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  • Karen Okonkwo

What I'm Looking For In a Relationship


There is something about Sunday where I get into deep reflection. My friend wanted to chat with me over breakfast about something important to him today so I obliged. The topic was about how he handled a romantic situation. He was really into someone, but had the emotional maturity to realize that this person wasn't aligning with one of his non-negotiables: ambitiousness. Well, he never called it a non-negotiable - I just asked him what was enough to provoke him to cut ties with a budding relationship. I told him my non-negotiables and encouraged him to spend time earlier on in dating someone to express those so he doesn't get in too deep emotionally with someone and potentially break their heart. The conversation sent me home thinking about the difference between non-negotiables and preferences. Do we really know what we are holding out for? A non-negotiable is something that is not open to discussion or modification. You're firm in that and can't be shaken. A preference is a greater liking for one alternative over another or others. I can admit that for a long time I have held out on pursuing dating because I didn't see my preferences being 100% met. But, over this last year I have had to ask myself, what can't I live without within a relationship? That is 100% my non-negotiables: a relationship with God, intellectual, loyalty, health-conscious and ambitious. Nothing more, nothing less. In order to uncover these things, you have to be open to being courted by interested suitors. Voicing your preferences is how sometimes your friends and family can say things like, "Oh that's unrealistic!" "Nobody is that perfect!". Instead, share with your friends your non-negotiables and see what doors are opened from there.


What are your non-negotiables?

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