Iโ€™m going to give you a hypothetical situation, and Iโ€™d like for you to tell me whether or not you can relate:

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So today I came across a post with a photo caption entitled โ€œStop Slandering Straight Black Men“.
Straight away I thought that this title would attract a lot of attention… from two types of people.
1. The type who are outraged that somebody would come to the defence of straight black men.
and,
2. The type who love and support straight black men… both types of people would be sure to read on to see what the poster had to say ๐Ÿ˜…

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There exists 5 stages to any relationship:

1. Infatuation

(Romance Phase)

2. Power Struggle

(Conflict & Bickering)

3. Stability

(Resolution & Peace)

4. Commitment

(Marriage & Children)

5. Co-Operation

(Bliss Phase)

Many of us don’t make it past the Power Struggle of a relationship or if we do, we some how find our way back in some kind of conflict with our loved one.

‘Power Struggle’ by definition is the clash of two people coming together, and the reason for this conflict is due to differences in opinion, religion, political views, parenting, finances, etc.

The problem we have, especially as young people, is how we choose who we end up with. There needs to be a vetting process and this is based on the standards that we set for a potential partner which is a reflection of the standard that we have for ourselves.

This standard that we hold ourselves to is intrinsically connected to our values, our qualities and our moral character. And this forms our sense of self identity.

The question one must ask them self is, who am I?

What defines me?ย 

What makes me who I am?ย 

What do I like? What do I dislike?ย 

Who do I want to be like?ย 

Who do I not want to be like?ย 

What is my purpose?

ย What is my vision?

The best way to draw all these things together is to perform a SWOT assessment of oneself like in a business: assess ones strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

In relation to the four pillars of ones identity:
Spirituality, Psychology, Physicality and Finances.

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1. Spirit

2. Mind

3. Body

Perhaps the best way to look at the Power Struggle is firstly the struggle within ones Self, before involving someone else.

Think objectively, if you were singleย would you be happy to date you?

ย And,

would you be happy and stable if you settled down with you?

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Take for example the Six Human Emotional Needs:

1. Certainty or Consistency

2. Uncertainty or Variety

3. Significance

4. Love & Connection

5. Growth & Progression

6. Purpose & Contribution

Everyone fulfils 1 – 4 emotional needs in a healthy or unhealthy way, not a lot of people are able to develop to the level where they can fulfil the remaining 5 – 6.

Maybe it can be put forward that until one has fully matured and developed themselves to point number six that they have no business being involved in a serious romantic relationship.

One who is immature and therefore has no or little understanding of Self, has no business getting involved in serious relationships. That person will be a liability firstly to them self and secondly to the person they are with. This is the point where irreversible life changing decisions are made (usually under the influence of infatuation).

Once the magic of the โ€œhoneymoonโ€ phase wears off and/or when the person comes to a knowledge of who they are situations commonly associated with the Power Struggle arise; which could have been avoided if one exercised sound judgement. This is where the concept of a relationship being unequally yoked is birthed.

However, in stating all of this. The majority of people will fall into this stage of conflict and disagreement, once here what the possible outcomes:

1. Breakup

2. Compromise

3. Adapt

Point number one is self explanatory.

Point number two is the group where many married people fall into whether one compromises themselves to avoid conflict or to fulfil the needs of ones partner.

Point number three is the most healthy and conducive to a functional union. This is a level up from merely compromising, which is synonymous with settling. When one adapts it means to invest time and energy to work on ones union. To learn about each other, understand one anotherย ย and ultimately accept your partner for who they are which leads to Stability, Commitment and Bliss once the foundation has been formed on acceptance of who your partner is, rather than falling in love with the idea of the person.

Learning your partner, involves understanding what they respond to most. In other words, what is their love language:

1. Words of Affirmation

2. Acts of Service

3. Quality Time

4. Physical Touch

5. Receiving Gifts

Once one understands one is able to better cater to the emotional needs of the other, and most importantly know what fulfils oneself. Fulfilment in this area, re-connects both people together and strengthens the bond more so through commitment than mere lust and infatuation, which is fickle and non-substantial.

Knowledge of ones lover, on the other hand, is the framework from which one can build upon through co-operation in the Bliss phase to achieve ones vision through purpose.

A lot of relationships enter and remain or end in a Power Struggle when a union is founded on passion. When two people know who they are, have a purpose in life and come together to share in the same vision their relationship has a chance to grow and develop to heights that far surpass mediocrity.

It all starts with a knowledge of who you are.

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