I wasn’t a groupie, I worked in Sales at the Atlanta Hawks. I had access (and met) such basketball greats such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley. I was young, inexperienced (though I didn’t think so at the time) and full of myself. I actually THOUGHT that he was serious about me. The reality is that I was really fooling myself. I believed what I chose to believe. I was deep in deception. I was having a ‘good time’.
Looking back on that period of time I ask myself, “Girl, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!?” You were not RAISED to allow ANYONE to treat you that way.
Now I know. I WASN’T THINKING! I was allowing the thrill and excitement of having the attention of an NBA legend cloud my judgement. There is no way I would allow a ‘regular’ Joe treat me that way.
Can you relate?
Have you ever had a time or relationship in your past where you say to yourself ‘what was I thinking’? Are you still living with that regret? Do you still feel sad or mad about what happened?
God made us to be in relationship with each other. He even said “it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone”. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted and have someone to share that love with. Sometimes, therein lies the problem. We want to be loved and accepted and meet ‘the one’.
Just the other day, a friend reached out to me to ask me to pray for her. She wanted me to pray that she stay of sound mind because she’d recently met a man she’s really interested in and doesn’t want to make a mistake with this one. She further shared that she wants to proceed with care because she is recently divorced.
She wants to make sure that her heart and her head are working congruently.
But how do you do that? How do you get your heart AND head working together in relationships?
One way is being careful to make sure it is safe to attach and bond with that person in the beginning. Dr. Jon Van Epp, founder of Love Thinks developed the relationship attachment model or RAM that focuses on 5 bonding areas for a healthy relationship to grow: know, trust, rely, commit and THEN touch. The RAM shows that you no longer have to rely upon the powerless ‘love is blind’ approach to dating. I remember my Mama asking me about the new love in my life when I began ‘dating’ the NBA player saying “was he nice”? Now I know better! Charles Manson was ‘nice’! How else could he attract those women?
These days we need more on board than ‘nice’.
Once you meet someone, you need to get to know them; then you start to trust them. As they prove they are trustworthy, you spend more time and get to know how they react in certain situations you see if they are reliable. Once you are able to rely on them, you can become more committed and once the commitment level is high–on both sides–then you can add romantic touch.
There are two rules that go with this.
The safe zone is there is no level is higher than the previous one. In other words, you shouldn’t touch more than you are committed; you shouldn’t commit more than you rely; you shouldn’t rely more than you trust and you shouldn’t trust more than you know.
Many relationships are out of balance from the start – and may be doomed for failure, heartbreak and disappointment because we go from meeting a person to straight to bed with them. Steve Harvey had at least a part of it right in his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man in which he advises readers to not have sex until after 90 days. It takes at least 90 days for red flags to start to show up. I’m not going to mention what I think about sex before marriage. I will address that at a later date, but I will share that I think that character flaws can ‘hide’ even within the 90 day range.
IF you want to have a healthy relationship, my recommendation is to observe your love interest in many, different especially stressful situations. That is really when the rubber meets the road. How does this person react to stress or challenging times? Do you see lemon or do you see lemonade?
That is when the ‘heart’ of a person shows up because in dating, most people put their best self forward. It may take several months and/or several situations to see serious patterns or behaviors surface.
But what if you are saying, “Stephanie, its too late. Where was this information when I needed it? I’ve just gotten out of a relationship that I never should have been in in the first place. I feel terrible about my decision and now my life is forever altered. What’s more, I’m still mad, sad, resentful, regretful or hurting over it”.
We all make mistakes and no one can erase the past. What we can do is something about the future. Make better decisions. Go in to relationships with open eyes and a heart of wisdom.
If you (or someone you know) still DO NEED to process those feelings of the past, I have a solution for you. If you (or someone you know) are still living in the ‘what ifs’, ‘what was I thinking’ or ‘how did I let him treat me that way’ then contact me for a FREE session to help you along the way so you can begin to put the past where it belongs–in the past!
Peace & Blessings,