As a child growing upon the Virgin Islands when we wouldn’t listen to and obey adults, we were accused of being “harden.'” The word was used often to describe defiant, disobedient children who would not take instructions from adults, no matter what. It was synonymous with unruly children. I think that all of my peers were told by an adult “yo too harden,'” at some point in our childhoods. Surely if adults called you “harden'” it was not a good thing. It wasn’t until, I got older that I really understood the word – which is actually hardened, with a “d” at the end (that we in the VI never pronounced). The real word – hardened – is an adjective that can be used to describe anyone, not only a child, who is so set in their ways that nothing can change them. While it’s not usual to hear the term used towards adults, it very well can be. As adults sometimes we make up our minds – and because we have declared a stance on a particular subject, or because we have always been doing things in a certain way – nothing can change us; we become hardened. It’s ok to change. It’s ok to change your opinion. It’s ok to change your lifestyle. It’s ok to change your plans. It’s ok to change your feelings. It’s ok. None of us should become so hardened that we are unwilling to change. But even worse, none of us should become so hardened that we do not listen to God. Lots of times the Most High shows us that we should do things differently. That we should behave differently. That we should think differently. That we should live differently. But we don’t; and we remain hardened. In reality we are no different from an unruly child who refuses counsel from someone wiser. The thing about hardenedness is that deep down we know that we should change. Sometimes everything and everyone in our lives show us that we should change. We know that we are being defiant for no reason, or that we are being defiant against good reason. Listen to your inside voice. Listen to God. Suffering from “harden’ness” is a choice. Let’s choose not to suffer.
Love, trust and respect are foundational elements for good relationships. When a foundation is built sometimes everything else falls into place – but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Here are some of the signs that I’ve observed that indicate that your boyfriend isn’t the one for you. Life is short. Don’t settle for mediocre when you deserve awesome. Before I begin, let me say that if he’s abusive to you – he ain’t the one for you. Abuse comes in many forms. The most common are physical, verbal, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. Queen, an abusive relationship cannot honor and serve you. An abuser must first acknowledge his actions and seek help from a professional and a higher power. No amount of love from you can change an abuser. Change can only come from the abuser himself.
1) He cheats (and cheats again, and again)
Unless you are in a polygamous relationship or have made exceptions to include other people in your relationship, you expect that your significant other will be faithful. Some men report challenges in remaining monogamous in a long term relationships and sometimes they cheat. It’s your call if you want to forgive and remain in a relationship with a man who has cheated on you. Cheating hurts. I know this because, well, I’ve been cheated on before. If your man can put you through the pain of cheating on you – then do it over and over again – it signifies that he doesn’t mind seeing you hurt. Nobody who loves and values you would want to see you hurt. So honey, if he cheats on you, he ain’t the one for you.
2) You two are not sexually compatible
Some folks may downplay the importance of sex in a relationship. They’ll tell you to find someone whose company you can enjoy even after you’ve grown too old for sex. And they are right to some extent. A good relationship cannot be based on sex alone. But while you’re young and healthy sex will be a major part of your relationship.Compatibility goes beyond the frequency of the act itself, to include each partner’s likes and dislikes, and expectations. No matter how good of a person he is if you are not sexually compatible, it will lead to sexual frustration. At that point there’s an opportunity for therapy or other professional help. However, if you’re always sexually frustrated, he ain’t the one for you.
3) You can’t be yourself around him
You may have found the perfect man, with the perfect job, and the perfect house. He may have a perfect body, perfect smile and perfect values. Even though he may be perfect, you should be comfortable being you; or else you are deceiving him and living a lie. If you can’t wear t-shirts and jeans when you two go out because he prefers you in heels and a mini skirt; or if you have to hold back your boisterous snort-like laugh when you catch a joke because he hates it … You catch my drift. Sooner or later if you change the core of who you are to please a man you will have regrets when you realize that even you, can’t recognize who you are anymore. If you can’t be yourself around him, he ain’t the one for you.
4) You have opposing values
In a relationship, all values will not match up perfectly. If your core values differ drastically, no matter how much you compromise, your relationship will have problems. It’s important to find a mate with similar values. If you value hard, honest work and your boo is always looking for a get-rich-scheme, this may be a challenge later on. This is especially important if you want to start a family, because when children are involved the stakes are higher. If you hate liars and your fiancé is a compulsive liar, if your have children it’s likely that you’ll be upset that little Jr. is becoming a compulsive liar too. If you and your partner’s values are opposite, he ain’t the one for you.
5) He doesn’t support your goals and dreams
Your true soulmate will be your biggest cheerleader. If you decide you want to be an astronaut, he’ll move with you to Houston to attend Johnson’s Space Center. In life you should feel like there are no limits to what you can accomplish – because really, there are no limits. Your man should not impose limits on your dreams. He should be the one encouraging you, even if everyone else has given up on you. So if you find yourself with someone who regularly reminds you of what you cant’t do or who tries to otherwise discourage or divert your goals and dreams, he ain’t the one for you.
6) His total happiness depends on you
We all want to feel love and wanted. We want to know that our presence makes a difference in someone’s life – and that’s great. The fact is that we are not responsible for another human being’s emotions. If your boyfriend cannot have a happy moment unless you provide it, or if you get blamed for his various emotional states, he may have deeper issues that you cannot fix. If all of his moods are based on something that you did or didn’t do, my love, he ain’t the one for you.
7) He doesn’t think that you’re totally awesome
No one is perfect. You know that. And your boyfriend knows that too. But that shouldn’t stop him from from feeling that you are the most awesome person on earth. If you’re with someone who thinks that you’re ok, that’s ok. But your life partner will think that you are awesome – and he’ll want to tell everyone too. There is someone out there who will accept you as you are, flaws and all, and think that you’re awesome too. If you’re with someone who doesn’t, he ain’t the one for you.
8) He doesn’t like your mother
I got this one from my late Aunt Keturah. She always used to say: if a man doesn’t like your mother, he can’t love you. I’ve found this to be mostly true. Sure there are some mothers who have been intentionally or unintentionally damaging to their children. In these cases, your husband may not like your mom. And let’s face it, some people are just unlikeable. But if you get along fine with your mom and your significant other can’t stand her, he ain’t the one for you.
9) No one in your inner circle can stand him
Now we don’t get into relationships for our parents, siblings, other family or friends. We look for someone that provides the type of relationship that we want. Sometimes our close family and friends may not like our significant other. And that’s ok. But when all the people who love and care for you cannot stand your boyfriend, that’s usually a sign that he’s a jerk. If a man manages to turn-off all your friends, your parents, and your family on both your mother and father side of the family tree, they can probably see something you can’t. Do some reevaluation: he ain’t the one for you.