Just Because You’re In A Relationship Doesn’t Mean You’re Relationship-Material

As some of you might not have heard me when I said it the 1st time, Ms. Tea’s “Tea Party” event was EPIC and full of intelligent, hilarious and real conversation such as a moment that helped me derive the idea for this particular post today. One moment that sticks out in my mind from that event, was when a young woman stated she doesn’t believe in “relationship rules” [such as the ones provided in Sherry Argov's book "Why Men Marry B*tches"]. Her rationale was that she believes everyone should just be themselves, as opposed to adhering to someone else’s ideology of what they ‘should’ do to maintain a healthy relationship – which of course, I COMPLETELY disagreed with.

I didn’t agree with her based on the points I made HERE, and after I asked her “do you think you’re relationship material?” to which she replied “well, I’m married” which she said with a Charlie Sheen “Duh, Winning” face. At that point, the entire room erupted in laughter as if she truly showed me out by stating she’s married – but with a deadpan face, I sat and asked the question again “do you think you’re relationship material?” I guess what she, and many other people in the room, did NOT quite understand, is that having the ability to enter into a relationship or marriage, doesn’t automatically make you relationship or marriage material.

To be relationship material means you possess the adequate mental and emotional attributes to facilitate and foster a healthy and positive relationship with another person. To have the dating status of being “In A Relationship” takes nothing more than desperation, fear of dying alone, a dowry, being a beggar and not a chooser, kids, or just plain ol’ SETTLING. The fact is ANYONE can be in a relationship – hell, ANYONE can be in a LONG-TERM relationship, but that doesn’t mean they are relationship material.

Ask yourself seriously, how many people do you know in HEALTHY and TRULY HAPPY relationships? I don’t mean CONTENT or just SOMEWHAT SATISFIED, I mean they are really doing the damn thing when it comes to being a great boyfriend/girlfriend/husband or wife and understand the ideas of giving and taking to create a harmonious match. Now obviously, not everyone is going to be happy EVERY moment of EVERY day in their relationship, but the point is to zero in on the people who you know that are GOOD in their relationship – and the people that are FROWSY as HELL matched up in a horrible piece of TRASH union.

I bet you probably know A LOT of people who have NO business attempting to BRAG about being in a serious relationship as they presently are because they don’t possess the adequate traits needed to be in a successful relationship. Why, you ask? Because too many people see being in a relationship [married or dating] as the END or GOAL, instead of seeing it for what it truly is – THE START.

Starting a relationship or getting married is just the beginning of fine tuning your abilities to be a good mate for someone, not an example of how great of a partner you ALREADY are, and you should be committed to improving yourself everyday, not patting yourself on the back because you don’t have to go hunting for men like the 48 year old dancehall queen doing the splits in a pink tutu in the video light at some frowsy banquet hall to impress the young dudes there. Or being so content you’re not the old man in the club trying to rake in under-aged nani with your skin-tight, sack-hugging leather pants and Rick James Jheri cul shag, that you feel you don’t have to TRY to be a better man.

The fact is YES, you can be in a relationship and NOT be relationship material. BUT, you can counteract that by doing one simple thing: Treating everyday with your significant other as a new opportunity to be BETTER than you were yesterday.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

40 Comments

  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    05/16/2011 at 1:38 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Do You Agree That Being In A Relationship Doesn't Automatically Make You Relationship Material?

    Or Are There Different Scales Of Relationship Material That Subsequently Create Different Requirements To BE Relationship Material [Which We Can't Judge Off ONE Set Of Characteristics]?

    • ChloeRayne516

      05/16/2011 at 12:35 PM

      " Do You Agree That Being In A Relationship Doesn't Automatically Make You Relationship Material?"

      I agree!! Some people get into relationships for different reasons NOT necessarily because they are emotionally, mentally, physically ready to share their life with another human being…. (i.e., fear of being lonely, getting to old to be in da club, wanting kids and/or babymaking clock is ticking, want baby to have a mommy/daddy under one roof, etc.) these are examples that sometimes bring about relationships although it doesn't make you relationship material — which in the end often happens, then the couple can't sustain it because they got together for all the wrong reasons in the 1st place and then relationship eventually crumples.

