It’s always such a surreal feeling when I think about my fiancé. OMG I have a freaking FIANCE! It’s still weird to say it out loud. Now that I’m engaged, I frequently find myself reflecting on my past situationships (yes situation and not relation smh). So many fundamental elements were missing from those past situations, which is exactly why they were considered situationships.
When I first met my fiancé, I knew that I wanted this time to be different. When you’ve dealt with a certain level of heartbreak, you get to the point where you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, I took my desires to the source of it all..God. In my prayers, I told God that I would no longer compromise, and I only wanted what He wanted for me, absolutely NOTHING less.
About a month after giving my desires over to God, He blessed me to meet Carl. Now, two years and some change later ya girl is a whole FIANCE! I know that there are a ton of young women desiring love but have no clue what it looks like or even how to give it. I want to share with you all a few major points that brought me to this point of maintaining a healthy and happy relationship.
1. UPFRONT EXPECTATIONS: On our very first date, I was completely upfront with Carl about what I expected from a partner and what he could expect from me. The worst thing you can do is settle in the beginning and then a year in expect the person to make all these changes OR not being upfront with who you are and then one year in deciding that it’s time to show your true colors. Some people may think that being so upfront on the first date is too overwhelming, but this can save you and that person so much time and energy because you know what you’re getting right from the start.
2. RESPECT OVER EVERYTHING: Love is NOT all you need. A lack of respect can demolish a relationship. Respect will allow you and that person to develop trust, safety and security. There may be a time when you get so mad that you may not feel like you love them, but if you have respect for them, you can get through those rough times without permanently damaging the relationship.
3. GRACE: Try to keep in mind that you won’t do everything right. There will be times that you fall short and will expect your partner to forgive you. I’m not saying to allow someone to treat you any type of way, but I am saying that you need to provide them with some space and time to get things right.
4. BE INTENTIONAL: I know that this is will grow to be a big factor once we’re a few years into our marriage and babies are crawling around. For us, we’re both so super busy that if we’re not intentional we won’t see each other. When I was in my master's program, working 40hrs, and trying to build my business, I felt tired all the time. I barely had time for myself, let alone Carl. The thing is, I knew that spending time with Carl was important to the well being of our relationship. So, I cut corners where I could, sometimes requested to leave work early, doubled up on homework so I could try and get a few extra hours of free time, set alarms and placed him on my calendar if need be. When you intentionally place that person in your life, it’s less likely they’ll get lost in all the noise of busy-ness.
There are many more factors that contributed to where Carl and I are now in our relationship, but these five factors are of the most important! I hope this advice helps someone with their relationship and journey to love. Now I want to hear from you! Tell me some ways that you’ve developed a happy and healthy relationship. I’m going to be WHOLE WIFE in exactly 412 days, so help ya girl out!
Photographer: DEMIAN GIBBS