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Bookshelf : Relationships


The Upside to Breakups

Let’s face it, breakups can be hard and many times they can leave us wondering what in the world could possibly be positive about this experience. Well, to say that I understand how you feel is an understatement. Yet, what I’ve found, is that there can be many upsides to breakups if you just take the time to break them down…here are just a few.

You’re free! Cus face it, some of us weren’t!

Now that you are a single you can take back your freedom and release the responsibility you once had for the other person, the relationship and perhaps even regain portions of your own identity that may have become tied up and dependant on who you were as a couple.

Get back to me…focusing on self

If after a breakup you have found yourself asking, “so what do I with my life now?” the answer is simple, “what do you want to do?” Just remember that trip you wanted to take to NYC or that hobby you pushed to the side. Being single doesn’t mean you have to be lonely and doesn’t mean life is now boring. If anything it can be the most exciting time of your life if you wish it to be. This is the time to get back to focusing on the things that make YOU happy, enrich YOUR life and bring YOU closer to that person YOU want to be. Just think, you never have to spend another Saturday watching college football only to be lost and confused as to what a Crackback block is. Unless of course you want to and in that case please explain what it is because I still don’t know.

Freer to do ministry & service

“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7: 32-34

    This is a wonderful time to get in touch with the one who loves you most. Make yourself fully devoted and available to whatever God may call you to do. As a single you are not divided between a spouse and a family you have a remarkable freedom in service and in ministry.

Brighter days ahead, your someone is still out there

I know I know, your ex was perfect…riighhhht… Well its over. So imagine this, they may have been perfect perhaps…but perfect for someone else and maybe not the perfect one for you. And that’s a-o-k because all it means is that there is still someone out there who is. Sure there are no perfect people but there is someone who will accept and love your perfect imperfections and for them you will do just the same.

Friends with an Ex?

Today I was reading my devotion and was lead to 1 corinthians 10:23

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.

& it got me to thinking about the freedom we have to choose. The freedom to choose what college we go to. The freedom to choose what city we live in and the freedom to choose between a balanced breakfast or peanut M&M’s. But just because we have the freedom to choose the places we go and the things we do it doesn’t mean that our choices should be frivolous. The truth is, often times many of the choices we have to make are never between what’s horribly evil and what’s fiercely good. Our choices are usually between what’s better and what’s best. Obviously, as you can see from the title of this post, one thought lead to another and with my recent relationships end I’ve been sincerely trying to answer this question for myself, “Can I be friends with my ex?” What’s better and what’s best? Here’s what I’ve concluded when considering the matter.

From Lovers to Friends Will Take Time…A-P-A-R-T

In my experience I don’t think I’ve ever gone from beau to buddy overnight…Let alone Fiance to friend. It’s never happened for me. I’m sure there are some success stories out there somewhere and more power to them. But I think its safe to say that in general developing an authentic friendship with someone you’ve dated takes time and time apart. This allows you to detach feelings and expectations of what the relationship once was. Its time to grieve, heal, and recover from the passing of the old aspect of the relationship so you can harbor a true friendship. Without that time apart you never allow for closure leaving yourself susceptible to regurgitating old hurts, developing unrealistic expectations or even reigniting romantic feelings the two of you used to share.

How and Why Did the Relationship End?

Its important to keep in mind that not every relationship is worth the fight to save it or revive it. If either of you were toxic for the other or you just simply do not get along with one another why on earth would you ever want to be friends with someone you do not vibe with, let alone like?

Always Go Natural

Friendships should develop naturally and shouldn’t be forced or pressured to be anything more or move any faster than what is comfortable for both parties. If you want to be friends with an ex it is essential to share that notion with the other and give them the choice to either reciprocate or decline and be respectful of that person’s space and decision as well.

Check Yo Self

What are your motives? dum dum dummmmm. I’ve had to ask this question of myself and even of my exes when they have reached out in friendship. Its important to know what drives you and compels you to want to remain friends after intimate love fades. Is it to avoid the pain that comes with heartbreak and love loss? Is it to rekindle and try again for what you once had? Or is it simply because you value your relationship and the platonic love you had and are genuinely seeking to salvage that aspect as friends? Either way be honest with yourself about what your motives. really are.

Not Every End is a Friend

Note: Not every relationships end will end up in friendship and that’s absolutely ok. I have exes I still talk to every week, exes I follow and communicate with on social media and exes I hope to never see again. Its different from person to person and not everyone will end up being friends so don’t pressure yourself to be one way or the other.

Conclusion: Is it beneficial?

And to bring it all back to the beginning…Is being friends with an ex beneficial for you? Do you regress in the healing process every time he/she texts you or do you feel inspired and uplifted when you casual talk every now and then? Does the relationship build you up? Does it edify your life or theirs? At the end of the day only you can answer these questions, it is the choice between whats better and whats best.. for you… 🙂

Red Flags You Should Never Ignore While Dating

  • 1. Lying & Secrecy

“No matter what the reason, lying destroys. Tell him or her goodbye and save yourself the heartache. Perpetual liars are not ready for a relationship, no matter how much you are attracted to him or her. Run run run!” – Boundaries in Dating

Whenever you begin building anything on a faulty foundation that thing is destined to collapse. The same is true for relationships. Honesty, trust, and communication are key components to that foundation. If you find that your partner is continuously being deceitful, shady, sneaky or secretive, it is cause for alarm. No one should ever have to wonder or question their partner and trust me, if you can’t trust them now, you will not be capable of trusting them later.

