First of all, let me say congrats to the Giants on winning the Super Bowl yesterday. Just goes to show, there's a reason why the game has to actually be played. Winning is NEVER a gimme!!
OK, so yesterday morning before I watched the Super Bowl, I went to church as I always do whenever I'm in town. I go to First AME of Los Angeles and the Senior Pastor is Rev. John Hunter, a Morehouse man. He is a great orator and I love to listen to him and learn. The topic of his sermon was "Talent is not Enough" - how appropriate right? He even made references to track and field and I was sitting there thinking, is he talking to me? Can he read my mind? Anyway, at some point in the sermon he started talking about relationships and he listed 5 things that he thought were essential to a great, healthy and lasting relationship. I wrote them down and here they are. Seems like he was on to something....
1) RESPECT - He said that no matter what, there has to be a mutual respect for one another. Even if there is a difference in opinion or understanding, you have to be able to respect the other person's point of view and accept and acknowledge it as valid. It is not OK to just disregard how they feel just because it doesn't coincide with your feelings. There should also be a respect for their talent, their job, their likes, dislikes, their flaws - basically in all things - you don't have to like or agree with them, but you have to have respect.
2) SHARED EXPERIENCE - He said that the chances of a relationship being more lasting highly correlates to whether or not you have shared experiences. Do you have common interests? Do you like to do things together? Do you have some friends in common? Do you have similar values and beliefs? Do you often like to talk about the same things? Do you laugh about the same things?
3) TRUST - Of course, this one was high on his list of most important criteria . Is there trust in your relationship? Do you KNOW without a doubt that regardless of the situation, your partner can be relied upon to act in a way that shows they are of the utmost in character? Does their behavior make you feel safe? Do they have your back? Would you bet the house that you can you count on them to be there for you in all circumstances? Do you believe that they speak the truth to you, no matter if it hurts?
4) FIDELITY - Can your partner be relied upon to be faithful to you? How do they behave when you're not around? Are they inapppriately flirtatious with others? According to Pastor John, this too is unacceptable. If you would not be willing to behave in the same way in front of your partner, then the behavior is deemed inappropriate. Does their history tell a good story in this regard?
5) MUTUAL APPRECIATION - Do you really appreciate that other person? You might love them but do you like them? Do you like being around them? Do they put a smile on your face? Do your eyes light up when they walk into the room? Do you care about them? Do you have fun together? Do they make you feel good? Can you just sit in a room with them for hours and do nothing but just be? Do you like talking to them? Pastor John said that when beauty begins to fade and that overt lust and passion dims a little, you have to enjoy having conversation - meaningful conversation that covers a wide range of topics, that surpasses the superficial.
So these were the 5 areas that he listed as important when it comes to choosing a partner - at least one that you foresee any kind of future with. If it's just a fly-by-night kinda relationship, then I guess it doesn't really matter. It's not easy to find everything that you want in one person but if you are looking for someone to have something of substance with, a relationship that could possibly stand the test of time, and you are looking for the right qualities in that person, then I would have to agree with Pastor John and say that these 5 criteria are as good a place to start as any.
I gave my best...
4 years ago