What’s the point of being with someone, if they can’t teach you anything? Most people like to look for a partner who thinks just like them. They want someone who will complement their life. That’s cool. But I’ve found that if someone doesn’t bring something to the table in a way that challenges how I think and act, or teaches me a thing or two about myself, the relationship becomes stagnant and boring. Ideally, you should grow together.
One of the questions I always ask, when I am deciding whether to stay in a relationship or not, is…what has my time with this person taught me? Can she continue to contribute to my life and my goals?
Why do you think we call it…significant other?
That’s why it’s also important to ask your partner the same questions to understand if you can do the same for them.
I’m saying all of this with the assumption that you actually want someone who will add value to your life. Hopefully, your partner knows you better than anyone else, or at least as well as your closest friends and family, and can support you in ways that even your best friend may not be able to. Here are some of those ways:
Help you overcome your weaknesses
I have a friend whose boyfriend had to cut up her credit card, because every time she was stressed out – which was pretty often – she would go shopping and buy shoes. Well her retail therapy was also creating more stress at the end of the month, when the bill came.
She obviously had a problem with managing her finances, or finding another way to deal with her stress. So, like a nice boyfriend, he identified her weakness, and found a very effective way of helping to curb her retail enthusiasm.
If your boyfriend or girlfriend won’t help you to identify and figure out ways to fix weaknesses, or issues that affect you, why are they around? Like I said, “any significant relationship needs to add value to your life, other than having someone to tell you I love you, and who will always go to the cinema with you.” One of my friends said that’s an asshole statement. But most blunt, true statements sound like asshole statements. So I’m standing behind it.
I’m not saying that your significant other needs to be a life coach or anything, but he/she should be able to know when you need extra support. Some of us can’t handle it, when our partner is brutally honest and calls us out on our shit. But what would you rather…someone who calls you out – for the better, or someone who’s completely satisfied to see you remain stagnant – for the worse?
Help you move from a Civic to a Benz
Even if you don’t really care about moving on up to get more material things in life, it helps to have someone who will unwittingly get you there. Some of us could be greater than our current state. Some of us are content to rot at our work desk every week, look forward to Fridays and weekends, and repeat this routine.
But, sometimes, we meet someone who isn’t just the best we ever had in a sexual or looks way. Sometimes…that person unlocks the potential we didn’t even see in ourselves, and encourages us to make something of our talents and dreams.
The rapper, Ice T, said that when he married his wife, CoCo, his income tripled. So he really doesn’t care about what people say about her. Ice seems to really be into his wife, financial benefits aside, so he seems to have the best of both worlds. Personally, I wouldn’t mind being with someone who is a great companion, is ambitious about her own goals, and still makes time to say, “Aye Anthony…handle yuh business.”
While you and I might want that, some people will resist a push all the way, and will refuse our help. If you’re the ambitious kind, and you’re with someone who’s satisfied with being stagnant, you might want to consider how this will affect how far your relationship can go.
Spurt your spiritual growth
Spirituality is one of those things that we don’t often discuss with friends or family. And my name is not Saint Anthony (though it has a nice ring), so I won’t pretend to be the most spiritual person, or try to preach to you. But hear me out.
Even if we aren’t all religiously inclined, sharing our spiritual choices and lessons with our partner helps us to affirm or change how we think or act. It might even be the very thing that helps us to feel more empowered and centred.
Now fellas, you might have to be careful about how you approach this, because you might unlock some kind of Mother Theresa gene in your woman, and that might not go so well when you feel for some sexy time. Just saying.
But let me veer away from any blunt and true (aka asshole) statements. Adding value to someone’s life also means that it is very possible for two people to be on completely separate, spiritual journeys, and grow, together, by learning from each other, and helping each other to define internal beliefs more clearly.
Teach you how to express yourself
Most times, two people have different levels of emotional maturity. But if every time you have an argument with your woman, she threatens to take the kids and go by her sister, or you stop answering her calls for a week, the relationship becomes a roller coaster of madness. One partner acts and the other reacts to things without discussing and resolving feelings.
This often happens if both parties are emotionally immature. Sometimes they aren’t that immature, and act maturely most times. However, if they have problems communicating their emotions to each other, that’s where the bacchanal begins.
Ideally, it would work better if one of the two people is more emotionally mature. Ideally, that would allow us to grow and work through our emotions better. This doesn’t always happen though. So you have to decide if the two of you are emotionally compatible enough to inject some common sense into your communication routine, and find a way to learn to communicate.
Some potentially great relationships have been defeated by poor communication, because people just don’t want to learn how to get along. Being with someone who’s willing to work things out can help both of you to better express your emotions. Even if you don’t stay together, it would definitely help you out in your next relationship
Now ladies…adding value doesn’t mean trying to act like his mommy, and telling him what to do.
It’s refreshing to be with someone who causes you to look at life differently, and who does more than just stick to the routine things people do in relationships. If you’re still single, you might want to consider this, when next you’re getting into a serious relationship. If you’re in a relationship, and you’re feeling restless, maybe it’s because the person isn’t adding value, and providing the moral support that fulfils you. What should you do about that? I’ll leave that for you to figure out.
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