Self love all 2019 and beyond…

2019 I am aiming to raise my dating standards…

I’M DONE SETTLING, PERIOD.

Unfortunately we seem to have dropped our standards of what a relationship or someone being interested in you constitutes. If something has to be forced, then it’s probably not authentic. Not only do I not want to settle for the bare minimum, but I do not want the man I’m with to feel as though he’s settling with me. If he can’t wrap his brain and emotions around a serious, deep, significant relationship with me, then he’s not “The One,” and that’s okay. If there is one thing I refuse to do next year, it’s settle for anything less than what I deserve.

The fact that someone would ever put you in the position of not knowing when you might hear from them next, or having your calls avoided, or them disappearing and then texting like everything is ok trying to pick up where they left off, or any other completely shady behavior, is indicative of an interaction without basic respect. The reality is this: Relationships require effort, connection, and intimacy as well as love, care, trust, and respect. If they’re not making enough effort, and instead are opting for distanced means of communication, they are not that interested in you – they’re stoking your fire for when they next need you. By participating and acting like it’s a full on relationship, they end up getting more for less. Let the alarm bells start ringing when you start out with decent, if not somewhat intense communication and it fades out to a dribble.

Hear me when I say this: Making a man work is not about controlling him or forcing him to be with you. That will never give you the results you desire. Instead, it’s about us, as women, communicating clear and reasonable expectations from the beginning. It’s about choosing and being with men who are ready and willing to put in that extra effort to make it work.

Communicate your reasonable expectations toward the beginning. Give him that rope and see how far he takes it.

Don’t make it so easy for him.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to do things for our men and making them feel special, whether dating or married. However, when we’re dating, some of us make it so easy for men that we make it harder for the women who refuse to settle for less than what they deserve. We give ourselves and require so little in return that some men are immediately turned off by those who aren’t willing to compromise their reasonable standards. I can admit I was definitely guilty of not requiring more from certain men I used to date. In the past, I tried to do everything in my power to please and keep a man even when he wasn’t putting in half the effort. I constantly sacrificed so much of myself but didn’t expect, nor require, the same in return.

That’s why I believe there are so many men today who will tell you, “I don’t have to pursue a woman,” or “I can do a whole lot less with someone else.” While it is 2018 and it’s not unusual or unreasonable for a woman to pursue a man, at times we give away or do too much too soon without any reciprocity. That’s why I also say, “Don’t be a wife to a boyfriend.” Call me old fashioned, but I still believe anything worth having is worth fighting for — including a good woman.

Make sure his actions match his words.

I used to go from relationship to relationship thinking I knew what I wanted, only to later realize I was trying to fill a void that could only be filled through deep reflection and self-awareness. I took some time for myself and realized I deserved more. So, not only was I focused on actions, but the same was true for my own. I used to tell myself, “I’m not putting up with this. I deserve better,” but then I would do exactly that – put up with the nonsense. I didn’t require more and I didn’t do anything differently. So, I made up in my mind that I would no longer accept the bare minimum. If he says he loves me, then I need to see it in his actions. Gone are the days where I accept repeated cheating, games or lies. Gone are the days when I would settle for mediocre just to say I have a man.

Over time, I learned comfort and convenience are not substitutes for love. Sometimes, when you’re so used to things being a certain way you assume that’s how it’s supposed to be. But just because we’re used to a certain way doesn’t mean we don’t deserve better.

At the end of the day, no one – male or female – should feel like they’re doing all of the work. If the guy isn’t willing to put in the work, then maybe he’s not the guy for you. Sometimes, when people say “no” to you, they’re saying no to themselves because they’re not ready to step up to the next level of the relationship. That’s okay, though, because sometimes you have to meet people where they are. And sometimes, you have to leave them there. There was a time when manipulation and “pillow talk” were enough for me, but this time its different. I expect more for myself.

Regardless of where you go and what you do with your life, you must always choose yourself. You are the most important person in your life no matter what. Whether you agree or disagree, being content with who you are is the most important aspect of maintaining your mental and emotional well-being. Self love all 2019 and beyond ladies…

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