Home Featured Does Having a Significant Other Make You Better?

Does Having a Significant Other Make You Better?

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I hate it. But she makes me do it.

Being single has its perks. You don’t have to talk on the phone. You don’t need to check in with anybody. You don’t have to fight for your right to your free night. S*x doesn’t have to be followed by cuddling. I mean…you could get up in the middle of the night and leave and it would be perfectly fine. She may never speak to you again and tell all her girls that the D was trash, but that’s okay because she isn’t your girl and you probably already bagged one of her friends. Being single can be awesome. Let me rephrase: Being single IS awesome. But being in a relationship isn’t so bad either. It has its fair share of perks beyond easy and consistent pummelage. That’s nice too though.

I hate to say it, but I tend to operate better when I’m in a relationship. Well, I tend to operate better in certain aspects of my life that may or may not be obvious to those around me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m not walking around with a completely loaded weapon everyday. That could keep me out of jail. Maybe it’s because the smell of her hair brings me hope and catapults me closer to my dreams. That could keep me ambitious. But really, who f*cking knows? Aight. So I do know. If I didn’t, there wouldn’t be a post today. But since I do, let me tell you about a few ways that being in a relationship make me better.

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My laundry gets done more frequently…and no, not by her.

So after monitoring my habits for the last 3 months, I’ve learned that I do my laundry like once every 3-4 weeks. That’s pretty bad. I know. And with each week that goes by, the abominable clothesman in the hamper becomes more and more of a hassle. So I keep procrastinating until I realize draws are at an all-time low. But when in a relationship, laundry gets done every 1-2 weeks. A lot of that has to do with s*x. Let’s be real. If you’re regularly having s*x with your significant other, there’s gonna be collateral damage to the sheets. And honestly, neither of you wanna sleep in an accumulation of dried love remnants for weeks at a time. Neither do I. So if the sheets need to be washed, then I might as well wash my clothes and the towels.

I eat healthier.

She doesn’t count. But for real, my dietary habits when in a relationship are the opposite of when I’m roaming the land of singledom. It’s not like I just date Whole Food chicks that beat me over the head with free range chickens and granola. I simply watch my diet. Another thing is that it’s much easier to eat healthy when there are 2 of you. Quality food products ain’t cheap. Third, I hate being scorned about my love for cheesesteaks, halal, and Taco Bell. Lastly, I can make a much more convincing case for regular oral extractions with kid containment if I’ve turned myself into a walking antioxidant smoothie.

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I work out more.

I don’t wanna be the dude that falls off because he has a girl. I also don’t wanna be picking my stomach up off her back. That sh*t ain’t cool to me. And I have this fear of getting involved with someone that looks fine/healthy today and then when I blink she turns into a Klump. It’s a lot easier to motivate someone to work out when you’re doing the same.

I dress better.

Nearly every casual shirt I own that gets regular compliments was picked or influenced by a woman. In a relationship, I’m looking to her for fashion checks and balances. I hate shopping. I really f*cking do. Just get me my size, send me to the dressing room, tell me it’s cool, then push me to the register. I love you sideways for it later.

I go out and do more sh*t.

Partially because she wants to and partially because I want to without her.

I’ll close with a message to the fellas avoiding relationships like the plague: Women are like vegetables. Sometimes you don’t wanna eat ’em, but deep down you know they’re good for you. Having one really might make you better in ways you didn’t even think about. So think about it.

But yeah, these are just a few examples for me. What about you? Do you find that you operate better in relationships? Are there things you normally suck at (pause) that improve when you have a significant other or vice versa? All other thoughts are welcome.

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Keeping it light,

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Comment(100)

  1. "Lastly, I can make a much more convincing case for regular oral extractions with kid containment if I’ve turned myself into a walking antioxidant smoothie."

    lol, smh. This guy. I won't even touch on the other stuff.

    Let's see. I'm generally vain, but when I have someone occupying my thoughts, I tend to put more time and work into my overall physical appearance. I see +1 person more than I would at least 80% of the time (family doesn't count when I'm back at home). My appreciation for human company increases threefold. I feel motivated to find ways of putting a smile on someone's (read: his) face. I like making people smile on average, but it's generally in passing. My living space (excluding the last condo which was on point, point-blank-period) is usually more aesthetically appealing. I get out of the house more. This, sometimes by means of coercion. Insert shaking of fist here.

    In conclusion.. I haven't been with anyone that has made me a better person per se, but that's probably because I have yet to be involved in the kind of relationship that I would like. I've played the role of encourager, helper, cheerleader, but haven't really had anyone inspiring me to be better; this, whether it be a better person, student, friend, or even partner. That's cool since I handle my ish regardless, but I really do look forward to the day when I can say that I'm a better person because of him

    1. "I’ve played the role of encourager, helper, cheerleader, but haven’t really had anyone inspiring me to be better; this, whether it be a better person, student, friend, or even partner."

      That sentiment has been shared a few times today. The inspiration factor is important and often overlooked if you ask me…which you didn't…but I answered anyway.

      1. I ain't mad atchya. You're right, inspiration is definitely important. It's a beautiful thing when you see two individuals who bring out the best in each other. It comes about with vocal or gentle & quiet encouragement, learning and taking something away from each other's strengths, honest and genuinely constructive criticism, and selfless love. It's very easy to be involved in a relationship where one partner does most, if not all of the nurturing, while the other merely reaps the benefits and doesn't go beyond the basic requirements. It may not be out of conscious selfishness, but the end result is the same. I'm not a proponent of losing yourself within a relationship, but you'll find that a lot of people wiggle their way out of making certain sacrifices because "he/she knew I was this way when he/she met me." The relationship has a whole different dynamic when you have two people who consistently look out for the other’s best interests.

