I grew up in an era where a man got a good woman and he did everything to keep her. I witnessed date nights with no phones, just two individuals enjoying each other’s company, and I’m not talking about a Netflix and chill either. Time was spent getting to know all the important things that one needed to know about the other before proceeding forward with the relationship. Men and woman pushed each other to become a better person, because they knew they would both reap the benefits of the other being successful. Love wasn’t just a word, but it was an action shown by the way their eyes lit up when they looked at each other. Love felt like butterflies dancing in one’s stomach when they held their significant other’s hand. It consisted of repeated goodbyes because they didn’t want the conversation to end. It was demonstrated by the way that couples constantly found new ways to love each other instead of finding a new person to love.
The man served as the woman’s protector and she knew that as long as she had him she had nothing to fear. The woman served as the man’s nurturer and made sure that all his needs were taken care of because she knew that he was working just as hard to serve her needs. Men and woman dated for the sole purpose of marriage and not just companionship. Men weren’t ashamed to show the world that they were in love and women didn’t hide the fact that they were in love due to possible embarrassment. People were happy to say that they had someone that truly loved them instead of constantly claiming the hashtag #single every time something didn’t go their way in the relationship. Love was pure and innocent, uplifting, comforting, and everlasting.
Somewhere along the way it changed and became full of secrets, lies, and constant goodbyes. Men would rather start over a million times before spending an hour trying to fix the relationship issues that they face in their current relationship. Dates now consist of hooking up in the house and having a movie watch you instead of watching a movie together. When the bumping and grinding isn’t taking place each person has their heads buried in their phone screens catching up on what other people are doing, or even worse looking for their next hookup. Maybe if they had taken the time to get to know each other, the conversation would flow and they could begin to relate on an emotional level. Maybe then they could learn to love each other the way they love the attention that they get from Facebook and Instagram likes. Maybe then they would push each other to their greatest potential instead of competing with each other for the spotlight. Maybe then they would love and give freely to their partner without the fear of building them up just for the next person to reap the benefits.
Love shouldn’t be defined by a constant fear of getting hurt or playing games to see who can hurt the one other the worst. Love definitely shouldn't be one-sided where only one person is doing the giving, compromising, and showing appreciation. Relationships require teamwork, which means both people working together for a common cause. No matter who you’re with if you don’t see your partner as your teammate, your relationship is headed for disaster. Relationships are hard work but with the right one, they are worth it. There will be good days and bad days but if done the right way, and with the application of understanding and commitment the rewards will be transcendent.
For those of you who have had the opportunity to experience such a wonderful thing I must say that you are very lucky. To love and to receive the same love in return is nothing short of a blessing. Continue to cherish your love and set an example for others of what true selfless love looks like. You are paving the way for your children and grandchildren to receive this same type of love. Believe me once you witness this type of love you won’t settle for anything less than it. Let your children know that the partner that they choose says a lot about how much they love themselves. If one loves themselves, they won’t accept anyone treating them any less than what they know they deserve. It’s time to start idolizing real love and healthy families and stop giving so much attention to the toxic relationships that we see on reality shows. Continue to do your part and hold on to your better-half. Treat them like the prize that they are and I know they will continue to do the same for you. Like my grandpa would say “Show these youngsters how it should be done.”
For the rest of you, I challenge you to bring that old school love back. Let’s love the hell out of one another. Breathe life into your relationship through gaining an understanding of your partner. Learn what they like and dislike, who they look up to, their strengths, insecurities, and their family history. Learn their weaknesses and help them improve on those weaknesses. Stop using those weaknesses to tear them down. Try asking how their day was before you ask what they are cooking for dinner. Show your appreciation through gestures instead of expensive gifts. Learn everything that you need to know about them before marrying them. Date, laugh, and compromise more!