While I’m Waiting
Happy New Year!
Whew! We made it to 2023 despite the pandemic, inflation and just life. We made it and to kick off this year I want to dedicate this blog to the Single Ladies.
I see you and I hear you.
Weekly I sit across couples that come into the session with the complaint of,
“I didn’t know. I didn’t know it was going to be this hard. I didn’t know he/she thought this way. I didn’t know he felt this way. I just didn’t know.”
But as soon as the realization of not knowing comes up in discussion, it is shortly followed by a phrase of defense.
“I did what I thought you wanted me to do.”
Only serving as a means to justify the hurt experienced in the relationship. Hence, why in couples counseling most of the work is uncovering all that you didn’t know because it was never communicated. Honestly, most of the times it wasn’t communicated to oneself.
There is saying that says, “Knowledge is power.” Because it is! What you don’t know does have the potential of hurting you especially in an intimate relationship. You’re probably wandering what does this have to do with Single Ladies. Well, it has everything to do with the single woman. It is crucial to not just wait for marriage to come, but to prepare for it while you are waiting. This means learn more about YOU and the person(s) you are dating while you are waiting.
AND I’m not talking about just your favorite color. Or, the genre of music you enjoy most. What I am referring to are the things that meet me in the counseling room week after week; such as the core values that are masked by frustration of mundane dislikes between each other.
I have taken the liberty of listing out some core values that would be beneficial to explore independently “While YOU are waiting”.
In 2023, who would think that religion is a point of contention in relationship? While your conservative views of religion may not be upheld like your parents, the foundation of said religion may have more of an influence on your life than you think. Explore how that shows up for you personally and interpersonally. Does it change once you say, “I do”? You’d be surprise how many couples come into premarital counseling unaware of how their religious foundations plays a role in their relationship. Be honest with yourself and determine what role religion holds in your life. Ultimately, your religious or spiritual upbringing has potential to also dictate gender roles, philosophy on life, upbringing of children, finances, marriage and so many other areas.
Finances are my favorite area to talk about because it seems many want an abundance of it, but have very little knowledge of how to maintain. What do you think is one of the top stressor in relationship? You guessed it—Money and the lack of communication of money. How are you handling your money? How would you like to handle that in a marriage? Joint accounts? Separate Accounts? Where did you learn your philosophy of money? I know you want to him to be a provider, but how can you be an asset to his provision? At the end of the day, when you join together in marriage everything gained while married is mutually yours, so how are you helping to manage the money. My suggestion, look at your own money while you are dating and learn to be just as transparent as you would want your partner to be.
If you are having sex, are you enjoying it? Are you communicating your needs appropriately and are you willing to reciprocate the desires of your partner? If you are practicing abstinence or celibacy, are you setting realistic expectations for your spouse? Or, is he to fulfill all your sexual desires because of the delayed gratification? Whatever your idea is of sex, just talk about SEX. Remember: sex does not always equate to intimacy. It is a fruit of intimacy. If this is new information for you, book a session today with me.
How healthy are you? Better yet, how intentional are you about your physical health. Recently, I shared with my therapist I hadn’t seen a doctor in about 5 years. I made excuses after excuses as to why I didn’t go, all while stating in my close network of friends that I needed my husband to be healthy. Talk about being a hypocrite. How could I want someone to care for their body, more than what I was doing for myself? Hence, why I ask, “How healthy are you?” People laugh when I have this conversation, but it is important to have. Gain as much knowledge about what runs in your medical family history (diabetes, heart failure, cancer, mental health concerns) and have open conversation with the person you are considering for long-term.
In 2021, the median age for the first wedding among women in the United States stands at 28 to 29 years of age. According the census Bureau, the average age among African American women to have their first child is 30 years old. In lieu of this data, what is your position on having children? At what age, realistically do you want children and have you spoke with an OBGYN on your options? Questions like: What are your limits? Is fostering or adopting an option if there is biological challenges? How many would you like? Is there a compromise? Are you okay with stepchildren? Who do you think should versus who do you want to be responsible for the rearing of your child? Explore and ask yourself these questions now and be honest with how open or closed off you are to this category.
This list is not an exhaustive list of things that would be helpful to explore “While YOU are waiting”. However, it definitely is a start. You won’t have all the answers, but you would have least begun the conversation. What I’m learning is: waiting is more about what you are learning, growing and preparing for and less about what you are expecting. It makes for more holistic conversations between two people who want to make marriage work.
Below are additional areas to explore and begin the conversation with your most trusted people to make waiting less of a wait and more of a journey.
Division of Household
Schedule with Stacey
Have you booked your 15 minutes consultation with me, yet? Ask me anything you need to know to make yourself comfortable about starting your therapy journey.
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