      2. Disrespect Towards You or Others

“You deserve respect and appreciation. A person who doesn’t have respect for themselves will more than likely not give it to you. You have to set the standard for yourself by not allowing the insolence.”  ― Amaka Imani Nkosazana

Anyone who does not respect you or others shows a major flaw in their character and the esteem that they have for themselves. Calling people names, disrespecting personal boundaries, throwing insults, treating others less than, and abusive behavior of any kind is unacceptable and should not be overlooked.


     3. Isolating & Controlling

“A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams, or your dignity.” – Mandy Hale

If someone you are seeing seems to desire major control over what you are doing, who you are with, how you should behave and who you should be…ugh…NEXT! Your guy or girl should not only respect, cherish, and value who you are as a person, differences and all, they should also be free to be who they are as well. If their life revolves around your life and how you’re living it, it might be time to tell them to get a life and go and get on with yours.  Having your own identity, friends, social media, and the privilege of a password on your phone is not only healthy, but guess what? It’s your right! After all, the only one we can control (and barely that without God’s grace) is ourselves.

     4. Lack of Goals, Ambition, & Work Ethic

“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” ― Walter H. Cottingham

I am the first to say, “Life-happens.” Everyone may not be where they want to be by time they are 30. I get it. Heck, I AM IT! However, despite their circumstance or situation the question then becomes, what are they doing with their life now? Are they working towards a goal to better themselves? Do they have a job? Are they locally investing in themselves or others with their passions and gifts? Are they attending school or taking up study in a field? If not, then that’s a red flag. Being able to manage your life, hold a job, and make plans for your future are important to giving life purpose. If he or she lacks purpose, well then… what is their purpose to you as a partner?


     5. Emotionally Immature

“Emotional maturity is defined by the ability to control your emotions and take full responsibility for your life along with its opportunities and dramas.”- Heart Spirit and Mind

There are few things more frustrating in dating life than committing to engage with an adult child. I dare to say, an emotionally immature person may even be more work than the relationship is worth. However, if mood swings, temper tantrums, and guilt trips are high on your list for the perfect weekend date, then you got yourself a winner! An emotionally immature person will often lack the ability to deal with conflict and differences effectively and will many times fail to take appropriate responsibility for themselves.


     6. Their Past is…Their Present?

Whether it’s often bringing up a past relationship, living in the remnants of an unresolved relationship, or still being in a relationship with someone else altogether, it’s not only a red flag, it’s a yellow, orange, and green one too. Going into a new relationship should be just that, NEW! Anything less than that suggests your partner is not ready to move on and is essentially trying to make you a side boo or a rebound. Remember you are valuable not a kfc side piece, and you deserve to be appreciated. Save yourself the headache and heartache and move on while you are still ahead.


     7. Doesn’t Include You in Their Life

Beginning a new relationship can be exciting, and a balancing act when trying to decide on what to share about yourself and when to share it. But, if its been some substantial time and you are beginning to notice a pattern that includes any of the following, there should be some pause for concern. – You have never met any of their friends or family. – They never seem to make time for you or you are a last-minute effort. -They never want to go out in public with you. -They don’t share any significant or intimate details about themselves with you. -They don’t really seem to take much interest in the details of your life and who you are as well. This is not authentic or genuine relationship and if you are someone who is looking for depth and longevity, this may not be the direction you wanna look.


     8. Unresolved Addiction or Mental Issues

We all have our own personal struggles. No one is perfect. Just because someone has a hardship or a challenge to contend with in life does not make them any less of a viable partner, lover, and friend. It all comes down to how the individual is pursuing health and wholeness. If someone is actively engaging in addiction or refuses to address and attend to their health appropriately they are not fit to pursue you in a healthy and whole manner.


     9. Failure to Commit/Too Much Too Soon

“Stop rushing me. I want to take my time falling in love with you.” ― Ai Yazawa

If you are dating someone who either A. has no expectations for a future with you, has completely different relationship goals, or won’t define the relationship, or B. Is just moving towards commitment too much too soon, look out. Both are two extremes of the same coin and both can lead to major conflict. Relationships take time and while some move faster or slower than others, moving and moving at a comfortable and agreeable pace for both parties is crucial. One moving with or without the other is a relationship moving apart.


     10. They Flat Out Tell You

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou

Lastly and most importantly, if someone tells you that they are not looking for a relationship right now, BELIEVE THEM. If they say they still want to see other people, BELIEVE THEM. If they say they are just not that into you…you guessed it, BELIEVE THEM. You can’t change someone if they don’t want to change, the same way you can’t make someone see you for all the awesome amazingness that is you and force them to want you if they dont. If someone tells you who they are, believe them. Thank them for their honesty, thank God you’re not wasting your time and move on. You deserve someone who wants you just as much as you want them!