        The relationships I admire tend to involve individuals who welcomed being "tied down," as it were, to this partner who captivated them for one reason or another. It's always a good start when you don't grudgingly consider leaving the single life behind to be one of many sacrifices to come. It goes without saying that mutual friendship, respect, and trust are all key ingredients. As a random yet related aside, I was reading a personal blog a couple of weeks ago and the author had one main thing he required of his partner: that she read his work. It made me smile, because most people actually have conflicted internal debates regarding whether or not to involve their SOs in their blog/other work. That said, I’ve been with someone who loved involving me in almost every aspect of his work, but who only paid cursory attention to some significant details of my life. Reciprocity is now very high on my list of requirements.

  2. Well i think everyone has that extra pep in their step when they have someone special to come home to (literally and metaphorically).

    Personally, im messy (usually only in my room though). The only real cure for my messiness is to have a roommate or a significant other. My pride and upbringing will not allow me to bring company into a untidy house.

    I guess also its a bit easier to do your best at work/school/whatever when you have your own personal cheerleader in your corner.

    1. "Personally, im messy (usually only in my room though). The only real cure for my messiness is to have a roommate or a significant other. My pride and upbringing will not allow me to bring company into a untidy house."

      I thought I was the only one.

      1. Absolutely not. My name is Star and I, too, am a junkaholic. Pay no attention the the pile of clean clothes begging to be hung up on the couch…

        1. LOL, did my laundry yesterday and my clothes are still in the hamper! All i did was pull out an outfit to wear today- which will inevitably end up on the floor at the end of the day if i don't hang up the clothes that are in the hamper…which i most likely won't.

        2. LOL, dirty clothes go in the hamper (or in their designated spot by the bathroom), clean clothes go on the couch. Having dirty stuff laying around bugs me, but if it's clean. *shrug* Meh.

          Dishes though!? LORD I wish a dirty dish bugged me. I just can not be bothered with an effin dish. I hate it! I swear, sometimes I wonder if God's waiting on me to get me dish game on par before he gives me a husband, lol. Hand on a Bible, I think that!

        3. LMBO! You two ladies are hilarious.

          What I find interesting is whenever someone is coming over I'm always in the process of "cleaning". I immediately start folding clothes, putting stuff away and everything.

          I'm sure my friends are catching on.

        4. OMG, I need a cleaning catalyst! I have one gf that will come over just to watch me hang up clothes. I don't need any help, I just need entertainment, otherwise that good ADD will kick in and-HEY! Is that a new steam mop commercial…*wanders out of the conversation*

  3. I would say all of those are positive things. If you're completely comfortable with yourself either way though, I wouldn't say it improves you. You just now have an (extra) incentive.

  4. Having a significant other automatically makes me less selfish. I looove living alone and having a haven to go to after a day of dealing with people I would rather not during the day. And, personally, I still desire and NEED me time every week, at least. However, as much as I enjoy "recharging" in my own company, I also crave male companionship with one that inspires me, has a great sense of humor, is kindhearted, and one with which I can have mental orgasms with whilst engaging in mental gymnastics!! This combination is a rare find nowadays…in short, times are hard.

    Back to the less selfish part: my love for cooking isn't unconditional, until I do it for someone else. Most days I cook for myself, and I enjoy the creative dishes I put together, and when it's finger licking good (these last few years, it has certainly been), I always wish I could share it with a significant other. I am a pleaser to the nth power, and I LOVE doing things for *him* ONLY if I know where I stand and his intentions…therefore the safest place to do so, is within the confines of a relationship…lest he tries to call me "thirsty."

    When the roles aren't defined and gray area persists, I am paranoid about doing too much. It's exhausting to live this way. Relationships allow to me to fully unleash my giving and pleasing power…making us both very happy.

    Also, whilst single, I always feel as though monogamy is for the birds. It's easy for my eyes to wonder if I'm just kicking it. However, I realized when I MAKE the choice (very few times) to commit (not because I'm picky), Will Smith can fall from the sky into my bed, and I stay faithful. In other words, I'm very loyal once I make that choice! Cheating is no bueno for me. However, no title, and my eyes definitely wonder and I've definitely had several men at once, no shame…back in the day. Very interesting thing I learned about myself!

    1. I agree with alot of what you said.

      I actually feel more "at home" when I'm in a relationship. I'm a very nurturing person and I love having someone I can do things for and take care of… it makes me happy to know that me cooking dinner, or cleaning or giving a back rub makes their day easier after a long day.

    2. <blockquote cite="comment-314485">

      Tash:

      … I cook for myself, and I enjoy the creative dishes I put together, and when it’s finger licking good (these last few years, it has certainly been), I always wish I could share it with a significant other. I am a pleaser to the nth power, and I LOVE doing things for *him* ONLY if I know where I stand and his intentions…therefore the safest place to do so, is within the confines of a relationship…lest he tries to call me “thirsty.”

      When the roles aren’t defined and gray area persists, I am paranoid about doing too much. It’s exhausting to live this way. Relationships allow to me to fully unleash my giving and pleasing power…making us both very happy.

      *makes it rain on your comment*

      Just all sorts of right!

  5. I think having a significant other CAN make you better if the relationship is a healthy one. For one thing, it's an esteem boost. Knowing that you're coupled up with someone just gives you a little extra swagger.

    I've seen a whole lot of guys stick their chest out a little extra when they talk about "my girl". And I know of some women that get highly annoyed with one of their friends that they claim uses the term "my boyfriend" too much.

    Also, having a significant other can increase the value that others place on you. (The whole social proof thing). It seems like everybody wants to tell you how attractive you are, and how much they've been diggin' you, AFTER you get in a relationship.

  6. I'm definitely a better version of myself when I'm in a relationship just by virtue of the fact that I give up my hedonistic ways and actually consider someone else's feelings before I do things. I'm softer and calmer and less abrasive . This is probably more due to the fact that getting my parts oiled on a regular makes me more benevolent than the actual relationship, but that's neither here nor there.

