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How To Get Guys To See You As The Relationship Type

Dating

I think it's safe to say that you feel my pain if you've ever encountered men who wanted to casually date you instead of viewing you as a woman who they can give a title to. To be honest, this treatment falsely affirmed in my mind that no matter what I would do, the only guys who would want me would be the ones who craved immediate and short-term attention instead of men who liked to plan surprise dates for their girlfriends, brag to their friends about shopping for engagement rings, or write the sweetest messages to their women they nicknamed their "other half".


My constant disappointment led me to think about the ways I could start preparing myself for the one who would want to become committed to me—which I eventually did—and what behaviors I would have to change in order to stay out of the casual friend zone. Here are ways I changed the tone of what I wanted in my love life for the better.

Get comfortable in having uncomfortable talks.

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Oftentimes, the miscommunication in thinking that I was the "fun girl" instead of the "ideal woman" was because I got afraid of asking the important "where do we stand or where do you see this going?" questions to men I really wanted to be in a relationship with. So how did I get past this?

I had to give myself permission to be content with any man that didn't value long-term commitment and consistent communication. If I found myself asking questions such as, How come we never go out on dates? Why do I only hear from him weekly instead of every other day? Why doesn't he express himself to me? What about me makes him flirty and physically attracted to me but never emotionally available for me?, then I knew it was time to ask for honest answers.

I didn't always get the answer I wanted, and girl, nobody likes rejection. Hearing I liked someone way more than they liked me felt like someone added extra gratuity on a tab that I didn't see coming. But, was it worth it to know the answers before I invested months or even years thinking that he would eventually change and wife me up? Absolutely! Becoming more comfortable asking these questions with the men I wanted to be with was a big timesaver instead of trying to break down the meaning of his mixed-signals to my girls every chance I got. At the end of the day, words can sometimes be just words, so I knew I had to take this a step further to really get more results from the men I pursued.

Master the art of studying habits instead of words/actions.

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My rule of thumb is to trust habits over words and actions. Serious question, how many talks about a guy's behavior was I going to have with him? The more I started observing the things he was consistent in doing, such as texting me only at night or while he's at work, the conversations that interested him, the activities/places he was consistently talking about going, or how he treated me when I was and wasn't around him, a lot of things made sense. I made the choice to take off the rose-colored glasses and get my answers in studying his behaviors. A man who is looking for a woman to be committed to will show it in his daily actions, habits, and movements.

Habits are a part of who we are. It's much easier to trust a person who repeatedly shows you how they feel, versus someone who just throws in a few words or a few actions here and there. This also meant the same for me, I made sure my actions matched my "I want to be a girlfriend" language.

Stick to people, places and things that mirror what I wanted.

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Instead of complaining about why I can't find a man, I started to spend more time doing things that would attract the right kind of men. I took myself out on dates, went to the gym, and embraced hanging around my friends who had successful relationships. I didn't want to be bitter about not having the man of my dreams, because why should the next person take on my emotional baggage from my previous dating life?

As much as I could, I avoided the guys who actively looked for one-night stands, stopped talking to my exes who wanted situationships, and any other people or hangout areas where I knew I would be wasting my time. I sought becoming a walking brand that demonstrated I am more than worthy for a great man and I'm not interested in being anyone's friend with benefits.

Getting treated like the queen you are can be a real struggle, but it's not impossible. Hopefully, these strategies that I used for myself can help you narrow down the kind of man that is looking for the same qualities as you are.

Tired of men not taking you seriously? Girl, I understand! I created a guide for you that breaks down the three secrets to getting a man to take you seriously, and it's yours for free. Click here to grab your copy!

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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