April is a spark of new energy that we all need right now. This is the month when new beginnings are happening, whether you’ve prepared for them or not, and there is something truly impactful about this month. The energy is there to experience some real breakthroughs in April, and the more you are willing to be inspired by life and its natural changes and cycles, the more you can experience the joy of this month. Although Mercury will be going retrograde in April at the end of the month, there are still a lot of opportunities for success this month.
On April 6th, there is a Full Moon in Libra, and this Full Moon is the Pink Moon of the year and is facilitating love, clarity, and healing. This Full Moon is about letting go of relationship challenges and moving closer to personal growth and love. Culminations are appearing, and love is having its say. On April 11th Venus enters Gemini, and Venus in Gemini is exciting, adventurous, curious, and a little chaotic. Venus in Gemini is hard to keep grounded, and relationship dramas are more likely this month. Venus in Gemini overall is here to bring some more fun into life but also to address what needs to be addressed within relationships and create an open atmosphere for communication.
The day Taurus Season begins, April 20th, is also the day when a New Moon Solar Eclipse will be happening in Aries, and this is when things start getting moving. Clarity is hard to miss during this time, and new doors are opening. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to make any important decisions the week before, during, or after an Eclipse. However, overall moving toward the end of April is about taking note of what is truly inspiring you and lighting up your life right now. On April 3rd, Mercury moves into Taurus, and on April 21st, Mercury goes retrograde here until May 14th.
This Mercury retrograde transit will highlight where you have been investing your time and energy and what the payoff looks like right now. Re-strategizing, replanning, and learning from past mistakes is what Mercury retrogrades are all about.
With Taurus being an earth sign, a lot of these matters will have to do with finance, the reality you are seeing right now, and your sense of stability. Things can feel shaky with this Mercury retrograde. However, growth is often necessary. Overall, April is the month to focus on your intentions, move forward toward the healthiest path for yourself, and take your passions and happiness more seriously.
ARIESAriesKyra Jay for xoNecole
Your season is here, and it’s time to shine, Aries! April 2023, for you, is all about personal growth, self-love, and community. You are coming to some important revelations this month and feeling in tune with all that is. This is your month to move forward, gain the clarity you have needed, and believe in yourself. With the Sun in your sign until the 20th, the power is truly in your hands right now, and you have doors opening for you to not only meet success but enjoy your time in it as well.
The most significant transit happening for you this month is the New Moon Solar Eclipse in your sign on April 20th. This is a time when major transitions are happening for you and when you are experiencing a personal breakthrough. An Eclipse in your own sign is impactful, and this time is all about getting excited about where life is headed for you right now.
TAURUSTaurusKyra Jay for xoNecole
April is an emotional month for you and a month where your heart gets to breathe, Taurus. You are feeling renewed emotionally, physically, and spiritually this month, and life is moving you into clearer waters. A lot of the energy begins to move into your sign in April, and you are claiming your blessings this month. On April 3rd, Mercury enters Taurus, and communication is especially important to you this month. You are experiencing a bridging of a gap this month and connecting with others more deeply.
Taurus Season officially begins on April 20th, and this is when things get really interesting for you. This Taurus Season is influenced by Mercury's retrograde, however, as Mercury will be retrograde in Taurus from April 21st until May 14th. While Mercury is in retrograde through your sign, you will be learning more about yourself and how you communicate that to others. This is a time of self-discovery, and something about April wants you to open your heart to the magic of life.
GEMINIGeminiKyra Jay for xoNecole
April brings in new beginnings in love for you, Gemini. This is an important month of growth in your life and the start of something new in many ways. You are feeling inspired and are directing your emotions to create the life you dream of. Venus is in your sign for most of the month, and love is flowing your way effortlessly. Who you are today is worthy of love, and that’s what this month is reminding you of.
Moving further into April, your ruling planet Mercury goes retrograde on April 12th and will be retrograde in an area of your chart having to do with endings, culminations, healing, and the unknown. Some new information will be coming to the surface for you during this time, but remember to take your time to process everything and not jump to conclusions. This month is overall about listening to your intuition and trusting your heart to make the right decisions for yourself.
