Recently, I had the honor and privilege of participating as a featured panelist at the inaugural "Girl Talk" event hosted by the lovely ladies and founders of Capo Bella. As part of the panel discussion, I was asked a question – a question I hear quite often from a lot of ladies:
"If I'm not being a wife to a boyfriend, and doing things that my man will love, how will he know if I'm 'wifey' material, or how will I be able to show him I can be a good wife if I don' t do those things?"
I challenged the young lady, as I challenge all of us, to CHANGE THE NARRATIVE when it comes to dating and relationships. Instead of being overly, and only, concerned with what we bring to the table or what we think we should be doing to earn the coveted role as a wife, consider what it is that he brings to the table in the relationship as well.
Her question alone made me respond with a few questions:
- Why does it have to start with or be so heavily focused on what you think you should be doing to show that you're a great wife?
- What if you were doing certain things for a certain somebody and they're not even meant to be with you?
- Do you think most men are AS concerned about this? - The response from the ladies in the room to the last question was an overwhelming and unanimous "NO."
Does he go hard for you? Is the relationship reciprocal?
While it's always great to go hard for your man and vice versa (Lord knows I go hard for my husband), ask yourself these questions when you're considering a new relationship or while you're in a relationship:
- "What do I want out of this relationship? What are my expectations?"
- "Does he go hard for me?"
- "Is he just as committed to this relationship as I am?"
- "Dos he put forth as much effort?"
- "Besides what I bring to the table, what does he bring to the table?"
- "Does his character, morals, and values align with what I want and need?"
Helping to answer these questions can help steer the direction of the relationship so that the narrative is no longer restricted to what you should be doing to make things work to, or to somehow "make" him want to be with you.
It all comes down to one word: RECIPROCATION. In other words, you have to decide whether or not the love you're giving to someone else is being reciprocated back to you. Trust and believe that every wonderful quality that you bring to the table (and even the stuff that still needs work) will be admired, appreciated, and received with loving arms by the one who's truly meant to love you for life.
Do you embrace and love yourself regardless of who is or isn't loving you?
In the past, I used to question other people by saying things like, "Do you even know how great of a woman I am?" only to later realize that I didn't have to ask someone to validate something that I should've already known and believed about myself.
Ultimately, I realized that my unhealthy search for love was a direct reflection of the lack of love and appreciation I had for myself. I expected others to be for me what I struggled to be even for myself – someone who believed in me, supported me, and encouraged me.
I wanted people to love me, but I struggled to love myself.
Quite often, the way we allow others to treat us is often a sign of how little or how much we love ourselves. This was obvious for me based on a lot of the issues I dealt with in the past before I met my husband. Then, I started to notice that the more I embraced and loved myself, the less foolishness I started to accept from everyone else. Hence, I did a lot of self-reflection, self-care, prayer, and writing, and focused on being a better me for me, not because I wanted to be somebody's wife. It led to me to a place where I was finally okay with who God designed me to be, regardless of the relationship I was in at the moment.
So, by the time my husband and I started dating, I didn't need someone to come along and validate how great of a woman I was. Based on my past relationships, and even because of the natural gifts that we're given as women (nurturing, caring, loving, giver, etc.), I already knew how great of a girlfriend or wife I was and could be…and you should too.
…But does he cherish you?
Plus, it's easy to be a good woman to a good man, so that was a given. The experience listed on my so-called "relationship resume" was proof of how great of a girlfriend I could be, let alone a wife. I was ready to give it my all again, but first, I had to make sure that he was ready and had the capacity to receive and reciprocate the love I wanted to give to him. I needed to know that he could handle my heart with care. Like Cardi B says, "Yeah, my heart is like a package with a fragile label on it. Be careful with me."
Nevertheless, I was no longer obsessed about doing any and everything I could to "make" him love me. Instead, I was more concerned about how he could show me through his actions, not just his words, that he was ready and he recognized and appreciated my value.
Ladies remember, you are not simply a prize or a trophy that sits on a shelf and collects dust; rather, you are to be loved, cherished, and respected. Be confident and comfortable with who you are, and harness the power within you.
The one who admires and appreciates your value and worth will be worth your time.