Open Letter To Men/Women Wanting a Healthy Relationship…Do You Know Where You’re Going??

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Disclaimer: This is the third of a three-part blog series on relationships.  The first was An Open Letter To Men and the second was an Open Letter To Women.  As with all of these entries, they are based on conversations, observations and experiences related to male/female relationships and behavior.  The premise of the letter is to expand the conversation regarding relationships and hopefully serve as a benefit to those seeking positive and healthy relationships.  This entry will not be able to address or account for everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of relationships or totally prepare the reader for everything needed for a fulfilling relationship.  That is totally beyond the scope of one letter, book, seminar, sermon or other aid.  This is just one step in what should be a person’s never-ending search for knowledge, understanding and progression.

This document is geared more toward single individuals that are open to pursuing a relationship as opposed to people currently in a relationship.  Again, it’s just that the scope of this letter can not realistically address all issues related to dating whether in a relationship or open to being in one.  The attitudes and behavior addressed in the Letter to Men and Letter to Women aren’t addressed in this letter because those behaviors need to be addressed if they haven’t before this information can be applied.

Dear Friends,

What’s up and I am glad that you’re willing to take a moment of your time to allow me to share some things with you.  You may have read my prior two letters to men and women addressing different aspects of how “we” can be or how some of us are.  If you have not read those letters I would definitely recommend them for when you have time.  By this point in life you may have had a relationship or two (or three or more) and find the opposite sex to be confusing, frustrating, unpredictable or some other adjective that may not be positive.  If you have great feelings about relationships and the opposite sex then that’s definitely a good thing because I would not assert that all people are disenchanted with the opposite sex.

Before I go any further I know that everyone has their own perspective and this is simply my perspective.  It can’t be all-inclusive of all things, it’s really just meant to operate as a springboard to a better understanding or just something to consider.  Millions of books have been written on love/relationships.  I will share 5 major components/understandings that I think if addressed could significantly improve a person’s chances of achieving a fulfilling relationship.  In addition to these components I will share solutions that can get the ball rolling in getting over the hurdles that are presented.  The good news is that there is a solution in most cases.  The “not so good news” is that there are no quick remedies or instant revelations that move you from Point A to Point B overnight – as with anything worth having, it’s a process that takes work, time, energy and effort.

1) If You Are A Weak Individual By Yourself, You Are Just As Weak In A Relationship

Far too many people view a relationship as crazy glue, as a wonder drug or some magical remedy that will address a void in their lives or their personality.  I believe that it can be said that far too many people do not assess their own personalities or their own offerings prior to entering into a relationship and feel that something or someone outside themselves will fill the void of what’s possibly missing within them.  The first person that you must love in a relationship is the person that you are.  There are too many instances of a person not loving (in some cases not even liking) themselves that enter into a relationship and project their loneliness, their emptiness, their discontent for where their lives are on to the person they’re dating.  Their next step is to load up the figurative “relationship wheel barrel” and they hand their discontent to their new partner and say “you carry the load now – I don’t have to do this by myself anymore.”

That’s where it is first and foremost required that anyone understands that in love/relationships – two halves don’t make a whole. There are an extremely high number of individuals who do not go through the often times uncomfortable process of evaluating “who am I and am I fulfilled with my life independent of who is in it.”  This is a must-do process for anybody for two reasons.  One, it’s the smart thing to do because understanding deficiencies in your life independent of a relationship gets you to the place of identifying that regardless of how many relationships you enter – you won’t be satisfied and its not the other person’s fault for your dissatisfaction.  The second reason is that it’s the socially responsible thing to do because as you lure other people into your “no-win relationship” you drag other people through the process of you being unfulfilled.  How does this happen?  It becomes a situation where you are constantly going to the relationship to address your voids and that’s not the responsibility of your mate, that’s your responsibility.  You virtually become insatiable.

It is absolutely true for anyone to be fulfilled in a relationship that they have to be very comfortable with who and how they are as a person.  That doesn’t mean that people don’t have insecurities about themselves or things that they would like to improve.  The key word in this instance is identification.  Some people understand this next point and some are totally unaware of it.  That point is that if you truly can’t spend time with yourself, be fulfilled within yourself and you constantly NEED other people and things around you to be fulfilled then the chances of you being fulfilled outside of yourself decrease exponentially.

