The Single Life: Seven Dating Resolutions That Lead to Marriage

BY: - 1 Jan '13 | Home

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Photo Credit: Heather Hopson

Photo Credit: Gary Antoine

Recently, I made a resolution to break up with someone. Well, we weren’t technically together. He said we were dating, but our relationship didn’t exactly fit the definition. He was friendly, funny and fine, but beyond that, I didn’t think we had much in common.  And for the first time, I lowered my expectations to avoid loneliness during the holidays. My friends encouraged me to “keep it casual” and “have fun”. After all, this was one of the first people I went out with after breaking up with my daughter’s dad. I followed their advice for the first few weeks, but as time ticked on, I started to set expectations and seek substance. It’s hard to “keep it casual” when humans and feelings are involved. I didn’t see this man as “marriage material,” but I still expected him to act like a future husband or perhaps just a boyfriend.

I know relationships develop overtime. Nonetheless, I wanted him to be something, someone he wasn’t. I wanted more than what he could give. And that wasn’t fair for either of us. So I told him I didn’t think we should pursue anything further. He said he was sorry I felt that way and wished me good luck–but not in a do well way, rather a good luck searching for someone in the club way. There are a lot more details to the story, but I won’t reveal too much information, because like I said, he is a cool person. He’s just not the person for me. In a reflective New Year’s Eve mood, I came up with dating resolutions to lead to marriage. I didn’t write a long list of what I was doing wrong as that could lead to depression,,, not empowerment. Instead, I focused on what I was doing right. We often look for a potential mate to possess a long list of qualities when we should first look within to make sure we’re marriage material.

 1. Become Spiritually Strong

Most of my friends and family members who have strong marriages also have strong spiritual foundations. God is at the center of their union, which anchors their marriage when a storm hits. Having a close relationship with God allows me to have close relationships with others. When I pray or study scriptures, I am more patient, more loving and more kind. Until I meet my mate, I can strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman. I can turn to the Bible instead of society to determine what marriage means and trust God to deliver a mate.

 2. Heal From Past Heartbreaks

After my daughter’s dad dumped me, I didn’t date anyone for a year and a half. I needed that time to heal from heartache, learn from mistakes and move on mentally. I refuse to take baggage packed with anger or envy into a new relationship. Also, I analyzed my other relationships. What went wrong? What went right? What did I learn from my experiences? What qualities do I want in a significant other? What won’t I tolerate? Although people don’t usually change, they can improve. Yes, some things are personality traits, habits you’ve developed over the years. But if you examine yourself, there may be negative behaviors you can work on.

 3. Love Me First

In order to love someone else, I love myself first. Sounds selfish but in reality, it’s the best wedding gift I can give my husband. He won’t be required to fill a void, because I don’t need to be half of a couple to be a complete person. Although I feel insecure at times, those times don’t last long. I am comfortable in my skin. Loving myself means I am less likely to be jealous, desperate or needy in a relationship. Often, I hear single women say, I can do bad by myself. I would like to change that and say, I can do good by myself.

 4. Be a Blushing Bridesmaid

More than 80% of my close friends are married. I’ve been a guest, a hostess or a bridesmaid at more than a dozen weddings over the past decade. I never envied the brides. I was always happy to be a part of their marital bliss. I spent hours helping to plan some of these events and the pre-party festivities, but they put in even more work after they jumped the broom. They’ve taught me what it takes to be a good wife and to build a happy home. And their husbands give great dating advice from a male’s perspective. I’ve also observed the marriages within my family as well. My parents recently celebrated their 45th anniversary, and before my grandparents passed away, they lived longer as husband and wife than they did as individuals. They married at 16 and lived well into their 80s. They are marriage mentors.

 5. Realize Not Everyone I Meet is My Husband

I try not to look at every man I meet as my future spouse. That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone and myself. I can like someone or even love someone, but that someone may not be my husband. I can’t force something to happen or rush into a relationship. In my thirties, I date differently. I don’t compromise my non-negotiables, my authentic self or my values. I developed views on children, religion, money, sex, commitment and divorce and seek someone with a similar marriage mindset.

 6. Determine Why I Want to Get Married

When the movie Why Did I Get Married? hit the silver screen, I was one of the first people in line to buy a ticket. At the time, marriage wasn’t on my mind. My ex was. I went to the prom with actor Lamman Rucker who played Troy, and when he appeared in the movie shirtless, I giggled at the women swooning in the audience. Lamman and I took public transportation to our first date and were more friends than lovers. Still, everyone asked why we weren’t together as if I would marry him just because he made it to Hollywood–leaving his bus pass behind I’m sure. The movie made me examine issues such as commitment, betrayal and forgiveness. And for the first time in my life, I began to determine why I wanted to get married. I want stability and security, for better or for worse. I want to be selfless and supportive. I want my strengths and weaknesses to balance someone else’s and vice versa. I want to love someone like 1 Corinthians 13 and get that love in return from my mate.

