Too often we don’t believe we have a choice as to whom we find ourselves in intimate relationships, especially many women. It is believed that we have to settle for whatever and whoever finds us, instead of us deciding with whom we would like to spend our lives. We many times unknowingly and recklessly relinquish our power of choice and hand it over to others. As a woman, you are more likely to believe that you are in a one-down position when it comes to choosing and having positive and healthy intimate relationships. You are more likely to believe that your choices in a mate are limited, while men are more likely to believe that they can have anyone they choose to have in intimate relationships.
Most religions tend empower men in the belief that they have the right to choose their mates through words such as, ‘he who finds a wife finds a good thing.’ In other words, the man is supposed to choose his wife. However, it is important for you, as women, to recognize that you also have the right to choose your mate. Does not a woman have the right to also find/choose a ‘good thing?’
When your family relationships are strong, there is no question as to whether you belong. It’s a given that you belong to your family and your family belongs to you. However, when things go wrong with and in your family, as they often do, you many times ask yourself, ‘why in the world am I this family?’ ‘I didn’t have a say or a choice in the matter.’ As a child, when you were not allowed to have your way, you often thought about and many times verbalized wanting to run away from home or to trading your family for the ‘great’ family you believed your friends had.
As with your family relationships, when you believe your intimate relationships are going well, ‘things are good,’ if not necessarily great; you are still willing to own the relationship, even though you did not choose it. However, when your intimate relationships are going awry or they are failing, you begin to question why you are in the situation. You ask yourself, ‘how did I get into this situation in the first place?’ Similar to your family relationship, you were probably chosen to be in the intimate situation in which you find yourself. Unlike your family relationship, YOU HAD/HAVE A CHOICE. You just didn’t/won’t choose or still haven’t chosen to exercise it! As a matter of fact, although you didn’t choose your relationship, you STILL have a CHOICE!
On too many occasions, because of the seeming desperation of women to be with somebody, they wind up being with anybody (who probably chose them), who is actually nobody! The mantra of these women is often, ‘a piece of a man is better than no man.’ Sadly, as a woman, although you accept having what you consider a ‘piece of a man,’ you are not in a peaceful relationship with that man. That man is not who you probably want or what you want, need, and deserve in a healthy relationship, but you wind up settling for less and not for what’s best!
That ‘nobody’ is generally somebody who saw the desperation written on your forehead, crying out, ‘I just wanted to be with ‘somebody…anybody.’ That ‘nobody’ exercised his opportunity to choose who and what he wanted. And there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you, as a woman, are not on the receiving end of being chosen and not choosing.
Men, it’s not that you, as a man don’t have the same or similar experiences as women, you are less likely to be as desperate as women to get with anybody, because you are always looking for somebody, expecting the best and no one less. As a man, the difference is, you believe you can have anybody you choose to have. In essence, you believe you have a choice and you can choose your mate. You also believe you have the right and the power to choose your mate and she should accept you, just because you chose her. Too many women don’t share the same beliefs.
Because of the negative societal messages perpetuated about women, the disparities and discrepancies allowed to be proliferated between women and men, the cement ceiling faced by women, women not being given permission to have choices or to choose their relationships, as well as the low self-esteem possessed by many women, many of you are too afraid to exercise your God-given right to choose the person you would like to be with. Now, just because you choose a person, it doesn’t mean he/she will choose you back. However, you will have exercised your choice in the matter, remembering, men and women are like buses; one chooses to move on, and another one will soon appear.
Although you don’t get to choose your family, you can choose the person you take on as an intimate partner. In other words, you don’t have anyone to blame but yourself for the relationship or the situation in which you are engaged. You did and you DO have a choice in the matter!
However, just because you find yourself in a seemingly unexplainable situation with someone you didn’t choose, and you have finally awaken from the nightmare or the ‘daymare’ you have been living, keeping your foot in your behind won’t fix the situation. Although you didn’t choose the person you are with and you finally realize that he/she doesn’t fit, taking your foot out of your behind is one of the first things you must choose to do. You will need your feet in order for you to walk away from the situation!
It is time for you to recognize, capitalize, exercise, and optimize your power to choose your mate and not stay in a situation for the sake of staying with someone, all because you were chosen to take part in it. In order for you to walk out of and away from the intimate situation you have been in for sometime, or the intimate situation you are still in, knowing that it is best for you to get out of it, you must understand why you stay.
There are five (5) major reasons as to why you stay in situations with others, believing they are healthy relationships, even though you didn’t choose them. They chose you! When you understand why you stay in intimate situations you did not choose, you can now have permission to choose to make plans to exit the situation and develop a plan to choose the relationship you want and deserve.
Why you choose to stay in situations you didn’t choose:
1. You are grown and you don’t want anyone telling you what to do
2. You believe you are truly in love with your mate
3. You believe you have invested too much time, effort, energy, money, and emotions in him/her
4. You are afraid of what others will say if and when they find out that the relationship you perpetrated as successful, was a fraud; it was a situation all along
5. You are afraid of being alone
Recognize that this list is not an exhausted list of the issues that keep you in situations that you did not necessarily choose. And if you cannot combat the issues above on your own, seek the help of a professional who can help you to confront the issues and realistically assess your options. Begin to assess your life relationships and journal about the situations you considered relationships that did not or are not working for you, all because you were chosen and you did not do the choosing.
It all boils down to, why do you want to keep investing a million dollars ($1,000,000.00) worth of emotions, time, and energy in a five cents (5) situation? The bottom line is, you CAN choose your relationships, intimate or otherwise! If you haven’t chosen in the past, you can start choosing today…it’s never too late!!