There are four things you should never surrender access to in order to secure a new relationship: your body, your money, your home and your heart. In the Grown Zone, you are responsible for setting standards and boundaries to protect your sexual health, your financial stability, your home security and your emotional safety. Unfortunately, these are too often the first things people surrender access to in the name of “love”—with devastating consequences.
As we stated in our last post, Grown decision-making in pursuit of healthy relationships requires us to focus on discovering who a person is, instead of acting based what a person is (fine, sexy, nice, religious, etc.), before making a serious commitment to—or risking lasting consequences from—any relationship. The former—WHAT a person is—are either readily apparent, often at a glance, or easily faked, at least for a time. The latter—WHO a person is—can only be determined by observation, investigation, and time—and the more time you take, the harder it is for a person to fake or hide who they truly are.
Unfortunately, because most of us are primed to commit quickly based on the whats, we don’t discover the whos until we are deep into relationships. The same influences that tell us to commit to relationships with people because they are sexy, fine, educated, etc., are the same ones that urge us to quickly surrender access to our bodies, hearts, money and/or homes to show and prove that we are in love, or to convince the object of our desire to commit to loving us as soon as possible. We are told to go with the flow, let love happen, go off on that magic carpet ride with the romantic stranger. This is dangerous!
You must always remember that no matter how attracted you are by what people are, they are strangers—cute, sexy, funny, rich strangers perhaps, but strangers nonetheless. You may like them. You may even feel love for them. But you do not know them.
So, we repeat: access to your body, heart, money and your home are the last things you should surrender in the name of love, not the first. To limit the damage from poor relationship choices, require others to prove worthy of access to these—no matter how long it takes, or how attractive you are to each other. Some of the saddest, most damaging and most costly relationship consequences are the result of people doing the opposite.
Remember, until proven otherwise, the vast majority of relationships, including at least half of all marriages, are temporary. It makes no sense to risk permanent consequences before a relationship has stood the test of time (and we’re talking a heck of a lot longer than 90 days) and adversity, and both parties have clearly communicated who they are and understand who the other is. Consider what’s at risk when people prematurely surrender access to their:
BODY: Whether directly or indirectly, women in particular are told that the way to secure love is to give up the sex early and often, and to put it on him like it’s never been done before, either to secure a relationship, or confirm that it is real. If you love him, this line of thinking goes, you need to secure his love for you by giving up your body. After all, if you don’t do it, someone else will.
Too many men, on the other hand, have not only been taught to expect sexual activity as proof of love, but that it is pointless to pursue any relationship without the promise of sex in the foreseeable future (as in months, weeks, days—even hours). The results are obvious: sexually transmitted diseases (amazingly, adults still use “love” and sheer horniness to justify spontaneous, unprotected sex with relative strangers), fatherless sons and daddyless daughters, just to name a few.
Also, we have generations of men who have no idea how to sustain a loving relationship without sex—the single biggest reason companies are making a fortune selling drugs to deal with erectile dysfunction. (Nothing is more terrifying to a penis-led man than the prospect of being “penis dead.”) How well do you treat each other when there is no promise or expectation of sex? Give up the body prematurely, and you may never know—until it’s too late.
BMWK – Read the rest of why you shouldn’t give up your heart, money, and home in the article 4 THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T GIVE UP FOR LOVE by Zara Green and Alfred Edmond, Jr. Then, come back and let us know if you’ve ever given up any of these things for love? Was it a mistake?