 7. Be Marriage Material

This is the toughest point of all. I had to honestly evaluate my life to find out if I was really marriage material. I must be kind, giving, compassionate, trustworthy, nurturing, respectful, discerning, discreet and God-fearing. Although I am independent, I don’t have a problem adopting traditional gender roles. I don’t mind cooking, cleaning and caring for the kids. I must admit that I don’t do this for every man I meet. But I can’t expect a man to do everything for me when I do nothing in return. Before I’m married or even engaged, I work to be financially and emotionally stable.

Hey BMWK family, what would you add to the list? What should someone do to become marriage material?

About the author

Heather Hopson wrote 60 articles on this blog.

Not long ago, Heather Hopson was an award-winning television host in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's writing a different kind of story as a new mom. She gives readers the key to her diary and shares personal stories about single parenting, dating, transitioning to motherhood and her obsession with being what her family calls an "activity mom." The site features celebrity interviews, parent spotlights and confessional videos. Follow her journey through motherhood on Twitter @dearmomdiary.


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  4. Dee Dee

    I could totally relate to this article, word for word. There is something to be said when a woman finally looks at herself and realize I need to be healthy from within and without to attract my hearts desire…Great article, a must share 🙂

    1. Heather H

      Thank you! I think at times–I’ve even been guilty of this–we as women look at what a man must bring to the table and don’t want to give as much in return, until we get a ring on our finger. We definitely should be whole individuals to merge as a couple.

  5. Jeremiah

    Wow, this article blew me away, as a former married man, I emailed this article to my ex wife and told her that your article along with this website has some powerful tools to help singles as well as married couples. I appreciate that this website showcases the triumphs and challenges of marriage, but I must say you all do a great job of making black love love incredibly beautiful. This article makes me think of some things I would be more reflective of in the future should I ever decide to find a wife again. Great Job!!!!

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Want To Change Your Spouse? Change Yourself

BY: - 2 Jan '13 | Home

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Looking back over 2012, my marriage has gone through a lot of rocky moments. Through adversity, I’ve persevered to the best of my capabilities, and often cried out to God to help me. I’ve read books, I watched documentaries, I talked to friends and family, as well as a few professionals. Marriage is certainly work, because you’re bringing two totally different people together to work towards a common goal. But what happens when that other person isn’t holding up their end of the bargain?

I’ve seen from many comments and stories I’ve read that there are many couples who desperately want their marriage to change for the better, and the majority of them place the blame (whether intentionally or not) on their spouse. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, read, and said, “if only he/she would change”! The most frustrating part about a marriage is that you can’t control the other person.

A consistent piece of advice I’ve received from the different mediums I’ve turned to for help is that if you want to change your spouse, you have to change yourself. The first time I read it, I said “you’ve got to be kidding me”. When I read it the second time, I exhaled “not again”. When I heard it from someone, I silently thought, “maybe I should consider this after all”. It seemed pretty backwards initially. In my mind, and in the minds of the others who complain about their spouse, I/we aren’t the problem. It’s my husband. It’s her husband. It’s his wife. Why do we have to change?

We’re flawed too: One reason we have to change is because we’re not perfect. We aren’t completely innocent as far as things going on in our marriage. It truly takes two. My husband may seem lazy to me, but maybe I’m judgmental. Your wife may be telling all her friends and family your business, but maybe that’s because you’re not communicating with her, so she’s seeking the help of others. Your husband might not help out enough around the house, but maybe you’ve been nagging and not asking. We can just as easily be at fault.

We can’t make them change: How frustrating that we can’t make our spouse do what we want them to do. No matter how much we beg, plead, ask, suggest, encourage, yell, scream, and cry, somehow they continue to do (or not do) the ridiculous things that we see to be the problem. But why waste our time or our breath if it hasn’t gotten us anywhere yet? We could be using that energy on ourselves. We’re in control of our lives and our actions, so at least something can change.

We can subtly encourage change: Our spouse’s aren’t dumb. Most of the time, they’re just used to a routine. However, once you start changing things up, they’ll start to notice. Yes ladies,  it may take him a while to see you changed your hair. Sure fellas, your wife may not acknowledge the 3 nights you put the dishes away. However, consistent change and a new routine will certainly get their attention. You can change the way you talk to your spouse, the way you react to them when they talk. You can change the way you love them (find out their love language and make it a mission to show them love how they receive it). Change is contagious.

So the next time you want to complain about your spouse and all the things he or she could do to make your marriage better, think about taking the initiative yourself and changing some things on your end. You may be surprised how it affects your husband or wife.

BMWK, have you expected your spouse to change in certain areas? What has been the result?

About the author

Briana Ford wrote 143 articles on this blog.

Briana is a writer, influencer, and Shero who's California bred and Texas fed. When she's not explaining the world of blogging and social media to entrepreneurs and small business owners, you can find her sharing memes, gifs, and her life lessons on her blog.


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