What are your Non Negotiables?

What is compromising? Compromise for what? Compromising for what reason? A man comes into my life and I have to compromise? For what? For what? A relationship is a relationship that has to be earned! Not to compromise for. And I love relationships, I think they are fantastic, I think they are great, I think there is nothing more beautiful in the world than falling in love. But falling in love for the right reasons, falling in love for the right purpose, falling in love… falling in love… When you fall in love what is there to compromise about? If you want to think about it in terms of analyzing, yes, I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me with me. [This has happened] many times, in many ways.

- Eartha Kitt

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When I first heard this quote by the legendary Eartha Kitt, I was totally against it. I thought she was crazy because I mean a relationship is a two-way street...right? So that means compromise on EVERYTHING is required….right? Wrong..very, very wrong.

Over the years, through past relationships & situationships, I’ve learned one thing that I didn’t begin to accept until recently. Compromise is wonderful and I encourage it, but when it comes to certain aspects some things are just non-negotiable. “Non-Negotiables” are a thing. Or I think that they should become a thing at least. At the risk of sounding like Gretchen Weiner trying to make “Fetch” happen, allow me to explain why.

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Okay so first, what exactly are non-negotiables? In short, it’s stuff that you require from your partner in order for you both to get the best YOU (and as a result the best of them as well) in a relationship. These are not demands, but things that you acknowledge within yourself that you need in order for your relationship to thrive and be beneficial for the both of you. It’s very easy to confuse your non-negotiables with a wish list that you would take to your nearest “Build-A- Man” location (if it existed, and listen if anyone has the capital to open a few locations I will GLADLY invest). These should be far from a wish list actually. Your non-negotiables shouldn’t be “he must be 6’1 or taller, speak 5 languages and make at least 200k a year” which honestly wouldn’t be such a bad thing lol but I can still do without. Think more along the lines of what you need from your partner to be able to provide for you mentally, emotionally and spiritually...not materialistically.

 

For example:  

 

Attention  

Some people require i­t­ for validation and a sense of security. If you do...THAT IS OKAY. That’s you! Just because they don’t require that or are not used to providing women with that doesn’t invalidate your need for it. Your non-negotiable is: In a relationship, I require attention from my partner. I am not the type of woman who can go 5,6,7 hours without hearing from you or being acknowledged. Some women genuinely can but that is their truth, and not mine.

Or

A Man who has God at the center of his life

If you are someone who actively goes to Church, makes a conscious effort to include God in everything and want your partner to do the same or conform to that lifestyle, let them know. When it comes to your faith and ideals never let anyone shake you from that. If that is what you require as a dynamic of your relationship in order to feel 100% yourself without judgment, THAT IS WHAT YOU REQUIRE. Your non-negotiable is: I need a man who is God fearing and willing to actively practice faith, be it his or mine. This is important to me because I need to be able to spiritually connect with my partner in order to feel 100% comfortable in our relationship and our growth.

See where I’m going with these?

Stating your non-negotiables can be intimidating. It’s like “okay here I am, laying out everything I KNOW I need on the table, putting the ball in your court. Letting you determine if you can handle me or not. If you have what I need perfect...and if you don’t well then...well..does that mean it’s better to be alone? Oh no nevermind it’s okay because I enjoy you and would much rather us “keep whatever we have going” even though, in the end, it won’t be going anywhere”.  It’s especially discouraging if you kind of know a person you want cannot give to you what you require. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Personally speaking, I’ve always been the woman who knows she has a lot to offer so I have never had any issues with telling someone to step up or step out. I will admit, I am VERRRRRRY big on compromise and meeting people halfway but some things you just can’t with. Some things you have to stand firm on even if it means losing because in the end if you are true to your happiness you will ALWAYS win. I will also admit that at times I felt as though I was asking for too much. In some instances, this was true. I came to the realization that I wasn’t asking for too much, instead, I was asking too much of a person not capable or in a position to give me what I needed and that was okay. No shade to them, but not everyone you will have an interest in will be on your level. Yet again, that’s okay because not just anyone should be able to reach you. Exclusivity.

Of course, this was discouraging and made me feel as though maybe I should just settle for now until the “right” person that I wanted to catch up did. As many times as I wanted to settle I just had to remember that the right person would be on my level. I wouldn’t have to reach back to pull a man up.  As long as my heart was pure with my intentions [not exploiting a person’s love for me and capitalizing off their vulnerability]  while staying true myself, then I was making no mistake by telling a man what I require and standing firm on that. It wasn’t that what I required was outlandish or unattainable. If they made me feel like that then they were not made for me. Simple, even though the concept is complicated.

When I was finally in a secure enough place within myself and the love I possessed, I learned very quickly is that there is strength in vulnerability. It’s okay to crave something from someone else that we are not completely able to give ourselves by ourselves, it’s okay to tell someone how you deserve to be loved and it’s okay not be submissive in every aspect of your relationship. It is okay. It is okay to be you in your rawest form. There are hidden rewards within vulnerability.

Although it can be intimidating, I encourage everyone to really take a moment. In the shower, listening to SZA  with a glass of wine, or laid up with your man; really take the time and dig deep within yourself.  Articulate your needs in the most vulnerable and pure way that you can. You, woman, are a garden. You can’t starve yourself and still, expect to produce bountiful vegetation to nourish your partner and your relationship. Yes, you will still produce vegetation that you two will be able to consume but it won’t be filling or of any real nutrition; just enough to sustain. You will produce weeds... and how does a garden with nothing but weeds begin to look over time? Exactly.

 

Respect. Your. Garden.

Protect. Your. Growth.