    I also either quit smoking or slow way down on it, which is always a good thing.

    1. "This is probably more due to the fact that getting my parts oiled on a regular makes me more benevolent than the actual relationship, but that’s neither here nor there."

      lol.This is very much here and there. It very well may keep you from doing time in the bing for some senseless act of violence.

  7. " Being single IS awesome. But being in a relationship isn’t so bad either. "

    LOL this sort of sets the tone for the whole article.

    Being in a relationship causes me to think of someone other than myself, which does help to make me better by building empathy.

    A nice side effect is that by thinking of someone else, I also tend to reflect on myself and if I'm doing all that I can do make her happy.

  8. She doesn’t count. But for real, my dietary habits when in a relationship are the opposite of when I’m roaming the land of singledom. It’s not like I just date Whole Food chicks that beat me over the head with free range chickens and granola. I simply watch my diet. Another thing is that it’s much easier to eat healthy when there are 2 of you. Quality food products ain’t cheap. Third, I hate being scorned about my love for cheesesteaks, halal, and Taco Bell. Lastly, I can make a much more convincing case for regular oral extractions with kid containment if I’ve turned myself into a walking antioxidant smoothie.

    LMBO at this whole paragraph. you did not say antioxidant smoothie. seek help please. lol

    anyhoo… being single for the longest period of my life has allowed me to discover that being in a relationship is more suitable for me. i'm just an overall better version of me when i have someone else's preferences, feelings and needs to consider. i clean more, i cook more, i run more, i'm less selfish … i'm just Muze + more. lol.

    also, i tend to be more productive when i'm in a (certain kind of) relationship. i have struggled with being a finisher in life, with all things (minor-painting the other side of this dresser. major-finishing this screenplay by deadline) … and when i have someone reminding, encouraging, scolding, or just plain aware of different projects activities going on that i have yet to complete, i follow through more. i think this has to do with me being more focused and settled and less scatterbrained and pulled in so many directions, and i want him to be proud of me. i'd have 3 novels completed if i'd been in a relationship the last two years. lol. sad but true.

    i'm very supportive of my other half when i have one, so it's nice to know someone believes in you and will be your personal cheerleader no matter what. even if it is just because you're putting the voon doon on him every night. lol.

    1. I so agree with you on all of this.

      I am definitely a better version of myself. More accountable to myself and him. Finding myself not wanting to disappoint them or give up on certain things even when I should.

  9. I have to agree with this article, as much as I love NSA chexing and non-obligatory phone calls, I feel more mature and responsible in a relationship. (most of) My focus is on pleasing my s/o and not eyeing other chicks all day with my superman powers. I look at what she is doing and then reflect on what I need to improve on, and work on a gameplan together. Also dudes know it is cheaper to please one girl than to satisfy a whole bunch of women.

    Besides, consistent and reliable chexing with someone who won't run to her girls when you miss that 60sec mark takes a load off (no pun).

  10. I'm almost certain that I'm the same contrary azzhole in a relationship that I was when I was single. But having a wonderful man marry me just re-affirms what an AWESOME contrary azzhole I was, am, and always will be. Insert evil laugh here: Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    *does the dougie*

    *realizes I still don't know how to do the dougie*

    *does the cabbage patch off stage left*

  11. Being in a relationship, particularly a marriage, exposes the real you, whoever that is and that can be a good thing for some and a not so good thing for others. There's no more hiding behind who you let the world see. Like it or not, we all have things we hide from the world for varying reasons. When you're in a serious relationship or married, you can only hide those things but for so long. Eventually those things come out and in order to progress you have to deal with them.

    On a more logistical level, being in a relationship can help an individual progress simply because you are, to a certain extent, responsible for another persons comfort and happiness. You have to be considerate of how what you do will make someone else feel – and that inherently makes you think twice before you do some stuff which is almost always a good thing.

    Great post Slim.

    1. THIS. All day long and twice on Sundays. I make decisions now that I wouldn't have given a second thought to before because I have a husband to think about now.

  12. Idk ladies Idk … Not that i don't believe ya, but personally my relationship with a woman post-relationship has always gone South from her being even more possessive to her being more serious (fun level decreases) to her reveling in the idea that one negative thing can culminate into a drama-filled/demon possessed argument.

    Ladies, you may feel better when you wake up and go into the world with the "I have a boyfriend" shirt on, but at the end of the day and it's just you and him. Remember that the relationship you two have, and i'm not talking about the title, is about how you respond to each other and less about all the personal positive effects a relationship may have on you.

    As far as me, having a significant other hasn't made me better…partly because i've never had the pleasure of having a inner-city love thing (Long Distance Relationships are equivalent to slow death) and the fact that I've always been suckered/pushed/angled/tricked/pressured into being in a relationship and haven't freely wanted to make the plunge because it feels right.

    1. See, this is why I am a firm believer in smacking the other person with your faults early. Don't look at me surprised later, you knew I was this way when you met me.

      1. One of my patented interview questions is "What are you weaknesses or areas where u feel u should improve?" and "Are you moody?" … A woman will tell you anything (just like a man) to ensure they get what they want … Before the relationship, she responded "No, i'm not moody" … Inside the relationship, "Yes, i'm moody … That's something your going to have to deal with." … Gee thanks 🙂

    2. <blockquote cite="comment-314498">

      @Top5DOA: As far as me, having a significant other hasn’t made me better…partly because i’ve never had the pleasure of having a inner-city love thing (Long Distance Relationships are equivalent to slow death) and the fact that I’ve always been suckered/pushed/angled/tricked/pressured into being in a relationship and haven’t freely wanted to make the plunge because it feels right.

      I def co-sign the long-dis rela comment.

      Two questions though:

      1. Every women you've ended up in a relationship with has switched up? Those are some odds. Are you sure you aren't doing anything to "inspire" the switch?