CANCERCancerKyra Jay for xoNecole
The Wheel of Fortune is turning, and it is moving in your favor this month, Cancer. This is a month of personal freedom, excitement, and a little bit of luck. You are moving into new territory in April and are feeling on top of it all. You have a good flow right now, and your day-to-day is moving with more ease than it has been. This month for you is all about knowing that you deserve all the good things in life and letting them come to you.
You are ruled by the Moon, and whatever the Moon is doing is influential for you, especially when it comes to your emotional world. With a Solar Eclipse happening at the end of the month, April is game-changing for you and a time when you are breaking through and showing up. This Eclipse will be happening in your 10th house, which rules your career, and you can expect some shake-ups happening here this month. Take things day by day, and expect the best for yourself.
LEOLeoKyra Jay for xoNecole
April is coming together for you, Leo. You are experiencing the joy of life coming full circle and the fruition of your intentions blooming this month. The month begins with a Full Moon on April 6th, and this Full Moon for you is when a lot of important developments will be taking place. You have your support system around you and are feeling the support and nourishment in your life.
On April 20th, there is a New Moon Eclipse in fellow fire sign Aries, and this New Moon is lighting a spark in you when it comes to your sense of adventure in life. You are seeing the possibilities and the full scope of things right now, and during the Eclipse, the light bulbs are going off for you. Before the month ends, Mercury goes retrograde, and this time for you is all about replanning and restructuring your career and professional goals.
VIRGOVirgoKyra Jay for xoNecole
April is all about patience, love, and contentment, Virgo. This is a month where you are feeling the love in your life and when you are happy with where things are and aren’t needing to rush anything. This month is about new life blooming for you and about recognizing your strength as the creator of your life. This is a beautiful month of emotional nourishment, and you are feeling in tune with all that is.
Some important astrological transits that are happening for you this month are the New Moon Eclipse on April 20th, happening in your 8th house of intimacy, and Mercury going retrograde the following day and moving into your 9th house of travel and adventure. With the New Moon, you can see the possibilities for deeper connection and intimacy with others, and it’s about remaining open to that. Mercury retrograde’s transit may cause some travel delays for the time being and is ultimately a time for you to refocus your energy and plan your next steps intentionally.
LIBRALibraKyra Jay for xoNecole
April, for you, is all about taking care of your health and your mental well-being and making decisions for yourself that are based on love. Your well-being should be the priority, and inner peace is more important to you now than ever. The developments that are taking place this month are helping you address what’s within, what needs healing, and where it’s necessary to let go.
A Full Moon is happening in your sign at the beginning of the month on April 6th, and this is when you are experiencing a letting go in your life. This has to do with letting go of what doesn’t resonate with you or people who see you in a light you don’t want to be in. This month is giving you the strength to overcome the downfalls you have been moving through and to ultimately choose self-love at the end of the day, Libra.
SCORPIOScorpioKyra Jay for xoNecole
In April, you are claiming your peace, Scorpio. This month is about slowing down, going within, and understanding some new perspectives. You have been on a journey of the soul, developing from within and understanding yourself and your purpose better, and this month is about giving yourself time to process and plan your next steps ahead. You are more in a retreat mode this month and will be focused on your personal growth and development.
With Mercury going retrograde in your opposite sign Taurus in April, your relationships are going to be a strong focus for you over the next month and will be an area of your life with the most lessons to learn. Mercury retrograde is showing you what is causing any emotional friction or misunderstanding and how to strengthen your relationships through strengthening your understanding of self and how you go about them. This month is about getting on the right track and figuring out what that means and looks like for you.
SAGITTARIUSSagittariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
This is an inspiring and passionate month for you, Sagittarius. With the Sun in a fire sign for most of the month, you are flowing well with the energies of April, and new doors are opening up for you that you have been looking out for for a while. This is a time when inspiration is peaked, and nothing is stopping you from reaching your successes. Remember to think as much as you are acting this month, however, but ultimately enjoy the fact that things are happening for you right now.
On April 20th, there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse in your 5th house of romance, and this New Moon is an exciting time for you, and new revelations in love are appearing. Although Eclipses’ aren’t the time to manifest or pursue new beginnings, they are a time that shows you what’s possible for you, and it’s all about feeling things through this month. April is a month of enlightenment for you and a time when you are standing in your self-empowerment.
