A man can smell confidence.
He knows when you really love yourself, and he also knows when you're full of sh-t. He knows when what you're demanding is a reflection of what your standards really are, and he knows when you're just telling him how you think things are supposed to be. He smells you, and it doesn't take long to figure out if it's the real deal or the knockoff.
After one conversation, he will know if he has to bring his A-game, or if you'll be down for all of him, so it's important that your words match your actions.
My mouth recited the standards I came up with in my head so perfectly. It had them down to a T, and I knew them like the back of my hand. Everything sounded exactly how it should and I just knew a man worth loving was going to appreciate and abide by them. But that was my problem. My standards were only apart of a script I had come up with after reading countless blogs and relationship goals memes on Twitter.
My actions were the complete opposite of what I was requiring from men.
I was able to fake it during the "talking" phase, but as soon as I became his girlfriend, my standards went out the window along with my faux confidence. Where were my standards after the first time he disrespected me? Where were my standards after the first time he broke his promise? Where were my standards after the first time I found out about another woman? Where were my standards and confidence then?
One thing I've learned is that there's three things a man loves with all his heart: sex, food, and a woman who does not need his ass.
There's nothing he loves more than a woman who allows him in her life simply because she wants him there.
Not because she's trying to find someone to "complete" her. Not because she's trying to fall in love with herself through him. Not because she needs him. No matter how often guys tweet how they need a girl with a big booty, perky tits, and a crazy head game, at the end of the day all they want is a woman who loves the hell out of herself enough to not keep taking him back when he cheats on her instead of continuing to answer the phone when he keeps walking in and out of her life, or allowing him to Netflix and chill everyday.
Having confidence comes with great responsibility. It requires you to not only hold other people accountable, but yourself as well. In the past, holding my partner accountable in a relationship came with the possibility of losing that relationship and I didn't want that. I bet he was able to time my favorite "this is the last time, I swear I'm done" line. "1, 2...go," and there I was spitting that line out on cue while he probably wanted to laugh in the middle of him telling me how he would change and make it up to me.
It became a cycle because I didn't love myself enough to put an end to it.
Having confidence means never letting yourself or others get too comfortable. If your self-love is a knockoff, you tend to get comfortable in the bed of broken promises, let downs, and dysfunction.
After a while, anything else seems weird or "too good to be true."
Women have been taught that love is about staying down and remaining loyal through the good and the bad. We've been taught that "eventually he's going to realize what he has." But we often forget that he can't do that if you haven't even realized who you are first. Your self-love will remain cheap until you become fully aware of the power that lies within loving yourself.
Are your actions matching your words? Let me know how you practice self-love.
Candice McCoy is a writer and Howard University Alumna who think she can change the world with words. You can find her spilling real thoughts on real topics on her blog Life In A Pile.