      • ChloeRayne516

        05/16/2011 at 12:35 PM

        Or Are There Different Scales Of Relationship Material That Subsequently Create Different Requirements To BE Relationship Material [Which We Can't Judge Off ONE Set Of Characteristics]?

        YES. Everyone is looking for the basics (love, honor, respect, companionship, stability, etc.) but when it comes to other attributes which would put someone in the running for BF/GF/WIFE/HUBBY it all boils down to what that person who is in the market for a GF/BF is looking for in a mate which can range from physique, height, weight, age, hair texture, skin color, ethnic background, FICO score, salary range, etc. So yes there are different scales to which people use based on their requirements who they consider relationship material.

        • The Black Canuck

          05/16/2011 at 2:20 PM

          I disagree I don't think there are different scales of relationship material because I think everyone wants to be treated the same regardless of what that person looks like or acts like. I think we all want to be loved, respected and secure with our partner no matter what else we like/dislike about their character traits.

          • Vicky

            05/16/2011 at 4:12 PM

            True, everyone wants to be treated with respect, be secure, etc. However, more people won't give someone a chance because of the traits/qualities/list as mentioned.

            I think we have fallen to a new level of shallowness!

          • Crystal Promo-Fernandez

            05/16/2011 at 4:36 PM

            Really? I think people are just more aware of their options than ever before..

            Back in the days you were content marrying your high school sweetheart in your small town, but nowadays the world has become a much smaller place thanks to the internet and media, and people are realizing they don't have to settle..

          • Vicky

            05/16/2011 at 4:45 PM

            I do not agree to settle. But some people's expectations of a partner are ridiculous! Example, salary range as one. You meet the man of your dreams and his salary is not up to par to your standards, would you attempt a relationship with him or is that considered settling?

            I just think the world now days puts too much emphasis on money, tangible items and things that really are not important in the great scheme of things

          • Crystal Promo-Fernandez

            05/16/2011 at 5:33 PM

            I don't think we have to even talk in terms of money, I think people are just seeing that they can date and see if there is someone else out there that they truly want and mesh with…the divorce rate is only up because the unhappy marriage rate is down

  2. @MOTRenaissance

    05/16/2011 at 10:33 AM

    This should be obvious to most people… But it is not…

    This is the reason why I am not in rush to be in a relationship (It has to be epic…)

    And as a parallel, I am not quick to have any type of sex, because I am not in a rush to become a father

  3. Jason Howe

    05/16/2011 at 11:51 AM

    Total agreement regarding “being yourself”, if I was 100% myself I would not have gotten out of date one before women figured things out and ran away… I was MARRIED and I can honestly say I was not marriage/relationship material at that time in my life. I was selfish, immature, independent, and refused to compromise regarding who I was. And if I was forced to compromise I made sure she felt my unhappiness (sorry girl) … The ring was on her finger, but I was not marriage/relationship material. Oddly enough I am the go to guy when it comes to relationship advice, apparently its pretty good; I just never use to take heed of it myself.

    Regarding different requirements/levels, I guess it would depend on the long term goals of the relationship and if they are clearly defined by both parties. Two people about to get married and have children might have a different “level” then two folks who know they are together during their time in university before they both move back to their hometown/country.

  4. Drgray91

    05/16/2011 at 12:04 PM

    I don't think it automatically makes you relationship material BUT it's the equivalent to winning the qualifiers, before going to nationals.

    You obviously have the potential, the raw materials, so to say…

    *rereads post and thinks*

    Actually… I'd like to argue that it does. Now the previous post you referenced about relationships taking years of "working on us" I agree with many of the points made, HOWEVER I do think being in a relationship, does make you relationship material. Lest we forget the road to the relationship? The fact that the relationship is not a particularly good or happy one (something we can only judge with a wide tooth pick, because we will NEVER know the whole story) in my mind doesn't necessarily mean one party or both wasn't made from the right material, to many variables.The road to the relationship is just as hard as making the relationship work. In fact, it may be harder. (READ ON) Now before you pull your clown shoes out, think about it. The road to the relationship requires a level of honesty and real-ness with yourself that many don't have, it requires DISCERNMENT. Dating, courting, and all of that leave people with rose colored glasses and nostalgia about what MAY happen, rarely do I see someone who can discern whether or not it's all smoke and mirrors and adjust accordingly BUT many people don't have that factor going for them so now they are doing double the work, compromising on things near and dear to them (settling), they are remaining calm and collected at things that would have normally sent them into a fit of rage. If these aren't the indications of "relationship material" then maybe I'm wrong. But if they put in all that work to get to that sham of a relationship their in, they are mos def relationship material, all right. They just chose to squander their resources.

