WHAT IS IT THAT PEOPLE IN RELATIONSHIPS REALLY WANT?
Unconditional Love & Acceptance
Written Exclusively by Gary Augustine Warren
Has one ever stopped to think about how many conversations dealing with relationships and romantic love (or lack of) take place? If we think back, the majority of those dialogues may start like "Girl, I met this guy and he is ." "I met someone today and " "Did you see that man? I would love to ", "You wont believe what he did to me!" Any of those comments sound familiar? "I am so sick of his " Good and bad times alike, relationships seem to always be on our mind. In this particular section, the concentration will be on the ideology of romantic love and how it is applied or not applied in our lives.
What Is It? LOVE .a word that means many things to many people. A God-given description has been given to us as to what the authentic version is. Pending on what weve been through in life, it can be forgotten or rejected. A shame really, many go their whole lives wandering trying to find it through so many destructive forces. The end results? Resentment, apathy, vindictive behavior, and probably the most destructive, lack of trust. With lack of trust isolation is soon to follow. Once isolated, we experience the very emotion everyone cowers from, loneliness. When this emotion harbors, we can commit a multitude of incredibly unwise actions. However, by using the original plan as how to treat one another, the upcoming examinations can be useful to avoiding a plethora of unneeded pain.
Prevention is the best medicine. Even in the best relationships there will be conflict at some time. Many unneeded disputes are birthed from poor communication. This does not have to be. Criticism without nurturing is very destructive. To insure the art of understanding, lets go over some healthy communications keys.
First, have enough confidence in your own views so that you wont become defensive when they are questioned. Understand that in some cases you will be right and in others you will be wrong. Keeping yourself in a calm demeanor and allowing the other party to express their viewpoints acts as an expression of value. This sends out a message that what they have to say means something to you. A door to healthy communication begins to open from this action.
It is easy to be demeaning and not even realize it. An example of this is the demonstrative statement, "I dont care what anyone thinks!" That statement can be taken as, "I do not value your opinion." It can also be internalized as "I dont think you have any value either." A wall of protection will automatically go up from such a boisterous statement. The ability to communicate effectively has been severed.
Another common blockade to communication is the statement, "You never listen You never this or that." It is highly unlikely that the individually has never done what was accused. However, it may be perceived from the deliverer of the statement that the particular behavior that has caused agitation has been the case for a certain period of time. In all fairness, this statement is not to fair to the receiver because it is brining up past events that should have been discussed earlier. Since they were not, a brash statement such as, "You never do anything right!" can occur due to the restraining of past agitation. One does not respond in anger unless one has felt hurt first. A high degree of confidence in your own views will produce a level head and prevent such a statement from coming out.
Keep the speaking level at a normal tone of voice. A rise in tone can indicate anger and impatience. It is best to literally think before you speak. Once a statement is spoken, it can never be erased. At times when tempers are flaring, silence is the best rebuttal until the "temperature" drops in the room. The conversation may have to continue at a later time.
A way to avoid misunderstanding of a concept is to ask the question, "What did you hear?" This will insure the deliverer of the concept that the recipient truly understood the concept. If implemented correctly, quality communication will allow both parties to leave a conversation with something of great value, understanding. This should be the goal of all communication. It should never be a competition to prove who is right. Whichever view is correct will naturally emerge through the variable we call time. So in anything and everything you receive in communication, make sure you receive understanding!
Actions Speak Louder Now that weve found some tips to verbally communicate better, there are still our physical actions that remain to be dealt with. Yes, the old adage, "Actions speak louder than words" holds true in almost every occasion. We can say, "I hear you" but what action was it followed up by? Most people are audio-visual and so with that being said, there a few categories of people and associated behaviors that will be addressed. By analyzing these behaviors we can attain a better idea of how to avoid unnecessary pain. It doesnt take a genius to know that emotional pain and scarring takes much longer to heal than physical wounds. Prevention in every aspect of our lives is the best medicine.
Romance & Marriage: A memo to married men
Gentlemen, for females, tenderness is something very necessary. If youre married, show your wife that you respect her. Please do not show it by baffling "Uh want to have sex?" I guarantee you will get a lot farther by TRULY complementing her. When is the last time you took your wife out on a date? Well, if you had to think about it for a while, that means you better do it pronto. How did you two fall in love in the first place? Remember when you hung on to every single word she said. Can you do that today? Or do you respond, "Huh?"
