Since it’s February, the month of love (and Andrel already started us down this path), I thought I would share how I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Andrel Malcolm Myles. Throwing out the middle name there because he threw out mine. I love Andrel with all of my heart, I really do, but I also recognize that a strong relationship is not simply based on love alone. A relationship does not simply grow and flourish simply because of a feeling, but a relationship gets stronger because two people who love each other have committed themselves to each other. You’ve heard a bit of Andrel’s perspective on how he knew I was the one. This is my perspective on how I knew he was the one divided into three parts. Here’s part one: How I knew he was the right person.
It’s clear that the people you associate with, especially your significant other, influences your life in ways you probably cannot even begin to fathom. I’ve watched ambitious women falter because of the men they settle on. I promised myself that when it was time to settle down that I would find someone who would never drag me down. I needed someone to match my ambition. Andrel mentioned in his last blog post that I witnessed him as the class clown in our early years of high school, which is why I never gave him the time of day at that point in time. Then we got together and he was still a little bit of a clown, but I was starting to see a bit of progression. Then, I saw potential. It wasn’t the potential for me to change him, but I saw him starting to lean into his potential.
At that stage of life, I didn’t need a man who had it all together because I didn’t have it all together yet. We were still in high school. But I needed him to give me a glimpse of potential, a sign of change: something that gave me hope he would match me in ambition. And I needed to make sure it wasn’t me forcing him to change or to grow. I needed to make sure that he had it in him and I would just help be that extra push.
Did I tell you he graduated cum laude in university? Then graduated with the highest GPA in his diploma program? Oh, did I mention that he’s one of the youngest to ever do it in his position with the city? Did I forget to tell you that he acquired two real estate properties in a 6-month span all before turning 25? Also, that he’s not done yet? Yeah, he definitely did that. But what always gets me about his ambition.. Yes, he does it for himself and his own fulfillment, but he’s always reminding me that everything he does to succeed is for our future. Whenever I hear that, it is honestly truly humbling. I pray that everyone finds someone who is willing to do everything they can in your best interest and for your happiness.
There was one thing I knew I didn’t want in a man: a pushover. I needed someone who could go toe to toe with me intellectually and mentally. I have a lot of opinions. If you get to know me well enough, you’ll know that I can get very vocal about my opinions. If I’m comfortable enough with you, I will not back down with my opinion until you logically point out the flaws in my argument. There have been countless times that Andrel and I have gone head-to-head on a number of issues. I hold my own and he holds his own. There have been instances where he realizes I make more sense and vice versa, but it’s always refreshing to get into a heated debate about something now and then. It lets me get to know his mind and point of view, while I reveal my mind and point of view to him.
I need someone who respects how opinionated I am (whose masculinity isn’t so fragile), yet won’t let me go down the wrong path. I have seen couples where one of them is acting a fool and the other never corrects them. They let their significant other act like a fool out on these streets. Granted, I will never tolerate Andrel checking me in front of people to the point of humiliating me, but I need him to check me once we’re behind closed doors. I need someone who is confident and strong enough to sit me down, hit me with the logic, and tell me to get right. There have been so many times that Andrel has saved me from myself, from making a fool of myself in public.
I believe growth plays such a significant role in your success professionally and personally. If you’re not in the mindset of fostering ways to grow, you’ll never be successful because you’ll be stuck in the same mind frame, the same attitude, the same outlook.. the same everything. You’re stagnant, heading nowhere. I needed someone who knew how to be content, but was never fully satisfied. Someone who was grateful for his successes and accomplishments, but he kept pushing himself beyond his comfort zone to be better. I needed someone who did that professionally and personally.
I truly believe that the success of a relationship depends on whether or not the two of you are growth-oriented. Being with Andrel, I have learned to frame change as growth. We’re both not perfect people. There are things we have noticed about the other that we see as obstacles to being the best version of ourselves. Being growth-oriented has allowed us to have the difficult conversations about what changes we need to make in ourselves or in our relationship. When both of you are growth-oriented, you don’t see those difficult conversations as an attack on you, you see it as an opportunity to become a better person, a better partner, and a better friend.There are a number of other things I could list about Andrel that made me realize he was the right one for me, but that could get lengthy and boring. These are my top three: the things I wanted to find. I was blessed enough to find them in the person I’m spending the rest of my life with.