When Practice Is Not Like The Game

If you spend 6 years training to play professional tennis, and when it comes game time, the dimensions of the tennis court have changed…That could present a big problem.

The change in rules/regulations could drastically change your perception of the game. Also, changing not only your performance, but also HOW you are being judged.
The same concept applies to relationships, when transitioning from friends to dating, from dating to engaged, and engaged to married.
Now, I believe that there is a natural elevation in responsibilities and expectations, BUT they should be very, very similar to each previous relationship stage, IF honest progression expectations were given.
Things that I believe should just about stay the same, from Friendship to Marriage.
  1. Respect. How you are treated and spoken to should be established from friendship. If they disrespect you in the friend stage, I am not sure how much better that will become overtime, without you stopping that dead in it’s tracks and communicating your concerns.
  2. Affection. The amount of affection you desire, should also be established early on. If you are very affectionate, most times, that need doesn’t decrease, but may increase as the relationship grows more serious and you all learn more about each other.
  3. Family Interaction. How a person interacts with your family is very important. Now, there is always a chance that those relationships could change, but many times, that’s based on how much you tell them. (That is a personal decision)
  4. Money Management. This is a very important one! Poor money managers CAN change, but guess what it takes? You guessed it. A change in how they manage it. I know it sounds redundant, but if they have acknowledged the problem and are taking serious steps to change it, let them know you appreciate it. THAT LADIES AND GENTS IS A DRIVEN AND DETERMINED PERSON WILLING TO MAKE SACRIFICES FOR SUCCESS.
  5. Social Activities. Does your friend and potential mate like clubbing, bars, plays, book stores, sports events, shopping, spending time online, spending time with friends or family? Most times, it takes an ACT OF GOD to change a person’s likes or dislikes socially, or sometimes priorities change, but try not to bank on this changing too much.
  6. Religious Beliefs. Church, church and participation, no church. A person definitely has the potential to grow greatly in the realm of religion and practices, but as far as assuming they will, or assuming they will change religions for you…Don’t assume that. When we grow up in a certain religion, changing has huge ramifications.
  7. Personality Type. This is a BIG one. Many times a person’s sense of humor, outgoing or introverted nature, friendliness, work ethic, etc., don’t change too much! I would have included confidence, but I have seen really, apprehensive people become very secure and confident.
  8. Cleanliness. I am not sure how much consistently cleaner, people become overtime, but this is a lot of times, what you see, is what you get. Never count it out though. It may change.
  9. Romance/Thoughtfulness. I haven’t seen this change too much. Many times thoughtful people don’t become unthoughtful and unthoughtful people don’t often become thoughtful, without work, work, work! Don’t expect a non-romantic person to become Mr or Mrs. Romance after marriage.
Things that I believe, maybe shouldn’t, but do change over time, from Friendship to Marriage.
  1. Opposite Sex Friendships. In some cases, this number may be expected to decrease exponential over time, the closer you get to marriage.
  2. Privacy. This is a biggie. Very important to discuss along the way. Can mail be opened? Can phones/emails be checked/answers? Should passwords be given? There is ABSOLUTELY, no wrong or right answer, but definitely worth discussing.
  3. Curfew. I have seen this be a big issue. Please Please Please discuss throughout your relationship. A lot of people view it as respect and a lot look at it as, “I haven’t had a curfew since high school…”

Clear, consistent, and concise communication throughout every level of your relationship, may be just what you need to reach that 60 year, Diamond anniversary!

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    2 comments

    1. I agree with everything except social activities and opposite sex friendships. We do need to some compromising with social activities because if you are married or in a committed relationship you might be able to kick it wit the homies every Friday anymore. Or have your boys over till what ever time they feel like leaving. Sometimes you have to give going to the game to make your boo happy. With the opposite sex, a friend is a friend. You shouldn’t have to phase out friendship, acquaintances, yes, those need to be ended. Random guys/chicks calling from 6 months ago is not cool, but friendship that you have had for 20 years is worth keeping.

    2. I like this post, My king and I always say “65” symbolising the number of years we hope to be together and beyond. I am a firm believer that when you choose a mate you choose the person that was your friend at one time, your boy/girlfriend at another and now your spouse. I think people place to much emphasis on marriage as a threshold. Some magnificant doorway leading to the perfection of your relationship. Life long partnership requires work. Hard work. A person decieves themselves when they think their current mate will melt away and there dream man will stand in their place once I do is said. The bottom line is communication, compromise, and acceptance. Communicate youe issues and you joys, copromise on the things that make your partner happy, and accept them as they are. Marriage is a choice (for most people) and you must live with the one you made…..Or dont.

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