Many people feel that ignorance is bliss and it truly can be.  In this case, ignorance can be weakness as well.  By blocking out the constructive criticism and positive feedback from individuals that are closest to us share about our “ways”, characteristics and behavior that could use some improvement we are consciously choosing to remain a lesser form of ourselves.  Let me clarify what I mean by this.  I’m not referring to “directions in life” type of advice like “you should go back to school”, “you really need to settle down” or “your job is not challenging enough.”  These are life decisions that everyone needs to make on their own and although outside consideration is valuable, its not always the best course for you.  I’m referring to behavior statements like “you’re pretty hard to get along with sometimes”, “its hard for me to communicate with you because you seem to not listen to anyone other than yourself” or “why does it seem that you are never willing to compromise with other people.”  Those around us who actually are of great integrity and have our best interest in mind can be a catalyst for positive change if we are open to receiving what they share.

The basic solution to this understanding is that life is an ever-evolving and progressive learning process.  Many people think that learning ends when formal education (i.e. high school, college, graduate school, etc.) comes to an end.  Puberty is the first stage to adult development, but the true “wonder years” of figuring life out take place when the first bill with your name hits your mailbox post graduation.  The true leaders and winners in life understand that they don’t have it “all figured out” and they seek the progressive advice of people, books and other sources of information to progress their life from where it is to where they want to go.

The true winners understand that you must be a student of life in order to really progress yourself and your life’s conditions. For many people, they would rather “wing it” and take an “I got this covered” approach.  Often times the result is if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten.  Watching Oprah a few times a week and other casual activities won’t make you the best career person, parent or prospect for a successful relationship.  Value the input of those around you that you respect when they share, but just as important – you have to pursue excellence in order to be excellent.  Many people are content to lean on their own understanding which is an exercise in futility in many cases.  True learning begins after you graduate.  Never stop your willingness to learn.

2) People Often Seek Relationships With Others Who Have Qualities That Are Not Compatible With Their Preferences or Qualities That Aren’t Compatible Period

Many people have a physical or virtual list of qualities that they want in a person.  It has been my observation that far too often this list contains qualities that are dissimilar and incongruent.  That is not to say that there isn’t that magical person out there that fits all of your qualities listed on your “should have” list.  However, the chances of you finding that individual grow far less likely when you are looking for someone whose character traits are unlikely to exist in one person.  Again, it’s improbable, not impossible.

What do I mean by dissimilar, incongruent or incompatible character traits?  Let’s look at women for a second.  I’ll share a story about a good friend of mine who has done well for herself as a lawyer in “the big city.”  She used to date a guy that was a big time real estate investor and they would kick it hard.  This guy would take her on expensive vacations, everything they did was top shelf, dinner for two people would be over $500 many times.  That’s great and they both enjoyed the time and the lifestyle.  Now here’s the issue, sometimes the guy would be an hour or two hours late for dinner.  I can hear women across the country with one collective “aww hell naw – that’s not gonna work for me.”

Let’s look at this a little closer, this guy is a multi-millionaire in real estate.  Anyone who has ever sat in a closing for the sale of property knows that you literally can never tell how long a closing will last, they easily could go over the expected time by one or more hours.  Here’s the bottom line, if you want a man that’s always on time you will have to find a guy who’s career and lifestyle fit the type of flexibility or inflexibility that works for you.  It would be different if the guy was cheap as hell, but if she wants to enjoy the fruits of his labor with him, she’ll have to give him the room and understanding that go along with his career.  Bottom line, your preferred attributes and qualities in a partner should be congruent – if you want someone who is on banker’s hours, date a banker, not a real estate mogul.

Now let’s take a look at the fellas.  For the guy that is looking for a match to his power couple image of a relationship, he may pursue women that are very career oriented.  Along with that woman comes her schedule and responsibilities.  That means that it’s pretty unreasonable for that guy to want this career oriented woman to have dinner on the table everyday at 7pm like his mother did.  She may have dinner on the table at 7pm one day, 9pm the next day, she may pick up the dinner the next day on the way home and you may have to do something for dinner to help out the other two days of the week.  For him to have the expectation that this “compliment” to his “power couple image” will have the same schedule of “household maintenance” that a woman who is looking to be more of a caretaker in a relationship are incompatible traits.  If he wants to date a woman with that ambition, somethings got to give OR if he wants dinner on the table everyday at a certain time then he may need to find a woman who’s career and lifestyle make that possible.

