Sonja Norwood's Blog: Don't Be Pressured Into Settling In A Relationship

I'm not a big believer in meeting an age deadline for marriage. I believe the old cliché of you must be married before 25, if a woman is to avoid being called an old maid, is just that – an old cliché. People shouldn’t apply pressure to others to settle into a relationship, especially marriage. This includes family members, extended family, or friends. Remember, you are the one that will live with that person of your choice every day. Therefore, it’s important that you make the exclusive decision on when your time is right and if the person you’re choosing is right for you. 

Love can be a beautiful thing if shared with that right person. If you have been dating for a while, you must know what type of qualities you expect in your partner's character. If it takes you a while to find that person, it’s better to keep searching than to settle. 

The world is huge and has a lot to offer everyone. Many times our mistakes are made because we feel the need to rush. Ask yourself, whose deadline are you meeting…your own or someone else’s? 

I don’t apply pressure to my children to settle down if they aren’t ready. Relationships are personal and the decision to settle has to be made by the parties involved. My advice is that you explore…the world offers a sea of choices. Meet people from different walks of life, this helps you to get to know yourself and your own expectations of others within a relationship. By meeting people you get to know more about what type of person you want to love and what type of person can fulfill your needs. You should look for an everlasting partner and usually you will not find an everlasting partner on the first go round.

In my home, I stay out of that relationship arena with my children. I’m there when they want me to listen. I do have my opinions and when appropriate, I will voice them. Over the course of Ray J and Brandy’s dating, I’ve only met a couple of people that were considered serious. I think it’s healthy for them to meet different people. I don’t judge who they should meet, why should I? Truthfully, until you are married, your options are open. 

Enjoy life…enjoy finding the right person. Learn from each relationship…getting to know the character of a person, while dating, is crucial to your relationship in the future. If you’re dogged, used, misused and abused in your dating, mostly like you will be if married. Get to know the character of the person of your interests. Don’t try to change them either. You may be able to change the behavior of someone else for a short period of time, but you can’t change who they truly are; only the individual can change that in their own time. If you haven’t met your match, don’t be afraid to move on and explore more opportunities. There is a person out there whose life has naturally formed almost perfectly just for you. Be patient and don’t settle until you find them. 

When you find that ONE, love will be the foundation that will keep you together. Love + friendship will bring you through the storms of life and Love + friendship + God will keep you everlasting. So, get to know the inner-person you’re dating. If it last, be thankful and continue to work on your relationship – don’t easily walk away over small stuff, but if a relationship you enter doesn’t last, examine it to figure out what went wrong and learn from it. It’s okay to walk away…better to walk away now than to have settled into any relationship that will eventually lead to a breakup anyway. 

My desire for young people is that they aren’t pressured into settling and use their experiences to learn from each relationship – forming your own likes and dislikes to be better prepared for the next relationship. That means pay attention to the signs and don’t continue to accept behavior you don’t like from yourself or anyone else. Until you recognize the main issues of yourself, you will continue to choose future partners with similar traits. 

Never forget that until he or she puts a “ring” on it, you’re still single and free so have fun! 

“Mama Said”

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