“Be ye not unequally yoked”. If you grew up in a Southern home chances are you’ve heard this phrase several times in your life. While the Scripture speaks specifically of marriage, its message is relevant and can be applied to various types of relationships, regardless of your religious leanings.
Just to clarify, to be “unequally yoked” simply means that there are differences that exist between two mates that could shorten the lifespan of a relationship. Still unclear? Lucky you because I have compiled my top 5 list of ways you could be unequally yoked and how it could damage your romantic relationship.
5. Political party
So you voted for Hillary and he chose the other guy. No big deal. Until some time later you discover that the “other guy” is the forerunner of some obscure Marxist-esque communist neo Nazi like party. Yes, this is an extreme example but when you first meet someone something like this can seem minor when compared to their beautiful smile and killer sense of humor.
There are thousands of couples that identify with different sides of the aisle and get along smashingly. But if your conversations start to seem more like rounds of a high school debate competition, you might want to start working on a Dear John letter.
4. Relationship Goals
Are you looking for someone to get you through Cuffing Season or someone to take home to meet the folks? In this day and age people are seen as clingy or moving too fast if they have this conversation too early in the relationship, but these are valid questions people. Far too often people take the stance of “Let’s see where this goes”. When you’re in your 20s this attitude isn’t so bad, but as time marches on you should yearn for something more meaningful, or at least for some clear boundaries. Gone are the days where the ultimate goal of an intimate relationship was obviously marriage, so be upfront and honest with yourself and your potential partner.
If you’re engagement ring shopping and she’s still got an active account on cutieswitbooties.com, y’all aren’t on the same page. Spare yourself some dignity, heartache, and time by having a mature conversation about your emotional needs and expectations from the beginning.
3. Personal goals
You want to be your own boss by 40. He wants to drop an unbroken perfectly coiled deuce (true story). He wants to take some enrichment courses at the local university. She wants to have a million friends across all her social media platforms. While these differences may not keep two people apart, they very well could be the source of issues down the line.
We’re all individuals, but if you can’t relate to your significant others goals and motivation behind them, it can be difficult to truly connect with them on a deeper level. Failing to do this can breed contention and even jealousy when your accomplishments and success surpass their own.
2. Individual interests
You overcame #4 and met someone that does want to get married but they don’t want children. Is this a deal breaker? You love to travel but your boo doesn’t want to scrape up that $135 for a passport. Can you imagine yourself on the trip of a lifetime without your ‘bae’ next to you? In a healthy relationship you should feel encouraged and supported in your individual endeavors, but like minded enough to enjoy each others differences as well.
Much like #3, you have to be able to understand your Love Muffin in their various pursuits. Otherwise you could be creating a hostile environment for your relationship and worse yet, deferring the dreams of your loved one or your own.
Now, let’s be really honest. Could you build a future with someone who doesn’t believe the same thing(s) that you do? I’m not talking about trivial things like whether or not Tupac is alive (he is ) or if OJ really did it (he didn’t ). We’re talking about about the stuff that fundamentally shapes who you are and how you relate to and view the world around you. After all, the Good Book addressed this issue in particular roughly 2000 years ago and immortalized it in print. If you meet someone that really stirs yo’ grits, are all bets off if they believe in Buddha instead of Allah? Would you be willing to give up bacon (and sausage, ham, ribs, fat back, chittlins, chicharrones and pickled pig’s feet, etc) or football Sunday to draw nearer to your loved one? If you aren’t, then you need to slow your roll. It’s not going to get better or easier as time goes by.
Sure, people meet and their love for each other makes them convert or overcome any and all obstacles such as ideological differences. Personally, that’s not one of the 99 problems I want to have. Your belief in the afterlife or evolution shapes your responses to various things in this life. Believing that nothing happens regardless of your behavior or that 25 Hail Mary’s sets you straight can significantly influence your moral compass. When you consider your mate’s family and friends, this issue can get exponentially more difficult when you throw in holidays and other social events.
If you’re open and flexible, then go for it. If not, forego unnecessary tension and stress and choose someone whose faith is in the same thing as you. Is this going to eliminate the typical growing pains in a new relationship? Not likely, as everyone has varying degrees of faith and commitment to what they believe. Nonetheless, a person’s beliefs dictates a great portion of their ideals and morals. It teaches a man how he should treat a woman and teaches a woman how she should carry herself…if they genuinely care that is.
When two folks set out on a journey, they may have different ideas about how to get there, but the destination in mind should be the same. Consider this list your GPS.
– Miss. KK
Miss. KK considers herself a true southerner at heart with an undying love for all things glazed and covered in gravy. When she’s not harassing her baby boy with hugs and kisses, she enjoys napping, Rubik’s cubes and Agatha Christie novels.
Updated on 01/15/19, Post originally entitled, “Be ye not Unequally Yoked: 5 Things That can Make, Break, or Hinder Relationship Growth”