    • The Black Canuck

      05/16/2011 at 2:10 PM

      "The road to the relationship is just as hard as making the relationship work. In fact, it may be harder. "

      DEAD WRONG!

      You are making the assumption that people enter into relationships for purely altruistic reasons…Anna Nicole was "in a relationship" with that 80- year old man at some point…She's relationship material?

      • Drgray91

        05/16/2011 at 6:55 PM

        I actually do not recall me making that assumption.

        Yes. She obviously is relationship material. You think she woke up and snapped her fingers and said you, you're mad rich I'm hot lets go. #wakeup

        She put in work. Not the type of work you might respect and identify with, but work none the less.

        I will dismiss that pathetic example and attempt to discern what you may have been trying to say, even so. You're losing ground, and fast.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      05/17/2011 at 1:58 AM

      You're Reaching Hard On This One…

  5. The Black Canuck

    05/16/2011 at 2:20 PM

    Jokes!!

  6. MistaHarsh

    05/16/2011 at 3:04 PM

    Apparently 60% of marriages end in divorce so I guess a lot of people are not relationship material. Maybe good enough to reel them in but as you said you must always strive to be a better mate than you were yesterday you can't rest on your laurels.

    So what you bought her 6 dozen flowers in 08 what have you done in 2011?

    • grandgryph

      05/16/2011 at 4:19 PM

      that stat is misleading. you have some people getting married and divorced three of four times. so it is a bit of a case of a certain group of people shaping the "reality" of everyone else.

      i question the idea that you always have to be doing some things special to "show you care." that'll get a person on some "dance puppet dance" real quick. a person that needs to be continually impressed, or holds another responsible for bring "novelty" to a relationship isn't "relationship material". novelty is a healthy, solid relationship.

      • Crystal Promo-Fernandez

        05/16/2011 at 4:37 PM

        Um, just listening is showing you care and has nothing to do with "dance puppet dance"

        • grandgryph

          05/16/2011 at 4:54 PM

          always having to do something to impress the other person is a red flag. it is just trojan, horse high-maintenance behaviour. i should just be glad every day for the blessing of having a good, caring person in my life – not measuring that every day against what i used to be "getting" or maybe could be "getting" elsewhere. and, a person who holds another accountable for his or her own dissatisfaction is likely the larger part of the problem. how much do they really care?

          • Crystal Promo-Fernandez

            05/16/2011 at 5:35 PM

            Do you consider listening to your significant other as having to do something to impress them?

          • grandgryph

            05/16/2011 at 5:51 PM

            not at all. you aren't in a relationship if both sides aren't listening. a person who thinks listening to another person is a perk isn't “relationship material”.

          • MistaHarsh

            05/16/2011 at 11:24 PM

            There's always an exception to the rule whether people get married and divorced 3 times the fact is they thought they could make it work. Therefore still lacking the required relationship material.

            My comment about flowers wasn't specific enough to get my point across. What I was trying to convey was courting shouldn't stop once you get married. It should always continue you should always make the person feel like the marriage isn't the end all be all but that it will evolve and everyday you will learn something new about your partner or simply learn something new together.

  7. Vicky

    05/16/2011 at 3:18 PM

    I agree and co-sign with the first statement. Too many people have been tainted with materialistic, selfish and conceded qualities that they cannot get past them selves to fully love someone else. Relationship is work and a lot of compromise!

    • @craziijnell

      05/16/2011 at 3:27 PM

      Word. That's all I can say for now.

    • The Black Canuck

      05/16/2011 at 3:42 PM

      Do you think this is a new phenomenon? Also, what can be done to change this?

      • Vicky

        05/16/2011 at 4:04 PM

        It's not new, however it's more common than before.

