Twitter is a fascinating place. And by fascinating, I mean, it’s a platform where you see a lot of crazy opinions that you didn’t know existed. I log on almost everyday to a slew of opinions that throw me for a loop.
This week, it was an interview in which of LaLa Anthony said the following:.
It’s not rare to meet a guy that you are head-over-heels for, but he’s lacking the affection or compassion that you may need. He may think that showing you that he loves you means buying you a pair of shoes, when you may just want more alone time, surprises that require a bit more thoughtfulness or a hand-written note that makes you smile every so often. Communication is key.
At face value, there’s nothing wrong with what she said. Yet her comments sparked a Twitter debate in which some women took the stance of “aww hellllll nah, I ain’t teaching no man how to love me. He should just know.”
Relationships are particularly difficult when you have a person who a) doesn’t communicate openly and b) isn’t in tune with what their needs are.
When you decide to commit to someone, the decision has different variables. For one, it’s about timing. Are you ready for a relationship? Do you have the time to make romance a priority? Is your life set up in a way that another person is welcomed into it? Those are critical questions. Once you get beyond that level, you have to conceptualize what a healthy relationship looks like. And that’s where the teaching and guiding of how a person should love you comes into play.
If you expect a relationship to be fruitful, you have to invest time discussing what your needs are. A person will see your intrinsic value because of respect. However, a person won’t be able to fully love you until they know how you value love.
Show vs. tell
Actions mean more than words. So if you want to be loved the right way, it makes sense that you would give examples of what that looks like. If you want someone to be more affectionate, not only do you need to communicate that, but you should be comfortable initiating affection so they can mirror it. The two of you should be able to find a middle ground in which the desire for physical connection and intimacy is met without it feeling forced.
Be honest about your hang-ups
One of the biggest barriers to vulnerability in relationships is that people think if they don’t talk about their baggage is doesn’t exist. The reality is when you don’t acknowledge your hang-ups, regardless of how small or embarrassing they may be, they’ll manifest themselves in other ways. In Musiq Soulchild’s “teachme”, he says “I was always taught to be strong never let them think you care at all”. I can relate because one of my fatal flaws is shutting down. Instead of expressing thoughts and emotions, retreating just seems easier when I’m hurt or processing my anger. For one woman, it might be okay. For someone else, they could take it a sign of abandonment. I recognize that this hang-up can establishes a pattern of distrust and doubt. We all have our shit. The goal is to be aware of it so that we can support each other in a way that closes the gap in tough times.
How you receive love can and will change
Our needs will change as we evolve. So what was important to you in a relationship and in a partner in your 20s is likely different than what you value now as a 30 something year old. Likewise, your expectations of love has changed too. My love language used to be words of affirmation. Now, I’m pretty sure it’s physical touch. I don’t necessarily need my lady hanging all over me. But I definitely miss the proximity of a woman’s scent. I miss the pressure of a soft, warm body in the bed. At this point, I could go a whole day in silence if it meant existing within the same four walls as my lady and our skin grazing every hour. That’s how I’d be assured that there was love in my house. That’s how I’d know love as an emotion and as an action existed between us.
The one thing to remember when you’re getting into a new relationship is that you’re getting a clean slate with a person who knows nothing about your history, habits, or lifestyle. If you want to be fulfilled, you have to first decide that the person is worthy of being a student. From there, you have to trust that they’ll study well and pay attention.
The right relationship is one where nothing is lost and everything is gained by giving someone your personal love cheat code.