By: Thembelani Twala
As I put pen to paper or should I say finger to keyboard, I feel like “Sis Dolly from Drum Magazine”.We can all agree that when it comes to Romantic Relationships, there are no blanket solutions.
I thought about researching the topic, and write on what relationship experts say, but that would defeat the whole purpose of this article. So the below will be what I have observed in my relationships and the relationships of other people close to me.
Instead of solutions to maintaining healthy romantic relationships. I will look at common pitfalls that I have observed on why romantic relationships struggle or even fall apart.
Purpose: in every romantic relationship the purpose should be known from conception. What do I mean? Some individuals get in a relationship to pass time, some do it because they want to prove a point to friends, some do it because if they manage to date person X, it will be another medal in their ego pedestal. Therefore from the beginning it is necessary to know why the relationship exists, because the purpose will inform expectations. If one is having a casual relationship, you cannot expect them to treat you as a person that is in a serious/committed relationship. When purpose goes overlooked it creates problems in the relationship. Therefore make your expectations clear and known, never assume
Ready: Before entering into any relationship, you need to ask the question – Am I ready? I am not talking about only money. Emotionally are you ready to open your heart to another person; spiritually are you ready for the temptations that come with romantic relationships “Bible is very clear about fornication”. And yes gents, do you have money to maintain the relationship, you can’t send free “WhatsApp” messages all the time. Phone calls will have to be made and dates will have to be planned. “I am not sexist, I am just old school” – men shall toil the soil and provide.
History: Your current partner is not your ex. So never assume that they will act in the same way. Do not compare them either, as they can never be the same. This point goes out to the ladies, as I have seen this pitfall happen a lot with woman. When entering into a new relationship especially if you have been hurt, yes enter with caution but do not keep a log book of wrongs and rights to compare with the past E.G. X was better at planning His dates than Y. X is not Y and that you must accept. When you compare you are bound to be disappointed and miss out on what you currently have.
Commit: In the Teen Movie “Twilight” when a werewolf commits to someone it is for life, and the same can be said for a woman. I have observed that when a woman really gives her all to a relationship it is for life, which is why in certain cases a man will beat up his wife but the wife will keep on going back to him and forgiving him. It is because once a woman has attached herself, detaching is difficult. Ladies please guard your hearts until you are certain that this person is the one. A Christian article I read had a very beautiful statement “Fully give your Heart to Jesus, so that when someone looks for it they find Jesus first”. My point is that I have seen a number of people being hurt because they committed to a person that was never committed to the relationship.
Background: When in a relationship you have to consider someone’s background and where they come from. There will be certain habits that will annoy you, and you need to consider that maybe that is how a person grew up. A person might have grown up in a family where the word “Love” was never used at all, so when they don’t say that word to you; it does not mean they don’t care for you.
Before I stop typing there is one common pitfall that I have seen in many times which I feel strongly about. “Never” commit yourself in a relationship to a point that you lose or break your morals and principles. Once you lose your morals and principles in a relationship, you lose yourself and you lose all sense of respect from the same person that drove you there. “Down for whatever should never exist in your vocabulary”. Remember you are a child of God. Your relationship should revolve around your principles and values and if these are threatened in any way, reconsidering the relationship should be considered.
The above is just a tip of the iceberg and more will be listed another time.