Many people are told to make a decision on who to date based on a "list". Now the list mentions various qualities and acts that a person must have in order to be considered as a romantic interest. I once solely operated on a list to decide if someone was worth "talking to" and I have come to realize that by doing so, I have consistently set myself up for failure. Most recently, I decided to go back to what I once learned from a family member, to operate from a non-negotiable stance.
If you have been following my instagram then you may have heard me talk about the importance of a non-negotiable. Even though I understood the concept of it, without aborting my "what I want my future man to have list" factor entirely; I did have a difficult time following through with it.
What is a non-negotiable?
A non-negotiable is something that you stick to and by, no matter what! For example, if your non-negotiable is that a person you meet must have a relationship with Christ before dating them. Then you will not date them no matter how fine, successful, or fun they are.
Is a non-negotiable really worth it-Yes!
Your non-negotiable is tied to the things that you value the most and when you operate from your value system, you save yourself from experiencing unnecessary drama. In order to determine the things that you value, you first and foremost must spend time with YOU to realize what you want in a person as well as what you want out of a relationship. This may be based on faith, career/educational path, family planning, and more.
Once you determine your value(s), take the time to evaluate it to see if it is even fair. Too often people set unrealistic non-negotiable. For instance, saying that a man or a woman MUST have abs is a pretty foolish non-negotiable. But you can very well have it on your "list" but it may be unwise to set it apart as a dealbreaker. So you must hold your non-negotiable to a serious yet realistic standard. Failure to know what your deal breakers are, will plant you in the ground of wasting your time and if you are like me than you do not have time for all of that.
How to determine what your non-negotiable should be?
-Spend time with YOU.
- Grow in your relationship with God
When you do the following things listed above, you will notice that the things you once desired will begin to shift. In particular, if a specific look was a dealbreaker for you, that can begin to modify as you begin taking yourself out on dates, trying new things, and your one on one time with God. The reason why it changes is because you become more aware of other things that can bring your joy and fulfillment despite how it may "look". Moreover, this allows you to recognize that there are more factors to consider when determining true satisfaction
When you do not operate off of your non-negotiable, resentment, regret, lack of satisfaction, boredom, the case of the settling due to desperation, or your relationship with Christ can be hurt and more much can happen. As you can see, the list can go on and on but I will be focusing on 3.
When you overlook your values that are meant to serve as a deal breaker, the only person you hurt is yourself. It is possible to become bitter towards the person that you are dating. However, it may not be because they did anything wrong or offensive towards you but it is because they will never fulfill what you deeply wanted. In addition, our emotions can influence how we treat people and if you are not really into the person, your actions will begin to show it. You can only fake the funk for so long!
Lack of Satisfaction
Have you ever felt satisfied after eating a distasteful meal? Of course not! You may be physically full but you can certainly say that you did not enjoy it! Ignoring your non-negotiable while dating, can get you that man or woman, but it will never bring you true joy. The beginning will ALWAYS be exciting but once you pass that "honey moon" stage, the relationship will truly sink in and you will question if you really actually like that person.
Relationship with Christ (This applies to you if your non-negotiable is faith based!)
There is no perfect person but if you desire a man or woman who is ACTIVELY after God's heart, do not, I repeat, do not take that off your list! No one is worth compromising your relationship with God...EVER! Sis/bro, I feel you with the, "there are no good God-fearing men or woman out there" struggle! However, would you rather have a person, who does not share your same faith keep you company or strengthen your relationship with the ONE who actually gives you life!?
When you compromise your faith for a boo, you will indeed feel its impact on you spiritually. You can find yourself spending less time with God because "bae" does not fully understand that you may need to push your meet ups at a later time since you need to have your quiet time with God. Or "bae" may want you to opt out from attending church service to hit up a brunch spot. These examples may seem like not a big deal but over time it will accumulate and your will see its damaging outcome.
Rather your value is someone who is a Christian, someone who is willing to wait for sex until marriage or more, do not settle for anything else! Trust me, I speak boldly on this because I operated on the opposite side of the fence by settling way too many times and it has always left me empty!
Not too long ago, I decided to ignore my non-negotiable and it caused me to be spiritually empty and it was not because the person was bad; they were actually great! He was willing to give me everything that I wanted but did not quite understand that certain things we were doing was drawing us further away from God. So when I wanted to actually do better, trouble surfaced.
I remember listening to a sermon about dating from Pastor Dharius Daniels, who said, "just because 2 people are Christians, does not mean that they share the same values". Boy was he right! Months were passing by and as I was getting to know the guy, I noticed that I was losing my mojo with blogging. Yes, I was still putting out blog posts, but I did not feel connected to it at all. The reason was because I was not truly connected to God and He is the SOURCE of ALL of my blog ideas, videos, and instagram posts. Looking back at the beginning stages, I did not bother to ask important questions to get a better understanding of the person's values as it relates to their spiritual walk with Christ.
Listen up really good and do not make the same mistake I made!!
Ask those necessary questions and watch to see if their answers are backed up by actions. Failure to ignore things that go against your non-negotiable can easily cause you to do the very things that you swore that you would never do! The moment that I completely let him go, I FELT FREE! I not only felt like a weight was lifted, I felt a sense of peace and I was able to get back on track with my relationship with God. Due to that, a plethora of ideas for my blog and videos began to come about. That entire ordeal taught me that we can find ourselves missing out on important things and opportunities because we are connected to a distraction. It sucked that I had to learn the hard way but by me taking full responsibility of the part that I played in the mess, I am so happy that I grew through the ordeal!
I really hope that you feel empowered to take back your dating life by trying something that you may have never given thought to; operating off of your non-negotiable. Remember your refusal to settle cannot and will not be in vain.