Home Featured I Asked Him: How Can I Be A Better Woman?

I Asked Him: How Can I Be A Better Woman?

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Ahyiana Angel_I Asked Him

At the start of each New Year, you witness countless numbers of people full of hope for the coming year and they tend to quote cliches like “New Year, New You.” There is just one problem. A new year with old habits is not a good combination. However, it’s certainly a realistic scenario. I’m not here to speak doom, but I can only speak for myself when I say that I plan on dealing with reality this year.

I know that my bad habits were not magically removed from my frame of reference overnight. When the clock struck 12:00 am, ringing in the New Year, I did not become a new woman with a clean slate who was now free of the decisions from my past. As much as we would like for each incoming year to rid us of the ills of the year past, there is no magic wand. We have to do the work. Although I’m not a magically new sparkly perfect woman, I can make an effort to be a better woman. I’m on a path of continuous growth professionally, and my plan for 2014 is to continue that quest for growth in my personal relationships as well.

During a conversation with my close girlfriends one woman asked another: What are you going to do different in establishing and engaging in your next relationship? Even though the question wasn’t asked of me it caught my attention and practically screamed my name.

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Sometimes we become so consumed with blame and finding fault in the things that the other person has done in our relationships that we lose sight of our role. Maybe you were not the one who cheated, but were you perfect during the relationship? If my partner cheated, I’m not saying that it is my fault. But reflecting on the events leading to the relationship’s demise, it would be smart to acknowledge where I could have contributed to its end.

In keeping with my quest for growth, I reflected on some of the men that I’d dated in the past. There was one man in particular that I couldn’t get off of my mind. After we parted ways, I would often think of him. I didn’t know exactly where things went wrong. He became distant and, in turn, I became intolerant. I wondered if I ran too quickly, but I never asked him. My intolerance was definitely my version of running. When things would get too complicated in relationships, I’d take the path of least resistance. Not saying that it was right.

Admitting. That is my first step.

I called him. Instead of grappling on my own with questions that I did not hold the answers to, I decided to go to the source. We met for dinner and had a surprisingly amazing conversation. I can only imagine that things went so well because I wasn’t seeking answers from a negative place, but more from a place of seeking enlightenment. I wanted to know how I could make myself better from his perspective. How could I improve my performance in relationships to ensure that I’m doing everything possible on my end to ready myself for my man of life (sorry, inside joke)? In no way did I look at this man as some type of superior being with all of the answers. It wasn’t about him. It was about me, and what I wanted to take away from our meeting.

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Would you or have you asked an ex how you could/can be better in a future relationship? How’d that go? Do you think people should seek feedback from their exes? Lastly, what are some of the things you know you need to work on before your next relationship?

xoxo

Ahyiana Angel

About the Author: Ahyiana Angel is a Cali girl who has turned the Manhattan streets into her playground. This sassy storyteller—a former sports entertainment publicist at the National Basketball Association (NBA)—is anticipating the release of her first novel, Preseason Love, about dating in New York, coveted careers, complicated relationships, and ultimate deception. Angel is the creator of the salacious and popular blog Life According to Her. It’s contrived like reality TV, fictionalized for fun (also to protect the innocent), and sensationalized for your entertainment.

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Comment(26)

  1. Yes I did ask. I do not see why not? Not so much as to, how can I be a better woman, but what do you think it was that made us not work? Granted you have to take a grain of salt with their response depending on how it ended. However, when people break up or relationships end, sometimes they think they were the best partner ever, when it was not the case. We can all stand to learn more and evolve. If you still have that relationship with your ex, i say ask away. You might learn something.
    My recent post Giving her the D don’t mean shiggedy

  2. Good Post. I think if it’s possible there is nothing wrong with asking an ex what you may need to improve on that could help you in the next relationship. One important factor that I took from this article was that the woman was already at peace with the relationship being over, she wasn’t looking for closure. I definitely think you need to be at that point with any ex you decide to ask these questions.

    I think this falls under the “what do you bring to the table category” sometimes women assume were bringing everything to the table when were in a relationship, when a lot of times were just bringing the appetizer, while waiting for our partner to bring the main course.

    I also think if you’re someone looking to be in a long term relationship, learning how to take criticism along with praise from your partner without getting defensive is very important. You also can’t ask an ex any questions about what you can do to “improve” if you’re going to get defensive when he says something you don’t agree with.

  3. I think it’s a great idea to seek feedback from an ex as long as it ended on good terms. I have a girlfriend who did this with an ex who was a prolific cheater & she was shocked to find that he actually had some great insight. I’m grateful for this idea & I plan on doing this tonight lol.

  4. Wow! I actually had this same dinner in reverse. Dated a pretty popular guy who everyone seemed to like and girls loved but didn't stay…including me. He wanted to talk to me because he claimed I was the only one who didn't want anything from him. I gave him honesty and end up learning about myself as well. We all could be better.

  5. This was a great article.. This has made me want to ask this question before things go bad.. Maybe it will help me in a currently relationship and have a better understanding of the other persons perspective.

  6. "But reflecting on the events leading to the relationship’s demise, it would be smart to acknowledge where I could have contributed to its end.

    This is a very mature and sensible approach to assessing a situation, and as a result also learning from it.
    As expressed in the article, far too often many folks enjoy pointing the finger at the other party, never once looking in the mirror to acknowledge how they themselves contributed to the downfall of the relationship.

    If that sort of personal inventory is never taken, how can one ever truly grow? How can one ever avoid making similar mistakes in the future? And lastly, how can one ever have a realistic look at themselves if they won't ever look at themselves?

