning steps when it comes to finances. You do not learn about credit or financial management. In essence, you take your financial life day by day and hope for the best.
This kind of survivor mentality will affect the romantic relationship, especially if the partner also demonstrates this type of thinking. You would both be operating with a scarcity mindset, believing that saving ahead has no real value when you are required to live in the moment. These are the “seize the day because tomorrow is not promised” people who never save any money, who always live paycheck to paycheck never expecting to lose their job, and who end up living with someone eventually because they never adopted plans for the future. These are the relationships we have to be careful funding and fueling because too much ambivalence towards financial management will show up somewhere in our life where finances are immediate.
When you bring a nonchalant financial attitude into a romantic relationship, especially one leading to marriage, you are essentially funding the relationship with an ambivalent attitude towards the future. You both are taking each other on a ride that has no true financial destination and that will arrive at the end of the line and force you both to ride back and see where “you both” messed up.
There are a lot of stops on a train or bus schedule. This means you would have to stop at each place on the schedule to determine where you began funding the relationship with the wrong attitude towards finances. That can be exhausting, and you are more likely to get off, give up, and settle somewhere than to reflect on your misunderstanding about financial management within a romantic relationship. The goal is always to move financially forward and advance. That goal would be difficult for two people who refuse to adopt a sound financial plan.
The Respect Question
As I close this article, I almost forgot the most important aspect of relationship-making, and that is respect. It begs the question can you fund respect to and within the marriage? If you cannot answer that question in the affirmative, then you have no business entering a romantic relationship. I could say the same thing about a friendship as well, but you may enter and exit multiple friendships over your lifetime. Entering a marriage is a different context.
Marriage requires that each partner respects the other. When this does not happen, then there is a breakdown in communication, love making, potential for expansion, and relationship development overall. Know and understand the importance of respect for each person in the relationship, and this includes the respect you should have for yourself.
Life Recovery Objective
Can you fund the relationship is an important question to consider, and it is one that could possibly be a discussion opener within different contexts. A primary life recovery objective after considering all the ideas explored within this article would be to work on your emotions. Emotions tend to guide how you fund a romantic relationship. Taking time to heal from another relationship will allow you to address your belief system about relationship-making.
Lastly, adopting a better mindset about finances and financial management is key to funding the relationship long-term. A major cause of divorce deals with finances.
When you are considering a romantic relationship, ask yourself this question: Can you fund the relationship?
One of the greatest tug of wars we have is with God. Our own internal conflicts are really based on the relationship or spiritual distance we have with God. If God works for us, we believe Him. If God does not work for us, we search for alternatives. It is not until we have fallen on our metaphorical faces that we rebound to God and ask for help.
The romantic decisions we make are predicated on how we view God as either supporting and validating our choices or opposing and hindering our preferences. We believe that we make the right decisions concerning all areas of our lives, which always include finance and romance. We cannot help it if the relationship does not work out. How is that our actions contributing to the failure of a relationship representative of failure in that area of our lives? There is always hope!
There is a problem with this logic because you will find yourself on a hamster’s wheel falling in love with falling in love, falling in love with all your options and preferences, and never coming to the knowledge of the truth about how your worldview affects how you see the romantic partner standing before you and how you see God having an active role in said relationship. If you do not have some revelation about the person, who he or she is within the context of your decision-making, their life choices, and your possible future together, you will undoubtedly continue to struggle . . . and fail in this area.
To prevent future failure is to pray and ask God about why you keep choosing the wrong people, if this is your narrative, and how you can better prepare for romantic relationship-building going forward. You are no longer in high school where your decisions do not have as greater consequence as if you made those same decisions as an adult.
If you get pregnant, for example, in high school, you have a parent(s) whose house you live in and whose food you eat who can financially and psychologically take care of you and the baby. However, if you take yourself out of that context and move into your own apartment where you are responsible for the bills and the caregiving, then the consequences are much higher, and it becomes difficult to sustain your existence without a clear life plan.
Apply this thinking to the romantic relationship context, whether you are dating, courting, and/or pursuing marriage. Living together has its consequence. Waiting for marriage also has its consequence. Marrying, of course, has its consequence. Consequences can be good or bad.
The problems we create in all three circumstances begin with the initial engagement and how we interpret our role(s) in and for the relationship. This means that how you perceive the capability and capacity of your partner and what he or she will contribute to the relationship warrants some discussion, some challenges to one’s argument, and some self-reflection. Equally, how you perceive your capability and capacity warrants additional discussion.
You cannot expect something out of someone if he or she does not have it to give or if he or she refuses to give it to you. Some people will refuse to be a true romantic partner to you but will move their resources and their abilities to another relationship and be all that they want for that person. It is something you reason because you know that the person has it in him or her to love, to care, and to support the relationship with you emotionally and financially, but the person refuses!
The way in which a romantic partner refuses is through setback. The person will set back the relationship with a statement of “Let’s just wait” or use related postponing language in general to put the relationship-making process on hold. It is at this point in the relationship where you have to make a decision: either 1) you will accept the postponement and exit the relationship or 2) you will ignore the partner’s pleas and try to make the relationship work anyway, even without his or her permission. In other words, you make plans to go against someone’s individual free will.
Herein lies where we try to compete with God.
Oftentimes, when there is a delay with a romantic relationship, it should not be about trying to convince the other person to move forward with the relationship. It should be about separating yourself to reflect, journal, pray, and prepare either for closure or for reconciliation. Instead of taking the time to work on ourselves, we push forward hastily to keep the relationship going despite what the person is saying to us about waiting, and if we are honest, despite what God is saying about waiting.
Examine the following visual and the differences between when God is saying “Let’s just wait” and when the romantic partner is saying “Let’s just wait”:
Different Perspectives on “Let’s Just Wait”
When God Says “Wait”
When the Partner Says “Wait”
God is the Creator.
The romantic partner is a created being.
God is omniscient. God knows everything about the situation, about you, and about what you really want and need. He knows your heart, and he knows that your heart can lie to you, and you can lie to yourself and your heart.
The romantic partner knows everything about the situation from his or her point-of-view, which you would be blind to. The partner knows his or her heart towards you and that it is not fully developed and that there may not be a true concern towards development. The partner also knows that his or her heart can lie and lie to the self.
You gain access to God’s divine knowledge, i.e., a bird’s-eye view of the romantic situation and the potential harm it can cause. You can trust the actions God makes towards the relationship when you ask for guidance.
You cannot gain full access to the partner’s knowledge concerning his feelings about you, about someone else, and about the relationship overall. You get a limited, conditional, view of the partner’s belief system, even if actions are clear.
You ask God for help, and he might give you an answer to “wait.” This answer can apply to a good or bad relationship.
You ask the romantic partner for help, and he or she will give you want you want, not what you need.
God’s “wait” is always about protection. You could also say the same thing about the romantic partner’s “wait.” The partner is not on the same level of thinking and intent as God, but it is important to consider that when someone rejects you or the relationship, there is an inherent protection in the decision.
However, when you try to change the dynamics of the relationship, after God has told you to wait, provided you asked for this guidance, then you are essentially competing with God because God knows whether a person is good for you or not the right fit. After all, God created both of you. To tell God that you believe the person is the right one is to tell God that you do not value His own design and whether that design is good for his design of you.
Remember that God sees everything. He sees the person’s heart. He sees the person’s refusal to change. He sees the person’s deception behind “Let’s just wait.” He sees the person’s desire to return to an ex. He sees the person’s decision to return to an ex. He sees the person’s hope for something better than you, even if you are a great person. Regardless, he sees what you do not see and what you are unwilling to see in the romantic situation.
God is not your enemy.
An important life recovery objective is to understand that God will not compete with you. God is the author and finisher of our faith. At the same time, if you persist in continuing a relationship with someone after God has instructed you to wait, He will let you pursue that relationship. If failure is imminent, then He will also let you fail in that relationship.
Sometimes failure is the best intervention for you to reflect on where you went wrong and where you need to move forward. When it specifically comes to dealing with romantic relationships, praying and asking God for guidance is the better strategy to prevent failure and subsequent heartbreak.
Thank you for reading.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
The Regina Y. Favors Website
The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
Hastiness, in general, is a form of surviving. It is the mind’s way of telling the body to hurry up and get something before someone else gets it. The need to hurry could apply to getting a job before your time, entering a romantic relationship before you are ready, and/or applying finances to a problem before you fully understand the problem.
Hastiness must be canceled with repentance, i.e., grieving over your decision-making and developing strategies that perpetuate patience. You cannot sustain life being hasty in everything you do. You will undoubtedly end up entering a setback, which will require correction, and later pursuit of overcoming that setback. The more you are hasty, the more likely you will always live in setback.
Romantic hastiness, thus, is that belief system characterized as hijacking your future season while you are in the present. You see someone you want and instead of waiting in preparation and learning about yourself, you seize what you believe to be an opportunity for you. You think to yourself that the person likes you and you like the person.
Why not pursue?
The problem with pursuing is that you do not know the person enough to pursue or conquer. You only understand the surface level of the person, and that is usually characterized by what you see visually. You equate beauty with being a fully complete, competent person when, in fact, the person may have more struggles beneath the surface than you care to mention and/or address.
Romantic hastiness is that zeal to be in a relationship but the lack of patience to endure one. This is why people love to fall in love because they love the momentary pleasures that come with meeting, engaging, and experiencing love, but they do not have the courage and/or patience even to work through the first problem in the relationship.
As soon as the person removes their representative and actor/actress and begin to demonstrate who he or she really is, and that view of the person does not align with your fantasy, then you are quick to exit the relationship or at least hang on to it, get the benefits you can get from it, and then abandon it the very first change you get.
It is unfortunate that people do not understand the value in sticking it out, in staying with a relationship until it reaches completion, and in being open to learn about relationship-making while in relationship. Holding hands is not relationship. Kissing alone is not relationship. Yelling all the time is not relationship. Separating at nauseum is not relationship. Relationship begins with the relationship you have with yourself.
If you find yourself consistently dealing with the wrong types of people, then you truly only have yourself to look at in the mirror. You attract what and who you are. If you are bad with your money, you will attract someone who is bad with their money as well because you do not have the financial wherewithal to think higher than your current economic station.
To do this, you would have to grieve over your finances, over how you manage money, over how you tolerate distractions when it comes to doling out your money, and over how you keep circling the same life argument when it comes to finances. You never have enough at the end of the month, or you have to ask someone for a portion of your shelter costs.
Your ability to pay shelter costs should be the greatest priority over the pursuit of a romantic relationship. If you are still living at your parent’s house, you do not need a girlfriend or a boyfriend. You need a life plan. You need better finances. You need to focus on making you a priority because the most important aspect of being an adult is understanding that you are 100% responsible for yourself. It does not matter if you lose your job, you are down financially and economically in life, and you are struggling to make ends meet.
You are still responsible for yourself. Pursuing a relationship is not the answer for the season you are in because if you do, the lesson that you still need to learn about finances, financial management, and life planning are at the end of that brick wall you will run into or drive to or fall into or whatever you can think of to make the point.
This article explores how we make romantic decisions that are hasty and how those decisions affect our finances. I have developed different YouTube audio lessons using the same outline of thinking below. The points developed are also explored under multiple series on the website, and you can find that information largely under the tabs “Rebounding,” “Financial Recovery Curriculum,” and “Financial Topics,” which represents snippet videos of the full financial curriculum. You can also click the “Readiness” tab for tips on how to prepare to enter a relationship.
Two snippet videos are both added after this article. You may also click the hyperlinks to access the videos at any time during this discussion. Here are the key points of how we are romantically hasty and how that decision affects our finances. Lessons on life recovery regarding this area follow.
Jumping into a relationship before you are ready is one of the many ways we enter romantic relationships hastily. We never have the much-needed conversations to determine if the relationship is appropriate to begin. Once you begin something, you must see it all the way to the end. The end could lead to marriage, long-term commitment, death do you part, and/or a breakup.
Regardless, jumping requires that you make a sudden movement, and anything that you do suddenly always reflects some struggle with foresight on your part. If you had the foresight and vision for relationship-making, you would not need to jump into anything.
This further suggests that when you apply finances to the concept of jumping into a relationship, you struggle to understand that dating, for example, is not feasible for you. It is not feasible for a certain season in your life that requires financial saving and building. You have to spend money to date, even if that money is not that expensive. Spending money when you should be saving money is counterproductive.
Regardless, if you are currently struggling with your finances, then why would you invest more of your finances into dating? In other words, you assume that dating is worth the investment when you do not even know if you can pay your rent for the next month. Reconciling and resolving financial issues should take a higher priority than entering the dating market that will require the use of consistent finances.
Jumping in too soon before you have taken the necessary time to reflect on whether you have the finances to pursue a dating goal should not be an option. We all need to do things in steps and in order. Secure yourself financially by getting a job. Secure yourself defensively by getting an apartment or a house. Secure yourself academically by entering and completing some form of education. Secure yourself spiritually by practicing faith in God and receiving His guidance. Secure yourself mentally and psychologically by lessening toxic distractions and exiting toxic relationships.
The keyword here is “secure,” which means fix or attach someone or something firmly so that it cannot be moved or lost. In other words, the more time you give to jumping in and jumping out of relationships, the more likely you will end up losing the very essence of you. Get situated before you make decisions that will lead to regret.