Understand that these examples are only that, examples, they are not absolutes.  I’m not saying that real estate moguls are exempt from respecting a woman’s time and that career women are exempt from providing nurturing and “feel good” esthetics that men like.  I’m simply saying that there has to be a degree of flexibility that tempers your expectations if you have preferred characteristics in a partner that may be more of a contrast than a compliment.

Then there are people that date a person that has traits that are incompatible with their own.  A woman who hates sports may want to date a guy who is a sports nut.  A guy who loves sports may want to date a woman who has never been and doesn’t ever care to go to a football game.  An even better example of this is the person who has a very active social life that falls for the person that has a very inactive social life.  In all of the examples just stated there is often a strong desire to CHANGE the person that you are in a relationship with.

Let me now state this – the only person that you can change, control or exert power over is yourself. If you met a person and they have “undesirable” likes, manner, interest and lifestyle (meaning that they differ from your preferences) you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration by understanding what makes them tick as opposed to getting them to change what they gravitated to long before the two of you were a couple.

If a woman had a lot of male friends before you met her, its not probable that she will stop talking to her male friends now that you’re in her life.  If a guy has “guy’s night” out and likes to hang with his boys – that’s his thing and although prospective shifts in a relationship you can’t remove people from their interests and likes.  The primary result of attempting to change them is resentment and as much as you think you’re helping yourself by trying to change your partner, you’re probably creating resentment toward you and your position if his/her behavior was like that prior to the relationship.

This is not to say that opposites don’t attract or that people can’t expose others to more than they already know.  It is to say that expectations have to be viewed as contiguous qualities and not these disjointed desires such as “I want a beautiful woman with no male friends” or “I want this head strong man who never refutes what I say or has an opinion different than mine.”  The more closely in alignment with one another your desired qualities are, the better chance you have of finding someone who realistically meets your standards.

The solution to this issue is born out of the definitions of disappointment.  My definition of disappointment is “the result of unmet expectations.” Some people are crafting a world of disappointment by creating tons of expectations in another person that more than likely will never be met by them.  Of course you should have expectations, standards and behavior guidelines that work for you in your relationship.  However, it’s important that you align those expectations in a way that you give the person you’re dating the opportunity to win.  Far too often men and women create a set of diametrically opposed traits that will create their own frustration.  The awareness has to be adjusted in their expectations that give themselves and the other person the opportunity to win in the relationship.

3) Many People Tend To Be Reactive and Problem Oriented in Relationships

This issue can’t be any more plainly stated than it already is.  There is a large contingency of people that chronically complain.  It may be that their observations are accurate, but they continuously whine and complain as opposed to create a winning environment.

The words that usually accompany the complaint are “you should already know this”, “why should I have to even tell you this” or “I thought you would have figured that out by now.”  Any iteration of that statement has a certain level of presumption and/or assumption in it.  Although I do agree that there is a basic code of conduct that most people would have toward one another, I would add that “common conduct” ain’t always common.  That just means what’s expected by one person isn’t a “given” to somebody else.  For example, I went on a lunch date with a woman who thought that it was proper for me to get out of the car when we parked, walk around to her door and let her out in order for her to exit the car.  I definitely didn’t do it, but my illustration (though a bit of an outlier) more so is to illustrate that people have different perspectives on what “common conduct” is.

My main point here is to say that people are not mind readers.  There are a lot of cases where people sulk, “blow a gasket” and get bent out of shape when people don’t perform an activity or provide something that they wanted or expected that somebody should or would do.  Additionally, some people are more apt to complain in many instances rather than see this disconnect as an opportunity to grow closer to together.

The solution to this issue is simply open, honest and effective communication.  The key to making the communication effective is to be solution oriented with the issue by creating an outcome that works for not just one, but both people. Additionally, in order to preempt an issue from arising, more people need to communicate what their expected/desired behavior or response from their mate is prior to an issue ever coming up.

Let me go back to the example of my lawyer-friend and her real estate mogul boyfriend.  I agreed with her that her time mattered and that she needed to be given notification of times that he was running extremely late.  I suggested to her that instead of wagging her finger in his face and demanding that she wasn’t going to be disrespected that she present a solution.  I gave her several examples of things that she could do that would create a win-win scenario and she said that what I shared with her was not only practical and feasible for her, but not an inconvenience to him either.  Although the relationship with that guy didn’t work out she found that the general advice of being solution oriented made sense and she put it to use in her next relationship.  I just found out that she and her current boyfriend just got engaged this weekend and she’s happier than she’s ever been.  I’m sure that providing solutions and not just addressing problems has gone a long way to creating a more collaborative environment than combative one for her.  Yes, it takes more work, but most things worth having do take more work.

