Webster’s Dictionary defines safe as
: free from harm or risk: UNHURT
: secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss
: affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty.
: not threatening danger: HARMLESS
: unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction.
: not likely to take risks: CAUTIOUS
Recently, I was having a conversation describing the season that I believe that I’m in at the moment and the first thing that came to mind was safe. I desire to just feel safe! As I thought about it more and more, I’ve endured so many scenarios that have made me feel unsafe as I’m navigating this journey of singleness that it’s become very hard to maintain a level of softness. Often people ask me if I miss being married, and I do miss all the great things marriage brings but I think I really miss feeling safe.
From Men that would not take no for an answer or making me feel as if I’m not entitled to change my mind, to sharing my vulnerability without being guarded to a point that once it was over, I was left feeling emotionally robbed.
If I’m honest I feel like my prayers have changed from Lord, send me a husband… to “Lord, I don’t mind waiting and I’m committed to entertaining healthy experiences only”. Took me a long time to get here and in some ways, I’m still unpacking what’s healthy to me. (As we all know healthy doesn’t look the same for everyone)
*SN: Spend some time understanding what healthy interactions look like to you, because if you are unaware then how will you cultivate them or identify them. *
The Lost Conversation: I discovered that I was experiencing and attracting based on all the broken parts of me… what if I would have known that the lessons, I was enduring at the time directly tied to the things about myself that still needed to address? I have literally been a witness to my choices being different the more healed I have become, the more accountability I take for my own maturity gaps. And it’s ok to spin the block if lessons have been learned and healing has taken place.
So, let’s talk about some red flags and some things I learned that I was doing that was unhealthy and not exactly aiding in my journey to have or cultivate healthy or safe experiences. Most of the time the resolution starts within: (These are not in any particular order)
- Not praying about that person prior to dating them
Prayer works okay! And I have discovered that God is always speaking even when we don’t think he is. Quick Example:
You meet a guy, and you ask God who is he or What this is, and he suddenly stops calling or there is a huge shift in interest …. Immediately, you try to make sense of it … In my experience, it definitely is a No from God, just move on! From my experience, all the times I tried to be long suffering to that particular scenario has ending in should’ve, could’ve & would’ve’ s!! (I share in a later post how I pressure test this now) Don’t bypass the No! In fact, don’t internalize the rejection at all. That person just lacked the courage to communicate the season of life they were in; I’ve been on both sides, so I get it.
- Being okay with God’s leadership in the process (Actions are way louder than words)
Using the example above, you simply have to be ok with “No” and with rejection even when it’s not directly about you. Understanding that most of the time it is not about you and all of the time it’s for your good! Yes, it was for your good! If you still struggle with rejection or someone just saying they are not interested, you are not ready to date or make new friends. Trust me everyone that didn’t work it ended up being for the good of us both!
- Being long suffering to deal breakers (my own)
What are your deal breakers? I have a few that are a hard stop for me! (* wink wink, I’ll be keeping those to myself for my protection out here in these streets) For Blog’s sake I’ll share one … I will not deal with a man that lacks courage period! Courage to talk, be yourself, have hard conversations I just can’t! In the past, I have allowed little things slide that really was a result of lack of courage and it ended badly. If I see it, I myself will have to exit the stage left. Courage is necessary for the life I’m living and the road ahead for me so if it’s required of me (my man my man my man) he need to have it twice as much as I do. Being long suffering to your own deal breakers just confirm your willingness to settle and I don’t know if I can tell you how to stand ten toes on what you what want without telling you that you probably need to allow God to reveal to you what you need. That journey of self-discovery is a lot of work so listen be patient with yourself as you learn and remember mistakes will be made just not over the same things… keep going.
- Being honesty about compatibility upfront
Now this should be pretty obvious but in case its not I’ll share that I once entertained a scenario that in no way aligned with the life I was trying to live or expose my children to… and yea yea judge if you want but, in my mind, I just felt like well they never have to meet him. Well, the truth was I was delaying and place holding to a playground cause it was nothing real coming out of that situation. The real question I had to ask myself is “Cherie, do you want to be in a real relationship someday?” ok well yea … needless to say that question alone, ended that very quickly. The sad part is that was 7 mos. of my life I couldn’t get back; time is the real commodity in these streets ok! Not Money! (For me at least)
- Being honesty about the season of my life upfront
Time is a huge factor for me … There are seasons in my life where I have a downtime and seasons where I’m trying to remember what day it is! Admittedly, I’m certain I have wasted the time with a few men waiting on me when I just wasn’t in a season to even want to make it work with them at all. I regret that now cause being on the receiving end of that sucks… I make it a point to evaluate where I’m at and if I can handle where the other person is as well. Sometimes you have to make a decision for them if what they are giving even if it’s their best is enough for you and that’s ok. In fact, I would go on to say it allows both parties to remain respectful and cordial despite the fact that is didn’t work.
