5 Signs You're In Love (All By Yourself)
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
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If there’s one part of the face that seems to be the most vexing to correct, it’s the under eyes.
This delicate area has a way of being tipped off by our irregular sleep patterns, stress, and the straining that comes from our computers and phone screens. From puffiness to dark circles, it can be irksome to find the right products to soothe our under-eye concerns. Thankfully, there’s one solution that delivers a brighter and more awakened look over time, and that’s under-eye masks and eye patches.
Eye patches are giving our under-eye bags an eviction notice because they can’t hang our glowing faces rent-free. The beauty of these patches is that they are designed to bring your eyes targeted results through concentrated doses of active ingredients directly to the skin under the eyes. Typically made of thin, gel-like material and infused with ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and even green teas, these small but mighty patches depuff your puffiness, brighten your dark circles, or tighten fine lines.
While every under-eye differs in its needs, every eye can benefit from an under-eye mask or patch that suits its concerns. And to help, we’ve put together the best under-eye patches to hydrate, soothe, and brighten your eyes.
The KNC Beauty All Natural Retinol Infused Eye Mask, 5-Pack, is a retinol-infused, all-natural product designed to rejuvenate your eyes. It promises to provide hydration, smoothness, reduced puffiness, and brightness without the use of chemicals. With ingredients like retinol to refine skin texture and stimulate blood flow and aloe to soothe and reduce redness, it's like getting 8 hours of beauty sleep for your eyes.
These cooling hydrogel under-eye masks from Topicals promise to fade the appearance of dark circles and discoloration in just 15 minutes. The set includes six masks and offers benefits that brighten, hydrate, depuff, and cool your under-eye area.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Brightening Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Grab these eye contour gel patches to brighten the eye area and combat signs of aging using a powerful form of vitamin C called THD Ascorbate, which is 50 times more potent than traditional vitamin C.
BeautyBio's Bright Eyes consists of 15 colloidal silver-infused eye gel patches designed to provide instant depuffing, brightening, and revitalization to the delicate eye area within 10 minutes. They also contain natural collagen to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, which we love.
These viral hydrogel masks offer moisture and nourishment to rejuvenate tired-looking skin. Their Snail Secretion Filtrate contains "Mucin," an effective moisturizing ingredient that soothes damaged skin and delivers deep hydration, making it suitable for dehydrated and damaged skin types. Your under-eyes will thank you.
Try these caffeine-infused patches to reduce puffiness in the under-eye area. The product features clean, vegan ingredients such as caffeine, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for deep hydration and moisture delivery.
The Forever Eye Mask is designed to be the “last eye mask you'll ever need.” This thin, lightweight, and reusable eye patch can hold gels, serums, and creams close to the skin for better absorption, helping your skincare products work more effectively.
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