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Sex + Relationships

Candid Conversations: Jordan Lloyd on Love and Relationships

There is no one way to get it right, but it takes the right person to get it right with. Loving, dating and courting for a 20-something-year-old is a trial and error process. You’ll kiss a few frogs, but knowing what you want and who you are is the greatest strength you can have going into the realm of love. 

Photo courtesy of Jordan Lloyd

Jordan Lloyd, 25, is a husband, father, and youth minister, who shares his testimony through his lyrical rap. Lloyd puts emphasis on being himself no matter how his circumstances change. Whether it’s your environment or relationship, your character should remain the same. That’s not saying you should remain stagnant, but growth builds on the foundation that is already laid. That foundation should never change. 

Purpose is a driving force in Lloyd’s life. His marriage with his wife, Amber, is apart of his own. 

“Purpose is probably one of the biggest cures to anxiety, suicide and [benefitting someone’s] mental health,” he says. “I was very active in the wrong ways when it comes to relationships. I never did it the right way up until marriage.”

Photo courtesy of Jordan Lloyd

Relationships are never easy. They take time, patience and intentionality to mold into a partnership the respective person needs. Through his experiences once as a single man, now married, Lloyd extends his advice to young people seeking substance within their relations.

What are the basic elements of a relationship?

Love. God has to be the foundation—God is love. Making adjustments is a big part of relationships because you have two people coming together. Whether it’s marriage or courting, you have to learn to adjust. Giving is also important because love is a sacrifice. You have to be able to give—not just material things. You have to give your heart, love and time. Additionally, trust is essential.

How does someone address their past traumas to heal before getting involved with someone else?

You have to build a trustworthy environment for you both to spill your past traumas because everything has to come out before marriage. You don’t want three years to go by, something comes up and you say, “well, this happened to me.” Trauma does that to you. If you don’t deal with it, it makes you who you are.

It’s a deal breaker if someone can’t accept you for who you are when it comes to your past experiences. If they can’t accept you, then they don’t really love you. 

What’s the difference between dating and courting?

Dating doesn’t necessarily have value; you’re just going out on dates. There’s no real purpose, you’re merely having a good time together. You can have fun with a person that is not supposed to be your life partner. Dating is more like, “how far can I get with [them]?” It has a materialistic feel; it deals with your pleasures. 

Courting isn’t as fun, but it’s good for you. It’s a spiritual connection. When someone is courting you—for lack of a better word—they are “dating” your spirit, learning who you are as a person. They’re learning beyond what they see, because what you see can distract you. You can get distracted by how someone looks when your focus needs to be on the spirit and mind.

Courting can lead to marriage or isolation. The sole purpose of courting should be to marry someone, not because you are lonely or someone has attributes you want. Courting should prepare your heart for marriage. You shouldn’t be worried or doubtful; you should court someone until you’re both certain you are ready to embark on the next step together. 

Going back to spirit, your flesh is going to die and if your souls are not in love that relationship will lack longevity. 

Often there’s the notion that women have to help teach men how to communicate, treat and love them. Do you think women are obligated to take on that responsibility?

There has to be an exchange. Nowadays for men, pride kills because we don’t want to learn. I went to a marriage retreat and I was in a room full of men with questions they didn’t want to ask because of their pride. We hold the idea that because we are men we should know the answers already.  

Because men really don’t know how, women are tasked with the responsibility, but not entirely. Love languages are a form of communication, mine being physical touch and words of affirmation and Amber’s are acts of service and quality time. If I communicate to her through physical touch, she won’t respond as well compared to if I do something for her. It’s important for her to teach me the way her love is communicated. If she didn’t tell me, I would be communicating love but in the wrong way, so it’s not as effective.  

Overall, what are some good qualities to look for in a partner?

Look at their character and how they conduct themselves. Look at their passions. Read their goals and purpose. Purpose also connects two people. A lot of relationships fail because they don’t know their purpose. When the honeymoon phase is over, the relationship can’t withstand because they don’t know why they are together. 

Find out who they desire to be. If I’m gone, or not here, my wife shouldn’t shut down; she should have a goal. Identity shouldn’t be in either of you but within something long-standing. 

Sierra Jenkins is currently a student at Georgia State University studying journalism and African American studies. Jenkins aspires to enlighten and inform others through her writing. She believes it is important to have conversations and create dialogue around topics that aren't always discussed publicly. Jenkins strives to break societal barriers through her use of words and set an example for other women from all walks of life.
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