right woman

4. Avoid the Wrong People

In addition to finding the right person, you need to avoid the wrong people if you seriously want to remain faithful. Before you were in a relationship, hanging out with your single boys/girls all hours of the night and day might have been perfectly fine, but if none of those people are faithful themselves, looking for a relationship, or encouraging you to do right within your own relationship, then you need to hang around them less or not at all. For instance, if you claim you’re going to embrace the vegan lifestyle then you have no business hanging out in the meat carving section of the local steakhouse. You may be strong-willed, but why stack the odds of success against yourself with increased, pointless temptation when you can manage and minimize it?

I’m not saying you have to stop having friends. I’m not even saying you have to stop hanging out. I am saying that what you did in the past is not the same thing you should plan to do in the future. If you want to be in a relationship, you need to embrace a relationship-minded lifestyle. This means as a partner in a relationship, you have to consider the thoughts, feelings, and impact of your actions on at least one other person—the person you’re dating (and your kids, if it applies). No judgment, but if you want to continue embracing the single-minded lifestyle, then you do not need to be in a relationship. Don’t expect someone to embrace you “doing you,” when a relationship requires you embrace two doing we. If you’re not ready to consistently consider other people outside of yourself; that’s fine…just stay single.

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5. Find a Mentor or Peer Group

Fellas, this doesn’t mean you have to start a prayer circle with you and your homeboys; whereby you lament to the bachelor gods about the woes of being in a committed relationship because of all the women in the world to choose from somehow you and all your friends managed to commit to all of the crazy ones.

Ladies, this doesn’t mean you have to start a wine drinking circle with you and your homegirls; whereby you lament to the bachelorette gods about the woes of being in a committed relationship because of all the men in the world to choose from somehow you and all your friends managed to commit to all of the @ssholes.

You should, however, surround yourself with level-headed men and women around your age or older who are generally happy in their relationships. Misery loves company, and if you hang around enough people in miserable relationships long enough, they’ll want you to be miserable in your relationship too. In fact, they might convince you that you only thought you were happy with your man/woman, but in actuality, you’re wrong and miserable as well. Don’t let someone else’s dissatisfaction with their lives and life choices be your burden. You shouldn’t feel bad for being happy in your relationship. THAT’S HOW YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO FEEL. If your current group of friends can’t support this, find a person or group that will.

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I’m unmarried, but I try to focus on speaking with men who are happy in their relationships, especially their marriages. Here’s one decent source right here. I’m not looking for a man to sugarcoat his experience with marriage, and tell me some Hallmark fairy tale about how when you get married life gets easier, your kids never get on your nerves, and the only thing your wife is more eager to do besides cook for you is give you fellatio and/or sexual relations while serving you beer. I want a man to tell me the truth, including the good and the bad. I’ve found if you ask them, most married men are more than willing to share this frank information. Even happily married men want single men to go into marriage with their eyes wide open. From these various, open, and honest conversations, I’ve basically gotten this message: marriage isn’t easy, but it isn’t prison either. For the most part—with some admitted exceptions—they’re happier as husbands/fathers than they were as single men/players. When it comes to peace of mind, sometimes relative perspective is as good as definitive answers.

Is it easier to remain faithful or unfaithful? Why do some people struggle with remaining faithful more than others? When in a relationship, what rules do you follow to resist or minimize temptation in your own life?