      2. How do you get suckered into a rela you don't want every time? WTDTA?! What's the scenario for this? I almost feel bad for you, lol…

      Ok…four questions, two topics, lol.

      1. I'd be interested to know that too [how he gets suckered into rela's he doesn't really wanna be in]… I've heard that sad love song before, the first time I felt sorry for the guy but the second time I started to give him the *side-eye* thinking he was just telling me that as a way to explain himself w/o really explaining himself.

      2. Question #1: To be honest, I don't change … I'm the same type of person when i first meet u til the end. I try to stay true to my core self at all times. Granted i haven't been in a lot of relationships post HS, but it just seems as if once a relationship is granted, the focus all of a sudden changed. In my last relationship (ended last Nov.), I felt as if I was continuing her previous relationship (mind u up until that point i haven't been in a 'ship for almost 3 years). So idk.

        Question #2: Ultimatums. "It only gets better". The Catch and Release trick. The everything we talk about will somehow result back to why aren't we in a relationship yet thing.

        I've concluded that after blazing 3-4 times, I can pretty much be in a relationship with any woman. But should i be selfish and say well a relationship betters me, so i might as well go for it or should I wait for someone of equal ilk? Idk, maybe i'm not even on topic here.

        1. QA1: Look for emotionally stable women who are content with themselves and at peace with their past. That way, insecurities won't cause them to switch-up.

          QA2: Ultimatums never work long term. Keep calling their bluff and let them walk if that's what they want to do. Never sign-on to something you really aren't pressed for. Ends badly for both sides.

          I can get along with most decent men so I feel you…but not everyone will give you that special feeling though (I had to learn this the hard way). You need that special feeling…that "nobody does it quite like you do" feeling about someone in order to make it long term. So, yes. Wait. Never settle.

    3. and the fact that I’ve always been suckered/pushed/angled/tricked/pressured into being in a relationship and haven’t freely wanted to make the plunge because it feels right.

      Funny….. Two of my male friends had said somethin similar to this about their relationships and I used to give them the "Yeah Okay Ninja, you knew what you was getting into – Stopit!!" but after hearing one of them explain how he became an item I started to understand.

      *SuchIsLife*

      1. <blockquote cite="comment-314551">

        cynicaloptimist81:

        …but not everyone will give you that special feeling though (I had to learn this the hard way). You need that special feeling…that “nobody does it quite like you do” feeling about someone in order to make it long term. So, yes. Wait. Never settle.

        Mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm … Yes i need that in my life. And yes, i've learned to call that bluff.

    4. Umm, they probably switched up because the you that got suckered/pushed/angled/tricked/pressured into being in that carnival sideshow/relationship, aren't really participating/reciprocating.

      1. I’ve been thinking about the list you posted of ways that you’re better and reading other people’s responses but those are all things that I’m better at when I’m single. I’m more focused on my personal goals when I’m single- and that’s paramount to me over any relationship. I’m forced to be more social single, I’m thinner single, neater single, and I’ll never do laundry either way lol. I mean I’m sure that one day I will want a relationship for the purposes of having/raising children but right now I just don’t see the benefit in it bettering me. Relationships are enjoyable for me but bettering? eh I’m better single.

  13. <blockquote cite="comment-314485">

    Tash: When the roles aren’t defined and gray area persists, I am paranoid about doing too much. It’s exhausting to live this way. Relationships allow to me to fully unleash my giving and pleasing power…making us both very happy

    This. Right. Here.

    I'm naturally a very giving person… I'm a supporter and a cheerleader for those I love and care about. However, when it comes to the art of dating I find that those qualities oft get taken advantage of. I don't wait until he 'put a ring on it' or a title around it to do the things that I see need done when it comes to us. I support him fully from day 1 but I have learned to be careful because a lot of folks will reap the benefits not giving a second thought to furthering or committing to something else between us. I have to know when to turn it on… and inversely turn it off if he decides w/ me is not where he wants to be.

    1. You know…this was my life for a long time. "Nice Teflon" could easily be confused with "Thirsty Teflon" or "Pushover Teflon" so I started being stingy with my nice qualities. I started introducing men to "Indifferent to Your Azz Teflon" until he proved himself to be worthy of more attention/affection.

      1. LOL! I think I'm about to board the indifference train, I'm sure it will be hard at first b/c I really am nice but indifference and nonchalance seems to be the only language understood in these here streets.

        1. <blockquote cite="comment-314527">

          Flyy:

          LOL! I think I’m about to board the indifference train, I’m sure it will be hard at first b/c I really am nice but indifference and nonchalance seems to be the only language understood in these here streets.

          Unfortunately, I'm afraid you're right. *sigh*

  14. There is something to be said about "feeling" responsible for someone else's feelings. Its a blessing and a curse sometimes but I too am a nurturer as someone said in an earlier comment and enjoy connecting with a man. I wasn't always this way either a significant relationship my senior year of college made all the difference – we actually pushed each other to graduate with honors.

    I also LOVE dressing a man – There is nothing like stepping out knowing you both are "killing em" I am still the personal stylist to an old situation LOL.

    I am really looking forward to my next relationship…

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-314507">

      NinaFontaine:

      I also LOVE dressing a man – There is nothing like stepping out knowing you both are “killing em”

      yesssss. i am a men's fashion stan. i lurve buying or picking clothes for a man that makes him look hot and that he actually likes. lol. i'm really good at finding fly items that go well with their personal style … or helping them find a personal style if they don't have one. i've had guy friends employ me to style them for dates and everything. love it. lol

    2. I'm with you ladies on dressing men. I love it, too. I'm not into changing the core of a man but I will revamp his closet with the quickness! LOL!