CAPRICORNCapricornKyra Jay for xoNecole
Love is in the air for you this month, Capricorn. Relationships, connection, and emotional harmony are the vibe of April for you, and you are feeling the love from within to without. This month is all about focusing more on all the things that are going right rather than focusing more on the things that need to be changed. Some things you can’t force, and the more you allow things to unfold in their own timing, the better this month.
With Mercury going retrograde in Taurus this month, this is influential for your love life, creativity, and sense of happiness. At the end of the month, you are moving through a new journey of understanding what brings you happiness and how it may look different now than it did before. April is reminding you that you deserve to be happy, and you deserve to pursue what you love. Make health decisions from the heart, and flow with the new currents of life.
AQUARIUSAquariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
Happy outcomes are in store for you this month, Aquarius. This is a month of joy, living in your truth, and experiencing bliss. You are feeling the pure joy that comes from receiving everything you’ve wanted and feeling the empowerment of knowing anything is possible for you in this life. With a Full Moon in Libra at the beginning of the month happening in your 9th house, what’s culminating and leaving your life is what you have been looking to release. You are feeling a weight off your shoulders moving into April, and there is a sense of freedom in that.
The New Moon Solar Eclipse happening later in the month is all about communicating effectively and showing up. Don’t be afraid to take up space and use your voice this month, and there will be plenty to say around this Eclipse. Before the month ends, Mercury goes retrograde in your 4th house of home and family, and this is the time to spend some more time at home and take care of what needs tending to right now. Remember that independence is healthy, but that loved ones and support systems are what fuel you in life as well.
April is a fresh start for you, Pisces. You are starting from square one this month and are ready to move forward into your new beginning. Although the path ahead may still feel a little blurry, know that you will see more of what you need to and gain the clarity necessary the more you take those first steps. Baby steps are okay; just make sure you are making that effort and not getting stuck in what could have been.
With Venus moving through your house of home, family, inner foundations, and sense of stability most of this month- home is where the heart is for you in April. You find more emotional harmony in your safe spaces right now and are finding the balance between what’s new and what you are already used to. There is a New Moon Eclipse happening before the month ends, and this New Moon is about finding new ways to invest in yourself and lift yourself up no matter what is going on around you.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Kyra Jay for xoNecole
Tayler Barakat is a Mystic who has studied Astrology for over a decade. She does intuitive astrology and tarot readings for people all over the world, and her work focuses on healing and empowering individuals. Follow her on Instagram @taylerbarakat_ and check out her website www.listentothevirgo.com.
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Kanobi Pollard/xoNecole
Charge it to the fact that I am such a fan of music, but whenever I’m out shopping, I tend to pay attention to what stores are playing. And if there’s one song that seems to show up just about everywhere, it’s a light rock classic by Don Henley and Patty Smyth entitled “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough.” I promise, even if you don’t know it by the title, you’ve heard it yourself, at least a dozen times in your lifetime — and whether that kind of music is your “scene” or not, the reality is that the words are true.
Even now, in real time, I’m dealing with two clients who love each other very much, and still…they are gearing up to file for divorce. Why? One reason is that, although the love is very strong, the type of love that the husband has for the wife is very different from the kind of love the wife has for her husband (hers is more of a friendship/agape love). Another reason is because, over time, their values have become very different (get someone who complements your life; it makes all of the difference in the world). And still, another is the wife feels that, if she were to stay, she’d be choosing to remain stagnant as an individual because the kind of life he wants isn’t the kind that she desires…anymore.
Because I am super Team Covenant, for me, in many ways and on many levels, it's all tragic. Divorce is indeed like a death. I am a survivor of it from my own parents. I am watching two children who I love very much currently go through it. And as a marriage life coach for over 18 years now, although I’ve been able to help more couples stay together or even reconcile after divorce, my “record” is not spotless. Yet you do live long enough, and you see that, sometimes, no matter how much love is present, if you want to go the very far and beautiful distance of “’til death parts us” on a literal level — you need more than just love to make that happen…no matter how romantic or even idealistic the notion might be.