4) People Show You Who They Are If You Take The Time To Look & Listen

Let’s get real for a second – most people that are horrible in a relationship show you that they’re going to be horrible before you ever commit to the person.  There are a ton of non-verbal and verbal clues that people share with you to let you know that they are selfish, shady, volatile or a ton of other undesirable qualities before you wake up and ask yourself “what have I gotten into.”  How does this happen?  Often times people go into relationships with their “eyes wide shut” looking at the things that they want to see and not the things that are actually happening in front of them.

This is not to say that there are not some good posers, actors and con artist (men and women) out there.  However, I bet in many instances that when people look at situations in hindsight that they can piece together different things that they glossed over that should have been something that was more disconcerting at the time it was recognized than it actually was.  We all have to go through different situations, experiences and frustrations in order to learn and grow.  Part of learning what you want is experiencing what you don’t like.

Volumes could be written on this point alone, but I will share one quick item to address this point.  Simply stated – A RED FLAG IS A RED FLAG!! I can’t take credit for this phrase, its something that I actually got from my Mom, but the truth of it is undeniable.  There are too many people that look at undesirable behavior in a dismissive capacity instead of with the seriousness and importance that it really deserves.  The worse part is that more times than not, by the time a person accepts the red flag as being a red flag they are “time committed” into the situation and then begin to put good time in after bad time as opposed to recognizing that the situation isn’t a fit for them and removing themselves from it.

There are times that a guy will give a woman an indication (hint: maybe a red flag in their book) that he is not the most dependable person as it relates to remembering things that she would feel are important to her (i.e. appointments, dates, things that he said he would do, etc.)  Yet, in many cases this pattern is dismissed in favor of thinking that as the relationship progresses that he’ll get better.  The news here is that often times people are at their best behavior in the early stages of the relationship and this is about the best that she’ll get from him (possibly.)  Many women talk about how guys have “representatives” in the early stage of getting to know the guy that he sheds to reveal his true self at a later time.  That’s well and good, but what about his (or her) true self that is shown to you that you choose to ignore. Many times people are given all they need to know up front still go deep into an undesirable situation where the person is showing who they really are up front.

However, there is a danger that some people have of becoming highly speculative or even paranoid after being hurt by a person that showed themselves to be different than how they were initially perceived to be.  The danger here is that there are some situations where you as the “hurt person” must shoulder more of the responsibility for the caliber of people that you have in your life (friends and lovers) and more importantly for the time that you put into these relationships after you discovered that this person was not meant for you.

Many people may have heard the Maya Angelou quote “If a person shows you who they are, believe them.”  Unfortunately far too many people don’t believe that fire is hot and they have to stand in the flames long after they’ve been ignited before they remove themselves (if they ever do.)  Everybody has their own motivation for why they stay in a situation, so I could never address them all globally.  The one thing that I can say globally is that the object of experience is to not repeat lessons that have already been learned.  No need to be bitter, contrary or vindictive to the next person that you encounter – however, no need to be bitten by a different animal in the same spot you were bitten before.  Learn your lesson and recognize those red flags that you’ve seen or those like them when they present themselves.  Additionally, don’t erect so many walls of protection and create so many defense mechanisms that you cut yourself off from blessings at the time that you decide you are open to a relationship if you choose.  Being a cynic is not a good look for anybody, being aware is your responsibility though.  Knowledge is power, use it wisely, but you have to use it.

As a side note, not all people are bad, messed up, etc.  Sometimes people “just don’t work out”, have different agendas or are incompatible.  That comes along with the process.  I just didn’t want it to be implied that I feel everyone presents red flags.

5) Fear and Love Can’t Occupy The Same Space

This is a lesson that I understood clearly when I got it from The Road Less Traveled by Dr. M. Scott Peck.  There are far too many people that let fear and insecurity not only lead them into a relationship, but rule them once they get there.  A relationship is a process of giving.  However, the person that is constantly in a state of fear/panic/insecurity/gluttony/selfishness becomes much more concerned about what they’re getting (or not getting) that they often times forget (or neglect) to give.

