Men in Relationships: Points to Consider

Women, more time than not, want a real relationship, which takes a real man. But how do you find that guy? Read on as Aubrey gives us tips.

What to Consider in Men and Relationships:

Over the past 5 years, I have been on numerous dates, had several boyfriends, and have even been in a serious long term relationship. In all my experiences, I have never met a man whose personality, values, and beliefs make me want to start or even stay in a relationship with him. Since I am a very analytical person, I tend to analyze everything, including men. I wonder, at times, if I am being too harsh or just need to give the guy a chance. However, I have been burned too many times to just settle for anything less than I deserve. I believe any woman, including myself, deserves a man that they can love for who he is and what he stands for.

How do you get what you want in a relationship?

1. Non-Negotiables. Figure out what you want from that perfect man and relationship, then make a list of non-negotiable qualities. When you have a list, it will be easier to stick too. It’s especially important especially when you are blinded by love and lust. It’s not wise to begin a relationship if you don’t know what you want, which is why this is a very important step. And don’t let love blind you. If there is a non-negotiable that he does not meet, it is wise to end the relationship.

2. Warning Signs. Warning signs could possibly be a sign of what’s to come if you do not take them seriously. Look for warning signs from the beginning. Examples of some warning signs could be: he has a controlling attitude, has anger issues (i.e. fights at bars or has been in jail for this type of behavior), is disrespectful to you or women in general, or no compassion or empathy toward others.

3. Important Cons. Determine what a true con is before you start dating. A con could be that he is a messy person, but not that he wears glasses. Always remember when deciding cons, that no one is perfect. It’s also important to remember there are more important than physical attributes. Physical attributes are important but if there no attraction, physical attributes should not be what makes or breaks a relationship.

4. Love and Attraction. A guy may meet all your non-negotiables. But they still may not be the person for you, attraction and love still have to be there. You could find a person who has what you want, but without attraction, the relationship will not work.

5. Falling in love. Don’t be afraid of falling in love. The only way of truly knowing someone is to completely commit to getting to know them. Having fear of falling in love in a relationship can keep you from really finding that perfect one for you. When you let go, and the guy does likewise, great things can happen.

Before getting into a relationship, you need to be prepared in a few ways. You need to know what you’re looking for and what you won’t stand for. Ranking your cons can help you realize which negatives you can live with. These lists are helpful. But it’s always important to consider love and attraction. These are very important sparks to be there for anything to begin or continue. Lastly, don’t be afraid to fall, when you let yourself go, you can open yourself up to the possibility of that perfect man and relationship.

Yelling and Yanking

QUESTION:

I broke up with my ex-boyfriend about 3 months ago because he just wasn’t treating me well.  He no longer complimented me, disrespected me all the time, and was always hiding his phone from me.  We had been dating for about 5 years.  The past couple weeks we’ve been hanging out again.  We were hanging out at his apartment last week when I got a phone call from my cousin.  I stepped out on the balcony to take the call.  My ex-boyfriend overheard me call him a jerk and he yanked me back into his apartment.  He started yelling at me telling that I was disrespecting me in his place and started calling me stupid.  I argued back with him and then he said, ‘You better stop before I choke you and slap you.’  I came to a dead stop and was scared.  I made some excuse and left after that.  He’s never been like that in the 5 years I was with him.  I don’t know what to do with him anymore.  Should I continue trying to get back together?  Some of my friends say I should leave him.  What should I do?

ARIANA:

Without a doubt, you should stop, turn around and walk away.  He threatened you and whether he meant it or not, you should be concerned.  A man that really loves you will not disrespect you by saying those things.  He was also yanking you into the apartment.  A person who cares about you won’t lay a hand on you, but will instead ask you politely to come in.  No one gets respect when they try to force someone.  And I take it from your talk about the yelling, that this may have been a common thing in your relationship.  That is not healthy at all.  Disagreements and being upset is common a relationship, yelling is not.  That is a very toxic point to be in a relationship when people are being disrespected and understanding is just a mere word.  You’re most likely not able to fix this relationship, but you should learn from this and know that fighting to where no one is listening will never lead to understanding.  Make sure the next person you’re with deeply cares for you, is at a healthy point in his life, and really listens to you.  No relationship will survive without it. 

Exclusive

QUESTION:

I recently started talking to this awesome guy. He’s a strong, confident, giving man. He always makes me a priority and always gets back to me whenever I text or call. Recently, we had a discussion about talking to other people and he told me to go ahead flirting with other guys. He told me to have fun. When I asked him why he wanted me to sleep with other guys, he stopped me and said that was not at all what he intended. So, he asked the question if we were going to be exclusive. I told him I didn’t want to be with anyone else and he said the same. Then a week later, he says we’re only talking and working on a friendship. I am so confused. Do I stay with this guy? What is going on? Is it worth it to be with him? I feel more secure with him than any other guy before him.

ARIANA:

Life can get complicated when people start throwing around terms or simply judging what’s going on by the ‘title’. I’m a firm believer that titles don’t mean everything. With that said, someone whose actions don’t reflect the status of your relationship is saying a lot about the fact that titles really don’t matter. I judge my relationships by how he treats me, not a label. If he makes you feel like a million bucks and he’s exclusive with you, what more do you need? People rush to get the label but don’t push hard enough for the relationship to grow. In time, the relationship will grow. If you can’t wait, then yes, you should walk away. But what do you need right now that he’s not giving you besides the ‘girlfriend’ title? Enjoy what you have, take it day by day, and go with the flow. In time, the title will come later and if not, that’s when you evaluate whether you should go. But that’s later, enjoy the now!