Having sex too early in a relationship will affect your understanding of the relationship. For example, you do not need to have sex with someone fast to determine compatibility because you must think about the long vision.
Compatibility is not an overrated topic, but determining connection is something we do not talk about. In fact, we are now just learning about the role of attachment and how it affects the length of time we stay in toxic relationships. You can have a secure attachment where you feel certain that you are in a relationship, or you can have an insecure attachment in the same relationship where you feel uncertain that you are in a relationship and whether it will continue.
Questions about compatibility and connection are ignored when we place sex as a priority in the relationship. Having sex too early exacerbates problems you are not even aware of until you engage the relationship and realize he or she never keeps a job, or he or she is struggling to get over the relationship with an ex, or he or she can be moody and depressing and temperamental, or he or she is just not a productive person all around. The sex blinds you to the problems that lay ahead.
Lying in a bed with someone and getting the immediate pleasures you think you deserve does not resolve the fact that the person failed to tell you he or she is married. It does not resolve the fact that the person just got evicted from his or her apartment. It does not resolve the fact that the person abruptly leaves the conversation before you can even address the problem. It does not address the fact that the person likes to use silent treatment to test and control the relationship. It is much easier to discover this information through conversation than through sleeping with the person the first opportunity you get.
Now that you have allowed this person into your life and also integrated the person into your finances, it is difficult to get the person out of your house and your finances suffer as a result of this decision. If you had sex too early, then followed that up with moving the person in too fast, then your finances are directly affected because all that person has to do is lose their job. Then you would be the only one footing the bill. That’s not fair, but it is also fair because you did not do your due diligence. Think about how jumping into a romantic relationship using sex affects your money before it affects your money.
Assuming that the encounter is a relationship is one of the worst things we can do in a relationship. Some romantic partners do not intend for the relationship to be anything but what it is, i.e., temporary. This is the problem that most women have. We put all our efforts into turning a simple encounter into a meaningful relationship, and it never works. If the person only intended for the encounter to be temporary, there is nothing you can do to change the person’s mind.
You can sex, cook, clean, wash, and do anything the person wants you to do, and you will never get the relationship you have built in your mind. You are living in a fantasy. Even if the person has promised some kind of relationship with him or her, and this may be reflective of going out on dates consistently, this does not mean that you are in a relationship. This may mean that you are really in a friends with benefits relationship or a rebound relationship.
When you assume that your encounter is a relationship, you do so with the intent to ignore the benefits of self-reflection, healing, preparation, and just much needed time to explore healthier options. You assume that you have all the time to heal your assumptions, not understanding that there is an expiration date for how long you can live by and rely on assumptions. Making assumptions too early in the relationship sets you up for disaster throughout the rest of the relationship.
Assuming is related, but different, to jumping too fast into a relationship. The difference is that assuming carries much greater weight because now you are in the relationship that you have created but without certainty. At least when you jump, you can look back and say, “I should have waited.” However, when you are in the relationship, both parties can play this game as if a relationship exists, but only one party consistently pushes and pulls on the relationship for whatever benefit it might bring.
Reliance on the assumption can last longer than jumping in because for all intents and purposes, you believe you are in a relationship that is functional, secure, working towards a long-term goal, and hopeful about the future. Getting over the assumption would take significant time.
When we assume, we also apply finances as if we are in relationship with someone. We pay rent, we pay utilities, we pay healthcare, we pay childcare, and/or we pay anything that reflects the development of a romantic relationship. If you knew early enough that your assumptions were indeed just assumptions, you would be less likely to put money into the relationship to keep it going.
It’s like a car that needs gas. Eventually, it runs out of gas and stops on the side of the road, expectedly, and you are forced to walk and get help. The same is true of reliance on assumptions. Eventually, you will run out of assumptions to maintain the relationship and be forced to stop and reflect and walk back your belief in your assumptions to face the truth that has been staring you in the face the whole time. Don’t put money on a relationship based on assumptions. Check your assumptions before you use money.
Dictating the rules of the relationship before there is consensus is the greatest red flag in any relationship. It is the combination of jumping in and assuming because you dictate based on the belief that the other person agrees with you, even if you have not checked to make sure that you both are in agreement.
Dictating without consensus is essentially two people walking together in disagreement. How strange is that? It is not as strange as many might think because people are capable of carrying on a relationship in their heads and hearts without actually carrying the status of being in a relationship.
In other words, people can make themselves believe anything despite the protestations of a romantic partner who is not interested in taking the relationship further. This means that you are always your own red flag.
When you get into a place of dictating the relationship without consensus, you are essentially controlling and manipulating every situation, thought, belief system, and financial strategy to keep the other person in the relationship. It is interesting that you would want to keep someone in a relationship who does not want to be in a relationship.
Dictating hides the fact that the other partner is really miserable. The other partner is not happy being in the relationship. Even if you are doing well in attempting to make the person happy, if there is no true consensus or agreement about being in relationship with each other, then the other person is unhappy. No amount of money will soothe their unhappiness.
Eventually, that person will just leave, or you may have to exit the person out of your life because you realize you no longer have the mental, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and financial resources to maintain the lie. If you dictated the relationship without consensus, this means your finances are in disarray and need immediate repair.
Giving too much too early as in putting money on a problem before you understand it is really a type of mothering in romantic relationships. Women are notorious for serving a motherly role in a romantic relationship. Most women have not been trained by their own mothers to be women, to be romantic partners in their relationships. They merely do what they saw their mothers did in their relationships and use that knowledge to validate what they do with their current partners.
But men do not need mothers in their wives and/or girlfriends. They already have mothers. If you find yourself acting like a mother towards your significant other as in consoling him when he is hurting over an issue like a mother would or taking over the role by becoming essentially masculine, then you can expect to see discord throughout the relationship and struggle with conflict resolution.
No person, regardless of gender, wants to feel like a personal project. This means that you are also projecting your beliefs onto the person as if to suggest that you believe the person is incapable of running his (or her) life as an adult. When you take over for a man, whether it is psychological, spiritual, or financial, you are suggesting to the man that he is not capable without you and that the only way he can navigate this life is if you do everything for him.
What happens in this case is the man just stops trying. He also stops investing in the relationship. He doesn’t feel like the man or masculine because your transition from feminine to masculine has usurped any ability for him to demonstrate his own prowess. There is no need to be a man if you are going to be the man in the relationship.
Thus, what happens with men in a situation where the woman is investing all her finances to maintain the relationship, he will keep his finances, find a woman who will let him be a man financially, and invest wholeheartedly in that relationship but to the detriment of the current relationship.
Giving too much does not always have to mean money. You could be the person who does everything for him without him ever lifting a finger. You could be the only person cooking in the relationship, washing his clothes, purchasing clothes for him because you have an image in mind of what he should look like, and paying his bills with your money, including assuming the responsibility of paying “his child support.” You assume that there is no real need for him to financially invest himself when you two are a couple and “here for each other.”
The counterargument is this: you can be there for each other but still let a man be a man. It is really not you letting him be anything. It is up to him as a man and as a 100% responsible adult to be a man and an adult. Even if you were not in a romantic relationship, taking over an individual’s life is a bit disrespectful and insulting. People should be able to make decisions for themselves and that includes determining whether they should stay or exit the relationship with you if you are going to be the only one doing all the work.
A person might stay to benefit but eventually your giving too much will bother him or her because every caged bird sings. No one likes to feel caged in a relationship. People need their freedom, and giving too much takes away their freedom, making them, in essence, beholden to you. Relationships like these, especially where finances are concerned, never last because people always need to feel financially free.
Acting more masculine because of an assumption that you must take over the relationship for some reason is one of the ways that women struggle to navigate a romantic relationship. Because of the ways in which they have been nurtured in childhood to young adulthood, and this is usually due to functioning almost as a second parent, they tend to take over the relationship. This is especially true of the eldest female sibling living with other siblings and the expectation that she shares in the parental responsibilities, even if parents do not verbally and directly tell the eldest child to contribute in this way.
It is the expectation from the mother, whether she is married or a single mother, to charge the eldest child, especially when that individual is female, to manage aspects of the household, which always include cooking, cleaning, and fulfilling a pseudo-parental role. It is the way in which she expects the eldest child to share in the metaphorical load. If the parent is a single father, he would expect the daughter, whether she is the eldest or not, to share in the load and become a pseudo-mother to her siblings. In other words, you are expected to act out what you think a mother is for your siblings.
Then you move this type of thinking and strategy into a romantic relationship, never making the connection to childhood and never reaching an understanding about the role of expectations. You were expected to help and be a pseudo-helpmeet and nothing else. It is all you know. This is why self-reflection is important because when you realize that many of the decisions you make as an adult have their root in the social nurturing of childhood, you might be less likely to put money on a situation and act like you are the solution to your partner’s financial problems.
It is nothing worse than acting out what you think a romantic role is and how you think a romantic partner should be in a relationship. We always go wrong when it comes to money because we automatically put money on a problem without considering that money may not be the answer to the problem. This means that we do not have a true understanding of the problem, which makes it easier to be blind to possible solutions.
In fact, we would rather not accept any solution so we can continue acting because acting brings about the benefit of control and manipulating the situation to our advantage. As long as our partner does not know we are acting, we can continue whatever plan we have for the relationship, thereby perpetuating and validating the decision to enter the relationship hastily.
Acting out a relationship will have consequences in the end because it is not sustainable long-term. Eventually, you and your partner will have to live in real life and not in fantasy. This means that you cannot base managing your finances on fantasy thinking. Financial management is a realistic, day-by-day endeavor.
Talking about past relationships and hoping the new relationship will solve past relationship problems is a major issue for people who are still struggling to heal from a past experience. You should never bring a past relationship into a new relationship. One relationship had its successes, failures, struggles, and successes again, and your relationship will have the same. You cannot base your relationship on the foundation of another.
This is why engaging a romantic partner who is still involved with another person is dangerous psychologically because you always think that you have a handle on the problem when, in fact, you lost grasp on the relationship the moment you began it with somebody’s man or somebody’s woman.
Therefore, the hope is futile. People fail to understand just how significant the saying how you start will be how you finish. If you start a relationship taking someone’s partner, you will suffer through both guilt and anxiety, always wondering if someone will come along and do the same to you.
But hope here is misplaced because you cannot hope in a current relationship while still hoping for a past relationship. The more you discuss a past relationship, the more likely you are still hoping for a better outcome with that relationship. It makes no sense then to engage another relationship even if you are presently trying to make it work. This is why people do not hold onto the mistress after the divorce from their partners.
For example, holding onto the mistress was simply a way to navigate the emotional pain felt for the core relationship, but the partner never intended for the core relationship to terminate. Why hope for a relationship with the mistress when there is a possibility of return to the core relationship, to the marriage. If people understand their hope and what it means for them within the context of a romantic relationship, they might think twice about entering another relationship. In other words, if they were truly conscious of their hope to get back with another partner, they would not disturb that hope by engaging another person.
Hope can distract. It is always better to see a relationship to the very end. Do not open doors before closing other doors because hope sneaks in and distracts you into believing that a previous relationship still has potential. When you are in a current relationship and undergoing the process of relationship-making that “looking back” is essentially exhibiting a doublemindedness that will lead you into an emotional, psychological, and financial ditch.
It is emotionally draining to use hope in navigating multiple relationships, but that hope is really not hope. It is hastiness. In the same way that you enter one relationship before the time, you also return hastily to a previous relationship believing that it will work too. Romantic hastiness is a stronghold that you must address before going on to greater battles because it can destroy you, and it can destroy your finances trying to invest into two households and into multiple people.
Saying “I love you” too early in the encounter is always the greatest mistake that everyone makes because we all want to be loved, and we all want to have someone to love. Your desires to love and be loved can ensnare you if you engage the wrong person and/or if you engage a relationship too soon. A declaration is simply defined as an announcement.
You can declare anything, but that does not mean it is true for another person. In other words, you can say you love someone, but your love for a person does not translate the same way as love from the partner. Some people take time to get to a place where they can love you, but to love you is to love themselves. If a person does not already have a love for himself or herself, especially where he or she prioritizes their life, purpose, and finances, then you can expect to be mishandled in the relationship.
You can expect for the person to mishandle your heart, your mind, your body, and your spirit. Add finances to the mix, and you have a disaster waiting to happen because what a person can do with your “I love you” is infinite. The person can take your declaration and use it in different ways other than loving you. In fact, the person can take your statement and not even apply it to their own lives. In other words, the person struggles to accept your love. Instead, he or she will accept the things and benefits you have to offer, and that would be enough to coast.
This means that you are not getting any satisfaction from using your love to love that person. Your love has no effect because it is not reciprocated, and when this happens, you find yourself doing all the investing to the detriment of your own happiness and soul. That, alone, is an endeavor not worth continuing because there is no benefit from your declaration.
Everyone should get a return on their investment, whether small or significant. When a person does not receive a return on their investment, especially in finances, he or she takes their money out of that investment and places it into another investment to get a better financial return.
The same strategy should apply to romantic relationships. This is not to suggest that you jump in and jump out of a relationship because you are not getting the investment you want. That is still a type of romantic hastiness. No, the better thing in that case would be to isolate and take time for self-reflection. Then consider reentering the dating market once you are ready. There is no hurry.
