3 Things that Could Hijack Your Relationship in 2018

BY: - 15 Dec '17 | Relationships

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For many of us, 2017 had its ups and downs. We may be up personally but down politically; up spiritually but down financially. Regardless of our trajectory on any given issue, the one thing that was always on the level was our relationship with our Boo. The love was real. The fun was real. The relationship was untouchable.

But as 2018 rolls around and we search for ways to elevate the things that had our spirits down, it can be easy to neglect the things that held us up. So, before your relationship falls victim to a sneaky issue or gets hijacked by a major one, here are some areas to watch out for in 2018 and the effective ways to combat them.

Politically Speaking

Whether you live in a red or blue state or are rooting for the elephants or the donkeys, your relationship could be headed for trouble if you and your significant other stand on opposite corners of the political ring. The thing that makes these kinds of conversations difficult is that each person usually relies heavily on ideology that falls within party lines as opposed to true personal conviction. As such, you find yourself calling your mate’s character into question.

If you are brave enough to walk into this kind of conversation in your relationship, then be prepared for one of two things:

  1. From the onset, and before things get crazy, agree to disagree on any point of contention. Make sure you have clearly heard each other out, but if there is an impasse, agree to let it go without judgment.
  2. Take the time to utilize effective communication skills in order to truly hear and understand your partner’s point of view. Don’t just listen to counter their thoughts. Listen to understand their reasoning and see if you can find room to agree. The time and place of these kinds of conversations will also be a key factor in keeping your relationship on the high ground.

Health Concerns

When one person in a relationship suffers from a debilitating or chronic illness, it can definitely take a toll on what was once a beautiful thing. For the person who is suffering, nothing is quite as scary as a troubling diagnosis from a doctor. It affects both the physical and mental health of the patient. Often times, their behavior changes as a result of guilt and they begin to treat their mate poorly.

On the flip side, the supporting partner fights to remain just that, supportive. But the weariness of trips to the doctor along with the fear of what’s to come also plays games with their minds. Soon, they could find themselves becoming short tempered with the very person they are hurting for.

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Rather than each person suffering alone, talk to each other about your fears and your pain. Then go to God in prayer as a couple. Using spiritual convictions to battle earthly concerns is a powerful way to face issues together and keep your relationship strong.

Financial Issues

Whenever we head into a new year, our financial outlook can definitely wreak havoc on our lives. If we’re not careful, we tend to view our lives through the lens of the haves and the have nots. If you and your partner aren’t on the same page and you don’t have the same financial goals, your relationship is bound to go through it.

The good news is that leaving an old year and heading into a new one is by far one of the best times to set goals and outline the necessary steps to achieve them. Whether you call it a money making session, a wealth building party, or just a meeting on the money, the important thing is that you come to a meeting of the minds. Review the mishaps of the previous year and detail the areas you were hit the hardest. Then, create a financial vision board and put it in a place where you can both see it on a regular basis and hold each other accountable.

To say that these are all hot button issues is a serious understatement. Despite that, we can still be caught off guard and our relationship can take a serious hit if we’re not prepared to deal with them. Take a good look at the things that kept your relationship solid in 2017. Then, keep doing them. But don’t go to sleep on the sneaky stuff. Regardless of the topic, communicate, pray, and plan your way into a healthy relationship in 2018.

BMWK, Are you ready to protect your relationship in 2018?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 157 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.


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I’m a Soulful, Single Man, but I Can’t Get that Girl: What am I Missing in My Approach?

BY: - 19 Dec '17 | Relationships

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I’m a young, single, and soulful black male who is attractive according to my female friends. I get a lot of girls’ numbers, but I can never seem to get past the first date. I grew up in a religious household, but other Christian girls won’t give me the time of day. I embrace the essence of life and I am a passionate young man. I do not understand what I am doing wrong. I’m a Soulful Single Man, but I Can’t Get That Girl: What Am I Missing in My Approach?

Please advise,

Soul Brother

Ask Dr. Buckingham

 Dear Soul Brother,

Unfortunately, there are thousands of brothers like you on the dating scene. What do I mean like you? Glad you asked. I am referring to Christian brothers who are full of soul and desire to be in a relationship, but cannot seem to “get that girl.” While there may be numerous reasons as to why this occurs, I will offer you three observations.

Observation #1: Stop Being So Serious.

Lighten up and laugh. Women like men who are serious, but also like men who can be cheerful. I am not sure if you come across as if the world is going to end tomorrow. However, if you do, please try to relax. Make the first date a fun date. Let them know that you can be a great protector and provider, but also let them know that you can enjoy life. Living life and enjoying life is not the same. One promotes a serious mentality and the other promotes a cheerful mentality. I often encourage guys to win women over one laugh at a time.

Observation #2: Monitor Your Conversations.

I will preface this statement by saying, I am not passing judgment; but sometimes, Christians can be a little heavy on the “religion/spiritual” talk. While it is important to praise, worship, and speak of God, I recommend that you assess where the young ladies are at spiritually and in life before you jump into Bible discussions.

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Have conversations about life, love, and relationships. Also, listen more and talk less in the beginning so that you can get to know what they like. By knowing what the young ladies like, you can direct the conversations in a positive manner and keep their attention.

Observation #3: Embrace the Swag Factor.

In today’s society, women are paying more attention to brothers who appear to have swag. A man who walks and behaves in a very confident manner is often appealing to women. You may have heard the saying, “good girls like bad boys.” Unfortunately, the idea of women being attracted to men with bad boy tendencies or swagger is somewhat true.

Generally speaking women have been socialized to believe that a dominant man is a real man. I did not say a controlling or abusive man, but a dominant man. Simply stated, they like men with swagger these days. In other words, a man who typically carries himself in a confident manner and speaks with conviction. Given this, I would encourage you to work on your swagger.

My swag factor includes dressing with confidence and appeal. Speaking with confidence and walking with my chin up. Lastly, I had to get my mind right. Swagger is a mind-set and individuals who have it know that they are worthy. With this in mind, I highly recommend that you read books and place yourself around men who are confident, not arrogant or ignorant.

I wish you the best on your journey toward “getting that girl.” Remember that your first impression can be your last impression, so make it a good one. Also, remember that God has already identified the right woman for you so do not chase women who are not worthy of being chased. While you work on you, make sure that the women you date are also working on themselves. All of us can benefit from modifying our approaches, but never compromise your values or beliefs in order to get that girl.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 220 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.


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