Let me explain, in a bit more detail, just where I am coming from.
What It Means to Actually Love Someone
Have you ever thought about what it actually means to love another individual? I promise that if you rely on social media to define it for you, you’re about to be set up for a mighty fall because easily 60-70 percent of the content on there is self-centered, unrealistic, and very feelings-and-nothing-else driven. What I mean by that last point is folks seem to think that love is ONLY a feeling when it is actually so much more than that.
For starters, love is a daily choice. Yep, ask any married couple who has more than a decade under their belt, and they will be quick to tell you that no matter how much they love their partner, sometimes they don’t “feel” like they do, and so they have to push past their feelings and remember that they chose that individual, they made sacred promises in the form of vows to that person, and so they must choose to honor them. THAT IS A FORM OF LOVE.
Know what else love is?
Love is being someone’s strongest support system, greatest advocate, and biggest hype man or woman. That requires a lot of patience, a ton of prayer, and quite a bit of believing in someone because, if they were perfect, why would they need any of that? Yeah, another thing that’s sad about what many people think about love is they expect the person who they say “I love you” to, to be whatever version of love that they conjured up in their mind — and usually that is very idealistic, which is extremely unfair.
Yeah, it’s mighty interesting that if you look to the Good Book for love definitions, things like “love is patient” (I Corinthians 13:4) and “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16) are what immediately come to mind and yet humans? They don’t wanna wait for nothin’, and they definitely don’t think that they should sacrifice anything. Wild.
Another thing about love is it transforms. Not "changes someone" (some folks think they are supposed to use love to manipulate, and that isn’t love at all) — it transforms them. And that takes time. Contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith once said, “Transformation in the world happens when people are healed and start investing in other people.” Transformation plays a role in the healing process. Here’s the thing about that, though: if people didn’t have anything wrong with them, what would they need to heal from? Transformation invests in others; in order to invest, you must give — not just take.
Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.” Transformation is about understanding someone without trying to change them. Unfortunately, far too many people fail miserably at this. And yet, how arrogant is it to be out here thinking that it’s your job to change someone? Who are you to appoint yourself to that? Do you even understand the person who you’re trying to change? Or are you only coming from the angle of who and what you want them to be? That’s not understanding; again, that is manipulation.
To be honest with y’all, I could go on and on about what love is, yet this is an article and not a book. For now, I’ll just say that I think it was important to amplify those three talking points because they are the “angles of love” that oftentimes go overlooked. That’s why I wanted to lay some foundation on what genuine and mature love looks like before getting into why sometimes love is enough because it’s its own pandemic: the amount of people who call what they are in with or towards someone “love” when it's actually…anything (and sometimes everything) but.
Five Things That Should Come with Being in Love
Okay, so with all of what I just said, you might wonder how you could actually hit the three love points that I shared, and it still not be enough to keep a relationship going — at least, a healthy and purpose-filled one. That’s a really great question. So, because love is so vast…let’s keep building with five things that should be happening, MUTUALLY SO, when two people are actually in love with each other.
1. You’re becoming a better person. There is a Leo Buscalgia quote that I’ve shared before (more than once, actually) that I absolutely adore. It says, “As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, as soon as I, in a love relationship, do not lead another person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experienced, is not true love. For real love is dedicated to continual becoming.” And honestly, the quote says it all. If you think you’re in love with someone, yet you AND they are not becoming better as a direct result of the love experience, something is definitely awry. At the end of the day, if you believe that “God is love” (I John 4:8&16), love should definitely be improving you and him in a myriad of different ways and on a thousand different levels because a spiritual relationship with the Divine does just that. No wiggle room.
2. Your life is moving forward, not back. On the heels of what I just said, love shouldn’t have you out here living in a state of stagnation. Love is to liberate you and make you feel like you can release what is holding you back so that you can run toward what will improve your quality of life. That said, if since you’ve been with “him,” you can’t name three things that have shifted, drastically so, when it comes to how your life is progressing, that is a bit of a red flag as well. Love is to fuel you into newer dimensions, not keep you in hamster wheels of cyclic (and typically counterproductive) patterns.