However, once you declare something, you have no other choice but to ride out that decision until the end or continuation of your relationship with a romantic partner. Declaring has both financial advantages and consequences because if a person is not reciprocating investment, then you can expect to pay the costs for the whole relationship. It is no different than paying for someone to be your companion or be in your life. That requires you paying for their shelter costs, food costs, clothing costs, healthcare costs, and any other costs that positions that person as a child and you as their caregiver.
That is essentially what the consequences look like when you declare without mutual consensus and financial support. You would be expected to be the mule in the relationship, and you must come to the conclusion that your hastiness put you in a position to be a caregiver to your adult partner. No man should move in with a woman if he is truly trying to get himself together and if he has friends and family resources. It is telling that a man would rather move in with a girlfriend than with a male friend who could better mentor and assist him in getting his life back together.
This suggests that the man is not serious about being a man and leading the home when the relationship converts to something substantial. If a man, or woman, does not feel the need to change, then he or she will not pursue change. As long as he knows that he can live in your house without paying rent and/or contributing in any other financial way, then there would be no need for him to pursue any purpose in his life let alone purpose that comes with romantic relationship-building.
Be careful of the declarations because whatever you start off doing at the beginning of the relationship, you will have to continue all the way to the end of that same relationship. Even when you try to jump out of that relationship into another, you may be forced to contribute financially to that previous relationship because you set no boundaries, expectations, and/or standards.
Life Recovery Objective
A major life recovery objective centers on the idea that romantic hastiness only proves to be disadvantageous in the end. If you have experienced any of the key points explored within this article, then your next romantic goal should be to enter a period of reflection and journaling.
If you engage another romantic relationship without some time for solitude and/or isolation (no contact if with an ex), you might find yourself mentally burned out with relationships and this could affect your mental health. No person should enter a period of emotional disrepair without recovery. If you do not get the necessary healing through reading, writing, visiting with a therapist, and praying, you will run yourself down.
Then this will affect whatever contribution you are trying to make, and it will definitely affect your finances. Do what our mothers used to tell us: get somewhere and sit down. Take the necessary time to heal before you consider another romantic relationship.
These are the ideas and thought processes concerning romantic hastiness and how it affects your finances. The main points and categories presented within this article are discussed in the following videos.
I have explored these points from different angles, including financial recovery, but only the two snippet videos are necessary as discussion openers in personal circles. The videos are also available on the website. Click the “Financial Topics” tab to access the videos.
Count the Costs
The most important strategy to adopt before engaging a romantic relationship is to consider the costs associated with relationship-building. This includes engaging by utilizing the dating market, and it also suggests that you need to have foresight in your ability to maintain and sustain a relationship long-term.
No one can survive off a diet of one-night stands. The same is true of people who are perpetual shackers, i.e., they would rather live together than to forge a long-lasting relationship. The decision to travel the alternative route may be rooted in the family dynamic and some childhood trauma, but the mind, soul, spirit, emotions, and heart cannot sustain two-year to three-year relationships and nothing ever substantial. View the following video to gain insight into the importance of counting the costs before you build.
As you discovered in watching the video, you never want someone to come onto your field, i.e., your relationship and/or marriage and notice the obvious mistakes you made in not planning for the long-term. We rarely have long-term in mind because engaging in short-term relationships is just more convenient.
But you will find at the end of the road that there are consequences to romantic hastiness, and the consequences require that you reflect on your decisions, mistakes, failures, and develop a plan for moving forward.
Reflections on Romantic Hastiness
Here is the snippet video on romantic hastiness and how it affects our finances. This is the snippet video of the full financial recovery curriculum, which is also available on the site.
Thank you for reading and listening.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
The Regina Y. Favors Website
The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
Returning to dead things prevents you from moving forward, and it might even endanger your life. Dead things are considered any past issue or relationship that is dysfunctional, no longer working, and unnecessary for you to pursue your life goals, dreams, aspirations, and plans. You do not need to bring every past issue or everyone with you where you are going. For this blog entry, I want to focus on the people we try to bring along with us where we are going.
Although it is true that we cannot bring along old issues and past friendships, people cannot seem to differentiate the individuals who come into our lives for a reason, a season, and/or a lifetime. People love trying to make seasonal acquaintances lifetime friendships. Where you are going may destroy a person because he or she has not been prepared for the destination, i.e., the vision.
You are the one who has been prepared for it, and you also value preparation. This means that bringing someone along on your journey is tantamount to encouraging that individual skip steps, especially if preparation is key and the person has decided that preparation is unnecessary.
Skipping steps always require correction because you must pass each step before you can go on to greater life planning battles. If the person you bring along with you skips, it might affect what you are trying to accomplish, set you back, and force you to endure correction before you can move forward.
A person who is not prepared for the destination will cause you to stumble, to suffer setback, and to run out of steam once you finally get to the place you have been envisioning. There is nothing worse than expending all your energy in places you are not supposed to be and to the point of burnout and not being sufficiently equipped to engage, sustain, and finish the task. We must be finishers. We must have the goal of completion in mind. Never take responsibility for a task if you do not have the capacity to finish.
The goals you have set, the plans in your heart, and the task management strategies you must adopt have their own trials, tribulations, setbacks, endurance struggles, and the need for patience. There is no sense in taking on extra problems when your goal is to solve the problems connected to fulfilling the dream and reaching the vision. In other words, you have plenty enough to do with what you already have. You do not need extra baggage, i.e., you returning to old problems when they no longer need your resolution.
For example, Touch Not! is about encouraging you not to return to old relationships that served their purpose. If you feel the need to return to something that has been closed, whether you went through the full closure process or not, this does not mean that you feel there is still something more to say. What this really means is that you do not want the relationship to end and reopening negotiations will undoubtedly reconnect the relationship.
But you do not know what spirits a person picked up when he or she was away from you. You do not know what hurts and pains the person has experienced. You do not know their bitterness narrative. You do not know where the person is feeling anger and resentment.
He or she is likely to project that anger onto you and the new relationship you want to rebuild. It is fruitless because you never address what broke you up in the first place, which makes it difficult for you to see the relationship for what it really is and to determine if you and the ex-partner both have the emotional capacity to go one more round. Sometimes you do not, and going back can mean your very life.
Another example might be obvious: returning to a substance that kept you bound for years, i.e., alcohol or drugs. It is clear that returning to drugs would be a deadly enterprise. There is nothing good that can come from reengaging that destructive relationship.
Yes, it was a relationship. You were married to alcohol. You were married to drugs. It became your lifeline. It became your friend, your confidant, and your loyal and faithful master and servant. But it also betrayed you. It lied to you. It made you believe that it could keep you forever without also harming you. Going back and touching the very thing that could kill you will undoubtedly kill you.
Touch not any door you have closed. Do not reopen closed doors. You closed them for a reason, and if someone closed a door on your behalf, then consider it a blessing!
As we are forced to experience and endure recent events that have been devastating, this is a great time to consider how significant a setback can affect one’s plans, goals, dreams, life in general, and hope for moving forward.
If recent events do not do anything else, they encourage us to redeem the time, to self-reflect, and to reassess our purpose in life.
Time is very short, and even though that reads like a cliché, it is still, nonetheless, very true.
However, you are still responsible for tending to your goals, for making your life a priority, and for ensuring that you contribute in this world. Do not let recent events overshadow your purpose and what you know you must do going forward. Pray, rest, and move forward.
While you are doing these three things, journal also your setback, especially if you have been touched in any way by recent events, the deaths of children, and the chaos of war. Consider the following writing prompt.
Provide an example of a time you were reaching towards a goal and encountered a setback.
1. What was the original goal?
2. What was the setback?
3. Did you ever complete the original goal?
4. How did you resolve the problem?
The most important aspect of overcoming a setback is to understand the original goal, whether it was intentional or optional.
You are under no obligation to complete an optional goal, but if your initial goal was to complete a certificate program for your job and you didn’t, then that is a goal you must return to because it is tied to a professional purpose.
Therefore, assess the short-term, medium-range, and long-term nature of your goals to determine how realistic and feasible they are and whether you possess the capacity and patience to complete the goal. The only way to overcome the setback is to understand the original goal.
Spite is a type of relational power people employ when they want to discontinue investment into a romantic relationship. Other relational contexts where spite is used exist, but this is a tip that focuses on romantic relationships. It is a type of power because it is fueled by the anger of someone who is hurt, annoyed, and offended, which are characteristics of spite. “Spite” is simply defined as a deliberate strategy to hurt, annoy, or offend someone.
If we understand that hurting people, hurt people, it is obvious that a partner would adopt emotional, psychological, and financial strategies to hurt anyone who has hurt him or her. However, I believe that spite is much more damaging because it is a decision that shifts the dynamics of the romantic relationship.
For example, if you give your romantic partner an ultimatum to choose you over his ex-partner, and the person is unsuccessful in winning back the ex-partner, you can expect “your partner” to use spite to navigate his relationship with you. In other words, you made him give up that ex-partner, even if it is the ex-partner who decides not to return to the relationship for whatever reason.
Your relationship with him will now be fueled by hatred, contempt, disgust, and offense from that very decision to remain with you because he could not get her back. You are now seen as someone who came between them; therefore, you must be punished for that act.
In his mind, you should have waited, or you should have given him time to make things right with his ex while he is in relationship with you, or you should have understood that they were going through some things. He cannot be expected to understand your feelings while he is trying to reconnect with the ex-partner.
The problem with this logic is that he is still engaging in relationship-making with you. To prevent the onset of spite and resolve any relationship issues, the simplest, commonsense thing to do is just close out one relationship to work on another. But people do not like closed doors. They like the opportunity that a slightly open door provides them when given the chance to walk through it.
To close a door is to suggest that you cannot gain any more benefit from that person and that you must move on. People don’t want to move on. They like open doors. They like the ability to vacillate between two opinions. They like the drama it brings, the chaos it perpetuates, the double-mindedness it provides, and the toxicity it deepens so that the root of the problem never gets addressed.
Romantic relationships cannot survive one member using spite to navigate the relationship. When you perceive a romantic partner who is using spite to hurt you and the relationship, get out of that relationship. The person is not willing to see the situation differently, or go to counseling to understand it better, or simply to work on himself so that he can be a better person to you and to himself.
If the person is using spite, the situation will never get better until he decides that it will get better, and that could take a long time. In essence, he has framed you as a person he can use spite to frustrate, which fuels his own peace with you, ironically. Hurting you makes life livable with you.
Don’t play with spite because it could mean your very life if you remain in that relationship.
Thank you for reading.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
The Regina Y. Favors Website
The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
I am currently working on a blog article on romantic hastiness and how it relates to the eagerness in people to start a new relationship with someone who is currently ending a relationship, i.e., the person is going through a divorce and/or concluding a live-in situation, or anything similar. I am also finishing another article on the same main topic of romantic hastiness, but it focuses on how zeal for a relationship affects our finances. Look for these upcoming articles. Here is an overview of the future one.
We always think that because our romantic partner is interested in engaging in relationship-making with us, that he or she is indeed “our partner,” but if that person is undergoing a process of completion with another relationship and/or marriage, your relationship is still not your relationship. In fact, you do not have a relationship with whom you believe is your future partner. I make a point of this in multiple posts, but it bears repeating.
Stay out of “their relationship” until it is no longer their relationship. Stop making plans with someone who is still in legal relationship with someone else. It does not matter if that person goes to the courthouse and files to be considered legally single. That person is still “not divorced.” This means that the person is still married until he or she is not married or legally bound to someone else.
Therefore, you cannot plan with a person who is still attached legally to someone else. Even if the person is common law married, if there is any indication that he and his partner gave notice of the two of them as married, and they are seen as married in front of their family members and friends, certain states require a divorce petition. You can be common law married without a ceremony, but if you want to be single, then you would have to divorce. Check the statutes in your state.
Given the complex, potentially toxic nature of dissolution and relationship termination, stay out of it. You could lose your life, your sanity, your finances, and your spiritual walk messing in a marriage, common law status, and/or live-in situation.
The statement “pick up your tent” suggests the importance of recognizing and pursuing change. Although people believe that they can remain in a certain state of mind long-term, this is not always the case. Change is going to happen regardless of anyone’s propensity, inclination, and maybe predisposition to stop moving forward.
Even when you are in a place of instability and/or stagnation, your mind wanders about the possibilities of somewhere else. You still think about how to get yourself out of where you are because something inside of you knows that where you are is not the only place you could be.
You may believe that it is your only option for the moment or season, but your heart is never truly satisfied living in nothingness, guiding your everyday life walk using an unsound ideology, or allowing too many distractions to snuff out the dream that roams around in your head and heart.
It is always possible to die a failure, to die without fulfilling your purpose on this earth, and never to discover your life calling and/or assignment. You can stay in one place in your mind, heart, and spirit never reaching out for better.
Many people also do not understand that you can die a tragedy, and people who usually die a tragedy missed or failed to honor an instruction that was necessary for the next journey. Remember that people may come into our lives for a reason, a season, and/or for a lifetime. It is important to recognize who that person is, what purpose he or she will fulfill, and how best to execute whatever goal that falls under that purpose.
What happens with people, however, is that they always think they have all the time in the world to complete a life task, to pursue a dream, to use their gifts, and to fulfill a calling. All life is on a timer, a rhythm, and what you do with your time does matter.