What was she wearing on your first date? What was it about her that attracted you to her in the first place? And if you remember what those qualities were, when was the last time you told her you appreciated those qualities? If there is anything that I have learned from my elders, its that all great marriages started out with the two being close friends first. The transition to husband and wife never changed that. Give her the time she richly deserves. I never saw a rule that says you had to stop dating when you get married. Dont let the romance fizzle.
Do not simply tell her she is appreciated, SHOW HER (That goes both ways ladies). Love is a verb. You would be surprised how you can get that "mojo" working by committing romantic actions when there is no expectation to. Sorry guys, Valentines Day, birthdays, and anniversaries are a MUST. Spontaneity is the key. Trust me on this one, cleaning the house and cooking dinner is very sexy to a woman who is expected to do it all the time. Why? It can be seen as a genuine token of appreciation. Women are moved more emotionally than men are. Try having a servant attitude. You will be surprised what occurs. Thats a promise.
Male Bachelors This upcoming section may seem a little hard on single men and to an extent it is. Men have been fed a lot of toxic advice through various mediums in how to treat women. If these "toxins" are followed, they will destroy the individual and the people around him. Lets try to avoid these toxic behaviors in order to live a more productive and prosperous life! With that said, here we go gentlemen
The Bad Boy Syndrome... Many if not all adolescents and young men alike are nurtured their illusions of reality pertaining to relationships through blitzes of images shown on numerous visual mediums. A utopian array of cars, boats, women, booze, and money is provided on a constant basis through various magazines, music videos, and other related visual media. There is a dangerous perception given that anything a man wants will be given to him on demand. Accumulate wealth, brag about it, treat women like dirt, and then have his "friends" idolize him for it. There never seem to be any problems whatsoever in mediums like that. Only money, women, cars and worry free living exist.
This is the illusion of the "bad boy or playa" image. These videos, magazines, movies, DVDs, websites, and television shows might as well air on the Sci-Fi Channel and be categorized under FANTASY. Fantasyland is the only place hes going to find a relationship like that.
With these inaccurate relationship assessments starting from a young age, a male can be constantly pressured through those mediums and peers to be a "REAL MAN". So what is a real man? One who takes advantage of the vulnerability of a woman or women in pain? Nothing else matters except the seemingly insatiable need to look like a "stud" in front of his friends?
If a man is acting this way, hes fallen into a performance trap. He is mostly likely more worried about what "the boys" will say if he is not having sex with every woman in sight. If he is like most men in this behavior he will most likely lie about his conquests so he at least sounds good. His other concerns may include the "need" for having the best clothes, cars, or house to save his image among his admirers. Unfortunately, the lies and self-abuse will not end there. A trail of alcohol and drug use can easily accompany this lifestyle. Feeling guilty possibly?
Its all part of the "game" of attaining sexual gratification and receiving admiration from others for it. In other words, the lifestyle gives him a sense of belonging, acceptance, thus love. Bottom line, it makes him feel good. Dont we all want to feel that way? There is a right and wrong way to get it though. Manipulation isnt one of them.
The Source? The self-centered action(s) that a "REAL MAN" commits can most likely stem from a barrage of rejections that he may have felt in his own life. The "love em and leave em" attitude and behavior is his defense mechanism that insures he will no longer get hurt.
The bad boy persona is a lot like an egg. Its durable to a little stress but put enough pressure on it and itll crack. What does that mean? Ok, the image of the bad boy is supposedly a representation of confidence, strength, and security. He doesnt take anything from anyone at any time. He tells anyone what he feels like with no reservation of fear. He is a "real man" who is totally in control of every aspect of his life. An attitude of, "I do what I want, when I want, with who want, no matter what!" can pretty much sum up the mentality.
Satan fed men a huge lie on this thought. By far this has to be the largest delusion passed on from generation to generation for decades, maybe even centuries. Not only is the bad boy behavior a false image of a secure man, it is catastrophic to the men (and some women) who decide to act in this fashion. In this attempt to show strength, the "bad boy" behavior is hiding insecurity. This is quite evident to anyone being around a person long enough to see it come out in the forms of jealousy, paranoia, and in extreme cases, mental, physical, and/or sexual abuse.