      It's actually a part of the rela negotiations and secured in the contract. I must have access to the closet…

      1. Lawdamercy, this is sooo not me. I'll let you step out looking a hot mess, and if I see my man heading out to the club with the boys dressed like a youth usher at Deliverence Baptist I just kiss him and tell him he looks cute. And before you call me cruel, he's the one who had me at a semi-formal military ball in a wrap dress from work because he said my cocktail dress would be too dressy. We get there and these chicks look like Cinderella. Ole set-up artist.

        1. LOL @ the set-up!

          My bf asked me to accompany him to a party. I asked him what I should wear. He said, "Whatever you want." So, I bought something cute for a party. A week or so later, he commented that the invitation was very "official…like a wedding invitation". That prompted me to ask if the the invite asked attendees to wear something specific. He said, "Oh, it says cocktail attire at the bottom." SMH. That is NOT what I bought, lol. That crazy man intended to wear jeans and a shirt ("It's not my party. What's cocktail attire?"). SMH…

          You gotta look out for yourself, lol.

      1. I actually like helping women with their attire. My fashion eye is too beastly for a woman to need or have to dress me, generally it's the other way around.

        By the way, you ladies uniform this summer NEEDS to be the almighty sundress (No draws). Over and Out.

  15. I'm a better version of myself when I'm a in a relationship. I've known this for a while. Really the only difference between me (and it seems like) most people is that I dont mind being alone. I actually prefer it. It might have to do with that whole introvert thing.

    On the flip side, I dont mind being in a relationship as long as we're compatible. I imagine I'm not an easy person to be with. lol I think the hardest thing for most women who date me to accept is the fact that, in a relationship or not, sometimes I just feel like being left the hell alone. I've spoken on this before. It takes a certain kind of woman to accept that about me without being offended.

    Anyway, in addition to your list my other improvements include:

    1) Working harder all around to provide and keep her happy. I like satisfying my woman. That is assuming she can be satifisfied, since I have dated women that cannot.

    2) I'm (more) motivated to look for ways to continue to improve myself and the relationship.

    3) Like Max said above, depending on the woman and what she lets me get away with, I smoke less or not at all.

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-314508">

      WisdomIsMisery:

      On the flip side, I dont mind being in a relationship as long as we’re compatible. I imagine I’m not an easy person to be with. lol I think the hardest thing for most women who date me to accept is the fact that, in a relationship or not, sometimes I just feel like being left the hell alone. I’ve spoken on this before. It takes a certain kind of woman to accept that about me without being offended.

      i've dated someone like this. it does indeed take a special kind of patience and understanding to not get offended. i think it worked because i can be the same way at times. making this fact known upfront can cut down on a lot of angry exchanges as well. lol

      1. <blockquote cite="comment-314512">

        muze: i’ve dated someone like this. it does indeed take a special kind of patience and understanding to not get offended. i think it worked because i can be the same way at times. making this fact known upfront can cut down on a lot of angry exchanges as well. lol

        lol Definitely. Live and learn. I usually explain this to women up front, if I plan on getting serious with them. Before, a lot of women were on the "what the hell is wrong with you?" tip – and that really only exacerbated the issue. I mean, I recognize it's weird but it is what it is. It's who I am. I just like to go into my zone for a day or two at most. I'm not as bad as I use to be where it'd be weeks where I didn’t feel like dealing with anyone. Now I can usually "recharge" in a few hours or a day at most.

    2. <blockquote cite="comment-314508">

      WisdomIsMisery:

      I think the hardest thing for most women who date me to accept is the fact that, in a relationship or not, sometimes I just feel like being left the hell alone.

      THIS – I've had this problem with men too. AND you wonder why I'm not talking to you when you insisted on coming to my house. I thought men liked just being in the same space not saying anything LOL :o)

      1. Yeah, I dated a woman that was like me or had a similar issue. That relationship was GREAT. We'd basically be like, "look, I'm about to go through one of my moods. Don’t take it personal." Then we'd just leave each other be until we came around again. To keep it real, I'm actually fairly annoyed by people who are happy 100% of the time. LMAO

        GET OUT MY FACE WITH ALL THAT HAPPINESS, b.

        The funny thing is, I can usually feel it coming on beforehand. I think it's – for lack of a better word – hormonal or something. I'm sure there's a deeper, scientific or psychological explanation but I'm too lazy to go into all of that. All I know is there are times where I feel like not being F'd with and if a woman can respect that, we good. *high five*

  16. <blockquote cite="comment-314508">

    WisdomIsMisery:

    I’m a better version of myself when I’m a in a relationship. I’ve known this for a while. Really the only difference between me (and it seems like) most people is that I dont mind being alone. I actually prefer it. It might have to do with that whole introvert thing.

    This is me in a nutshell. I'm an introvert and I need my personal time for the tech / gaming / gadget revelry that my wife doesn't really care for. During the dating phase this doesn't come into play much since you're not living together – during dates it's easy for not to come up. Now that we are married she loves that I take the time to appreciate things that I like, and she does the same. However, she is the priority, and if something happens or goes down that requires me attention the personal time goes down the tubes.

  17. interesting post dude. i guess being in a relationship has the opposite effects on me. not saying that i'd rather be single though.

    laundry

    i have my own washer and dryer so laundry gets done on a weekly basis no matter how much dirty laundry i've accumulated. plus the fact that i work out often means a lot of sweaty clothes. you don't want those type of clothes sitting around too long.

    eating healthy

    my last girlfriend really implemented that i start eating healthier. now that i'm single. i've stuck to those eating habits. i've cut sodas out of my diet. i occasionally drink juice. i mostly drink water (outside of liquor lol). i eat a lot more fruits and vegetables. just yesterday i crushed this bag of black seedless grapes. man they were good.

    working out more

    most people tend to slow down on the working out tip when they get in a relationship. they put on "relationship weight. they get comfortable. its single people who have to keep up their appearances in order to put their best foot forward. i'm going to work out regardless of who i'm with though.

    dressing better

    i think i dress pretty well. i will admit having a woman's eye isn't that bad when it comes to fashion and putting clothes together (assuming she's into that).

    going out

    yeah i go out a LOT more when i'm single.