        What can be done to change it? Well, that really depends on people and their priorities. Everyone wants to be rich, drive nice cars, and have a big home, plus all the finer things. It seems people now days they cannot live a "simple life" and actually be happy! With that being said, I believe that many marriages fail because of debt/money. Too many people are way over there heads in debt. It puts a lot of pressure on both parties, which then causes a lot of arguments, further people splitting/divorcing. Money isn't everything in this world, neither is driving a BMW 760iL with a 5000 square foot home.

        It's like the world has forgotten how to be humble, courteous and caring.

        • grandgryph

          05/16/2011 at 4:22 PM

          truth.
          but is it really "taint" as those materialistic priorities have been championed as wisdom, for many years. i'd say it is more of a case of our chickens coming home to roost.

          • Vicky

            05/16/2011 at 5:05 PM

            I see your point. What makes it tainted is the misconception that material things brings happiness – they are just items. I cannot comprehend how is it associated with wisdom.

          • grandgryph

            05/16/2011 at 5:13 PM

            i agree. it thought is was mass lunacy. but it was – and still is – the thing. i guess it shows that one had real smarts and was a winner. given how competitive we are socio-economically, those taints are trophies, and how can winning be "unwise"? all the time forgetting what we have lost or were sacrificing for that. now we know, i think. but most still really don't care enough to organise their lives around what is now considered an "alternative".

  8. Crystal Promo-Fernandez

    05/16/2011 at 4:34 PM

    you can be in a relationship and NOT be relationship material. BUT, you can counteract that by doing one simple thing: Treating everyday with your significant other as a new opportunity to be BETTER than you were yesterday.

    I hope everyone really takes this line in!

    • grandgryph

      05/16/2011 at 5:02 PM

      how does one measure "better" though? and if one isn't a blood sucking taker, doesn't "better" happen naturally? we have to remind ourselves of some very strange things when dealing with others it seems. and the way things are going, the article on "24 ways not to stab your partner while they sleep and riffle through his/her pockets" can be only weeks away.

      • Vicky

        05/16/2011 at 5:10 PM

        I think the point is that if you are in a relationship, one will try to better themselves as a human being even if they are considered "undateable" or not relationship worthy.

        Self improvement is most important, but one should not bring another person down to carry themselves high.

      • Crystal Promo-Fernandez

        05/16/2011 at 5:36 PM

        and if one isn't a blood sucking taker, doesn't "better" happen naturally?

        Um, NO, NO it doesn't.

        • grandgryph

          05/16/2011 at 5:48 PM

          that was a rhetorical question. of course it does, one would see that being dead weight – or a selective, strategic giver – if the other is in fact "giving" freely and naturally. but again, relationship isn't as much give and take as it is give-give-grow. ignoring the latter model in favour of the former is at the root of most relationships – romantic or otherwise – today.

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        05/17/2011 at 2:02 AM

        Better Can Be Accurately Quantified By Effort X Perspective..

        Life Is A Journey, And When One Person Willfully Decides To Stagnate Against Their Significant Others [Honest] Wishes, They Start To Cripple The Chances That relationship Has..

        And That Happens WAY Too Often

  9. grandgryph

    05/16/2011 at 5:21 PM

    i understand, but it is amazing that we have to remind ourselves of such things so regularly. what it seems like is that we are teaching ourselves the "new language of appropriate" without really taking on its principles. some people pressed with being better, grow resentful and create the illusion of better and work out their frustrations by taking his/her partner down a few notches. to them that's easier, more rewarding work. i think encouraging folk not to be eager takers and selective givers while, adopting more appreciation for "good" is better than "always strive for better". striving is potent, but has many, many side effects.

  10. ChloeRayne516

    05/16/2011 at 6:02 PM

    "and pulling out."

    You joking right??.. Do u know many chicks are walking around preggo due to the "Pull out"??

    #NoBueno

    • MistaHarsh

      05/16/2011 at 9:53 PM

      no darling. Doing both at the same time! wear a condom and still pull out.

      • grandgryph

        05/16/2011 at 10:47 PM

        wisdom.

  11. lincolnanthonyblades

    05/17/2011 at 1:57 AM

    Hysterical!

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