I was recently on a relationship panel where the topic of conversation was the ever evading question, “What do Men Really Want?”  I listened attentively to my male counterparts, hoping, praying, wishing they would say something I had not heard in the past and finally shed light on the mystery at hand. 

Unfortunately, I’m not sure any of us were able to shine true knowledge on the subject.  Albeit true that most men (and women), have personal preferences overshadowing our true needs, I believe the absolute truth is, we are afraid of seeking what we want until we ourselves are WHO we should be.  There are absolute exceptions to my statement (and in my case, he’s probably a short arrogant man with no teeth), but overall asking for peace in the home, stability, faithfulness, ambition, reverence to God, etc, are not far-fetched attributes when seeking love.  So why does it continue to be out of reach for most? Because those attributes are no brainers.  We naturally gravitate to people who “seem” to have those things in tact.  It’s what we don’t see…correction, what we don’t show, that keeps us single. 

I know someone is giving me side eye at this point, but hear me out.  I’m not at all suggesting that having someone in our lives who has goals, is career-minded, and wants to be their best selves is not where Cupid’s arrow should aim…it is absolutely who we should strive for and where we want our dots to connect.  What I’m saying is that journey starts within ourselves.  Are we really ready for that person should the weather, drinks, lighting, mood and smell-goods be aligned with the stars during the chance encounter?  Or would WE as individuals mess it up? 

Everywhere I go and with all whom I speak I am clear: always show up as the most authentic self you have available.  I say “available,” to leave room for those who are true works in progress—which ten times out of nine—covers us all.  We are not perfect people.  Stop looking for perfection.  Stop saying no to someone because they are “working” on themselves.  Stop judging folks by their actions, but asking for clearance on your “intentions.”  It’s not fair.  It’s not productive.  It’s not going to bring love to your life.

Again, I’m not, I repeat, I AM NOT saying lie all of your preferences down and be open to any old shiggidy.  Nope.  Not at all.  Preferences are fine and we all have them.  What I am suggesting is that we need to be more introspective when it comes to deciphering what is “wanted,” in relationships.  There’s no true way to answer that question as an individual until we examine whether or not we are showing up as what we want to receive.   Have you healed from your past?  Be it a relationship with a love, a family member, a friend, or even just issues within yourself.  Have you taken the time to get over your issues with trust, communication, rejection, envy, and lust?  Have you gotten your financial affairs in order?  Have you dealt with the areas of your health that may not be stellar?  Even simpler, have you dealt with your anger, or attitude towards certain issues and subjects that make you see red?  How about when you don’t get your way?  Can you receive constructive feedback?  Do you fall apart and have a “grown up” tantrum?  Or have you worked that out?  These directives are all key items we should be able to manage before we begin to demand something from someone else.  I may not be coming down your street with THAT list, but trust, there are more than those concerns I’ve offered here.

Our insecurities and triggers from past relationships are the real hold up in the staying power of love.  Find ways to rectify them in your own life and love will be standing in front of you when you least expect it.  How does one find these ways you may ask?  Not sure I know the remedy for all, but I can suggest a few points to ponder and solutions to try:

Read—I would sing the song “Read a book mf-er, read a book” but that may be slightly inappropriate and the joke would then be of no use.  What IS appropriate however…there are 7.4 Billion people on this earth.  Someone, somewhere, has faced, challenged, and tackled every issue we come across.  Find their story of perseverance and hiking up your own mountain to overcome. 

Write—Reading and writing go hand and hand, right?  There’s a space of peace and therapy in writing I've found that, when one is willing, can be quite freeing of issues that hold us back.

Seek Counseling—don’t be afraid to sit down with someone and discuss said issues.  Whether it’s a spiritual counselor (pastor), a financial counselor, health/nutrition professional (personal trainer) or psychologist, people are trained and ready to help you sort out things and get on a path to being a better person inside and out, and guess what?  Don’t listen to the nay-sayers—there’s NOTHING wrong with counseling.  It’s by far healthier than the alternative, which is staying “sick.”   

Give Up—I knew that would get your attention. Give up the crazy mindset that you are not without room to grow, room to improve, and finally, room to love.  Work on you and get rid of the old notions holding up love.  Give up the control of wanting things your way all the time.  Give up the fear of thinking you’re not worthy enough to be loved.  Give up the past that’s holding you back from yourself and others. 

This is of course, not an exhaustive list but it's a great start.  When we all have taken the time to clear our hearts, minds and bodies of the clutter we've held onto for so long, only then can we begin to create the space to show up and start naming "what we want," in others.  Never forget, this journey is absolutely nauseating at times, hurtful, and invasive. But it's also freeing, feasible and worth it.  Know that I'm on it with you.  Happy loving to us all.

Until next time,