A healthy relationship is meant to be a place where you are not only getting nourished, but you are nourishing someone in return.  Many times in relationships the scales of who gives and how much they give is thrown way out of balance by the fact that people are far more concerned about what it is they are receiving than what they are giving.

The solution to this issue is that there is a certain amount of ego that has to be dialed down (by men and women) and a certain amount of vulnerability that both people must expose themselves to in order to allow an environment of sharing or a win-win scenario to take place. In layman’s terms “it ain’t all about you.”  However, just as important, it ain’t all about the other person either.  Far too many people can lose themselves in a relationship by losing their love/care of self for the benefit of the person that their involved with and to their own detriment.  Either way it goes, when the scales are tipped too far to either side, somebody or both people in the relationship are bound to lose.

There’s no simpler way that I can explain the point that Fear and Love Can’t Occupy the same space than that.  This may seem like an oversimplified explanation, but really how much more difficult is it?  Humility is something that both people in a relationship need to exhibit in order to make it work.  Deferring to your partner because you respect their ability to make a decision is usually needed.  If you don’t respect your partner enough to allow them to participate in the decision making parts of your relationship then you need an entirely different letter written to you.

Let me quickly share something about tolerance in a relationship.  People need people.  You need somebody (not a relationship per se, just the love of people) and somebody needs you.  If you’re in a relationship you have to accept someone for who they are and their desire and ability to give their best (which is relative to every individual.)  We have to be patient and tolerate one another as we strive to be our best (and I’m not speaking financially or career oriented best.) HOWEVER, the word strive is the optimal word in that sentence.  If you are in a situation or venturing into a relationship with someone who is not seeking to live their best life or looking to be their best self, then enter at your own risk.  A person does not have to verbally commit to you that they are living their best life.  Its in their manner, their character and in their way of being.  If you openly choose to start a relationship with someone who wants nothing more than what they have and where they are (i.e. spiritually, mentally, emotionally, communicatively, etc.) then it is not their fault if they don’t live up to your view of who they should be.  More responsibility needs to be taken by people for the decisions that they make, as opposed to passing blame to their partner for doing what they have always done – simply being themselves, not their “best self.”  If you value your time, your energy and your emotions you will take the time to respectfully qualify the people that you have in your life, relationships as well as friendships because you are the sum total of the people you associate with – they are a reflection of you and vice versa.

We all come from different upbringings, different environments and don’t have the same experiences when we’re raised.  In order to balance this difference in all of us, it’s important to encapsulate all 5 of these points that I’ve presented to give you and the person that you’re looking to enter a relationship with the chance to win.  By being a student of life, properly identifying/aligning your desires, being solution oriented, seeing the red flags and being emotionally/mentally capable and available for that relationship if you choose to enter into it, you’re set up for success.

Why don’t people do these things?  I can quite honestly say it’s a lot easier to be lazy, be “about yourself” and not do the work that it takes to prepare yourself for a quality relationship than it is to work at being ready.  No truer words have been spoken than “you reap what you sow.” Identify what you want, but also create a life game plan that gets you where you want to go.  Many people are willing to invest thousands of dollars into their formal careers and academic progress, but don’t take the free time to learn and improve themselves as people when they want to progress outside of their careers.

Again, life is a never-ending lesson if you’re willing to take the course.  Some books that have helped me gain a view of what “matters” to me are:

  • “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck M.D.
  • “What You Think of Me Is None of My Business” by T. Cole-Whittaker
  • “Awaken The Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins
  • “The Law of Attraction” by Esther & Jerry Hicks

To paraphrase the great Jim Rohn “if you’re in the wrong direction you’ll never get to your destination.  If you’re in the right direction it may take you 5 years to reach your destination.  Although you can’t reach your destination overnight – if by chance you find that you’re going in the wrong direction, you can change your direction in an instant.” I pray that you’re all going in the right direction and find your destination.

Take care of one another – “we all we got.”  Thanks for taking the time to grow with me.  Much love…VA

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29 Responses to “Open Letter To Men/Women Wanting a Healthy Relationship…Do You Know Where You’re Going??”

  1. Cheryl Smith Says:

    Very excellent. Much of what you describe are/should be overarching rules of life… reasonable expectations, self control, willingness to change, compassion, treat others as you would like to be treated … etc.

    Another great book is The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra.

    Very well done and I am going to share this and the others blogs with all I know. There is truly something for everyone.