Think about the analogy of a train or a city bus. The train has a schedule it must keep. It cannot wait for you simply because you are not feeling well and/or because you think the train should just wait for you. If the train does not meet its schedule, it runs the risk of preventing the people ahead on upcoming routes from getting to their destinations . . . on time. You must align your time with a higher time. You must align your authority with a higher authority. In other words, you must conform.
Conformity is not something people like to accept because they feel they have the right to choose whether they conform or not conform, and they feel that the time they spend not conforming should be their prerogative. Life should just wait on them. By extension, people should just wait on them.
The problem with this logic is that there are consequences for every decision and that just because you can exercise your prerogative to wait does not mean that the people around you think the same way. Some people like to be on time. Some people like to do things the right way. Some people need the predictability of stability. Some people need stable shelter, stable finances, stable logic and reasoning, and/or a stable belief system. Some people cannot live in a tent forever.
Herein lies the problem with people who think that living in the tent is more favorable than doing the work to obtain stable shelter, whether that represents as an apartment, a fixed trailer, or a house. Regardless, the dictates of the house opposes the temporary provisions of the tent.
With a tent, you do not own the land. You do not have any rights other than relocating the tent. You cannot leverage the tent as an asset. You cannot live safely in the tent and expect to be productive and successful.
Although these ideas are true, this article is not about a literal tent. The tent within this discussion is used here figuratively to highlight those areas in our thinking that reflect a tent. In other words, this article provides categories of tents we create, live in, maintain, and perpetuate throughout multiple areas of our lives.
For example, financial instability, which is the first category of discussion, is a tent we live in. We have pitched a tent in financial unsoundness with no desire to exit it into better thinking about how to manage money and finances. We expect the tent, which is temporary in nature, to serve us permanently. The way out of both a physical and metaphorical tent is to embrace the stages of change, which ends the discussion in this article.
Sustaining Financial Instability
Financial instability is one of those areas of life that we struggle to overcome because the struggle involves mastering the domain of finances. We do not often possess or think we need to master our finances. We take life as it is and hang on for dear life when we are faced with an issue.
But all life is based on finances. We may live on the bartering system during some times in our life, and this strategy may be useful for initiating, building, and sustaining relationships. However, bartering cannot last forever because people need money to engage and sustain their engagement in society. We cannot always visit our next door neighbor and ask for some sugar, or some milk, or some eggs. At some point the neighbor who keeps asking for everyday items will eventually deplete you of those same items. You need what you have just as much as the next person.
Therefore, understanding the role of finances is important, but understanding the behavior behind finances is equally important. It is not enough that you look at the role of money as being a significant factor in life more than looking at why you continue to lose money every month. Think about these questions:
Why do you not have the necessary emergency savings fund?
Why isn’t creating an emergency savings fund a requirement?
Why do we struggle to make managing our finances central to everyday living?
These are merely three questions that suggest more about thinking ahead than thinking in the present. There are some people who think ahead. For example, there were some people who were not affected by the recent financial recession or the pandemic. These people do not have to be rich.
They can be people who simply had assets that they could leverage. They have a one-year, two-year, and/or three-year savings fund. They had a thrift savings plan, investments, and/or any financial instrument that could carry them through a financial trouble. They understood the impact of financial instability and how best to create prevention measures through saving. You do not have to be rich to be financially prepared.
Therefore, if you are still struggling financially, and you have been circling the arena of financial instability, then it is time that you pick up your tent. This means that you must assess how you created the tent of financial instability, which is a type of setback, and design strategies to exit that tent, which is a type of overcoming.
For example, if you struggle to pay your credit cards every month, depending on the number of credit cards you may have, it might be best simply to work with one to three (1 to 3) credit cards than to possess five to 10. You might also need to change your thinking about the quantity of credit cards to focus on your ability to pay the full balance of each card every month.
If you can only faithfully achieve that goal with two (2) credit cards, then pay down and pay off the other cards and stick with the two. This way you will not have running and high balances, you will maintain a habit of paying the full balance of your credit cards at the end of the month, and you will be better able to assess whether dealing with any credit cards at all is feasible for the current season in your life.
In other words, if paying off credit cards at the end of the month is bothersome, then you just may not be made for credit card use. It may not be something that challenges and encourages you, and you may need to keep one (1) so you can maintain your credit score than to engage the credit card market only to feel stressed at the end of each month when the credit card bill comes due.
Not everyone is built for credit card use. Some people truly like to pay their bills at the end of the month, and they do not like to have running balances or debt of any kind. Some people like to pay strictly with cash. Some people value a mortgage loan as having good debt, and that is enough for them. Some people would rather have investments.
You have to determine what works for you, but living in the tent of financial instability will push you into the arena of asking for milk, bread, and any other food item just because you did not plan. The milk and bread turns into asking someone if you can come stay with them for awhile because you were evicted from your apartment. The milk and bread could turn into asking someone to cosign an apartment for you because you have messed up with other apartments. Lastly, the milk and bread could represent the payday or title loans you have to apply for because you do not have your rent for the next month.
These are examples of financial instability that need better resolution before you can go on to greater life battles surrounding finances. Get out of the tent of financial instability.
Ignoring instruction is not something I have consistent practice with, but it is something with which I have some familiarity. We all ignore instruction one way or the other because we do not have an understanding that instruction may come in many forms. It may come as a direct instruction, as in someone telling you what to do. It may come as a warning, as in someone telling you not to do something.
There is intuition, something we often ignore and also regret because we did not accept or receive it at the time. Then there is foresight, a kind of second eye into the future of something, understanding that it is a kind of warning we should consider. Ignoring instruction, again, comes in different forms, and we must tune our hearts and minds to discern when something is for us to recognize and heed.
All life comes by instruction. The day and time you are birthed is by instruction. Your everyday moments are by instruction. Your experiences with schooling are by instruction. The day you leave your parents’ house(s) is by instruction. All life is by instruction, and once you receive instruction, you are responsible for carrying it out. That could mean the teacher assigning math homework and telling all of you students to “show your work.”
If you do not show your work for each math moment, you may fail that assignment. If you apply this principle to your life assignment, God is the great teacher. He is the one who assigns you to a person, a place, or a people. You do not operate alone and apart from divine instruction, even if you attempt to do so and find success in some areas of your life.
Just because you can be successful in one area does not mean that you are a true success in life because if you know your assignment, your calling, and you do not embrace and/or perform it, then that means you are a failure. If you are a failure, that further means that you have been living in perpetual setback. To get out of setback, you must accept and apply instruction.
Herein lies the dilemma.
People generally do not want to work through the process of receiving instruction to get out of setback because it requires waiting and patience and some longsuffering. The most obvious thing about instruction is connected to academics. Return to the mathematics instruction example that requires you to show all your work. If you fail to do this for each assignment and/or test, and you subsequently fail the course, then that very same instruction is down the road waiting on you to pass it. In other words, whatever instructions you failed to pass in one season of your life will be waiting on you somewhere in your future.
You could decide to drop out of school and get your GED. The GED tests only require you to mark an answer and not show all your work directly on the test. That could be your reality, but when you get to a job that requires you to show your work, i.e., show the boss how you arrived at the conclusion, you cannot just quit that job because you feel the boss is challenging you. No, that’s the job. You must show your work. Showing your work demonstrates your ability and skill at problem-solving, which is the purpose of employment and/or running your own business.
Therefore, you never get away from instruction because the way in which you drive on the streets is filled with instruction. When you are stopped by the police, there is instruction. When you enter a supermarket, there are signs of instruction everywhere. You cannot ignore Aisle 1 or the cashier line. You cannot do what you want to do because you must submit to a higher authority. If you do not, then there are built-in consequences that you must address before you can go on to greater battles.
The built-in consequences may be known or unknown to you. If you find that you and all of us, in general, have done a certain thing that went against the law (instruction), then we all know what the consequences are for that action because the consequences are common and standardized enough for us to understand, self-correct, and move forward. But then there are some consequences to your actions that you will not know what they are until you experience them. This is why following instruction is important because instruction guards against those consequences.
Instruction helps to protect you and whatever you hold dear. In other words, you can keep what you have when you follow instruction, but if you disregard and dishonor instruction, you will lose what you have. It is really that simple. This means that you should guard your heart and your mind because out of the heart flows the issues of life. Your heart can lie to you, and you can lie to your heart.
You can tell yourself every day that things will change in a relationship, your finances will improve without you making any real effort to ensure that it happens, or that you can get through this life emotionally setting everyone straight, but all those things would be a lie. You must live life mentally and emotionally stable for the tasks head, or if you are not emotionally stable, you must learn strategies for how to navigate this life. Mental instability would require that you seek the professional services of a counselor. Regardless, you will need instruction to put you on and to keep you on the right path for your life.
If you struggle with instruction, and you have no desire to change your strategies or adopt a different way of working through life, then you are in an emotional, psychological, spiritual, and possibly a financial tent. The only way out of that tent is with instruction. You need a hand to pull you out, and that hand is instruction.
Maintaining aFixed Mindset
You will never be able to achieve anything with a fixed mindset, which is simply defined as the belief your talent and intelligence is fixed and cannot be developed over time. This belief shapes your decision-making, your choices in relationships and career, and your attitude towards life in general.
If you do not see your ability to change and think differently about a topic or an idea, then this will be reflected in your lack of ability to do and think differently about a topic or an idea. The fixed mindset you bear and perpetuate has great implications for your present and your future.
A person with a fixed mindset does not see a future. The person may make it to their future, but he or she did not plan enough in their past to expect a future. The person does not see beyond his or her present circumstances to envision life differently. This is a problem because how you see yourself determines who you will become.
Kids who play doctor envision themselves as becoming a doctor. They may not always have the wherewithal to know and understand what they are doing, but they are practicing in their present for what they will become in their future. They do not practice a fixed mindset. Something inside of them knows that becoming a doctor is a possibility.
It isn’t until the person grows up and someone says to him or her that becoming a doctor is an impossibility that fixed mindset enters the consciousness and is projected onto the individual. Your mind is suggesting one thing to you, but the person standing before you is saying something that opposes your sensibilities. The person is suggesting that the vision you hold in your head is not possible and should not apply to you. In other words, who are you to want to do better, be better, and reach for better? The person believes that should not be your prerogative.
But it is never a person’s right to tell you what you can and cannot become. It is your right to discover your gifts, talents, life assignment, and purpose on this earth. That means that not only must you address your own fixed mindset in certain areas, as in suggesting that this course is too hard for you to pass on your journey to becoming a doctor or this teacher is too mean, but also you must address the fixed mindset of the person suggesting that you cannot pass this course or the teacher is being too mean to you.
The person who is projecting their fixed mindset onto you is dangerous because the person is not even willing to feel encouraged by your dreams, your goals, and/or your plans. There is nothing in the person to light the metaphorical fire inside of their own belly to move forward. There is nothing in their eyes that cares enough to listen. Instead, the person is discouraged by your gift, talents, and dreams. He or she is offended that you know your gifts and talents and that you are pursuing your dreams. He or she is offended at the work required to pursue a dream and to use the talent and gifts consistently and responsibly.
The person is offended at the idea of not only believing your way out of your tent, but also doing something about it. People are capable of thinking differently and maybe following up that thinking with action. However, people struggle with the capacity of thinking differently, which means moving themselves out of a fixed mindset into a growth mindset.
A growth mindset is defined as the belief that intelligence can be developed over time. As you fail, you also believe that you can grow from failure. Failure is not the end goal. It is not the end of your life. You believe that there is more to life than one seasonal issue. However, you also believe that you must do the work to sustain the growth mindset. Otherwise, you could slip back into a fixed mindset without even knowing it.
You must address the tent of a fixed mindset because a collection of fixed mindsets over time might lead to stagnation. To be stagnant is to not move forward or advance. Living in this type of tent will keep you from moving forward into greater battles that still need your attention.
In other words, you have allowed the current battle to take up so much of your time that it has affected your insight and your view of overcoming life’s little setbacks. A setback should always be temporary. It should never be permanent. However, if you live with a fixed mindset, you arguably live, dress, and furnish a setback.
Managing Chronic Homelessness
Chronic homelessness is the last category I want to address for this blog article. It is obvious that if you are homeless, you are in a setback. The other obvious goal would be to overcome the setback. Homelessness can be temporary, as in your need for temporary shelter, or episodic, as in your experiences with bouts of homelessness, or chronic, which suggests long-term.
Everyone has had to sleep on somebody’s couch at one time or another. Some adult individuals have had to move in with their parents. I was one such adult. I had to move in with my parents during the recent financial recession because I lost my job and I couldn’t find sustainable work. I ended up doing some freelance writing to make some money and then returned to work outside of my parent’s house in 2013. I had struggles during that time due to family conflict, which led me to entering multiple homeless shelters multiple times between 2009 and 2013.
It was a hard time, but I knew I had to keep before me the goal of overcoming my current situation even before I had a clue about what overcoming setback meant. It was because of those struggles that I was able to write the books under the Favors brand, and I will continue to write more books on rebounding, setback, overcoming setback, and financial and life recovery. It is a continued writing and business goal of mine. Therefore, the keyword is “goal.” To move out of stagnancy you must create realistic goals.
Chronic homelessness is the ultimate tent. I never had to live in a tent, per se, but I did sleep outside at one point in my homeless journey. Regardless, the best way to understand chronic homelessness is to arguably connect it to a psychology concept called “learned helplessness,” which is defined as the behavior you exhibit after enduring repeated aversive stimuli beyond your control.
