- Gender and Relationships
Is It REALLY Love You're Feeling?
Come on ladies, sometimes I feel like I sound like a broken record but when I see the same patterns or situations—basically shit—that keeps coming to my attention I have to address it.
Love, the word is beautiful and full of meaning so when you have found it you would know, right? Not always. When you can't love yourself how do think you can determine when you are experiencing true love? Just because a guy takes you on dates, trips and spends money on you— that does not qualify as love. Those things are materialist and are used as part of the ritual for dating.
Let's be real, if a guy makes you feel special—really special—then you are more apt to trust him and in turn, sleep with him. It's a win-win situation for him. Think about it, the more dates he plans, trips he takes you on, phone calls/texts he initiates, flowers/gifts he gives you—you are basically like putty in his hands—especially if he woos you with these things in the beginning, however this isn't necessarily love.
Often as women we confuse materialistic things with love. We assume that just because a guy is buying us things that he not only loves us, but that we also are in love with him. Again, spending money on you is the ritual of dating, love is how he ultimately treats you—so often the two get confused. Is he there when you need him? Does he treat you with respect? Does he really care about you? Is he open and honest with you?
I'm not saying that spending money on someone isn't a way of showing love, but when a man spends money on you and thinks that by doing so he can treat you poorly....that ladies is Not love, it's controlling. It can be hard to decipher the difference when you lack self-love.
Desperation is not love and lack of self-love is Not love. Listen carefully....You can't honestly love a guy if you don't know how to love yourself first. How can you claim that you love a man—really love a man—who is treating you with disrespect, thinks it's OK to play emotional games with your heart, or is emotionally or physically abusive? Wake-Up!!! That is not love. And, if you don't love yourself how do you expect a guy (of quality) too?
A close friend of mine lacks self-love—in a big, Big way. At first knowing this was very hard for me to understand since she is not only beautiful but is also intelligent, caring, kind, has a big heart, and is extremely supportive. However, her inability to love herself stems from never feeling good enough.
When my friend was young her dad walked out on her mom and he never made a true effort to maintain a strong father/daughter bond after the divorce. Although my friends mom has tried to be supportive in her life—her support is attached with a lot of judgment. Also my friend envies the life that her sister has—happily married with two children, living in an extremely large house and doesn't have to work. All of these things are the catalyst to why my friend lacks self-love.
Here's the thing, we all go through things and when you do you have the choice to either be the victim or hero of your own story. You can use your past situations to hold you back or move you forward with determination and clarity—it's your choice!
Our past experiences happen to show us what we do and do not want in our lives and more clearly, in our future. My friends’ sister didn't use the same past experience to hold her back from love, instead she did the opposite. It made her learn to love herself even more and in turn, she found love back.
My friends’ lack of self-love has not only caused her to attract bad relationships—one after the next—but has also made her correlate materialistic things as love. She is so scared to be by herself that she has convinced herself that if a guy spends money on her then he really does love her—regardless of how he treats her. Really?! The men she ends up being in serious relationships with treat her crappy. These men have all lied, cheated, and have spoken to her disrespectfully numerous times. Yikes! Yet, because they apologize with expensive dinners and gifts, in her mind they not only love her but must be really sorry so she stays in these relationships. Are you kidding me!?!
She has convinced herself that what she feels for these men is love but because she loves so hard (aka: hangs on desperately) that is why bad experiences in her relationships keep happening. What?! Not only is she delusional when it comes to love, but also so desperately blinded. This slope she continues to go down is painful to watch but there is nothing I can do. My friend will continue to go down this unhealthy path until she can learn to love herself.
When you love yourself you have the ability to see more clearly through the bullshit that a guy is putting in front of you. Loving yourself also makes it harder to justify staying with a guy who has zero respect for you.
Ladies, there is a reason why "love at first sight" rarely exists these days. Yes, you can be extremely physically attracted to someone the moment you lay eyes on that person, however that is not love—that is lust—know the difference. It takes spending quality time past the glitz and glamour to build the foundations of a lasting relationship and meaningful love. If you find yourself making excuses for why a guy is treating you badly...it is time to look at yourself! No excuses! If you respect yourself you won't have to worry about men like this anymore and will have a better chance to find someone deserving of your love and vice versa.