Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. In this week’s edition, in honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, we talk about love. Throughout my life, I have experienced love and loss. Whether we formally dated or we didn’t, I always hope to grow from the experiences I had from those relationships/situationships. When the time is right, I will date again. Right now, I am working on being a better me until that moment happens. Here are ten major life lessons I learned from the dating world…
1. Communication means nothing without a willingness to change. You can talk until you’re blue in the face but what does that mean if there is no desire to change.
2. Compromise isn’t always a good thing. It’s great for areas where you have the flexibility and terrible for other areas like your value system. Don’t compromise on things that you feel would strip you of your values.
3. Pay attention to the red flags. This is probably the most important( I should have made this number one on the list). A lot of times, our relationship is so new and exciting that we overlook many unhealthy things that are right in our face. After the newness of our relationship fades, we start to see things that we don’t care for. But surprise, a lot of those things were there the entire time. Don’t be excited about love that you throw logic out of the window.
4. You’re not a social worker or a therapist. Your job is not to fix anybody . Your job is to love them while they fix themselves. A lot of times, your attraction can come from feeling sorry for someone’s situation. If you spend your time trying to fix someone, I guarantee your road will be very painful. Remember that no one can change unless they have a desire to change. (see number one)
5. For most people, the family dynamic plays a big role in who you are dealing with. If you can, really get to know the family. Although a person has other places where experiences are created, it is their home life where many of their values are learned. However, don’t be too quick to judge or dismiss someone just because of their family because people are there own individuals and are still ultimately responsible for their choices.
6. It’s okay to have a life of your own. Don’t feel bad about it. You should still have your own friends and still spend time with your family. Please continue to make time for your hobbies. Many times our relationship can consume us and we forget we had other people who also love us.
7. Never stop doing the little things. The newness does fade but don’t let the spark die. Some plants need water more than others but it still needs water at the end of the day.
8. Your significant other is still a person. As funny as it sounds to say that, it’s true. Sometimes we get so comfortable we forget to say please and thank you. We get mad and raise our voice. We talk to them any kind of way forgetting they have feelings.
9. When you both are not on the same page, there are no winners, only losers. The quest to being right all the time usually only leads to heartbreak.
10. Strong relationships are based on the concept of forgiveness. More times than not, situations that happen are accidents compared to something done out of maliciousness. Regardless of why it happened, relationships prosper when you can be adult enough to apologize and try to make it right.
Moral of the story: It’s never truly a loss if you learned from it. I am thankful for all the women who have changed my perspective. I truly believe that everyone you meet is meant to teach you something. Whether they stay in your life forever or not is a different story but the lessons will remain with me for a lifetime.
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
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Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.