Last night after speaking to one of my close friends about relationships, I really took time to think about a few things. Before I write on my thoughts, I first want to say… it’s so important to have trustworthy friendships. Iron sharpens iron. We all need people we can share our heart to without fear of being judged or misunderstood.
This is a simple truth… one has to be a good friend to have good friends. So when I invest in others I am also investing in myself, relationship-wise.
Okay, so I recently reopened my heart to dating again after coming out of a horrible marriage (it’s true… I’m sure it was bad for her as well). Now I really have to ask myself some real questions, because I don’t want to ever go through that again. Just questions like… “What type of woman am I attracted to? Do the things which I find attractive have any depth or are they only surface level? What do I want and/or need from my next relationship?”
One topic of our conversation was on the importance of finding someone who wants to be my teammate (or partner), and who is also compatible with me enough so that she can be.
Participating in athletics as a young adult in high school and college shaped my understanding on what a team is. Coaches always say… “There is no ‘I’ in team.” Meaning that everyone on the team has to sacrifice for the greater good of the team.
However, I find a lot of women aren’t looking for a teammate. Some women are looking for a man to be their Father (a man to provide for them and baby them), Friend (a man just to talk to), or their Lover (a man just to fulfill emotional desires/needs)… not everyone wants a teammate. It’s also common for men to date women based off of their butt size 🙂 or physical appearance; they mainly want a woman for sexual purposes or just to show off in public. And, women are cool with that. Just watch Basketball Wives of LA or some other TV show that praises women based off their sexual energy. True intimacy has depth.
Everyone wants something different… as my perspective is surely not better/worse than any other. I simply want whoever I’m with to share my same perspective on life and intimacy.
Intimacy requires transparency. I personally feel if someone doesn’t tell me what they want, how will I know? It takes courage to be honest. Especially since so many people are out here playing games with people’s hearts. I can’t stand manipulation or lies.
Love is a balancing act in a way… weighing so many thoughts and feelings. Knowing what to say and what not to say is not easy. I feel the differences between using wisdom and being manipulative when sharing your heart is… wisdom always benefits both people and has righteous motives, and manipulation only benefits one person and has selfish motives.
I remember watching ‘The Last Dance’ documentary about the Chicago Bulls earlier this year. One of the most interesting things I remember is that Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan were never the closest of friends, but they were the greatest teammates. Outside of the court, yes… they are good friends. But, on the court their skills and talents complimented one other like no other, so that they achieved greatness as teammates. In the documentary Michael Jordan essentially said, that there is no Michael Jordan without Scottie Pippen.
If you want your marriage or relationship to be great. Physical attraction, love, respect, financial security, etc… all these things are important, but it is also important to find someone who compliments you who also wants to be your teammate in life.
Life is not easy. As a black man just entering into my forties, plus a single parent. I know that I can’t live my best life alone without a woman by my side. I would be lying to myself if I ignored my feelings. Life is slowing down. Even society is slowing down and becoming more isolated during this COVID-19 pandemic… and I see more single professional men/women who in the past never wanted to commit, but are now seeing the tangible benefits of being in a committed relationship.