Quantcast

5 Signs You're In Love (All By Yourself)

Sis, he's just not that into you.

Dating

For almost 10 years now, I've been running a blog for single women who desire to be married (I'm currently on a six-month posting hiatus until the New Year). Through the years, I've received a lot of comments, questions, and concerns from numerous women. But if there's one post that continues to get almost weekly replies, it's "Will God Flat-Out Tell You Who Your Husband Is?"

If you grew up in the church, you already know this continues to be a hot topic, and while I'm not gonna spend a ton of time on the theology side of things, I will say that Genesis 2 says NOTHING about a man choosing his wife. In the Garden of Eden, GOD DECIDED when Adam should have a woman, along with who she should be. So no, it doesn't seem "crazy" to me that a woman would know she's meant to be with a man before the man does (wives tell me they knew before their husbands did all of the time!).

But keeping along with that point, one thing that Adam did do is acknowledge Eve. He praised her and claimed her, which means that no matter what may have been going on "behind the scenes," Adam ended up being on board with the relationship. He didn't need to be "pulled in."

I think you can feel where I'm going with this. It's one thing to have feelings for someone before they do or even to feel more intensely for them before they catch on. BUT it's something else entirely to be out here all "in love" with some guy when there is no mutuality or reciprocity going on. Unfortunately, though, it happens ALL OF THE TIME.

I've done it with a guy before. Right now, I can name about 20 other women I know who've done it too. So, before you write it off as being "crazy", or something you've never done (or will do), humor me and check out some of the signs of when a woman is basically in love by herself that you might've overlooked or are in denial about:

You’re (Semi-Constantly) Trying to Convince Him to Get on the Same Page as You.

Remember, I didn't say this article is about if you like a guy who may not like you back. I said this is about when you feel as if you're IN LOVE with someone and you're pretty much on your own with that.

Some of us make the grave mistake of thinking (or is it assuming?) that as long as a guy is dating us or even sexing us that they feel the same way that we do. Or, that so long as we continue to date them and/or sex them that they'll get there.

While there is something to be said for what only time can—and should—do, how can you know if you're not on the same page and/or quite possibly won't ever get there? When you're asking the dude questions like "So, what are we doing?" or "Where is this going?" and you keep getting blank stares in response, he's always changing the subject, or he acts like you're getting on his nerves or pressuring him, that's your cue.

When two people are in love, while some think the operative word is "love," I think it's "in." They are IN it together. If you're constantly trying to get him to catch up, this is red flag #1.

You’re Also (Semi-Constantly) Making Excuses for Where He Falls Short.

Between running a get-ready-for-marriage blog and being a marriage life coach, chile, I've seen more than my fair share of marriage proposals. And if there's one thing they've all taught me it's that when a man wants a woman (I mean, really and truly wants a woman), there is no such thing as "not being emotional" or "incapable of expressing himself."

I've seen everything from flying a woman's entire family and close friends to an engagement location, to planning out her wedding for her based on her Pinterest posts. Moral to the story—if a man wants you, HE WILL SHOW YOU. Boldly so, too.

If you're always making excuses (especially to yourself) about why the man in your life can't plan a date, let alone give you a thoughtful Christmas or birthday present, spend some time on sites like How He Asked. It's a reality check like a mug.

Everyone and Their Grandma Is Telling You So.

Fun fact. My former pastor is one of the experts on Married at First Sight (yep, Pastor Cal), so sometimes I watch the show just because I'm still trippin' that he's on there. Well, there's a couple from this past season (Bobby and Danielle) who constantly get memos that Bobby is doing all of the work and Danielle is merely soaking it up. (All you have to do is put #MAFS in your Twitter search field and you'll see what I'm talking about.)

While the couple is telling everyone that their relationship is a "10" and they never fight, the experts, Bobby's family, and 99 percent of Twitter world is like, "Bobby, WAKE UP!"

Here's what they can teach us all. The mentality of it's you and me against the world may be romantic 'n all, but remember, you're emotionally involved and that can skew your discernment. The people on the outside looking in have the ability to catch some things you probably can't. And so, if ALL OF THEM are bringing up THE SAME CONCERN about you and your dude, it's not wise to flippantly shrug it off.

Stop thinking that everyone is being a hater, because the one thing they have in common is they all love you.

The Relationship—or Situationship—Is Not Making You Feel Loved.

(Most) women are natural nurturers. That's a good thing. But sometimes we confuse nurturing a relationship with how we raise our children. What I mean by that is, we expect to love a child and it not be a mutual situation. Children are not as mature as us. We know that we'll be doing most of the work.

A grown man is not a child. Or at least, he's not your child. If you're spending all of your time trying to meet his needs and make him feel loved, when do you have time to figure out what you need and what will make you feel loved?

It took me years and years…and years and years and years to get this one deep down in my spirit. And listen, I don't care how long you've been with someone, how good the sex is, or even how much you love him, if a random person on the street asked you how your man makes you feel loved and you can't immediately rattle off some answers—and by some, I mean more than two—this is one of the most overlooked indications that you're probably in love…by yourself.

THERE. IS. NO. PROGRESS.

If you put some water in a cup and let it sit in your sink for about a week and then you take a whiff, it's gonna have an odor to it. The lesson here is, even when it comes to water, stagnation stinks.

Meanwhile, "progress" is a dope word. It means "a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage." While progress means different things to different people, when something as profound and life-altering as LOVE is shared between two people, you can best believe that goals and "going higher" are going to happen; that both individuals will want nothing less.

If your relationship is more like a cup of water in the sink for a week, I know it's hard to hear, but that's another warning sign that you're probably in love by yourself. Because if he was "in it" with you, he'd want to move forward and you'd have concrete evidence of that very fact. I can promise you that.

Featured image by Shutterstock

I think we all know what it feels like to have our favorite sex toy fail us in one way or another, particularly the conundrum of having it die mid-use. But even then, there has never been a part of me that considered using random objects around my house. Instinctively, I was aware that stimulating my coochie with a makeshift dildo would not be the answer to my problem. But, instead, further exacerbate an already frustrating situation…making it…uncomfortable, to say the least.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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.

Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.

Keep reading...Show less

To be or not to be, that’s the big question regarding relationships these days – and whether or not to remain monogamous. Especially as we walk into this new awakening of what it means to be in an ethically or consensual nonmonogamous relationship. By no means are the concepts of nonmonogamy new, so when I say 'new awakening,' I simply mean in a “what comes around, goes around” way, people are realizing that the options are limitless. And, based on our personal needs in relationships they can, in fact, be customized to meet those needs.

Keep reading...Show less

Gabourey Sidibe is in the midst of wedding planning after her beau Brandon Frankel popped the question in 2020. The Empire actress made the exciting announcement on Instagram in November 2020 and now she is spilling the deets to Brides magazine about her upcoming wedding. "It cannot be a traditional wedding. Really, it can't be. I don't want anything done the 'traditional' way," she said. "Our relationship is very much on our terms and I want it to be fun, like a true party."

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts