Are you Path-Walking or Place-Holding? Guest post by @JaymeCinDallas

BougieLand today Dr. JaymeC, our resident family psychologist and moral conscience drops knowledge. In addition to having more degrees that I can keep up with and being an all around good friend, Jayme is speeding towards her 20th year of marriage (a good one at that). So with that in mind: Respect, learn, share.

Well, I'll open with an easy statement: life is a journey. Brilliant, right? Okay, I'll go further. Life is a journey not unlike the movie Inception - where there's a dream within a dream within a dream? Life is a street within a drive within a highway cross country... you get my point. 

One of life's most intriguing, interesting and frustrating endeavors is that search for a lasting and fulfilling relationship. Ideally, you want someone on your journey who shares the driving and navigating duties and makes the trip well worth the effort. Sure, it doesn't hurt if the car is shiny and smells great but on a long trip, you're really more concerned with what's under the hood. (Heart, mind, soul)

No matter where you are in the journey; every once and a while you have to ask yourself - Are you path-walking or place-holding in your relationships?

If you are path-walking, you are moving. Either forward, backward or side-to-side, you are in motion. Even if you haven't realized where your destination is - unless you're traveling in circles - you are on your way to somewhere.

If you are place-holding, you are standing still. Not only are you going nowhere, you're likely sinking into a rut. Worse still, you could be standing in a spot that was meant for someone else. (Not good)

I know I tend to talk in winding metaphors. I'm going to take it even further. Here are five suggestions (complete with musical inspiration provided by Chele) to get and keep you moving on that path: 

1) Are you gonna go my way? Make sure you get on the path with someone moving in the same direction. If one person puts the car in drive and the other puts in it reverse - where are you headed? In real life terms, this means you should find someone who either has similar life plans (goals, dreams) or can at least be down with yours. One person wants to be a CEO with four kids and the other wants to serve coconut umbrella drinks in Cabo attachment free? You're not even in the same vehicle.

2) Drive - There's a line in this great song Chele introduced me to by Incubus: "But lately I am beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel." During the course of a relationship, each party is going to have to take turns steering. Sometimes, to be perfectly honest there are times when one person is going to have to take the backseat. In practical terms it means control and leadership are fluid concepts. You get though each leg of the journey together.

3) Ride for you -Pretty self-explanatory. If you sign on for the ride and you're serious about it, you have to see it through. Not ride or die (that seems extreme) but hang on through the potholes and sharp turns. Ride 'til die maybe?

4) A long walk - That's all a relationship really is - one long walk. If you have someone who is willing to keep taking the next step, you've found a keeper. Like this song says, you need someone to spark conversation, verbal elation, stimulation. Yes, this includes the cocoa. But if you keep in mind that the mental needs to stay just (maybe more) stimulated than the physical, you are path-walking.

5) Keep on Movin' -Ultimately, the only way a relationship is successful is if it keeps evolving and changing, hopefully in the same direction (with the same two people). Sometimes people get distracted and take their eyes off of the road. They get hung up on the scenery and how far it is to the destination. Just. Take. The. Next. Step.

Sometimes, despite our best intentions - none of this occurs, none of it works out, relationships break down. (Ever long for an eject button? That played "Hit the road, Jack" before it detonated? How cool would that be?) But as I was saying, even after you've tried and tried, at least walk away knowing you gave it your best shot. Hope I didn't ramble too much and there were some kernels in here that everybody can use if not for a romantic relationship than in their dealings with friends and family. Be Blessed. -Jayme

Well, Jayme kinda got me with this metaphor. If I look at relationships as a journey (road trip), I have to recognize a few times when I didn't put enough gas in the car, flooded the engine and ignored the warning lights. A few times I may have gone all Thelma and Louise and driven the car straight off the damn cliff. I can also see times when I got in a Hyundai and tried to make it a Maybach. BougieLand, put your creativity caps on. Imagine your best and worst relationships. If they were cars, what kind would they be? What keeps them running or stopped them dead in the street? The floor is yours.