    1. You just brought to mind the correlation between working out and laundry too. Hadn't thought about that. But yeah, I do find it different that relationships make me more likely to lose weight or gain good weight than bouts of singleness. And as for the eating habits, I know a lot of brethren who get those hearty meals. Unfortunately/fortunately, I haven't had that luxury…for the most part. I guess that's made it a non-issue for me in a way too.

    2. I agree with the Article slim..but I think what happens to me is more accurately expressed by what the homie Mad Scientist said.

  18. <blockquote cite="comment-314520">

    WisdomIsMisery: I recognize it’s weird but it is what it is.

    This should be the mantra for relationships in general. Everyone has their quirks – are you ready to deal with them?

    1. Agreed. As I've gotten older, I've become comfortable with myself – flaws and all. Now if someone will be able to cope with those same flaws? Time will tell…

      What I DO know is that I dont want a woman treating me like a project, dog or small child by trying to mold and change me into the person she THINKs I should be rather than accepting me for the person I am. That's mad annoying.

      I'm a grown @ss man, woman.

  19. I would like to tell you all the good and bad things about being in a relationship, but the best way to describe it would be to tell you to watch the movie 500 Days of Summer. That was probably one of the most accurate descriptions of the great things and bad things in relationships ever.

    As a pathological relationship getter inner, I will say this, if I find the right person it works out well for me, if not then it doesn't. I have my bouts with a lot of issues, mainly what I like to call, OCS, Gilbert Arenasitis, and Eric Benetianis.

    OCS – Only Child Syndrome, I need my alone time, and I like my own space. I hate being up under someone and I hate having to communicate with someone to even explain that.

    GIlbert Arenasitis – Remember when he said he wished people didn't take him so seriously or relied on him as a team leader. There comes a point when I get upset that I have to be relied on to do things. It's a heavy burden to carry.

    Eric Benetianis – Sometimes a man just wants a change of pace in his life. Ain't got nothing to do with that girl or his feelings for her, but he just wants to try something different.

    There are good things about relationships though, most of them have to do with having a portion of your life that can be overwhelming and time consuming under control. Most men spend a lot of time chasing tail, that's just the facts of life, but when you're in a relationship you can focus on other things. You also aren't courting all the time. Like the courting stage is expensive, you have to impress, dinner, movies and a lounge can be a grip. When you're past that stage you're more like, dinner and that's it. Or let's catch a movie and that's it. I mean, every now and then you go all out, but it's not like an event like during the courting phase.

    Oh the other benefit of the relationship is that you get a seat on the peanut gallery. Before when you suggest something to a girl, she shrugs it off. Once you in there, you can start speaking your mind within reason.

    1. I have OCS as well (I'm my Mom and Dad's only child). Prob not as bad as I should (lots of cousins and plenty step-bros). I don't go all out for alone time but I'm content with myself. I'm a social butterfly though so I prefer company…not necessarily my man all the time. I like to be around different people. I'm also HORRIBLE with "checking in". And, when I'm out doing other stuff, I don't like to be bothered.

      I'd love to read an OCS post! 🙂

    2. My man has OCS. I have YCS (youngest child syndrome). Solution: Man cave. He's down there watching the Heat, I'm upstairs salivating over the Barbarian dude on Game of Thrones. Problem.Solved.

    3. Dr. J,

      Your insights were on point. I to suffer from all 3 of those conditions. shaking my damn head, lol.

  20. I hate, HATE laundry. I swear, I hate it. I have a bad habit of not putting my clothes and shoes in their proper places. This issue is CURED when I have a man, lol. I prob eat worse when I'm in a rela cause we're constantly eatting out. 🙁 I dress top notch when I'm going out, period. But, I do go out more when I'm in a rela. I work out more when I'm single cause it's easier to make time for it.

    I don't think relationships make me better. With the exception of my laundry issues, I'm the same person in a rela that I am single. But I do prefer being in a relationship over being single. Two heads, two incomes, etc. are always better than one. Plus, I love hanging with my girls, I do. But, it's nothing like being in the company of a guy that's your friend and your man. There are certain needs that your gf's can't meet but your man can cover all the bases.

    I'll also confess that I have this deep…um…love of charming a man…drawing him in. When I was younger, it was kinda bad cause I did it to guys I didn't even like like that just to exercise my skills and feed that desire…had dudes practically in love with me that I had no interest in. When I'm in a rela, I can feed this on the regular…and no one gets hurt, lol.

  21. You know what… I have yet to be involved in a relationship that inspired me to be better. None of them saw fit to know me well enough to understand (not just know) where I want to go/be to take an initiative to develop an interest in my future or to provide some input.That's why none of my past ones lasted. I was doing all the pushing and motivating. That one-sided ish gets tiring after a while…

  22. I'll agree with everything except the dressing better part.

    I've gotten way more compliments in the last 8 months single than I did in the ENTIRE 1 1/2 years of being boo'ed up with this chick. Which is kinda sad when you think about it.

    Seriously, most of the ish she picked out for me got me laughed at by my friends. Her ol' fashionista behind had me walking around in Levi's 511s like I'm not 6'1" and 165 lbs. WTH?

    She had me walking around like an H&M model (not a good thing, as far as I'm concerned), when my own simpler style gets me way more love anyway.

    Everything else, I did notice changed though… But it's not like I feel like any worse of a person for it.

    1. Wait. Forgot. The laundry thing. I ALWAYS do my laundry once a week. I HATE running low on draws, so that one was never a problem for me anyway.

    2. Levi's 511's?! No straight man should ever wear pants smaller than 514. I commend you for trying to appease her…but THAT, you should have refused.