    Finger pointers are usually the source of their own misery in more ways than one, as they oftentimes tend to rinse, wash, and repeat themselves from one disappointing relationship to the next. It tends to be those individuals who will make unfair and unfavorably broad sweeping generalizations about the opposite sex when it comes to dating.

    I think seeking feedback from exes is a great way to learn about oneself; especially for those who find it hard to look in the mirror and do it themselves.

    Mr. SoBo
    OpinionatedMale.com

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  7. Now, I'm sitting here trying to figure out who I could ask…

    I've asked male friends but, in hindsight, I don't think you get valid answers that way. Hmmm…

  8. This article is a testament to your maturation. As I get older I'm realizing that I can really appreciate a woman who can own up to her end of things. That kind of thing is necessary for growth. This article brings some hope that ladies like this exist lol. Good stuff.

  9. At the conclusion of my relationships, focusing inward to see what I could improve about myself proved to be the only real form of closure I could realistically attain. For me, asking that of them would be…impractical. If the relationship cannot be saved I see no reason in asking what went off about it..because the next person you are with will hand you a completely different dynamic. If you think back hard enough you can see where you fell short, you can see where your relationship jumped the shark, and you can see what you can do for yourself going forward.
    The only case I can see where asking the significant other is exponentially more helpful than reviewing the relationship alone is when your partner constantly complained of your absence. You may not have noticed you checked out in more ways than one.
    My recent post Moda por Menos-the Lupita Edition!!!

  10. If more people would ask their significant other about how can they be a better man or woman while they're still together, maybe fewer people would have to ask them after they've become exes.

  11. Awesome read! I feel inspired reading this as it feels like confirmation of my own maturity. I must say it feels good when you mature to realize & own the role you played in the failed relationship. Great idea to ask exes their opinion. I believe you can only grow from that type of honesty.

  12. I love this! This is how we heal people! Not by playing the "blame game"! Props to the author for sharing her journey of maturation and evolution.

  13. I wouldn’t wait until the person is an ex to ask how I can be better. I’ve asked my husband how I could be better for him and it always leads to some very open conversations that I think have helped foster real change. It’s kind of like a progress report.

  14. I don't know if I can ask my girlfriend how to be a better man…maybe seek advice from other women (who are just friends) or maybe your homeboy who can look at both sides of the coin. Or if you do ask an ex you obviously have to be on good terms and make sure there's no feelings involved mutually. Now if you're married yes you can have these conversations because it's you and her 'till death do you part'–supposedly, so you know you're not going anywhere. And besides it's okay to be vulnerable to your wife, a girlfriend not so much.
    My recent post Dear Hip Hop, We Hardly Knew Ye (Part II)

    1. I don't see a reason why you shouldn't be able to talk to your girlfriend about this, especially since you becoming a better man is better for her as well. I'd say if she's your girlfriend, she should allow you and expect you to be vulnerable with her and talk like friends. Try it. If she makes a big deal out of you trying to improve yourself, then…

    2. If you don't start out being open, and vulnerable, do you expect to flip that switch on once you get married?

      Hmmm, don't see that working out to well.

      Find someone that you can be vulnerable with.

        1. And that's NEVER a good idea. To "flip the switch"…

          That's the dreaded "change" men refer to when expressing their apprehensions about marriage.

  15. I have never asked an ex why hings didn't work out in the past because I was too stubborn to ask and it was more convenient to point the finger. Now that i'm older and aware of who I am I listen to what people tell me and have no problem looking in the mirror.

    The main thing I need to work on in my next relationship is to trust completely, give all of myself to someone and trust that they will not abuse the power I give them by letting them in. Being vulnerable is not a fun position to be in……but if she's worth it I think I will be able to give her my heart 🙂
    My recent post Wednesday’s News

  16. I'm the one who's ended my last couple relationships so it'd be awkward. If an ex were to ask me what to change i'd feel some type of way because id be sure i would have told them 1000 times while we was together and obviously they chose not to listen I would be honest and fair and tell them where and how we went wrong
    My recent post Today’s Word is… ANEW

  17. Thanks for your excellent honest post. I completely agree that it's great to ask the question of how to be a better women, as this is an integral part of keeping up communication. In saying that, you need to be ready for the response and ready to really hear what they have to say. It's up to you how you digest the feedback and if you can improve to really make yourself better.
    My recent post Click one of the post titles above to include it at the end of your comment

  18. I shouldn't have to ask that question if we were in a honest, open relationship, so the first step to having a better relationship in the future would be to communicate more. If something is upsetting you, say it, even if you don't know why or exactly how to put it into words. Similarly, if there's a question you want to ask, ask it without worrying about if its too random or presumptuous. Usually, it's better to talk to your boyfriend first, before your friends.

    Also, I'm horrible at/ don't understand timing, so I don't "wait for the right time" to say things that must be said or ask questions that I really want answered.

    1. Your partner should be your confidant and friend, just one who's really sexy, lol. If their not at least that, it will not work.

  19. It’s always good to reflect on where things went wrong with relationships in our life. I think ownership is a great step towards fixing our personal flaws and growing from them. Like you said, it’s so easy to point the finger at others but we often have difficulties looking within ourselves to see how we contributed to the situation. Great read.

  20. I wouldn't ask my exes how to be better in a future relationship… because I broke it off with them…Also because I was told what my faults were while in the relationship.

    But also why would you have to ask an ex "how to be a better woman or man". Wouldn't they have already told you when you were together? Or isn't it something you'd glean from the conversations & conflicts you had? Idk it just seems a little odd & idealistic to me..

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