I once met a great guy, and he was such a healthy experience for me… but he had no children. In the beginning he thought he might be ok with not having any more (I’m unable to have any more kids) and even went as far as to say that he would rather have the love that can with me than a child. Now listen … my gut alarm went off like a siren, after much prayer I just didn’t have a peace about it. I expressed that this would be a settle for him because he definitely could still have children and it just made no sense to waste each other’s time. It was a hard give back, but the lesson was more about not settling on either side. My season is grandchildren not children, I’m wrapping that part of my life up.
So being honest saved the both of us a possible wasted long-term relationship ended in resentment for sake of feeling like this was a good thing. Good things are not always the best thing for you.
- Standing in my authentic self
I could write forever about this but simply put … You get Cherie when you get me and that me means all sides good, bad, in between. I like all those sides of me even the ones that need work, I love that side the most cause it’s been such a joy watching how God is evolving those parts of me. That also means unapologetically doing the things I love in a way that is authentic to me. I have found that this has weeded out lots of potential(s), but I’m ok with it. Men want to be themselves too so the right one will find value in the fact that I love even the parts I can’t stand cause it’s true to you.
- Being peacefully robbed (emotionally & physically) i.e. Sex
Sex too early is just detrimental for both parties if you ask me. It’s not about being grown!! I’m aware that we are all grown. It’s more about being clear! Now that church girl in me would have said “It’s wrong in the sight of God outside of a covenant” but be clear we are all doing things everyday knowing that it hurts the heart of God and grieves the Holy Spirit … & yet we do it anyway. And I am not judging just simply saying sometimes you need a reason that is something you can wrap your mind around first and then I think as you grow in that it clicks to you all the spiritual impacts that happen.
So, this idea of being peacefully robbed (coined by my cousin) Sex has a great way of gratifying your flesh to the point that you won't even consider the fact that it’s robbing you of your clarity. I don’t think I need to go into all the ways clarity plays apart in dating, but for the ones having trouble tracking. Once you lay down with a person you tend to be long-suffering behaviors that you would not have if you were clear. Clear as in not bonded to, and or in spaces of intimacy that has opened you up in ways that should be for someone that is committed to staying. Especially, if the sex is great and I would hope at this age we all are putting our best foot forward. LOL (Don’t get lost in the sauce ok)
Whew! I mean if that doesn’t help you call me & we can talk about it. LOL.
Bonus: Not completely cutting off communication (Cause I got the blocking spirit and it’s healthy)
I mean if I’m done, I’m done. The tricky part is making the decision to be done after vetting out 1-7! It’s taken a long time to get here, I know now that the back of my hand once things have been decided letting go completely is the only way.
I dated a guy once that used the term” let’s take a break” and I thought okay a break is like … putting some distance there and allowing some space to evaluate. Three weeks later he was on a beach with another woman... Talk about heartbroken! Had I said, “You can have your space, but this is it” and cut off all lines of communication I would have hurt but I wouldn’t have bled.
I can laugh about it now because really if I would have kept to my own deal breakers, we would have been separated for reasons 1-7! People … Hear me loud and clear an indecision is a decision and it’s ok… Doesn’t make anyone a bad person just means you have to come to terms with the way you could have created a safer environment for yourself.
I realize I could have written about the encounters I have had that have honestly left me speechless in some ways. I was married and off the market for so long I had no clue about what I was entering into as I attempted to be open to love again.
Dating creates such a vulnerable space in everyone. Here we are sharing things about our past and current life and in some cases opening up our home and depending on the seriousness of it allowing that other person to be privy to and have access to ourselves and families in ways that only can be done in faith, courage, and trust. Because we really like this other person, we are willing to take that risk every time for the chance of experiencing love.
The Lost Conversation: To experience safe and healthy - you must be willing to evaluate if you are providing those same experiences. And not at the POV of yourself… but from the POV that the other person can really feel and describe you as safe. Safe doesn’t come without its hard times but it does play the long game! The bigger question is are you creating safe places for yourself as well!
No Worries!! We in this together…