  2. Vince, you have such a great perspective on this subject. it’s definitely great that you have taken the time to share this knowledge with everyone. There are too many times where people don’t take the time to take the shades off and really see people for who they are when they first meet them b/c of the fear of being alone.

    I myself am guilty of this, so I personally say thank you for giving me a different perspective and train of thought on my own self evaluation. There is a lot that I have started to really put into perspective in my life over the past few months, and these letters you have written have really helped me to pin point what I was thinking and see things from a new light.

    You have so much to share, and I am thankful that you took the time to do so. God bless you and I wish you much success!

    btw… when does the book come out?! lol!

  3. Andrea Horton Says:

    Vince,
    Once again, very well written and thoughtful blog. You touched on so many great points, and there is so much I want to comment on, but I am going to keep if as brief as possible.
    1. People being reactive and problem oriented in relationships – very true. I am glad that you pointed this out, and actually took time to work through some possible solutions with your lawyer friend. Part of this problem is that women don’t think about solving the problem. We are not hard wired to do that, but men are. When I am complaining or venting to my husband about an issue, his natural tendency is to give me solutions to the problem. That’s not always what I want, but most of the time the things he says make sense.

    2. People do show you who they are, almost immediately most times. If you aren’t a self-aware, secure person, you will almost always overlook the signals because, as you said, you are only seeing what you want to see. I think about this gorgeous man who I was dating my last year in college. I was so blinded by his looks, that all the BS coming out of his mouth went right over my head. I was blind to his actions. He stopped calling when he wanted to, and a year later started calling when he wanted to, and I picked up the phone and was ready to listen (like a fool). I was just seeing what I wanted to see. In retrospect, I know he was a lying, disrespectful S.O.B., but so blinded by his “fineness” (yes I made that word up) and stifled by my own insecurities I couldn’t see it. It was there from the first time we went out, and I couldn’t see it!

    5. Fear and love CANNOT occupy the same space. AMEN!!! I think this is important. I always tell my girl friends (and the guys that ask too) that in order to receive love, you have to be vunerable. You cannot be so scared to get hurt that you don’t open up. You have to be willing to put it out there and risk being hurt. It is the most courageous and most rewarding thing you can do. Broken hearts can heal. We all know it because we have all had one, and are still standing.

    I know this wasn’t for old married folks like me, but still thought it was excellent.

    Thanks for sharing!
    -Dre

  4. Vince,
    Good job. Well written and insightful. I am an old married woman, so I won’t say much, but I think a lot of these principles apply whether you are married or single. Additionally, there is always an opportunity to “get it right” no matter what your relationship status. What’s the next topic? 😉

  5. Good Job.

  6. I’ve run out of adjectives that describe how important it is for “everyone” to understand themselves before they enter a relationship. Your points are well stated and I hope many of us begin to practice the life lessons of success. Thanks for the valuable information VA!

  7. Keith Powell Says:

    Excellent job VA.

  8. Angeline Says:

    Vince, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us! Excellent job!

  9. What you talk about in the letter is correct. People let you know about themselves early in the relationship. The picture is completed. I have been guilty of turning my head fron the real person…And now I have been devastated, when he had shown me long ago who he really was. A person with a drinking problem, cheater and a liar. But after ten years I thought he had change, and I took care of him while he was unemployed. But soon after he received a new job three months later he was drinking, cheating on me and lying to me constantly. He was and is tihe person I allowed into my life in the begining!

  10. Vince,
    First, why am I at my computer applauding?? Second, you do realize that you can’t stop now?

    Very well done – can’t wait to see the encore.

    V

  11. You did it again VA. I have nothing to add my friend. I’m going to go back and read them all as one piece.

  12. you need to can this up and sell it! please tell me that you are working on a book!

  13. Kit_CatH Says:

    Look, you are toooooooo kind and this is what I think of all of this stuff…

    You hit it out of the BALL PARK VA!

    This is some good stuff!

    You are great! You got skills! YES this topic was The Bomb but …man VA, you have a gift of reaching people. When you reach them and they pay attention…You will touch the masses!

    Although I loved Part 1 and you kept me engaged with Part 2…Part 3 is the best. You brought it all home. You broke it down in a positive way about everyday issues, addressing them with real quality solutions. You built us up.
    If people really pay attention, you may just change dating altogether…Just think what could happen…happy dating means happy marriages…which means divorce rates drop…meaning hospitals grow because of an increase in babies being born…meaning couples upgrade their homes and seek larger spaces HA!!!!…Hell you may just bring us out this recession!!!! You quite conceivably can change the WORLD!

