“Every Potential Date is Not a Potential Mate- Don’t be A Wife to A Boyfriend”
After recently celebrating seven years of marriage, I felt led to share something passionate, real and from my heart for my single sisters but in a shorter format. I don’t claim to have an answer for every question, and even as a happily married woman, I’m still learning. However, I’m older now and have learned a great deal through my personal experiences and even through the experiences of others.
Of course I could go on for days, but for now I decided I’d share with you my personal top list.
1. Practice self-love before you accept love from someone else.
It’s difficult to love someone else if you can’t first love yourself. Usually the way we allow others to treat us is a reflection of how much, or how little, we love and value ourselves. I realized a long time ago that my unhealthy search for love was because of my own lack of self-love and self-esteem. I relied on others to do what I couldn’t do for myself. Learn how to be single and satisfied so you don’t end up totally dependent on someone else.
2. Let it Flow.
“Every potential date is not a potential mate.” We don’t have to be so serious so soon especially if it’s only been a few months, let alone a few weeks. I used to think, “Oh, since the date went well then maybe he’s my husband,” or I would obsess about the status of our relationship only after a short time. Sometimes we psych ourselves out of a good thing by trying to force something to happen, and sometimes it’s a turn-off to guys. Just let the conversations and natural progression of the relationship flow. That’s not to say that you should wait on someone forever; but if it feels right and it’s flowing right, then play it cool and let it happen.
3. Don’t think of him as a piece of clay that you can mold into what you want him to be.
“How can I get him to go to church?” “How can I get him to settle down?” I’m a living witness that people can in fact transform their lives over time. Understand, however, we can only change those things we have the power to change. While we have the power to influence change, we can never force change.
When I first started dating my husband, he wasn’t going to church or as spiritually connected to God as he is now, but I didn’t harass him or force him to do anything because we all have different journeys. I just prayed for him, talked to him about certain things and ultimately he made the decision to make some changes.
If someone keeps saying they’re going to do things differently but you’re not seeing the modifications, that could mean it’s time for you to change your role in the situation instead of wasting your energy trying to change them. At the end of the day, if he’s really into you and wants to keep you, then he will prove it to you – not just through his words but through his actions.
4. Don’t expect different results using the same habits.
In the past, I found myself repeating this pattern over and over – dating the same type of guy and/or doing the same type of things. Sometimes when you’re used to being treated a certain way, you start to think that’s how it’s supposed to be or believe that’s what you deserve. But when I started dating my husband, I decided to do things differently and refused to accept anything less than what I deserved. Basically, I made him work for my love. Like they say, “the woman you want is usually the one you have to work for.”
5. Don’t make excuses for people who need to be excused out of your life.
There are two types of people you should apply this to: 1) Dead Weight – the ones who seem to stay around but constantly hurt or mistreat you or bring you down (they make more deposits than withdrawals), and 2) Pop-ups –the ones who stay running in and out of your life when it’s convenient for them but they’re never consistent. Unless you’re content with these situations or aren’t really looking to settle down, then you will find yourself hopelessly waiting or chasing. You will be waiting on them to get it together and come back, or you will be chasing after people who aren’t chasing after you. Trust me, I’ve had to use the “block” and “delete” functions on my phone to ensure I didn’t keep falling back into the trap and answer their calls or respond to their text messages. Sometimes you have to take extreme measures when you know you can’t trust yourself to resist and to show yourself, and others, just how committed you are to moving on.
6. Don’t be a wife to a boyfriend.
“Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” It’s an old saying but it still holds true today. For some of us, it’s natural to want to take care of our boyfriends and show them how good of a wife we could be if they chose us, but be careful giving away too much too soon. I used to give of myself so freely, both physically and mentally, and to people who usually didn’t deserve it. Relationships should be 100/100 – each person giving a 100%. However, if you give up too much too soon without any reciprocation, then he stands to benefit the most and you risk losing everything; only to end up with heartache and disappointment.
Written By Shonda White (Excerpt from her novel, “Don’t be a wife to a Boyfriend”