3. You are receiving peace and being a conduit of peace too. I can’t believe how many people on social media get triggered whenever they hear that someone wants to be with a peaceful and peace-filled individual. What in the world? Peace, in a relationship, is about harmony. Peace is about tranquility. Peace is about being on one accord, having a strong and solid friendship, and feeling calm in another person’s presence. Peace is not turmoil. Peace is not stress. PEACE IS NOT DRAMA. A lot of people out here? They think that because their relationship is passionate or intense that love is present. More times than not, the answer is “no.” As a woman by the name of Mary Helen Doyle once said, “Choose love and peace will follow. Choose peace and love will follow.” If that is not your personal reality with your significant other…you’ve got some serious thinking to do.
4. Your views on love and relationships are maturing. Have you ever known a relationship that is childish? There’s no other way to put it. The two people involved are always trying to one-up each other. When they’re mad, they’ll go days without speaking. You find yourself watching a soap opera online that you didn’t ask for because one or both of them are constantly being passive-aggressive about each other’s mess on their social media pages. Ugh. Remember how I said that peace isn’t drama? Yeah, true love isn’t either. In fact, one of the main things that love does is provide you with a safe space to be held accountable so that you’re able to grow in areas where you wouldn’t have otherwise. If your “love relationship” isn’t maturing you…that’s another flag on the play.
5. Sex is the “icing” not the “cake.” A few years ago, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, “What If The Sex Is Great? But The Relationship Sucks.” And yeah, this point? Listen, oxytocin — the natural hormone that bonds you to the people you are physically intimate with — can have you out here thinking that just because a man makes your body feel good that he’s good for your mind and spirit too (check out “Question: Is The Man In Your Life Good 'TO' You? Good 'FOR' You? Or...Both?”). In other words, sex can be deceptive, which is why I don’t like the term “make love” (check out “I Absolutely Hate The Phrase 'Make Love.' Here's Why.”). Truly, it can’t be said enough: sex does not MAKE love; sex CELEBRATES a love that is already in place. People who are truly in love know this.
Okay, so this is already quite a bit to think about, right? It’s also essential and relevant because, before you can come to the conclusion that love is not enough to keep your relationship going, you need to make sure that love is what you’re actually experiencing. IS IT?
Now, let’s get into the main reasons why this article has the title that it does.
It’s Damn Near Impossible to Love Someone You Don’t Respect
I’m pretty sure that, at one point or another, we’ve all heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Y’all, that is absolutely how I feel about providing this kind of content for singles — and to me, “single” is individuals whose tax records say that they are. Because no matter how much you may care about someone, again, ask anyone who’s gone through a divorce, and I’m pretty sure they will tell you that breaking up (no matter how difficult it may be) will spare you a lot more heartbreak than ending a marriage will. And so, with that being said, one reason why love may not be enough to try and stay with someone you are seeing (in a dating or even engaged dynamic) is if you don’t respect them — or they don’t respect you.
Scripturally, when it comes to how wives are to treat their husbands, I always think it’s amazing that women are told, not to prioritize loving their husband but respecting him (Ephesians 5:33). If you go to I Peter 3:2 (AMPC), it defines respect in this fashion: “…to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].” (Did y’all see “prize” in there? I DID.)
Ask any man worth his salt, and he’s gonna tell you, I believe without hesitation, that the way he feels love is by feeling respected. So, when you take all of those words in I Peter into account, do you respect your man? And if you don’t, why don’t you? I promise you, with every ounce of my being, that if you don’t respect him, it’s only a matter of time before your relationship either ends or becomes highly dysfunctional because respect is paramount in a healthy, loving dynamic.
And yes, you deserve to be respected as well.
- When a man respects you, he is honest with you.
- When a man respects you, he values opinions.
- When a man respects you, he honors your boundaries.
- When a man respects you, he doesn’t “hit below the belt” in disagreements.
- When a man respects you, he is careful in how he treats you.
- When a man respects you, he prioritizes you.
- When a man respects you, no kind of abuse transpires (including neglect).
Hmph. When you marinate on all of this, one might say that you can’t be loved without being respected. While on some levels, that’s true — believe you me, I have dialogued with many couples over the years who love each other yet they don’t respect each other’s boundaries or they don’t fight fair. And that’s because one or both of them weren’t taught to prioritize respect.