      The key is fit…personality and cut. Being a Fashionista doesn't automatically make you a good male stylist. I'm sorry you had to learn that the hard way, lol.

  23. Short & sweet, then I'll come back later…

    Whether a woman is in the immediate picture or not… S/Os & IS/Os make me better…

    & my future biological children… It is a no-brainer…

    Although haven't been in two many relationships ("The only war where you get to sleep with the enemy" paraphrased from Lois Lane in Smallville Season 8, [which was wacksauce] Episode 10, Bride) but, women is general make me more fantastic… So…

    If it wasn't for women or S/Os, there would be no purpose to living…

    Adonis

    PostScript: Speaking of Laundry, I read a eBook this weekend called "Free As$ Laundry", by one of your writers… (I forgot who it was, bu whatever…)

    Let's just say my MTA train ride home was more fun that usual…

    Someone please enjoy it as much as I did… Or I will keep promoting it…

    Free Ass Laundry: http://www.mediafire.com/?4mpulj4rcbn1h31

  24. LOL LOL this made me smile…thanks!

    I am better single. I realized this is because I am that girl, who gets into a relationship and totally changes. When I am single I am the life of the party! When I am on lock down, I am not even at the dang party!

    When I am single my wardrobe is MUCH better b/c I am dressing from my own closet, not from the 5 suits I never wear that I left at his house that time he picked them up from the cleaners for me.

    The laundry thing isn't an issue for me b/c I just buy more clothes and if its underwear…"real g's don't wear no drawers!" LMAO

    I guess, the reason I have chosen to be single for the past few years is that I realized I like single me wayyyyy better than in a relationship me. I am more confident single. I don't have to wonder or second guess someone else's thoughts and/or feelings. I am just "doing me" which is one of my favorite things to do. I guess my point is – it's a lot easier for me to be happy if the only person's happiness I'm worried about is my own.

    Probably the only thing that improves when I am in a relationship is that I am better about being on time when I have someone else dragging me out the house in a timely manner. (But I don't know if this is worth it b/c I am usually PISSED when I get to my destination for having to hear his mouth about how I am always running late) SO yea, back to my original point…single is way better for me!

    1. <blockquote cite="comment-314546">

      InsomniaPoet: I am better single. I realized this is because I am that girl, who gets into a relationship and totally changes.

      This is me too.

  25. Great Post Slim. Cosign on all points but I will say that those points… its not so much that im :"better" as much as I "remain focused" and avoid the falloff!

  26. <blockquote cite="comment-314502">

    Slim Jackson: lol. If you think you operate better while single, you can say so. I’d be curious to know why.

    I've been thinking about the list you posted of ways that you're better and reading other people's responses but those are all things that I'm better at when I'm single. I'm more focused on my personal goals when I'm single- and that's paramount to me over any relationship. I'm forced to be more social single, I'm thinner single, neater single, and I'll never do laundry either way lol. I mean I'm sure that one day I will want a relationship for the purposes of having/raising children but right now I just don't see the benefit in it bettering me. Relationships are enjoyable for me but bettering? eh I'm better single.

  27. I am the best married, because all the things that I am good at get to be put to use times two. All the skills I have acquired and in the process of mastering are put to use and tested on a daily. I love it!

    Also, all the things I should have changed became easier to let go once I said "I do". Personally, I am trying to improve ME daily and my husband is sort of my mirror. He calls me out on my issues and praises my strengths. Self-awareness comes with maturity, so what may take me years to realize about myself, he may see in weeks. This is right up my alley since I hate wasting time.

    Having someone you love intimately being right there, in your space, holding you accountable makes becoming a better person a little easier.

  28. I'm a way "better" person in a relationship. For one, I no longer have this huge, arduous task of "dating" on my plate. Less ups and downs. Do I like him? Does he like me? Will I be alone til the 12th of forever? Will he think I'm a ho if I jump him tonight? Will this guy ever shut up? Are all dudes this weaksauce? Are my expectations too high? How many chicks is this guy seeing? Is anything he's saying truthful? Anywho, lots of questions, you get the point.

    When I'm in a relationship, ish seems easier. I have a built in support system and cat scratcher. I have "something" to do most nights; even if that's just making dinner, watching Jeopardy and cuddling. When it's with someone you love, mundane ish is the bomb. I naturally have more conversations, with a wider array of topics because his interests (and his friend's interests) and mine vary. I'm not following the NBA Finals this year, but I watched [email protected] near the whole series last year and enjoyed it. And he asked the right questions, lol, to allow me to talk about me. And say what you will, sometimes we just need to vent. I learned things about myself just answering his questions. Things I'd never really examined in myself, he did. So I learned, I grew, I defined the previously undefined.

    Right now it's just me, my life is very selfish, self centered, one dimensional. That's not what I want. That's not the person I want to be, at all. I'm better when I have a focus, a goal, a purpose. I don't cook for myself as often as I would for us, my house is way less tidy than if someone were regularly visiting. When I was with Him, I went to church more, I slept more, I exercised more, I ate better. I was happier. I have way less motivation to be productive alone. Dating takes up a lot of time and emotional energy. I crave that consistency of a relationship, and yeah, I think I'm "better" when I'm coupled.

  29. All this relationship talk!!! My Brain!!! Lol … i'm soooo far from a relationship its not even funny (Mate-wise) though i do miss certain aspects of one.

  30. son, you ain't lyin. my junior year of college i was stepmaster, dean, worked 30 hrs/week at my internship, had all engineering classes ALL while having a girlfriend and got all A's…..i was never able to repeat that while single even though i had more time and less to do…

    the power of the……

  31. Some research exists that confirms that men do "better" in relationships, especially where health is concerned and especially for Black men (in regards to health). Conversely, such research does not exist for women. Women are socialized to need men and with changes in the labor force (so that the need is not always financial protection), women are then demonized and socialized to believe that they are failures without men if they happen to be single for ANY reason…not just the stereotypical "I have a job so I don't want you" nonsense that is paraded throughout the media. Being in a relationship increases risks for women in several dangerous areas as well.