For example, if you repeatedly experience a stressful situation, and you feel you are unable to control or change the situation, then you are likely to give up on resolving that issue. Learned helplessness leads to avoiding challenges and failing to execute problem-solving strategies. Learned helplessness leads to a fixed mindset. Here is a quick video that is part of a larger social psychology series I conducted and is still ongoing. It is briefly on the concept of learned homelessness. Feel free to research the concept further for more information.
Symptoms of learned helplessness include low self-esteem, passivity, frustration, lack of effort, and giving up. According to the psychology research, it is a serious psychiatric condition that requires cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Discussion of CBT is beyond the scope of this article and may be explored in a future article. It is important, however, to note that CBT addresses depression and anxiety in the person struggling with learned helplessness.
This means that encouraging an individual to address their anxiety might help him or her to focus on developing their abilities and not on the feelings engendered from working the abilities. In other words, work the ability in the moment, even if you feel like procrastinating, instead of focusing on the anxiety you feel that leads to procrastinating.
Every task you undertake has a component that makes you feel anxious and that makes you feel inadequate about completing the task, but focusing on those feelings only prolongs task completion. Many have used the phrase “do it afraid” because there still must be someone to complete the task. If you are the person divinely developed to complete it, it is better that you work on your courage to get the job done.
The opposite of learned helplessness, thus, is “self-efficacy,” the belief in one’s innate ability to achieve one’s goals. Everything you do and who you are begins with your belief in you, yourself, and what you can accomplish.
Address your tent of chronic homelessness, if this applies to you. Definitely address your tent of learned helplessness because it is something that we may all struggle with or have struggled with before, maybe not to an extreme, but we have said to ourselves about a difficult task, “I can’t do this,” and we even said this without fully trying. Many more “I can’t do this,” and you have a collection of averted tasks that will turn into stagnation and further develop in you a state of learned helplessness. While you are picking up the tent of chronic homelessness, pick up the tent of learned helplessness too.
Envisioning change will require that you understand change is possible. To pick up your tent is to say you want change and that you are willing to endure the stages of change as explored in this last section. Change begins with you, your mind, your body, your heart, your spirit, and your finances. Because finances permeate every aspect of our lives, it will be necessary to have some clue about how to use your finances to move yourself out of setback and into a level of life recovery.
The first step towards change begins with the first step towards change. Think about this idea as you review the stages of change. The definitions are summarized but subject to Fair Use; the tips in bold and content that follows are added to point you in a direction. You can access the source information here.
Stage #1: Precontemplation
Precontemplation is the first stage of change. It is defined based on the intent of the person who does not pursue change. The person is unaware of their problematic behavior and emphasizes the cons of changing behavior.
Be mindful of changing problematic behavior. Look at the pros of change. Living in your tent is not a pro of change. It is a con, and once you understand that it is embracing abnormal behavior, this will help you to begin the precontemplation process.
Stage #2: Contemplation
Contemplation is the second stage of change. People recognize their problematic behavior and give more thoughtful consideration to change. They weigh the pros and cons, placing emphasis on both. However, they are ambivalent towards change.
Work on your mixed feelings about change. Assess the contradictions you feel. Think about the contradictions you feel about living in your tent and how it has had an impact on your life. Think about the time you have spent living in your tent and how it has affected your overall mood and temperament. At some point, you have to turn that ambivalence into a focus towards change.
Stage #3: Preparation
Preparation is the third stage of change. People are ready to take action within the next 30 days. They start taking small steps toward changing the behavior. They believe that change contributes to a healthy life.
The action you take must be realistic. Do not overwhelm yourself with the steps you need to take. Just take it step by step. When you envision change, it can be overwhelming because you realize just how much you have to overcome and do. The most important thing you have to consider is the first step that is needed to get you out of the tent. Remember that instruction is that extended hand needed to usher you out of the tent. The instruction you receive is the instruction you need to take the first step.
Stage #4: Action
Action is the fourth stage of change. There is recent change in the person’s behavior (within the last six months). There is intent to keep moving forward with the behavior change. People are willing to modify their problem behavior and acquire new healthy behaviors.
Modification is not a bad thing. A picture of action is to walk out of the tent and leave it behind. You must envision yourself walking and continually walking until you have separated yourself from your tent. The more and longer you walk forward, your tent should not be in view, and you should make it a habit not to always look backward because it can affect how you see the world before you. There are people who live in the present and prepare for the future. Therefore, envision yourself doing the same.
Stage #5: Maintenance
Maintenance is the fifth stage of change. People have been able to sustain their behavior change for more than six months. Going forward, they intend to maintain the behavior change. They take steps to prevent relapse.
Relapse is always possible. Guarding your mind and heart during change is key to ensuring you do not relapse. Think of anything you believe as important to maintain. When you live in your tent, you maintain the area, you keep things clean, and you limit who can come into your tent. Well, when you leave the tent, use the same three strategies. This will help you maintain boundaries, set realistic expectations, and continue to sustain living outside of the tent that is no longer “your tent.”
Stage #6: Termination
Termination is the sixth stage of change. People do not have a desire to return to the problematic behavior. They do not plan for relapse. However, keep in mind that termination is rarely reached and is often not considered in health promotion programs.
Termination is still possible. No problematic behavior should keep you bound. If you have struggled with chronic homelessness and/or financial instability the greater part of your life, you must understand that it is a problematic behavior that needs an expiration date.
The alternative would be you die in your tent, you die in your setback, you die in your literal tent, you die financially broke and broken, and you die without instruction out of your tent. It is time to terminate living in tents to embrace new understanding, new knowledge, and new wisdom.
Thank you for reading.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
Regina Y. Favors Website
The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
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I am an email subscriber to Stephan Speaks, and he sent an email about a woman who has practically given up on love, at least from my viewpoint. She suggests in the email that maybe every woman is not promised a husband.
Stephan Speaks replies that it starts with you and your belief that you deserve a good man and that a good man is out there. Here is the quote from that email:
“You can’t receive what you don’t believe. Because when he shows up, you’ll sabotage it. You’ll push him away. You’ll question everything about him. You’ll try to find some way to validate your feeling that there is no good man out there for you, and you’ll continue to run from what could’ve been the man God Has for you” (Stephan Speaks).
I thought that first statement was telling and informative and teachable. It made me think about my own thought process and whether or not I need to check my belief system. I usually do in other areas of life, but self-reflection is key in this area of life as well.
Glean from the quote what you will. You will need to sign up for his email list to gain access to the full article. Regardless, it is a useful bit of information. Here it is again. I might do more “quotes of the day” to keep me on the straight and narrow. God bless.
Changing you requires that you understand you are worthy of change and that what you need to change about yourself will take a process.
You will not be able to simply wake up and be different. You must actively pursue change, and this requires that you begin a process of self-reflection of areas that need immediate, short-term, and long-term attention.
For example, if you struggle with financial instability, it is likely because you have missed some instruction about managing finances. That instruction is typically connected to saving and creating an emergency savings plan. We never think we are going to have a downturn in life. We always assume that life will continue, even if we live paycheck to paycheck. Regardless, financial instability is something that needs to be addressed and the behavior behind sustaining financial instability needs direct change.
If you struggle with emotional regulation, i.e., you blow up when you are triggered, then this is definitely problematic behavior that could lead to devastating consequences, which might include job loss or perpetual criminal behavior. You cannot live in toddlerhood forever. That’s what struggles with emotional regulation reveal in adulthood. Change begins when you realize that the behavior is not sustainable long-term.
Given the necessity for change and its impact in multiple areas of your life, how important is it for you to begin your process towards living an emotionally and/or financially stable life? No one should have to walk on eggshells in their own life because of a struggle with a problematic behavior that is hindering their growth.
If you look at life as growth potential, with a growth mindset, then you will realize that change is both inevitable and necessary. Move out of any emotional, mental, and psychological stronghold that has been keeping you down so you can better embrace what is ahead. Change always requires that you move forward.
I wrote a recent article about how we water weeds using the romantic relationship context, and it outlined the lessons I learned from a previous relationship that I concluded in 2016. I do not wish to return to that relationship, of course, but reflection is still needed to understand fully the magnitude of decision-making and investing into certain relationships for which there will never obtain a true, substantial, and stable return.
In reflecting on both the article and the relationship, I realized that I missed the most important warning sign my ex gave me. He said that he still had feelings for his ex-partner. In this blog post, I want to work through my understanding of his statement and warn you against providing solutions for problems when you may not be designed or hold the capacity for solving that person’s problem.
In other words, just because you think you are necessary does not mean the person equally thinks you are necessary. You can be the right person because of your experiences but also be the wrong person to solve a person’s problem because he, in this case, may not want their problem resolved. That is the difficulty that comes when you misperceive a person’s problem and you mishandle your own capacity for solving problems.
Here are some ideas I want to explore concerning the relationship followed by a warning and video lesson at the end of this blog discussion.
We were roughly five to six months into our own relationship when my ex informed me literally out of nowhere that he still had feelings for his ex. We were about to eat pizza at the park, and he sprung his truth onto me. I had invested time, money, heart, body, soul, and communication believing that we were moving forward. Eating the pizza under that emotional cloud made life feel strange at the moment.
He was the first person I had a serious relationship with later in life. I never dated because I always thought that if you dated you run the risk of having too many partners. I didn’t want that for myself.
Even if I did not always make the best romantic decisions, when I did make them, I knew enough that I didn’t want a record of a high body count. Regardless, in my late 30s is when I entered a relationship that I believed was serious and that had some merit.
However, I walked into another relationship that had not quite ended. I didn’t know initially. Although both parties said they were done with each other, they were not done with each other. He was in her heart in whatever way she carried him, and she was in his heart to the point that he didn’t want to let go.
When we got together, I assumed that he no longer wanted that relationship because, after all, he said he no longer wanted that relationship. He said he prayed that God would send him someone else way before I entered his life. I would have never entered a relationship with someone knowing that he was still in relationship with someone else. That’s not my style.
However, what I realize today is that he told me how he felt early enough for me to get out without getting hurt and burned emotionally. When she returned to pursue a relationship with him, he put off having a relationship with me. In other words, what I understand about that now is he was breaking the connection processes with me to reserve room for her physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially.
I did not understand that at the time because I hadn’t had many relationships. I can think of only two live-in situations and there was no learning going on in those relationships. One live-in situation happened in 1994, ending in 1995, and the other live-in situation is the subject of this discussion, beginning in 2013 and ending in 2016. In both live-in situations, there was sex and cooking and going to the movies, but there was no learning!
Therefore, I had no true understanding about game, about love, about conflict or conflict resolution other than using sex for comfort, and I had no desire to make marriage a priority. I was part of a game of which I had no understanding, and I made hasty decisions thinking they were sound. When he said that he had feelings for her, I should have taken more time to explore what he was talking about and what it meant for our relationship. I should have asked more questions.
Instead, I believe my ego was bruised. I was shocked at the words. I proceeded to push my own agenda, which included continuing my relationship with him. They never got back together romantically, but they did sleep with each other behind my back. I have to wonder, then, if what they did together was truly behind my back if he indicated that he still had feelings for her. This led me to think of a few questions that I believed I should have asked at the time:
Which relationship was real?
Was my relationship with him real?
Was his relationship with the ex, whether on or off, real?
That is the paradox that needs further exploring.
People enter relationships before their time, especially when they are experiencing a previous breakup. It’s called rebounding, and it is a subject I have taken up in the medium of audio lessons, which you can find on YouTube and on this site.
It is a fascinating topic, rebounding, because what people should know by a certain age, and I’m being a bit sarcastic and hypocritical here, whether they are ready for a relationship. Relationship readiness is also a discussion available on YouTube and this site. I am being sarcastic and hypocritical here because I realize that I have to include myself in the same dynamic.
For example, he had just gotten out of a relationship with his ex-partner. Why did he desire to enter another relationship with someone else? This question is deserving of an answer especially because people break up all the time and get back together. In fact, my ex-partner and his ex-partner always broke up and got back together. This prompted further questions that I should have asked him and her:
If you know this is the pattern, i.e., breaking up to making up, then why engage another person?
Why not wait until the relationship is back on track and continue from there?
Why include another person in your mess?
These questions bother me even to this day because you know people can do better, but they just refuse. At the same time, I continued a relationship with a person who told me he still had feelings for an ex while he was in relationship with me. I was forced to create and assess my own questions:
Where is my thought process?
Why didn’t I heed and accept what he was saying to me?
Why did I continue the relationship while he was still working things out with the ex?
Why did I choose him and their relationship over me?
Why didn’t I make myself a priority?
The last question is the true question that needs an answer because all decision-making begins and ends with you. At the end of the day, it does not matter what that person does. It only matters what you need to do for you.
You should not be in a relationship with someone who is in relationship with someone else. It doesn’t matter what they say. It only matters what they do. If they are still involved with each other, then that means you do not have a relationship with the person. Let that person go!
When you are romantically hasty, you make yourself a priority, as in wanting to ensure your emotional, psychological, and financial needs are met, but it is really a false priority because you do not get all the information you need to make an informed decision. Before I engaged my ex-partner, I should have had a conversation. Period. Instead, we both made sex the priority, allowed sex to sustain the relationship, and ended up breaking up because the sex could not keep us together.
