In your early twenties, people tell you to enjoy your life and enjoy being single. Around your mid to late twenties, they say start thinking about settling down. I think back in the day, this theory could have worked. But people don’t take into consideration how much the dating game has changed over the years. It seems that no matter how old you are, dating life is tough. Men don’t believe in chivalry anymore – they do what they have to do to get what they want. Once they get what they want, if they decide to stick around, things change drastically. The courting fades along with what spark was there. It is hard to find a man who is serious about a relationship and a future. I believe that a man should be ready for the commitment but how are we to gage or judge when a man will be ready, if he isn’t there when we first meet him. Then we come to a crossroads on how long we should “wait it out” until he becomes ready.

As hard as single/dating life can get, relationships are harder. They take work! From both parties too, not just one person giving 200% and the other giving 50%. First and foremost, once you are in a relationship, I hope that you see a future with that person. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time. Secondly, everyone talks about the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship. I guess this is the time where the love is just so fresh and new and you see no wrong in that person. I don’t really think about this phase – maybe because my own relationship never experienced this. I highly recommend the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book will open your eyes to how to love someone in their primary language! This way, there is no honeymoon phase or end to it. Get to know your partner, become their best friend. That in it of itself takes time sometimes. Learn one another’s desires, values, wants and needs.

I am a person who truly values relationships and marriage. I believe in putting in the work and effort that it takes to keep it thriving. Now, I understand that sometimes, it just doesn’t work – maybe it was the wrong person or wrong timing. But what I don’t believe in, is simply throwing in the towel when thinks get a little shaky. Every couple argues, but it’s resolving each disagreement that helps to keep the relationship going. I am a firm believer in, “don’t go to bed angry.” Although, I must admit, it doesn’t always work like that in my own relationship. Work in progress. But I would love to get to that point. It takes both people putting aside their pride and apologizing. Or agree to disagree if it comes to that! We are human, we all make mistakes – be willing to fix the mistake. It’s only a mistake the first time, after that it is a choice. Recognize what traits ARE that person and what may have been a one-time mishap. Be forgiving, but don’t be a fool. Know the difference.

Hey I’m no expert, but I can speak from experience – having been on both sides. And being in my mid-twenties, I can say that single life is not for me. I just pray to God everyday to guide my relationship. Prayer changes things!!

-JIF

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