Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Partners & Preferences: A Practical Step Towards Relationship

Make a list, check it twice. No time for games, get your life. #RealChristmasRhymes
Hey there to my single peoples. I may have (very) recently left your ranks - but I was in the single and fantastic crew for quite some time.  Quite a long bit of some time, but I digress…
I have a huge heart for that stage of life because as awesome as it is, it can be equally as tough.

One of the things that I was told quite a bit was to use my single time to prepare myself for marriage since I wanted to be someone’s eternal boo some day. I would nod and have the following monologue in my head, “What does that even mean? You’re not even single. You don’t know how real the struggle is. Leave me alone. I’m hungry. I should get some Chipotle...”

If you are also in the, “what does that even mean?” camp - here is something practical that I think is quite useful.

One of my couple/few/many issues during this period was that I was kind of sure what kind of guy I was looking for, so I would get caught up with a guy that I was kind of sure I was looking for only to find out that he was, in fact, only kind of the guy I thought I wanted. I also went through a period where I was battling some pretty big insecurities which opened a door to some not so healthy relationships. Because I was only half sure about what I was looking for and half sure of myself, it added up to a whole hot mess.

I found it helpful to get all of my “kind-of’s” out of my head and force myself to define these things in more concrete terms. Here’s where your homework comes in. Don’t worry, you love homework. You’re excited. You can’t wait.

I would encourage you to:

  1. Make a list of things you are looking for in a partner. Nothing is off limits here - just write what comes to mind. Do you want him to have a goatee w/ a soul patch? Should he be 5’ 3” and walk w/ a gangster lean? Write it down. 
  2. Go back through the list and pick out/list the things that are non-negotiables.These are qualities that you will not compromise on no matter what. Sometimes they take the form of something the other person may not know/have, but is willing to learn. Ya’ll, listen to me: everything cannot be a non-negotiable. If you have 149 things on the list and 146 of them are non-negotiables I’m giving you a virtual side-eye right now. Go back and try again. (example: some of my non-negotiables included things like having a strong & evident relationship with God, must be slow to anger, must have rhythm (honestly. truly.) etc...
  3. Start a new list. This one is a list of all of the things you bring to a relationship. Are you a super dope cook? Are you a good planner/organizer? Are you great at encouraging your partner? Can you rotate your own tires and fix your own doodads and his too? Write that down.
  4. New list. Write down all the things you would like to bring to a relationship, but perhaps don’t have all the skills to do so yet. Would you like to be more financially literate? Do you want to work on your patience level? (Ladies, see Proverbs 31 for a bit of what to shoot for).

Understand that some of the things you are seeking in a man right now are actually just preferences, and they may be distracting you from from some really awesome guy who fits your non-negotiables and, more importantly, your purpose. That is what you really want to be looking for.

 Don’t overlook someone amazing because you think you need a guy who’s 5’ 12” (yep, 5’ 12”) and you found him but he never texts you back and eats all your left-overs without asking - even though there’s a guy in your world who may be 5’ 6” but he is direct in expressing his feelings, loves God, and listen to your stories about how Barbra from work snitched to your supervisor that you were 3 minutes late to the office again and he’s ready and waiting with a supportive, “Ugh Barbara always messing up! That girl needs to mind her own business,” which, of course, is the proper response.

I wasted much time and many tears on preferences. Defining these key things helped me direct my thinking and priorities, and forced me to understand my needs vs. my wants. It also helped me understand my value. Basically it helped me stop wasting my time because my time is important. Yours is too. The key is to stick to the list - don’t sell yourself short. If you trade one of your non-negotiables for your preferences and settle because when things go south you will have one person to blame. You can find them by looking in your mirror.

So get to list making my amazing people. Let me know below: Did anything surprise you? Anything you thought was a need but turned out to be a want? Also, can you teach me how to fix my doodads? I’d really like to know...

Let's Insta together: @TheFreshFactor
Let's Snap together: @TheFreshFactor


  1. Well Said Fresh Factor!

    A friend guided me to make a list like this many years ago. I filled every point on that list a few years later. It really works. I am very happy it also has for you. Your Fresh story has inspired my own rant of factors and findings, if you don't mind me sharing.

    So please, keep your head up singles, remember to look up - - always. Find the love inside yourself first and when it comes back down spread it around. Love seems to work like a magnetic law of sorts, a true fact of Physics and a For-Real Holy Mystery of Faith.

    We all deserve it, but its like respect, it is to be shared like a life long game of give and take. Don't forget, the opposite of love is fear, don't fear your future, pack it full of what you want. Believe it and enjoy the wait.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing! Great things to keep in mind, especially loving yourself and enjoying the wait - both very important.


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