Sunday, December 13, 2009


When we say that we are committed to someone, what does that mean? For most of us, we believe that once we enter into a commitment, a promise is made that requires follow-through on an agreement between two people. Once we establish this agreement, we feel that we can plan our future based upon this certainty. We take the “sweet whisperings” of love and all of its hopeful promises and attach it to some future that has yet to happen. But, the expectation that someone else’s emotions, beliefs or behaviors will remain unchanged is unrealistic at best.

The way that we have come to interpret commitment is that when an expression of love is made by a partner yesterday, along with the promises of forever based upon his/her feelings in that moment, it must always and forever be that way. In a commitment, we sometimes don’t recognize how we put people in a box and hold them forever accountable for a thought or a feeling that they shared yesterday. When a person chooses to no longer engage or honor those promises, we often create our own unhappiness by labeling the person as selfish, cruel, and deceptive.

When we do this, we don’t realize how we are being unfair to them and holding ourselves hostage. We cannot grow because we are choosing to be stuck in the past. We kick and scream and fight the process because we are trying to jam our present reality into yesterday’s picture frame. It’s like putting on clothes that don’t fit anymore. Yeah, we may have liked them. They may have been flattering at one time, but when we attempt to squeeze ourselves into clothes that no longer fit, it ain’t gonna be pretty! We are going be uncomfortable, and people around us are going to be uncomfortable watching us. Yes, the clothes used to fit, but they don’t anymore. What are we going to do with that? Fuss about the fact that they don’t fit, or buy some new clothes? We have choices…

What would it look like if we defined commitment as a promise to our partners and ourselves to live in the present? What if commitment was about growth and not a promise to stay the same? What if we chose to live without the pressure of dragging our pasts into our futures? What if we could simply be a witness to our partner’s personal growth and evolution and allow them to be a witness to ours? If our only promise to our partners is to make a commitment to growth, we would see ALL of our relationships as opportunities to love without fear.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Over the years, we have often observed that men make choices in their mates based upon an image of what “wifey” should be or look like. This standard is usually based on a need to impress others or to maintain their self-image. While we understand that everyone has their preferences on who they are attracted to, we can also see how these preferences can be a way of protecting a man from confronting his own insecurities.

We have all heard the stereotype of what men look for in a partner; a woman who is agreeable, doesn’t ask too many questions, doesn’t talk too much, maintains a certain physical “image”, and always, without question, has her man's back. On the surface, these may be perceived as positive traits but judging a woman solely on her ability to conform to this image does not allow a man to truly be all of who he is. When a man makes it clear to a woman that she is too much of one thing or not enough of the other, she may contort herself to fit the mold of what she thinks that man may want. But, what are the unintended consequences of creating this standard?

We believe that only seeking out these preferred traits in a woman could result in a man creating self-imposed limitations that ultimately stagnate his personal growth and stifle his ability to move beyond his comfort zones. Using the perception of lack and the belief in a shortage of “quality men” to instill fear and manipulate women into conforming to a certain standard not only causes injury to the collective self-esteem of women, but it also prevents a man from fully developing into his own manhood. When this happens, a man becomes a child to be catered to instead of a strong man that protects and supports his woman.

When a man deliberately seeks for a woman to be less than who she is, he does not allow himself to be more of who he is. By adopting these stereotypes, he is not making smart choices, as he would assume. What he is really doing is keeping himself safe from feeling vulnerable and therefore becomes a slave to his own insecurities. When a man requires that a woman be a Barbie doll character, he settles for a lie. As this deception plays itself out, he becomes more and more dissatisfied with the women that he attracts, and in turn blames the women for being fake. But, fake is as fake does. When we deny others to be fully expressed in a relationship, we deny ourselves the freedom of being accepted for who we really are.