His heart was somewhere else.
It doesn’t matter if you give a man money, give him great sex, give him everything he wants as a man, serve and submit to him, and love him unconditionally. If his heart is somewhere else, which means he has a strong connection to someone else, then there is nothing you can do.
You cannot drown him in sex, food, money, love, etc. The ironic thing is he could want you and think you are great for him. He could have some love for you. However, if he doesn’t have the heart for you, the relationship you have with him will not last.
That is a hard pill to take. That is why it is better to let people work out their own relationships with the people they love. When I got into a relationship with him, I did not know he was fresh out of a relationship with someone else. He didn’t say a word. I just remember seeing text messages and when he received a call, he stepped outside to talk to the person, which I thought was strange.
To make a long story short, I confronted him and her and discovered that he was still exercising his rights to their relationship. There were some other discoveries, but for privacy sake I will keep that information to myself. It has no direct bearing on this discussion.
Regardless, women who have suffered through a relationship with a man they discovered was married and then decided to stay in the relationship after the discovery must address their own romantic hastiness. There was something in you that decided to engage that person without knowing the full story. When that happens, you set yourself up for disaster.
Men do not always reveal that they are with someone else or still married or just got out of a relationship. That’s unfair to women, but the goal of men in that instance is to get the benefits gained from being in a relationship. Those benefits always include companionship, sex, and related needs. It is still incumbent upon single women to ask the right questions, to wait until the person reveals their true nature, which he always does, and then to make an informed decision, post-discovery.
If I had just waited and had the necessary conversation and not engaged him hastily, his heart would have revealed itself. Then when he said that he still had feelings for his ex, it would have made it easier to leave the relationship. Once you engage with sex, you become attached, and it is difficult to leave.
It took two years and eight months for me finally to leave that situation-ship. He cheated and played around with the ex. I lost time, heart, health, and finances pursuing and staying in that toxic relationship. I also struggled with my faith and my soul. It was a hard crossroad season that almost cost me my life. I will never pursue that type of situation again, and when there is a strong indication that someone is still desiring to be with someone else, I will just walk away.
What I Learned
What I learned from that situation, in addition to romantic hastiness, is that he told me early how he felt about his ex, and I just ignored this as a warning sign. I could have gotten out of that relationship much sooner had I not let my ego get in the way. My ego was bruised, and I thought of a better way to keep him in my life by attempting to solve what I believed was a problem.
For him, still having feelings for his ex was not a problem. He voiced his truth. However, I interpreted those feelings as a problem because they were a problem for me and my relationship with him. I believed at that time that if it is a problem, then I need to “woman up” and solve that problem.
But the problem was not what he said because he spoke from a place of truth. The problem was me trying to solve someone’s problem that the person has not labeled or categorized as a problem. It is jumping in too quickly thinking that just because you see something as a problem, it makes it a problem.
In other words, I tried to be a solution for a problem in his life. Granted, they never got back together and he ended up marrying another woman. Thank God for that. I do not ever want to revisit that situation again, not even in friendship. I wish him well.
But solving other people’s problems is reminiscent of my past struggle with people pleasing, thinking that I have the answer and volunteering my time, mind, and finances to helping that person reach conclusion.
What I realized with this previous situation and old habits is that we all must let people solve the problems they have in their lives. That is an obvious realization. However, we also need to let people call anything they deem as a problem . . . as a problem. That is a less than obvious realization.
If a person does not call something a problem, and you perceive it as a problem because you see the long game and the consequences, then it is not up to you to call it a problem and back that decision up with your solution. It is not your problem to solve.
My ex told me that he still had feelings for his ex. That should have been enough for me. That should not have prompted me to continue the relationship, confront his truth and call it a lie, and proceed to perpetuate the fantasy that all relationships endure their struggles, but this, too, shall pass.
The exit out the door was clear, but I did not take it because I got into the relationship hastily and without any true direction. Anything you get into hastily, you will have to endure the process of exiting it with correction.
If you want to learn about about how to overcome setback through correction (receiving instruction), then definitely purchase the books I have written on this topic. You can access the titles by clicking the “Purchase on Amazon” tab on this site or by accessing the titles on Amazon.
Be careful volunteering your time, heart, body, mind, and finances in a non-marital relationship, especially with long-term live-in situations. You are under no obligation to commit to someone who has not committed to you. That means also be careful committing to someone when there is no intent to commit on the other part of the person.
People not only show you who they are, but also tell you who they are and what they want. My ex-partner clearly told me that he still had feelings for his ex, and I ignored the warning signs. Even prior to that statement, he wanted to wait before the relationship proceeded simply because she had come back. There was no promise on her part or even intent, but because she came back, he invested into the promise of what that meant. That is his prerogative, but he just should have ended the relationship with me and sustained that decision.
Regardless, that is not the point. The main point I want to begin and end on is the notion that when someone tells you that he or she still has feelings for an ex, that should be the first and only sign you need to exit the relationship until those feelings are resolved, if they will ever be resolved. You cannot resolve those feelings for the person by trying to be more available and/or trying to prove your worth. Proving your value only makes you look like you do not have value. Strange how that happens.
The very last point I want to make concerning this issue of trying to be a solution in someone’s life is this: only God can heal someone’s heart. When a man or woman is still struggling over a previous relationship, it is not your job to make life better for that person. It is not your job to heal that person’s heart. It is only your job to work on you, your mind, your heart, and your finances.
Getting too far into someone’s business will prevent you from working out your own life business. Your business takes a greater priority, and you need to make “your life,” your business. Only God can heal that person’s heart, and you are not the solution to their problems just because you know how to solve problems. Keep that also in mind as you plan your way out of relationships that no longer serve you. In addition, plan your way out volunteering your time to solve someone’s problem when the person is not willing to take that initiative.
I leave you with a video lesson I created about romantic hastiness. It is useful for helping you understand the importance of assessing your romantic hastiness regardless of your age. I will likely leave this same video for subsequent posts under what might become a series on romantic hastiness.
What most people do not understand about relationships is this notion of people coming into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Sure, one person could come into your life and fall under all three categories, but it is important to listen to what the person is not saying before making any final decisions about their relationship status with you.
For example, there may be an initial reason why the two of you have come together. Then there may be a season of friendship that might convert to a romantic relationship, which would suggest that the relationship now falls under the category of lifetime.
The alternative would be the seasonal friendship converting to a lifetime friendship. That may be the case, but it is sometimes more likely that when there is a relationship between a man and a woman or two partners, the relationship will convert to a romantic status.
Regardless, if we understand these three categories of relationship-making, then it might be easier to discern when someone does not fall under one or more of these categories. It might be easier to detect the con, the fraud, the person who has other intentions that have nothing to do with relationship-making. But we do not always employ these strategies. We jump in too soon. We act too hastily. We delude ourselves into believing that we have something real. We stay too long. Then we get out within almost an inch of our lives.
What we do not realize with a person who does not fall under one of these categories is that the person is after life, i.e., draining the life out of you, your mind, your body, your spirit, your finances, and your soul. That person is hard to detect because like the purpose of a flower, he or she blooms just like the rest. The person presents as being like others as in being a genuine, good-natured individual, but he or she is, in fact, not like others. The person is different and represents difference but to the detriment of any individual who engages him or her.
I’m talking about the weeds we allow in our lives!
These are the weeds that we struggle to detect. These are the weeds that we water. These are the weeds that have developed such a root system that it takes a miracle just to get them out of your life. These are the weeds of drugs, criminal behavior, bad company corrupting good manners, thieves, people who kill, and anything that is contrary to living a productive, stable, and crime-free life.
This means that weeds can come in the form of a person you thought was a life-giver who turned out to be something much more destructive. If you are dealing with a weed as a person, just remember that you prepared and watered the soil in which the weed is growing and developing.
You allow the person to sleep on your couch or in your bed, and in your house; the person drives your car and spends your money; and the person has no other purpose than to be a weed. You allow this and therefore you must be the person to uproot the weed.
Even if you did not know initially that the person represented a weed in your life, the longer you keep him or her in your life, the more you walk in agreement with their purpose in the relationship, which is to suck the very life out of you and gain strength from being a weed in your life. Then, of course, the person moves on to greater levels, being a weed in other people’s lives.
These are the lessons I learned from a previous relationship in which I did not know I was dealing with a weed. I didn’t have the mindset or the capacity to detect the wrong person, so I ended up having to go through that situation to get out of it. Today, I know what a weed looks like, and I offer my thoughts within this discussion.
A weed is simply defined as a wild plant that grows in a field where it is not wanted; it grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion and injury of a desired plant or crop. In other words, weeds hinder the growth of desired plants, i.e., the ones we need in a garden.
Depending on what type of weed it is, and you can research the different varieties of weeds on your own, weeds are troublesome, and they grow where they are not wanted. Apply this definition to a person, and you will discover that you know who your weeds are. Regardless, it is not as simple as it might seem to detect a weed because the presence of weeds hinges on your behavior and your choices.
There are two behaviors, among many, that typify how we engage and entertain male and female weeds in our lives using the context of romantic relationships.
Behavior #1: Returning to Dead Things
If we examine weeds from the position of our behavior, we will discover that we have embraced weeds for a long time in our lives. Anytime you return to something for which you have survived and/or recovered, and you entertain it for however long you desire, then you are returning to dead things.
Returning to dead things is essentially going back and touching something that is no longer working, that has stopped serving you, and that is detrimental to your mind, body, and soul if you partake of it one more time! You will find yourself reasoning that it is okay to go back and touch it because after all you have some familiarity with it. It was your friend.
He or she was someone you knew, and you say to yourself, “Why can’t she come with me? What’s wrong with her? We were good friends for a long time. I’m going somewhere. Why can’t she come?” Replace the pronoun with “he” for any woman trying to bring forth an old boyfriend into a new environment, and you would have the same answer.
That answer is this: you cannot bring old habits, old patterns, and old ways of thinking into a new environment that requires development of new habits, new patterns, and new ways of thinking. This does not mean that you disrespect or dishonor tradition. That is not what I am suggesting.
You cannot bring the ways in which you handle matters with violence, for example, into an environment where the consequences for violence are higher. Just because you managed your life as a drug dealer or a burglar in your previous relationships does not mean that you can bring that same type of thinking into an environment where drug dealing and burglary are not requirements for survival.
There are different survival tools we all use, but you have to do what most people in business suggest: read the room. You have to know that what you did in a previous life, even if you made it work during that time in your life, will not work where you are now.
This means that returning to dead things in going back and choosing an ex because you still believe that there is promise there, and you base this assumption on the idea that things are different, will only bring forth the person as a weed in your life and that person will bring forth their weeds they have not dealt with.
This is how you can tell when a person is a weed in your life under this heading is when the person does not think their weeds are weeds. Therefore, they do not think they need to address anything, let alone change any of their behaviors.
If a person has been out of prison for 10 or more years, their life should show difference and their life should show the results of their decision not to embrace a life of crime anymore. They should have kept a job the majority of those 10 years, kept a place to live consistently, and made every attempt to be a successful, contributing member of society. Creating a new life record matters. It is needed to substitute for the old. New replaces old.
However, if you see that the person 10 years out of prison still looks the same way he or she went in, then this should tell you that the person is not willing to change, that their weeds have continued to develop and thrive, and that in you inviting that person back into your life you can expect the same unproductive behavior.
If the person is not willing to change, is not inspired to change on his or her own, then there is nothing you can do. It is better that he or she initiates change on his or her own and see that change all the way through to the end before you decide to let that person back into your life.
I don’t think it is ever a good idea to go back and reengage old flames. You do not know what their life has been like over the years. Even though there is some familiarity with the person, i.e., you know the person, that still does not mean that you know the same person you met years ago, today.
Returning to dead things only exacerbates your problems, and it is likely that you have not addressed your problems if you feel the need to return to dead things. The relationship ran its course. Let it stay in the past.
This is something that my ex-partner could not do with his ex-partner, which negatively affected our relationship. However, in choosing my ex-partner, I was really returning to dead things because he was not productive, he had issues he refused to address, he did not have a provider mentality, and he desired everything but stability. He looked like what I had just exited, and I entertained the relationship unaware that I was watering a weed.
I was reaching for stability, but he was not. My past relationships with men represented instability. Therefore, I was touching something dead, i.e., dead thinking that no longer served me in my present. In fact, it hindered me, my progress, and the development of my dreams. I had to enter correction and then recovery . . . again.
Stay out of dead relationships that you know represent touching dead things. Your intuition always confirms this.
Behavior #2: False Availability
Another issue I dealt with concerning my ex-partner was his false availability. As much as I believed both him and his ex-partner that they were no longer together, they were, in fact, very much together even though they were not living in the same house or consistently with each other in any room or place. What I learned from that situation was that they were still dealing with each other because they had no true closure for their relationship.
She called him and believed he had a duty to her, and he went running to fulfill whatever false need she had to maintain a hold onto him. He was no dummy. He knew he wanted his ex, but he could not reconcile that she no longer wanted him romantically. A person can want you sexually because of what you do for him or her in the bedroom, but the person can no longer want you romantically because there is no consistency in your commitment to the relationship or to the person.