    I think we are told we will do better as a pair and then try harder more so than the sheer incapability of doing well single. Much more socialization than science. I also think that for some who desire a relationship, being in one is a fulfillment of what they see as a goal and the euphoria as a result of goal completion may give them the energy to try harder. For others, they excel in and out of relationships because acquiring the relationship was not a goal or motivator to do better.

    If someone is significantly a lesser person (by their own determination) without a relationship, I think that is worth exploring, and outside of that relationship. I don't see it as "oh I am good with someone" but I see it as "oh I am bad with myself," and that's not so good, in my opinion.

    Very interesting post, thanks for sharing.

    Great post.

    1. That last paragraph is important and is definitely worth exploring. That's getting into a whole different topic around self-worth, awareness, etc. Much food for thought. Thanks for chiming in.

    2. "If someone is significantly a lesser person (by their own determination) without a relationship, I think that is worth exploring, and outside of that relationship."

      The term better is not the opposite of lesser. While I may consider myself good at some things while not in a relationship, being in a relationship may help me be/do better in other areas.

      No man is an island. This in itself proves that although we float in and out of all types of relationships, we still NEED them to survive. Survival encompasses learning, evolving, and growing. I know of no person able to do that in a vacuum.

      A significant other is different from family and friends. They get to see you in ways family and friends shouldn't and therefore they are able to see INTO YOU; the real you that is sometimes hidden from others. Once the day is over, you go home to a person that ultimately knows you more than your parents and siblings will EVER know you. This person will have the biggest influence on your life outside The Creator. If they can't influence you to be a better person—no one will. Sure, you will be good by yourself, but why not get a different opinion of yourself–a honest assessment from someone that REALLY knows YOU.

  32. I am not sure whether i am better in a relationship or not because I have only been in 2 my whole life and lets just say they did not work out..i was refered to as being selfish.. looking back, I think I probably was because i did not know how to love…

    I have been single for a while now and have enjoyed it but i think i am ready try out the relationship bit again. being single has allowed me to understand myself better and other people as well..i think am ready to love and share myself with someone else..i feel i am ready to do stuff for other people because i want to..i hope that in the relationship i not only become a better me but we become a better us…part of me is scared tho because this relationship stuff seems like a lot of work. Sometimes i even sweat just thinking about relationships..i cannot breathe..that is how terrified i am of them because for such a long time it has only been about me…I really hope I can make it work because being ready and actually doing it are two different things..

  33. I actually don't have a partner as in a relationship, but I do have someone who I am finding more and more to be a significant factor in my life. So about 3 months ago, I might have not answered this query this way, but I think I do have a bit of an unusual spin on it, based on the type of relationship I am referring to. I am a perpetually single female. What this means is that am actually happier being alone than in a group, the only exception being social events that require more than one person to be social,. I don't need a crowd when the events don't require one, and if I need to be around people, I do the activities that promote socially connecting with strangers or friends. Actually, after having several good and not so good relationships, I feel at my best without a man in my life on a day-to-day basis, especially men who have type A personalities and males trying to run the shots. I'm not alpha per se but as I was raised by a 2-parent family where my dad travelled alot and my mom was a happy woman in the bosom of her children even while her loving husband travelled on the road. I don't need a man up my a** at all, and actually prefer it so that I can concentrate on the individuals who I encounter in my life, work and just general travels. I'm happy and content in my femaleness. But after reading this article and witnessing a couple having a small argument in the restaurant while I was having my lunch, especially am happy without the bossy, ego-trippy male personality in my world; this is to say that I could never be associated with the whimpy males who tend to see my boobs and then do as I say (I'm not an Amazon either, I can assure you).

    But interestingly, what I have found is that when the significant other is in fact significant and not just someone of the opposite sex (if str8) who I can dress nice for and have as a sounding board or in lieu of having a dog to keep from being lonely. I believe that when you find someone who makes you familiar again with those feelings that were fairy-tale eyed dreams of ooey dooey lovey dovey joy, then having a significant other isn't half bad. I have someone in my world who is that. He's not my lover, or my husband. He's truly my friend. He tells me the truth, he doesn't have an agenda. He cares about my health, welfare and well-being, and I care about his.

    There's nothing he gives me (money/sex or other tools that are considered the perks that many women who have agenda's that I don't have bring to the table); and while I occasionally am more female on some days than others, I still balance my emotions and realize this person, is not only a Good Person, their a significant someone who makes my days a little nicer. The rest is all that I do for me, because I need to (keep my looks going strong, my figure curvy and my swerve swerving). But it's always nice to know that someone who cares says "man, you're looking good mommie…keep it working girl, because it is!

    So, I say that to say that significant other doesn't have to mean lover. IN fact, with the divorce rate that it is, I doubt in many ways it's even spouses anymore (I say this as I read another politician admitting tweeting their weiner photos). Feeling good has to mean more than having someone else acknowledge you're an attractive person that matters in the eyes of another. We should always try to find our self-worth and acknowledge it since that's the root cause of most devilment as far as self-esteem and hateful relationships are concerned; but when the person makes you acknowledge your own value deeply because they see the YOU that YOU KNOW EXISTS? Now that's someone Significant!

  34. In my own opinion, I would have to say no that having a significant other does not make you a better person. Because everything starts and ends with you, and if you're looking for someone else to complete the person you feel you are, then you're looking for love in all the wrong places.

    If you're an unhappy person already, getting into a relationship with a man or a woman is only going to add to your unhappiness because you have not yet dealt with the reason or reasons you're unhappy. So you should first deal with your own issues within yourself then make yourself available to someone who may have some interest in you.

    No one can make you better, unless you as an individual wants to do better, or be a much better person to others who know you.

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