Hey Fellas … How are you doing?
People spend so much time representing the concept of “becoming one” that they lose themselves in the process. In my last article, I spoke about watching out for changes that occur in the process of “growing together.” Here I want to dig a little deeper.
I want to continue on the vibe of evaluating and taking ownership of what it is we bring (or fail to bring) to relationships, and in doing so I want to bring to light something I never hear people talking when it comes to relationships … Loss of identity.
Granted, compromise is a vital keystone in any good and successful relationship; however, there is a difference between compromise and capitulation and because so very many people confuse that latter for the former, many relationships become strained and frayed to the point that they snap apart like a worn rubberband.
Like snowflakes, no two people are the same. When two people allow one another into their lives they have to accept this as a primary reality. The reason why many relationships work is because people value and respect their differences. Where people fall apart is when they get caught up giving up pieces of themselves to keep peace in their relationships.
How many people do you know who had to give up some of their friends because the new mate just didn’t want there to be any “outside distractions;” hell – let’s keep it funky … how many of you fellas have been with women who could not accept that you had female friends before you met her, but she doesn’t want you to be involved with them anymore? How about those men who stop hanging out with their boys because their women want them all up under them?
I had a (female) friend who after all of the ups and downs we had been through since high school – dealing with counseling one another over the bad choices we were making in the people we were dating, met a guy in college who told her to cut me loose. Dude never met me. Dude only knew about me what she told him. But she loved him and she cut me loose. It wasn’t for another 15-16 years we would touch base again, and it was then that she explained to me what happened. When she wanted to introduce him to her best (male) friend, she told him about me and all of the things we went through being each other’s shoulder to cry on. Dude saw me as a threat to his game and told her to cut me loose or lose him … and she made her choice.
She married that brother and is still with him to this day, but she told me that she regretted throwing our friendship away for all of those years just to give in to his insecurities.
You see, you cannot tell what’s going to happen in the future. Growing and changing into whoever you’re going to become is a process – a journey. When you cut people out of your life you are cutting away pieces of the fabric of who and what you are. You shouldn’t have to let go of anything in your life that does not pose a threat to your relationship.
You each had a history before meeting one another. In 2010, chances are you both have gotten your freak on to some degree. You both have friends of the opposite sex. Now let’s keep on leeping it funky … If you have ladies that you’re cool with, but you know good and well you could possibly hit it if you wanted to – or you already have hit it … you might want to consider letting that go.
I can speak on THAT personally. I’ve got (female) friends that I’m cool with, but some that I can just straight act a fool with and talk and joke with in any kind of way. My wife came across some e-mails that were … well let’s just say that I had to re-evaluate how I kicked it with some of my friends. However, I didn’t give up spending time with my fraternity brothers or going out for drinks with my boys.
You have to respect one another enough to allow each other to do your own thing, but don’t cross any lines. If your woman has a problem with you going to the strip club you might want to take her feelings into consideration, but there’s nothing wrong with you going out with the fellas every once in a while (as long as you don’t “somehow” end up at the strip club). You should also respect the fact that she has friends and activities that are the fabric of who she is as an individual. She should be able to go out on a “girls’ night” too. The same rules against ending up at “certain” establishments apply to her.
You are who you are. A mate should add to who you are, not take away from who you are. You can’t grow if you stifle yourself just to appease someone else. Likewise, you cannot grow if you put your mate in positions that stifle her. However, if you respect one another’s individuality and bring that to the relationship you’re more likely to grow stronger.