This is something my ex-partner could not understand. He thought sexual provision equated to romantic provision. He further thought that if he provided great sex, then this might give him permission to engage other women. Like some men, he didn’t see it as infidelity.
Some men have been known to say that since they provide financially, this gives them the right to cheat, as if this type of reciprocity is inherent in the relationship dynamic. “I do this for you, and you permit me to do what I want.” The problem with that logic begs the following question: Why be in a relationship or marriage anyway, if you desire to cheat? The answer to that question is that certain people do not call it cheating. They call it “doing something for me.”
Well, since you are able to do what you want as a single person, just be single. However, that is illogical for some people because they still want the benefits of marriage, i.e., stable home, cooking, cleaning, companionship, consistent sex, and somebody there.
They know that sex is available at the house, so having it outside of the house is not something that should be regulated. It’s something quick to do during times of boredom. Then that means you believe you are available as an individual while you are married. That further means that you present to your wife as unavailable in some ways but available in other ways for the marriage. This makes no sense.
You are either on the dating market or off the dating market. It is the same issue that I have with married men trying to date single women. You are either married or not married. You are either available or not available. There can be no gray area, no in between.
Just because you say you have an open marriage does not mean that it is true. You can believe anything, and it still not be true. People who come into a marriage are under the belief, not assumption, that the marriage is true, genuine, forward thinking, and stable. When you step out, this creates instability.
Therefore, false availability is dangerous because you rely on the romantic partner’s word that you are in the relationship, committed to it, and intentional about moving forward. When you keep the current relationship at arm’s length so that you can straddle the love fence, going back and forth with the ex-partner, then you create an environment that is not conducive for success.
A successful marriage is not based on social perception, finances, and material possessions. It is based on the vow that you make about “to death do us part.” A person dying out of the marriage is considered truly a successful marriage.
Divorce is failure, not success. However, that is another discussion that might have some relation to touching dead things and/or false availability. Since I have never been married or divorced, I’m not certain I want to touch on that subject. I’m not sure I have the capacity to discuss the subject matter credibly.
Two of the major solutions for understanding the weed gathering process are uprooting self-destructive behaviors and closing out the relationship.
Solution #1: Uproot
To uproot is to pull the weed out of the ground. If you have any personal experience with tending a garden, you realize that pulling the weed that you see on top of the soil is not pulling the weed at the root, which requires a certain gardening tool if you desire to be effective.
You can always mow your weeds as you mow your grass, but this only creates difficulty for you when you decide that the weed must come up. The more water you spray on to the grass, the more likely the weed will drink that water and continue to grow, hindering the processes of the other plants. You must use the right weed gardening tool to get at the root of the problem and uproot the weed.
This means that you are not merely uprooting the weed literally. You are addressing your behavior. You are your own worst enemy. Your behavior dictates when and how long a person will remain in your life. If a weed is in your life, then you want that person there.
If you have been discussing with a partner that he or she needs to get a job, and the person makes no attempt to do anything to earn money if getting a job is still a problem, then that person will eventually become a weed in your life, and this will make you complicit with your own self-destruction. You cannot yell at the person. You must yell at yourself.
Ask yourself these questions:
Who is a weed in my life?
How have I let that person become a weed in my life?
What is my contribution to the person being a weed in my life?
How do I resolve this weed in my life by examining my behavior?
It begins and ends with you. Once you understand how you make decisions, then this will help you begin the process of addressing your decision-making. At the very heart of life is decision-making and what you do with your decisions.
Solution #2: Closure
Closure is the key to eradicating weeds in your life. Going back and touching dead things and relying on the lie that a person is available are two strategies that will keep you entertaining weeds. The first thing you must consider is your ego.
If you are dealing with a partner who will not leave his ex-partner alone, and you believe you can do better for “your man,” then you are letting your ego get in the way. You believe you are a better solution to your man’s problems than the man recognizing that he has a problem and needing to fix it. You usurp his free will and exercise your free will to change his life and make it better.
However, you are really trying to make his life better for you. “If only he would get himself together” is one statement you might make because you want to further the relationship along on your timeline. “If only she would just serve me” is another statement you might make because you want the woman to represent some ideal wife. At some point, you may need to consider closing out the relationship because it no longer functions how you initially perceived it should function.
People change, and you must accept the fact that the person you used to know is no longer the person right for the job. It is not always about finding the right person or your soul mate. Sometimes it is about finding the right person for the job, the one who understands marriage and relationship-making.
Of course, connection matters and whether you can trust the person also matters. Regardless, going back and touching something that no longer works will affect how you conduct yourself going forward.
Close out relationships that no longer serve you before they become weeds that hinder your progress.
Here are two important lessons I learned from my previous relationship.
Lesson #1: I never had him.
A very important first lesson from the previous relationship I learned was that in my ex-partner going back and forth with his ex-partner, I never had him the whole time. All that time I invested into the relationship, i.e., mind, body, soul, faith, and finances, did not mean anything at all.
He never changed his thinking or his belief system about stepping in and out of relationships. He cheated on me with her, and he cheated on her with me, and all that time I thought I was in relationship with him. There was never any indication of commitment, nor was there any indication of intent.
You can be with someone five, 10, or 15 years and not actually be moving forward. It is just a false forward, and you could have been available for the right person in real life, not in fantasy, if you had listened and waited. People reveal a lot about themselves if you do not say a word! We need to have more conversations than engage sexually. If we do, we will be able to discern better that person’s thinking, their conduct, their behavior, and their overall belief system.
Lesson #2: Better to invest in commitment.
The last lesson I learned is that it is better to wait and invest in a commitment than in a moment. We give more to moments and to momentary things than we do to relationships that reflect a commitment. A person can live with you for years and still not be committed to you.
Commitment requires a declaration.
If you desire to marry, then remaining in a live-in situation will not encourage a commitment. The person is living with you but may not still be committed to the relationship. You know this to be true because a man will live unmarried with a woman for 10 years, break up with her, and then marry some other woman within six months. That means you invested all that time believing that you were going forward only to discover that you were living in setback the whole time.
It never hurts to wait. It is better to wait than water weeds that can take over your life indefinitely until you recognize their nature and begin to uproot them. This applies to the people you entertain simply because you think you can manage them as weeds. You cannot manage weeds. You must uproot them.
In summary, close out all relationships that represent weeds in your life.
Thank you for reading.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
The Regina Y. Favors Website
The vision of the website is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
It is important in every aspect of life to write the vision. You cannot navigate this life without vision. The scriptures read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:1). Where there is no direction, no guidance, no instruction in the right way to go, no knowledge, no wisdom, and no understanding, you can expect the people to move about aimlessly and hopelessly.
This is why you might find people choosing a life of crime or choosing not to make life work for them in a productive way. They rely solely on whatever comes in their heads to do, and then they merely do that very thing, even if it is to the detriment of sanity, livelihood, and/or safety.
People would rather choose to engage in a life of crime, and strangely call that vision, than to walk out this life step by step by attending school, going to work, and managing everyday life tasks. It is much easier and gratifying to engage hastily than to maintain stability.
Becoming a DoctorExample
Not everyone understands the importance of vision, which is essentially seeing into the future while you are still in the present. You must have a vision for yourself of what you want to become, what you want to do, and how you will carry out that vision. You must see yourself different.
For example, if you want to become a doctor, you are usually exposed to a doctor first. You went to see a doctor as a child and something about that encounter made you think that becoming a doctor is for you. You told your parents about the doctor you saw and how you basically picked him to become him. Mom and dad bought you toys that reflected what a doctor might use on patients, and you acted like a doctor while still being a child.
Then later in your development you did well in biology and science classes, some math classes, and you began walking out the steps towards becoming what you saw as a child. Not too long after that you were in college, then in medical school, and lastly finished your residency. You are now a doctor! Keep in mind that before you became your future, you had to envision that future in your present.
Writing down the vision started with one vision of becoming a doctor, and then this created mini mission statements that included informing the high school guidance counselor, filling out admissions applications, attending college admissions events, attending core classes, finishing and completing multiple degree levels, and maintaining these missions throughout your development, not veering off to the left or to the right but by staying focused!
The doctor example is one that is most useful because it takes time, preparation, and consistent conscientiousness to stay the course, especially when the vision is a long ways off. Your vision of becoming a doctor during childhood will have its challenges during your teenage years all the way to young adulthood. That is a long time to stay with one goal.
However, there are numerous examples of people from different backgrounds and socioeconomic levels who have envisioned themselves doing the same thing, set it as a goal, and then followed through. That tells you that it can be done.
Why Stability is Important
Stability is the most underrated quality and/or character trait that people tend to ignore, abandon, disregard, scoff at, mock, have a disdain for, and spit at! As strange as it is to write that last word, it is still nonetheless true because if you envision a stable person and you are not stable, you tend to ignore, disregard, mock, and spit at that person as if in spitting you hope to change their nature or their belief system.
But when someone is stable, this suggests a lot about how they envision the world, how they envision their participation, and how they envision their contribution. Again, it all begins with the vision, and people who choose stability instead of dysfunction and chaos are often the people who are mistreated, laughed at, and held in contempt.
This begs the following question: Why do we mock the person who is stable?
This is an interesting question to ask because if you research the definition, you will discover that the word “stable” is essentially defined as sane, sensible, and well-balanced. This suggests that if you do not pursue stability, which means a state of being stable, then you are pursuing the opposite of stable. To be unstable means you are prone to change, fail, or give away. It is the unbalanced to the well-balanced dynamic.
This discussion further suggests that people make a choice to be unstable in a world that is largely stable. Of course, on the one hand, we have ensuing wars and crime and other dynamics that might shake the foundations of who we are, what we are supposed to do, what we believe, where we need to go, and how we should plan our way out of any setback in pursuit of recovery.
On the other hand, we live in a world with laws, policies, guidance, security, and education. We do not want for anything that we cannot access through libraries, colleges, and organizations. The times we live in today afford us greater opportunities to pursue stability than days when the mortality rate was high and people were generally in fear for their lives.
Even if this may be true today given current circumstances with the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine War, we still have more at our disposal to cause and maintain change than to embrace the opposite argument that change is not possible and that we must decide to do everything we can to keep change from going forth.
Write the Vision
Write the vision of stability because stability is important. It is important for you to operate from a place of balance so that you can make decisions that are long-lasting. We need to quit operating from this place of dysfunction to justify the dysfunctional decisions we make.
It is the statement I hear people say all the time, “You don’t know where I come from.” The problem with that statement is that you are still in agreement with where you come from instead of designing ways to stay out of where you come from and move into a place of stability for yourself.
I have always said to people in passing that if you did not get all that you needed or wanted when you were growing up, as an adult, you may have to (re)parent yourself. This does not mean give yourself the world. You have a lifetime for that goal. This does not mean that you give yourself all the material possessions you can hold. Life is not based solely on money and material possessions. You don’t need as much as you think you need, especially when what you may be categorizing as a need is really a want.
Regardless, if you have struggled with some aspects of your life that were not conducive for success in the past and that may have had an impact on how you conduct yourself in the present, then it is important that you write the vision for your future. There is truly no need to keep repeating the patterns of your parents, your bloodline, your generation, your upbringing, or any related context or environment to be successful or to use as fuel to move you forward.
Moving forward is just necessary. It should not be an optional enterprise. You have been moving forward since you took your first steps as a baby. You have moved forward every since those steps. Therefore, you have history to rely upon, and history is always a great indicator of how you should write the vision of stability.
Mind the business you know. You know yourself better than anyone. When you decide to write that book, poetry, film script, or self-help book, write from your perspective, from your own voice. Consider the following strategies:
Strategy #1: Create Characters
Think about your experiences. Break them down into component parts. Then give those experiences multiple names. Those experiences with a name become your characters within the book.
Strategy #2: Setting
Then think about the settings of your experiences. This will make it easier to attach a setting for each character. You attended school. You completed college. You worked on a job. These are environments from which you can glean to write the setting and add context. Add visuals.
Strategy #3: Life Activities
Think about your life activities. You got married. You had kids. You got sick. Then you got well. You can attach these different experiences to individual characters for your book and/or writing project. Your life matters. Therefore, make this a point in the book.
Strategy #4: Build a Narrative
Add conflict and resolution, and you have the making of a film project and/or novel. It is all about the story. If we do not buy into the story, we will not buy into the narrative or the book.
Strategy #5: Write What You Know
Regardless, write what you know by assessing your own life and turning individual experiences into characters and then further into a plot for a novel or book or even a self-help series.
Closure is one of those processes that people do not like to start, let alone endure to the end. It is hard to let go of something for which you have made an investment. It is hard to let go of a relationship that gave you some comfort as well as pain but allowed you to grow and learn and move forward emotionally only for you to decide its eventual conclusion.
People do not enter relationships or start something just to close it out. It seems unnatural to do so, but this life, however, is about starting and closing, or ending. We begin life, we endure life, and we end life. That is one thing we cannot change: we are all going to die. Of course, informing you that you will die one day is not the purpose of this post.
No, the true purpose of this discussion is to encourage you to close out relationships of all kinds that are no longer productive. Close out relationships that are hindering you on your way. Close out relationships with people that keep you in setback. Close out relationships with people who cannot go where you are going because they do not have the capacity to take what you can take. They have not prepared in the same way.
