Growing up my mother always taught me a few things about finding the right man for myself, and few things that would undoubtedly mislead me.
The first thing I remember her ever saying to me was "make sure you marry someone that you can't live without, not someone that you can live with." And to this day she says it over and over again--asking me at every turn if I think this guy or that guy fits that stature.
She also told me that you need to find someone that may have SOME things in common with you, but definitely has differences with you, otherwise there will never be any conversation. She always knew how opinionated and passionate I was about the things that I believed in and knew that I would need to find someone equally as passionate about something.
My mother has only one regret in her life, but she always says that it's one too many. She doesn't want me to regret anything. And so, she wants to make sure that the person that I find doesn't hold me back from doing the things that I love. Because I love to do so many things, and aspire to do so many things in my lifetime...she doesn't want me to settle.
Then as I got older and fell into some hard relationships that left me heartbroken, she had a newsflash for me. That girls tend to pick men similiar to their fathers...in my case that is not a good thing. And so, from then on I decided that I needed to watch out for myself and decide beforehand if someone was too much like my dad or not.
It was clear to me that a better male figure to base my "perfect" guy on would be my older brother. Who is the best guy I have ever known. He is a fantastic husband and father and I couldn't ask for a better brother.
My mother also then told me that you can't choose who you fall for, and this became extremely apparent with my first love, Donovan. In the beginning I was in a blur of the moment, of how we had met so quickly and then how fast I was falling for him. But as my friends questioned his motives and thought he was bad for me, as did my mom, I ignored it. And two years later, after one abortion, him cheating three times and me going back to him, and my grades dropping...he was gone with someone else and I was alone.
The lessons in love are hard. And definitely easier learned through experience. I just wish that I could save my nephew, little brother, and cousins from the heartbreak that lives in their future. But I can't.