Consequences of Our Actions... If a man so happens to meet women who do assimilate the same characteristics of the sex images and videos, there could be various reasons for it. Yes, she may be physically attractive but did a "REAL MAN" think of what may be going on in her head? Did he ever stop to think, "Why is she acting so aggressive sexually?" Could it be she is looking for sincere affection? Could it be that she thinks sex is the only way to get it?
The amount of attention she acquires from different men through sex or simple flirtation may be her way of building her own self-esteem. The more men she is with, the more attention she attains. Therefore, the better she feels about her self-esteem. The idea of quantity and not quality can be applied here. This ideology can originate from a negative relationship from her father, if he was ever there at all. It is not as much the sexual act as it is the intimacy (embraces, affirmations) of the act that women usually crave and desire.
Now that the "REAL MAN" received what he wanted, what does he do then? "Love em and leave em?" That is not an act of love that is lust. Men, please realize that women are not a source of instant gratification. The ramifications for her will be devastating. THE MAN has initiated or perpetuated a broken heart, which will lead to low self-esteem and self-worth.
Congratulations men, you have set the example for her to follow. Remember Shakespeare? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Make no mistake, she will grow tired of being hurt. Innocence and healthy vitality can be replaced with anger, hate, and deep resentment. The cycle usually looks like this, shame and embarrassment to hatred, to retribution. Why should she care anymore? When one reaches this point, it is very easy for the abused to become the abuser. She becomes a "bad girl/playa" herself. The other alternative is that she may choose to give up men altogether. A recipe made in hell for the sole purpose of multiple destruction. This "bad boy, playa, real man" internally disrespected himself and the woman or women he has taken advantaged of.
All this unnecessary and painful drama that accompanies this lifestyle accomplishes what? Affirmation of ego? Approval from those who most likely care less about you? Bottom lines ladies and gentlemen, dont go into debt trying to impress others that are already in debt trying to impress you. The bills are in your name, no one elses. As soon as the money is gone, so are those "friends".
When he is alone, how does he really feel? Is there any peace with him? Did he achieve the exhilaration hes longed for? No, he didnt. Nevertheless, that is the only thing he knows to become temporarily euphoric. Yes that would qualify as selfishness. Selfishness is the beginning of self-destruction. The "Greed is good" ideology only works in the movies. There is a better way gentlemen.
Something All Men Should Know About Women First of all, sex is not the answer to mens ailments. Lets be brutally honest, what does "meaningless sex" give? Temporary satisfaction and for some guys, bragging rights.
Contrary to popular ideology brought about by various magazines, TV shows, & videos, women are NOT "always in the mood". They are the not sexual play toys waiting for a mans beckoning call to please him. In reality, (not the virtual kind) women really have feelings, are capable of significant thought, and do not willingly wait hand and foot to serve a man. That is what you would call fiction.
On a final note men, contrary to some popular beliefs, a woman's name is not bitc*, whore, ho, skank, trick, slut, hoochie, or a piece of that a**. Any man with wisdom knows this. These descriptions should never come out of his mouth. Any woman should never allow herself to be called any of these names. Married and single men alike need to know this, youre male but it takes more than anatomy to make a man.
"Dont Go There!" Warning signs for females
"Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23
Young and old women alike do not be deceived by the rugged or material exterior of a man that seems to give the appearance of confidence and strength. Why are some women attracted to this behavior type in the first place? For some, it may be for the appearance of social prestige and/or money. The forehand knowledge of being a constant attraction and having some sort of financial stability can initially give a sense of security and satisfaction.
This conduct can be compared or even traced to the high school popularity game. Her popularity and attention is gained solely on who she is "seeing" or married to, rather than her own merit. Isnt this a lot like the teenage girl who gains attention and notoriety by "going out" with the most popular boy in high school? It seems as though nothing changes save the settings. Instead of high school, it transfers to college, then to the real world.
Instead of being known as a distinct individual, the woman is known solely as "the girlfriend of," or "the wife of". Granted, she now has a lot of material wealth and social prestige. She may even possess a "perfect physique" thanks to that wealth. But where did she go? Referring to her identity. What did she sacrifice? If she truly has everything, then why is she unfulfilled? Money and social status alone cannot provide fulfilling companionship.