Sometimes blood is thinner than water

Q: A few days ago, my brother and I were at a pool hall visiting some friends when we met this new girl. She was new to the area and had just moved here. She was a very confident, exciting, and energetic person. You couldn’t help but feel happy around her. My brother and I were both intrigued by her. She talked equally to both of us. He would ask her one question and I follow with another. She made both of us feel as though we were important. We could tell she was a good girl, she just carried this innocence about her and she was just so darn sweet. I had a girlfriend I had at the time that I had been dating for a year. We were pretty into each other, but I wasn’t married and if I so happened to find a great catch, then why not go for her? And this seemed to be one of the times, I knew my brother was feeling her too, but she wasn’t his. It was ‘may the best man win’. I could tell she was more into my brother, I overheard her drop the hint for wanting to be taken to this upcoming festival that she had never been to. I wasn’t discouraged though, I had always been the one to attract the girls over my brother. I never stole girls from him, but I was the one who won them from the get go. Yeah, maybe he was the taller, better looking one, but I was the one with the charm, wittiness, and smoothness to pretty much get any girl I wanted to go after. I wasn’t going to give up that easily. When it was time to go, we all walked out into the parking lot. My brother and I stood beside her and as we were about to say goodbye, he beat me to it and asked ‘what’s your number, just in case I can take you to the festival’. She looked more than thrilled to give her number to him and as she gave it to us, I pulled out my phone taking it down as well. She looked over at me and smiled, then said ‘Yeah, maybe we can all go out some time.’ And then she looked my way and said ‘Maybe I can take you up on that offer for making dinner sometime’ (I had told her about how I was going to culinary school and it was my passion). She started to walk off and waved goodbye with that cute smile she had. My brother went after her and walked her to her car. Gawd, I thought to myself, I had gotten rusty at the dating game because my brother was lightning fast with the moves. I’d never seen him pull out the moves like that, so I was surprised each time he beat me to it. I stood there waiting for him to walk back. Once he had walked back and she driven off out of earshot, he looked at me and said, ‘BOOYAH’. I gave him daps for that and told him, ‘yo bro, I got her number too.’ He looked at me and laughed. I was determined to get her attention somehow. I’d find a way. A couple of days after that, she called my brother and asked him to go out to a club with her friends. I didn’t find out until he was walking out the door to go meet her. I lifted up my hands in frustration, it was the 3rd time he beat me. I was irritated the whole time until he came back. My girlfriend even called and noticed my irritated mood. I was competitive and I was on the losing end of this one. Once my brother got home the next morning, I probed him asking him what happened. He was always a forthcoming guy, so he told me nothing happened, but they did have a blast. He also raved about what a great, fun girl she was. My irritation flared up again. I walked away, back into my room and sent her a text message. She responded and after a few texts, she asked when she and I were going to hangout. Score! I messaged her that we could meet tomorrow. We scheduled a time and place and that was that. My brother walked into my room and just started up conversation. He talked about how much he really liked what he had saw so far in that girl and wanted to get to know her better. At the back of my mind, I started to question whether I was doing the right thing. Should I go out with her? I’ve never done this to my brother or vice versa. Is this a bad idea?

A: Seriously? Are these real questions? The story got worse and worse the more I read it, but at least you developed a conscious sometime in there. I mean, this your brother, the guy who lives with you, the one who wrestle with, shoot spit wads at, get in trouble with, and fight against. That’s a tie that goes down deeper than I can even describe. Nothing in the world will ever change that, girlfriend/s or not, you’ll always be in each other’s life. But along comes this girl you’ve known for what 5 days, a week at most, and you’re ready to severe that brotherly relationship. I mean, if you were to do this, now at the beginning would be the ideal time. But, you have a girlfriend, mind you, one that you’ve had for a year. You sound willing to throw that away, but as the avid advocate for faithful relationships, I think you have no leg to stand on looking elsewhere. If you’re gonna go for it, have the balls and dump her, then make your move. But, all in all, I think you’re letting your thirst for competition push you farther down this road to pursue this new girl. Your reasons for going after her are not sincere. Yeah, she’s a great girl and she’s new, but what can you offer her? You have a girlfriend. On top of that, she seems to be into your brother this time. Sorry pal, you’re on the losing end on this one. I mean, how bad would that be to go for this girl only to be shot down and risk a rift with your brother. You’ll lose on all fronts, with your brother and with the girl. I mean, she asked HIM first to go out, right. That says a lot. We can’t always have what we want, if we did, it’d be a crazy world. And if we all went to date people just out of pure competition, there’d be a whole lot of pissed off people and not enough love. If you’re unhappy with your current girlfriend, then get back on the market. There’s plenty of girls around if you’re interested, just don’t take the ones that are taken or the ones your brother has. I’m sure had the situation been reversed, your competitive side would come out and you’d be fighting to keep the girl. You win some, and you lose some. And you should lose this one. If it makes you feel any better, tell yourself that you let your brother have her. Hey, it’s part truth, but if it gives you an easier time to walk away, then so be it. If you had happened to be a girl and you were my sister, I would’ve set you straight in the parking lot and stamped ‘LOSER’ on your forehead. Don’t piss in your own backyard! All’s fair in love and war, but some people we’re not supposed to go to war with.

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