Close out relationships with yourself where you have embraced chaos, dysfunction, lack of productivity, laziness, procrastination, and failure. At some point in your development, you have to succeed. Failure cannot be your identity. It cannot be the end all, be all of you and who you are and what you desire to become. You must embrace the opposite of failure and begin to envision overcoming failure for yourself as a major demand you put on your life.
This means that you need to mentor you concerning you. If you have gotten off the narrow path and embraced the broad path, as in supporting the statements, “There are many ways to get this done. I don’t have to do everything right now” or “I have all the time in the world to get this done,” you should reconsider these statements as opposing any goal you set, especially when the goal is feasible and realistic.
If you believe that you have all the time in the world to go after your dream, then you are deluding yourself into believing that time is on your side. There is no such thing as having all the time in the world.
You can run out of time!
You can create situations in your life that precipitate your death. You can die before your time. If you understand that assumption as a possibility, you will realize the importance of closing out relationships that no longer serve you in a positive way or do not have significance for you and where you want to take yourself.
You create the hindrances and distractions in your life. Sure, people make all types of contributions to your life that are both positive and negative. Some of those contributions are unexpected, and it takes some time for you to regroup.
However, if you find yourself entertaining the same types of distractions and letting you and the people around you hinder you on your journey, then you must reassess your own belief system about distractions and their necessity. People consciously place roadblocks in front of themselves. It’s called procrastination. When you mentor yourself, think about the ways in which you hinder you.
As you move forward and consider closure, you will need to close out your tendency to give into procrastination, hindrances, distractions, your beliefs about time, and your understanding about death.
There is no recovery after death.
There is no second chance once you have left this earth. This means that you can no longer make a direct contribution with your mind and your physical person. You can always leave a legacy, but it is important that you fulfill your part of the assignment. When it comes time to pass the baton, then you pass the baton.
Mentor you on the importance of closing out relationships, distractions, hindrances, endless opportunities, lessons, successes, failures, and seasons. Learn what you need to learn when you need to learn it, and then move forward!
Recovery begins with addressing your broken thinking. It is Stage Five in my Overcoming Setback Series housed on the website referenced below this post.
Broken thinking is reflected in your ideas, belief systems, behaviors, and ways of thinking about the world. If you believe the world is flawed, then you would not be the only person who had that thought. However, if you believe the world cannot change because of its flaws, then there should be some challenge to your belief system. This means that you do not believe you can change or that you are incapable of change.
There is this general consensus that people cannot change. In some ways I believe the status quo, but this only means that people cannot fathom change as a conscientious and sustainable undertaking. You must be consciously and conscientiously pursuing change, which includes changing your understanding about an issue, a problem, and the road to solutions.
Every problem has a solution. If a person has not changed, it is because the person does not desire the solution to the problem. The person has rejected either an obvious solution or a solution that takes time to develop. Regardless, every problem has a solution, and change begins when you understand the role of solutions.
For example, there are solutions to the problems inherent in marriage, even if you desire to exit a marriage using cheating as a strategy. This means that it is not always the marriage that is the problem. It is your attitude about the marriage. That is the root. You believe that exit is an option, and you will use whatever method afforded you or one you create to make that exit happen.
An alternative strategy would be just to explore the emotional issues you have with marriage, with yourself, and with your partner. There is something going on emotionally with the marriage that is disregarding the logic of the issue. The purpose must be supersede emotions.
The purpose of marriage is not to get married and have someone take care of you, have sex, and split all the bills. The purpose of marriage is to become one, act as one, make decisions as one, and continue to grow as one. When you stop being unified as one, then you have the process of dissolving the marriage, which requires you to transition into two. But if you transition into two, you were already of that mindset from the beginning. That is a problem that needs a solution.
If you fail a course or a test, you don’t say, “I can’t complete this course. It’s too hard. Therefore, I’m not going to retake it.” No, you learn how to study differently, take notes, get tutoring, and practice as much as you can until you pass the tests, the assignments, and then eventually the course. You cannot graduate or move forward to the next course if you do not pass the current course.
Otherwise, if you remain in that failure, then you remain in setback, and the only way out of setback is through instruction. Someone or something (i.e., book) has to come along and extend a hand for you to work through setback. You can pass the course.
Recovery, thus, is not optional, or it should not be optional. It is necessary if you desire to do anything beyond your setback, beyond your broken thinking. The goal of analysis in English and composition courses is to separate the content into parts and then address and analyze each part.
Therefore, if there is any area of your life, i.e., the totality of the assignment, that you need to address, take your life, break it down into parts (i.e., emotions, mentality, finances, spirituality, faith) and analyze each part.
The best way to begin the process of addressing broken thinking is to consider one aspect of your life and conduct a SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Although SWOT is specific to business, I believe it can be useful as a life recovery objective. Consider these questions:
What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses?
What are my opportunities?
What are my threats?
Take a category and add it to the questions as in, “What are my financial strengths?” Then take it from there by providing answers.
There is no such thing as an unsolved problem. There is only the lack of patience towards solving the problem. There is also the lack of follow through to get to the root and answer of the problem. Recover from your broken thinking about problem-solving because your very life depends on it.
I cannot stress enough the importance of gathering your mind, body, soul, and all your senses together when you have suffered through a toxic relationship. When you have been in an abusive situation of any kind, you lose a little part of yourself daily, and depending on how long you have stayed in that relationship, you might lose even a greater part of yourself until it is difficult to recover.
One thing I know about toxic relationships is that they affect your finances. You not only invest time, mind, body, and soul, but also you invest your money. Wherever your money goes, your heart follows. You will stay in a relationship and use money as a determining factor even when the relationship has hit a brick wall.
You keep pouring money and more money until you find yourself broke, busted, and disgusted. I think if we had a really sound understanding about money and finances and the way in which it flows we would not be quick to give it away so carelessly, even for love. We would be more responsible with something of value. In fact, your heart and mind are even more valuable than money. Yet, you spend with both like you have no other choices to navigate.
Reconnecting you will take some time, especially if your last relationship burned you out emotionally. Any failed relationship leaves you pondering why you did not get out sooner. All that matters is that you are out now!
The life recovery goal then becomes about assessing your decision-making, assessing your romance choices, assessing how you will get back into financial shape, and assessing what peace looks like for you. Do you need to be in a relationship during this season in life? Only you can answer that question.
Regardless, the question still needs to be answered. If you are financially unsound, then relationship-making is not the answer. You’re only going to bring in old, financially unproductive ideas into a new context, which will undoubtedly affect the relationship you have with your new partner, especially if that person is great with his or her money.
No, if you are financially ill, meaning that your debt outweighs your income or you are suffering below the poverty level because of current circumstances, then the life recovery goal would be to become financially well. Pursue it before you pursue a romantic relationship.
Therefore, gather yourself and your senses to set a realistic goal regarding any area of your life that needs repair and recovery. Stay on that goal until you reach completion. Reconnecting yourself essentially means that you need to return to the essence that was you before you got involved in toxic relationships, which might have subsequently affected your finances.
You cannot fully navigate this life in a broken state, with a broken mentality, and with a broken ideology. You must reconnect to something that is greater than you, so that it can mentor you and move you forward into greater progress. This will allow you to get back on track and design even greater, realistic goals.
Most if not all your problems begin with you and your own contribution to your lifespan. Sure, we have issues with childhood and we are often wounded from childhood circumstances. There are a lot of issues we would love to address with our parents, siblings, and everybody else connected to us during our childhood, but we cannot. We cannot go back and uproot some of those issues from the past, but we can address how they might have become weeds in our present, especially if we are planning for a productive future.
This means that you must take you and place you on the table for examination. What are your mistakes, failures, mishaps, and assumptions? Where did you go wrong? How did you get off the path you were on? With whom do you need to set boundaries? Why are you still running on the same hamster’s wheel you’ve been running on since you started your goals and your dream planning? These are questions that need examination.
Taking inventory of your successes is just as important because when we are successful, we tend to want to stay in that success, perpetually, as if we believe we are not able to be successful again. If you find yourself lingering too long basking in your greatness, your successes, and your achievements, you will find that this is just another type of procrastination where you live in something you did great instead of moving yourself forward to greater things.
Overcoming you takes time. It begins with understanding that you are 100% responsible for you, your choices, your activities, and the contributions you make to other people’s lives. You can be too hasty in going after a dream. You could be too slow or lazy in going after a dream. You can be too hasty in beginning relationships of any kind. The opposite is also true. Regardless, it is up to you to determine what, where, why, when, how, and in what ways you need to overcome you.
You have no true competitors. The only competitor is you. This means also that you can be your own worst enemy. Overcome you into a better understanding about how life should really work for you and your dreams and also how you should not hinder someone else along their way.
People have to know you to reject you is a strange statement to write, but it is still true. The general consensus is that we often reject what we do not know, i.e., the unfamiliar, but that makes no sense. For you to reject something or someone, you must have some idea what the thing is or who the person represents. You must know what you are rejecting.
Ignoring Wise Counsel
For example, if you reject someone’s counsel about a situation, then it is not the first time you have heard that warning. Someone before the current person said something similar to you, and you decided not to heed that warning.
Now the warning has come back around, and you are forced to confront it, again, to pass the metaphorical course. If you do not accept whatever situation as presented to you, then you are essentially rejecting it or the person.
Familiarity Breeds Contempt
There is something in that person you are rejecting that is familiar. You may disagree with this assumption, but you remember your parents telling you to look both ways before crossing the street. As you got older, you decided to do your own thing. Consequences followed, and you were forced to relive that instruction and pass it as a life course before you could go on to greater battles.
The same is true about rejection and your previous exposure to a warning. If you are confronted with an opportunity to accept something, be it wisdom, learning a new way of doing something, or improving yourself so that you can advance, and you decide to reject that something or someone, then you can expect not to advance in a certain area until you pass that metaphorical course.
Yes, you do have the right to embrace your “No.” You cannot take every opportunity. You would wear yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually thin. You would burn out psychologically. You would be stressed financially.
There must be limits.
This means that rejection and rejecting something out of a need to maintain boundaries is a healthy strategy to ensure that you have an impact over the long-term. Pouring all your heart, mind, soul, body, and finances into a situation, relationship, work, etc. will have a negative impact.
However, there are some crossroad moments in life. There are some decisions that require you to make a shift. There are some doors you must acknowledge as learning opportunities for you to get to the next level. Not every door stays open as long as you think that door should stay open. Even doors have limits.
Eventually, that door will move on its own and shut itself. Maybe it is your activities throughout the rest of the house that causes the door to shut. Maybe it is on one of those physical timers, i.e., door stoppers that causes the door to close. Regardless, there is no guarantee that a door will remain open just because you exercise your will to choose when you want to acknowledge, walk through, and exit that door. You have as many rights as you want, but there are also consequences for rejecting that door.
Decision as Key
Your decision is literally the key to opening a door and walking through it. This means that rejection is a decision. For example, someone comes along and sees a need you have. That need could be emotional, spiritual, but it is usually financial. We all have financial needs, and when we are faced with confronting a decision to ask for help, we come up with a lot of excuses, we run ourselves down trying to find another option, and we try to work out the problem ourselves, as fruitless as it becomes.
But the person whose help you desire to reject is a person who has offered help before, without any real conditions. The person just desires to be helpful. However, you can be jealous of a person offering help and decide to reject that person’s help. You conjure up whatever reasoning you can muster for the sake of ignoring and acting indifferent towards that person. You may even be jealous that the person is financially capable of helping you.
What all these actions reveal is you are unwilling to change your thinking about the nature of help and who help might come through to you. It is God who sends a specific person to help you during a specific time and/or season in your life, and if you decide to reject that person’s help, then you will not get the help you need for that season in your life.
You may do well in other areas of your life, i.e., get help from people you value and think are better suited to help you, but there will be a gap in your life development because you decided some time way, way, way back in your past not to accept help from “that person.” Who knows what that person could have done for you, especially if that person could have furthered you along on your journey. Deciding not to accept that help sets you up to struggle later.
Therefore, you must know the person for whom you are rejecting. When I suggest that people have to know you to reject you, I am suggesting that people often accept more help from strangers than they do the people they know. They value the stranger. They believe the stranger. They don’t have a history with the stranger. But the person that they have some familiarity with, whether short or long time, they will reject maybe out of spite, fear, or some other reason that they use to comfort their thinking and belief system.
There are some exceptions to the rule. As I noted, rejecting help from someone might set boundaries. If a person has hurt you in the past repeatedly and now that person wants to help, it would be hard to trust the person. There is some help you should not take because it might still be psychologically damaging to your psyche, especially if the person is a provoker, or the person frames you as a problem (i.e., scapegoating), or the person wants more than what you can give. Sometimes you just cannot take every help. Sometimes you just have to reject. That is your right, your free will, and your prerogative.
However, I’m talking about people who know you can help them, but they refuse to accept your help out of jealousy, fear of change, and/or feelings of superiority. “Who are you to do this for me?” This is a question a person may not necessarily voice. What the person will voice is this: “Naw, that’s okay. I got this. I’m cool.” The person will sit in their pride and arrogance knowing that he or she cannot pay their rent, their electricity is about to be cut off, he or she only has a few dollars in the bank to make it for the week, and he or she would rather just survive the situation than to ask for help.
People have to know you to reject you because they have to know what and from whom they are rejecting.
Thank you for reading.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
The Regina Y. Favors Website
The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
Copyright (C) 2022 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.