Another reason for a "bad boy" attraction may be the attempt to transfer her "perfect mans" attitude into the perfect physique shes enamored with. Shes trying to put a her dream mans personality into the best body shes ever seen. The problem here is she neglected to pay attention to his real character. Unfortunately the belief of, "Oh, Ill change him once were together" still exists to this day. Reasons for this idea have varied. Some call it a maternal instinct, others call it a result of low self-esteem, but a majority of the time it is simply raging hormones. Whatever the reason, the endeavor to change him never works unless he finds Jesus. Changes must be made intrinsically. One cannot be changed unless one wishes to change.
If money and/or looks are the only attractions, a relationship that once looked promising will end up being short lived. In other words, these were unwise choices in finding unconditional love and acceptance. As soon as the hormonal attraction wore off, she asks herself, "What did I ever see in him?" The man she was once in "love" (lust would be the more appropriate term) with seems to have a totally different persona. If she is at the point where she is asking herself, "Why is he looking at other women like he used to look at me? Why is he saying I look fat now? Why doesnt he complement me anymore?" Thats easy, she was simply a trophy, a notch on the belt so to speak. She was merely another conquest of the "Playa, Casanova, etc." This is why preconceived expectations can be emotional and sometimes physical devastating deceptions.
The careless attitude and behavior now being noticed was always there. The difference is she is now able to see the mans actual personality after her hormonal attraction has ceased. Who initially wouldnt be attracted to compliments of their appearance and statements such as, "I love you", "Youre the only one for me", "I want you", etc? The key is to know if he truly is sincere. If he really means those statements, hell wait to put on a wedding ring. Otherwise, hes most likely feeding you a line. Anyone can be anybody for a couple of hours. For the good actor, he can go a couple of months. Eventually the true person comes out when you spend enough time with him.
In either scenario the following occurs. A woman receives what she wanted only to discover it wasnt what she really desired at all. She has attained her goal but feels less exuberant once accomplishing it. There wasnt the emotional fulfillment that was preconceived. These areas of pursuit were all displays of searching for fulfillment in the wrong areas. For no matter how different the situations were, they are all summarized into one category, vanity. Vanity is a one-way trip to loneliness because it seeks to pleasure ones self and that is all. A hard lesson learned. Or was it?
Co-Dependents... In my experiences, Ive found that most women grow immensely in wisdom around their mid to latter 20s. They get very tired of putting up with so much "hell" that a foul male can commit. Unfortunately, some women have a harder time. So desperately wanting to feel appreciated and secure, a woman can allow herself to go through the same abusive and vicious cycle over and over again. Some stay in a bad relationship for fear of abandonment. The idea of living in solitude overrides the blatant disrespect shes continuously receiving. When this occurs, she has become a co-dependent. She feels as though she cannot exist or identify herself without him. This is highly likely when a child or children are involved.
Misery Loves ? With each negative experience, a woman can become angrier and surrender to an increasing feeling of hopelessness. At that point, her feelings may lead her to the conclusion that no one has cared for her so now she is going to take care of herself. She may have lost hope in the idea of a "good man" altogether. At this point she may then proceed to acquire as much money, prestige, or anything else that she desires all for herself. A typical defense mechanism for a wounded heart.
It has been said that women can be manipulators of sex and men manipulators of affection. A "playa" knows women are emotional creatures and will manipulate that aspect of their nature in order to receive his sexual gratification. On the other end, when a woman who has been scarred emotionally hardens, a man, married or unmarried, is no longer an issue for her. "Theyre all no good" in her mind. They have simply become a means to her financial means.
Perhaps without realizing it, the woman has become the person that she never wanted to become. She became like the very man or men who hurt her. She now behaves in the exact manner he or they did. This is another example where the abused has become the abuser. This is the life of a male or female "playa", self-centered behavior that attempts to protect deep wounds through uncaring attitudes and/or intimidation.
