DEAR LOVE | Making Each Other Better

I feel like there are certain things about being a man that a man can only really learn from the woman he is in a relationship with.

I saw someone post recently about “women raising their boyfriends.” It immediately made me think of another conversation where I was talking to someone who had a similar complaint. Her phrasing was “I don’t want to have to teach him how to be a man.” But I’ve found, that not only have I helped my partner grow as a man, he has also taught me a lot about being a woman.

I’m sure that both of these women may have their own particular set of gripes. I’m not going to try to take that away from them, because I am not in their shoes. But I find that so many of us want the finished product in our partners, but aren’t we all works in progress?

Believe me, I know that this varies depending on what age bracket you may be in. You know, the older you get, the more “together” you may want your partner to be. I get it. But at 29 there is still a whole heck of a lot I am figuring out about myself and the woman that I want to be. And so I respect that men may be in that similar process as well.

As I explained in the aforementioned conversation, I feel like there are certain things about being a man that a man can only really learn from the woman he is in a relationship with. Yes parents teach us the basics, but there is a whole lot of teaching that really only comes from experience. Yes a man may have an example of being a good man in a relationship and many may not. Why are we so opposed to giving each other the space to grow while in relationship with one another? Sometimes regardless of age if the person hasn’t had a ton of mature relationship experience there are still just going to be some things they need to learn.

Either way, there is a learning curve, period to each new person you date. A man may have all his ducks in a row but if he is not well trained in how to love you specifically, he is still going to fall short. At the end of the day, the person you are with should make you better. That is what I appreciate so much about my current relationship. We make each other better. He forces me to be a better version of me. He shows me, not always by just “criticizing” me but in action the things that I actually could be better at. He exposes the places where I honestly have a little growing up to do. And I am confident that I push him in that same way.

Why are we so unable to give our significant others the space that they need to grow within the relationship? We don’t always have to have it all together. But a person who is willing, can grow to not only become the person you want them to be, but WAY more importantly, they can become the person God wants them to be.

I know at times I may seem too optimistic and you may think “well, there are really some losers out there and you don’t realize it.” That may be true, but that’s where I am looking at you crazy for getting involved with someone you think is a loser, or you think you have to raise, or you think you have to teach to be a man. That’s on you! But what I want you to keep in mind is that when you are honestly with a good and true person, it’s okay to give them room to grow. It’s okay to teach them how to love you most efficiently, how to maintain your lives more efficiently, and your specific expectations of what you expect a man to be in your life. And I need you to remember that when you are truly with a good person for you, they will be doing some raising and teaching of you too.

Growth, learning from each other and challenging each other are parts of the process. Speak to the king in a man and he will have no choice but to become one.

What do you think? Have you ever felt like you were “raising your significant other?” Is it possible that you just weren’t giving them space to grow or did they just have to go?

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