I will say this, though: even if you do love your partner, if you don’t respect them and/or they don’t respect you, love is not going to be enough. Not to go the distance in a mutually beneficial kind of way, it’s not.
LOVING Someone Doesn’t Mean That the Two of You Are COMPATIBLE
Yep, I’m gonna bring some Scripture back into this. Back in the Garden of Eden, when God decided to bless Adam with a helpmate, the Classic Amplified Version of Genesis 2:18 described her to be this: “Now the Lord God said, ‘It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.’” Suitable means “appropriate” and “fitting.” Adapted means being able “to adjust oneself to different conditions, environment, etc.” Complementary means “the quantity or amount that completes anything.” Complete, in this context, speaks to “having all parts or elements; lacking nothing.”
Y’all, there are a couple of men who I loved, but it didn’t work out. I was mad at first — and yet, in hindsight, it was never meant to be. Why? Because I was not the right kind of helper for them, and they were not the right kind of protector and provider for me. There were things about us that didn’t “fit.” There were areas where we weren’t willing to be flexible in order to make the relationship work. When it came to our values, perspectives, and goals, significant things were lacking.
And that’s why I tell couples who come to me prior to marriage that they need to take COMPATIBILITY into serious account before saying “I do.” Compatible literally means “capable of existing or living together in harmony” — and I can’t tell you how many married folks have either been at their entire wit’s end or have ultimately called it quits due to this being such an issue.
It can be what seems like something “minor” at first too. For instance, don’t underestimate if you’re the kind of person who likes a spotless home and your partner’s house isn’t the cleanest. Don’t think it’s not a big deal if you’re an extrovert who likes to go out a lot and your partner seems like he barely even likes people (I know a married couple who have suffered, greatly, over the years because of this). Don’t go into denial if you’re a spontaneous person and your partner is very much “married” to routine.
Some of my male friends? We are very close, and I adore them; they adore me, too. We ain’t ugly either. Yet we are close enough to know and accept that the way we do life as individuals, there is no way we would be harmonious as a couple. Yep, sometimes love isn’t enough because the two of you simply aren’t compatible (or compatible enough) to go the distance.
Being with Someone You Love Isn’t the Ultimate Goal. Being in a Healthy Relationship Is.
As I wrap this up, one more point. A hill that I will forever and a day die on is far too many people put being happy over being healthy. Hmph, I’ll even take that a step further and say that far too many folks think that it’s someone else’s responsibility to make them happy when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Besides, if you don’t even know how to keep yourself happy all of the time, how the hell is someone else supposed to pull it off? Ridiculous. And you know what? When two people are able to see things from this perspective, when they are able to fully grasp that 1) happiness is about inner work, 2) happiness comes and goes, and 3) being healthy is what should matter more — then they can find another person who feels the same way. And that is a solid foundation to build on.
Definitely, two healthy people get that when it comes to being in a long-term relationship that is thriving and flourishing, having someone to love who loves you back is pretty awesome. However, what keeps the relationship together is ensuring that the dynamic is HEALTHY.
So, am I saying that you can love someone in a very pure and genuine way and the relationship be unhealthy? 1000 percent. I’m not speaking of extreme things like abuse, either. I mean…a word that oftentimes comes up whenever healthy is mentioned is “vigor.” Vigor speaks to strength, power, and ability. And if, by being involved with the person who you love, you are not getting stronger, becoming more powerful, and feeling more capable of becoming your best self as you are doing the same thing for him — there are elements about the relationship that is the opposite of healthy: unhealthy, and that means that love isn’t enough. In fact, you should love each other enough to let each other…go. So, that you both can be joined by those who will support and encourage you to become a more…vigorous individual.
Whew, this was a lot. I know. It was also necessary. Because it’s time (past time, really) that we stop romanticizing love to the point that we lose sight of what its purpose is: the fuel needed to keep a healthy relationship going. And hopefully now, all of these words later (LOL), you are able to see that certain things have to be in place, outside of love, for things to not only work…but work well.
“Sometimes love just ain’t enough” is both a mouthful and the truth.
Choose wisely, sis. Love yourself enough to do that…please.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images