By Kharli Cook

Photos by: Demarco V

It all starts with a “hello”. A handsome man approaches a beautiful woman. Nice smile, straight teeth, and he smells good too! Tack on a job and he is-in after a first successful date. We see potential. Boyfriend material.  Then it hits. The ‘love crack’. After that first date, we go home, do our Steve Harvey check list and review the answers. Our next encounters will be his test. His tests will determine if you will allow him access to the sweet pink yummy yogurt box, and furthermore, all of the other nice little tricks you have to dangle in front of him.

We do all of this, and not once do we think about if this man was meant for something else. The love crack takes over and after too many so-called mistakes he is x’d off the list. What if he was meant for something more? What if he was supposed to be around a little longer?

People come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes to reveal something to us or to help us to grow to our next level of potential. I dated a guy once…an Alpha male. Tall, dark, and handsome. He wasn't the smartest guy, but he had huge hands. He worked hard and I respected him. He had this thing about popping us at his house though. That was his rule. Do not pop up! Well, one late night after the club, what did I do? I popped-up. I was looking good. Had turned down advances at the club and all. I figured he would be happy to see me, let me in. Nope! He made sure to open the door just so I would know that there was not another woman there, then reminded me of his rule. I was pissed. Mostly embarrassed, but pissed. My ego was shot. I went a few days being ‘in my feelings’, then realized the importance of respect. I’m adamant about someone popping up at my house as well. In the past, I’ve actually not answered the door at all when someone’s popped up at my house before. So, it added to my respect for him. I didn’t become the victim, remain in my feelings or cut him off because I was embarrassed. I looked at the bigger picture. So, we remained friends. I learned a lot from him. I was attracted to how he kept his word and regardless, would never sway. I would never be able to date any other type of man. They would have to be strong minded and brutally honest.

There’s been several other situations that I have learned from because I did not allow ‘the love crack’ to take over and sabotage. An earlier relationship had similar results. Only this time, I attempted to really push a guy away. I mean I was so upset that he did not move at the speed that I wanted to go. He was fine! Shorter than me... but fine. He had some tendencies that I really wanted to overlook because he was such a nice guy. He didn’t pass the height requirement, and he didn’t have dirty hands, but his shoes and teeth where clean so he was potential. He texted every morning. He was always available to talk. I mean if I was down or just feeling goofy and wanted to waste his time with random silly conversation. He was available. I started to really get used to him. So, I wanted more. He didn’t budge. He wanted us to stay friends. He wanted us to move slow. But I was ready for a relationship. I wanted to go on dates. To spend time together. (or so I thought) I remember blocking his phone calls and text messages just so that I would be forced to ignore him. Ironically, I still would randomly check my blocked message log and notice that every day, he still was texting faithfully, "Good Morning beautiful”. I asked him once to remove me from his morning group message to his chicks. I just knew I wasn’t the only person getting this message. Especially since I had not replied in over a month. He simply responded and said, “no Queen, it’s not a group”. In the meantime, I went on dates with other guys but was introduced to a book called, ‘The five love languages’. It helped me to understand the difference in how people express love. Eventually I gave in and returned one of his text. I realized that his love language was, words of affirmation, and mine was quality time. He wanted me to tell him I was thinking of him, to tell him good night. The same thing he was doing to me. So, since he gave me his time daily to tell me good morning, (and even started to add my name or personal nicknames so that I knew it wasn't a group) I could reply and let him know how appreciative I was for him. In return, I had someone I could call for anything. That would always support me and respected me just for the type of women I was. Rare.  He had a huge ego, and a huge heart so we remained friends.

When I think back on my past relationships there was always something that I learned from each one of them. There is always an opportunity to see a lesson in a situation. Unfortunately, not every one of my past relationships are in the standing of constant communication. However, because of my practice, I was still able to receive the lesson despite.

Kharli Cook is a Creative Writer for   AB+L Radio Dallas. Keep an eye out for more dope content from her and our AB+L Radio Dallas Team. 
Photos provided by Demarco V.