And The Winner Is? Material wealth, social prestige, and sexual "buffets" are not cures for self-esteem and efficacy. They are merely barriers in which to hide behind. These "performance" behaviors of men and women are viscous cycles of pain and hate. Both sides, men & women, remain with feelings of emptiness and rejection. In the end, the only one that wins is Satan. Dont give him the pleasure of winning.
Conclusions & Solutions Understand that a physique can come and go. Character is something that will always be there. Make sure it is there to begin with. A man worth respecting and giving your life to is the one that first and foremost RESPECTS YOU. If he doesnt make you feel like you are the only woman in the world for him, most likely youre not.
It is not necessary to "perform" physically or financially to get attention. Ive seen and heard of women who will change their appearance through cosmetic surgery, shove their feet into a shoe size way too small, starve themselves, gain weight, act ignorant, move to different city, and much more in order to catch the attention of a man shes interested in. If a woman wants to do this on her own free will, fine. Dont commit these actions because of someone elses wish to do so. Especially, when there is no commitment.
It is extremely important for womans emotional health to not set herself up for attracting the wrong personality. If a woman is venturing everywhere dressed with clothes that are low cut, appear as though theyve been painted on and acting flirtatious, what did she expect from a man? If she dresses and acts like a prostitute, she should expect to be treated like one. In other words, dress like instant gratification and expect to be treated like it. She is no woman to a "playa". In his mind this type of woman is, "Just anotha ho with no goal." (Christ Cooper, 1995). Ladies, men are visual beings. They are stimulated more than females by what they see. If they see only a physique, they have no idea who the person in those clothes is. Dont invite the wrong type of guy due to ignorance.
In order for her to find a man of good character, she will need to first be in a place where there are men of good character (they will RARELY be found at the clubs & bars). Secondly, she should wait on God to reveal that man to her, if she is to have one at all. I always like to say it this way, "The only man that a woman needs is the son of man." A husband is simply a compliment to a woman. Dont "jump the gun" ladies. God knows best and will give any man or woman the best if allowed to.
A Warning... If a woman is not looking at the right characteristics, a good man can slip right through her fingers. Sometimes it takes his absence to realize what she had. I think it was said best as, "You dont know what you got until it is gone." (The same advice is applicable to men as well).
Solutions! Although weve ventured into the ugly ramifications of unwise actions, all is not lost. There is a way to get through all the emotional baggage and scarring we may be carrying to this day. A simple solution really. However, it may not be so easy to do at first. Here it is: Let go and let God take care of the painful experience(s) of the past. Its very unwise to blame Him for the mess WE put ourselves into. We decided to rebel and thus our own miserable consequences.
This is not to imply that every mishap one goes through is entirely ones fault, i.e. child abuse. The principle is to know that the author for the majority of ones own misery will be found in the mirror. So whats the solution? Give, practice, and receive full forgiveness. If one is determined to hang on to the wrongs and pains of the past, it will kill faster than any cancer ever could. No it is not easy to do at times but anything worth having in life is never easy.
In this particular case, the goals are attaining true liberty and serenity. If one is still having trouble forgiving, its time to have a heart to heart chat with God. If an individual hasnt spoken to Him in a long time or at all, now is a good time. Let the past go. There is no future progress for an individual that continues to dwell and remain in the past.
The success of the movie "Waiting to Exhale" can testify and support this claim. Look what happened to all the different characters. The characters that were sleeping around with other men ended up feeling lonelier than before. The character that stayed faithful in trying to raise her son had her man show up in front of her and didnt even realize it at first. PATIENCE ladies and gentlemen, patience: Thats the first characteristic of Gods love I Corinthians 13:4.
Everything in our lives will work out in Gods timing. Chances are, he or she may be right in front of you. Are you looking at the right traits though?
I Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Gary Augustine Warren, MAT Trainer
Founder & CEO of Conglomerate Holistic Health (CHH) has a BS in Health and Sport Sciences from the University of Oklahoma. Gary specializes in biomechanics, event planning, and health promotions. Currently he is continuing his education through the Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) internship.
He is a former staff member of the University of Oklahoma's Adult Fitness Programs, UCLA Recreational and Cultural Affairs, and served as a fitness consultant for the Long Beach State Women's Volleyball, Soccer, and Golf teams.
Gary Augustine lectures, instructs and presents at group fitness and personal training programs at UCLA and Northeastern University (Boston, MA).