    The short comment…I loved it!

  14. Simply marvelous! I enjoyed reading this blog. It provided some good insight on having a healthy relationship. Now I will continue to read “Sassy, Single and Satisfied” by Michelle McKinney Hammond.

    Much love!!

  15. Yes indeed. PREACH brotha;) Do you know how hard it is for some to grasp that WE ARE WHAT WE ATTRACT. You have broken it all down, and then some. Really appreciated these 3 parts!

  16. VA – Luv it! thank you…I’m passing it on.

  17. vince, there is nothing more powerful than a man speaking his mind and a woman listening–thank you for making me listen. i will definitely share with my circle. take care and continue keeping it real…

  18. Kathy H Banks Says:

    Nice blog! I’m just waiting on the book to come out…Many of us are still in that very selfish phase…ME, me, me me! Thanks for reminding me that a relationship is not about what you are getting but nourishing the other person!

  19. BeautySchooled Says:

    You hit it out of the park bro-in-law *wink* Number two VERY important, number four resonated so loudly with me I think my eardrum may have burst… I’m usually ALL OVER things like that… but hey I guess that slip up only proves I’m human after all! LOL

  20. Hi VA

    Just had time to really read and reflect your third communication on relationships. You nalled it bro especially the bullet points on-
    — If You Are A Weak Individual By Yourself, You Are Just As Weak In A Relationship

    –Let me now state this – the only person that you can change, control or exert power over is yourself

    –Fear and Love Can’t Occupy The Same Space

    The Smarter we become the more complicated we make things I am sure we have all experienced this….thruough experience we then learned to just K.I.S.S keep it simple stupid!!!

    Keep Up the writings nothing but Love for ya

  21. VA, what can I say…very well written! I’ve learned alot from the entire series! Kind of speechless right now, so ill just leave it at that, LOL!!!

  22. Stacy L Says:

    This is a great start for positive dialogue with men and women. Clearly there are many issues we face as individuals that darken our light. Whether it is because we haven’t dealt with our own internal issues or we simply think there is not a problem. These series of blogs have made me look not only at the choices I have made regarding men in my life, past or present but also have given me the opportunity to take inventory of myself as a woman. To not only measure the distance of my own personal growth but to also take the opportunity to to challenge myself, accept myself and motivate myself to become the best person for me.

  23. This was really a good article. Well written and loaded with good information. I have read each of the books you have referenced and loved that you had them listed. Awesome work here. Thank you!

  24. Sylanda Bryant Says:

    VA, you are so on point, I try to do a self assessment all the time, after reading your blog I notice a couple of short coming of myself , thank you, I had this long expectation list after getting divorce which wasn’t realistic, I am grateful that I have an open mind, thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  25. Kimberly Says:

    VA,

    First I would like to say that the entire three part series was fantastic. I enjoyed reading every bit, and I also enjoyed reading all of the comments that were left by anyone. If nothing else it gave me a few things to think about/ponder in my quest for a relationship. You really have a way with words and I hope that you keep on writing. Now here is my question for the day

    Where do we go from here? Clearly from some of the comments both men and women are recognizing some of the errors of our ways…but I have to play devil’s advocate and ask so what? Are we as a whole going to do better in the future or in a few weeks is it going to be back to business as usual…Not trying to minimize the impact of the discussion that your notes have created, but it does have me wondering..what’s next???

    • Andrea Horton Says:

      Kimberly,
      I guess what I have taken from all three entries is the need to be more self-aware. As a woman, I need to recognize what it is I bring to the table, what it is my mate is bringing to the table and then aware of how I communicate my wants, needs, negotiables and non-negotiables. I think self-awarness and self-discovery are the next steps. Applications of what you learn and improvements on your short comings will follow. Like VA says, the only real change you can mandate is the changes you will make for/to yourself.

  26. Lawyer-Friend Says:

    I wouldn’t exactly call him a “real-estate mogul!” Seriously…you never cease to amaze me. You are and will always be one of my dearest friends….my family. Thank you for all your support through the years. We certainly have some good memories. I think I finally have this love/relationship thing down now…

    love ya lots VA,
    the “lawyer-friend”

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