20 things I learned about Love.
Before my blog was about fashion it was about romance. I used to write about it all the time as it was something I was naturally passionate about. I still just as passionate about it today but rarely ever express my thoughts because writing about romance means you have to be vulnerable and also talk from experience. I am very private about my love life so it isn’t easy talking about romance when you are a public figure and everyone is in your business. However, I want to go back to being comfortable enough to share these things with you, things I wish I would have read in the past that could have helped me identify the mistakes I made being with the wrong people. This isn’t a post to bash and generalize every man in the world. This is about what I learned from the very few men I have allowed into my life and also about the experiences my friends have had in the past. I think these lessons don’t only apply to women but can also be applied to men as some women are just as guilty of these faults. I wish I would have known then what I know now and I still feel like I am learning and still have a lot of learning to do. Maybe I have just been unlucky with my own experiences but I hope that my luck will change one day so I am able to talk about romance without a flicker of doubt. And since these are just my opinions, you don’t have to agree but respect that this is all I know from my own experiences.
Ready. Set. Learn.
1. In the words of Rupaul “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” I have been guilty of loving my relationships more than I love myself and I was so young and naive to not see how detrimental that could be to my self-esteem the minute that person was no longer in my life. It is true, you have to love yourself more than you love your significant other, you have to love yourself enough to know what you deserve and how you should be treated. People often take advantage of the fact that someone loves them and you have to make sure you don’t let someone take you for granted. You have to love yourself enough to let go of toxic relationships that are no good for you and last but not least..You have to love yourself enough to be alone and know you are going to be just fine without him. Remember that person you thought you couldn’t live without? Well look at you living and shit!
2. Always DATE. Dates don’t always have to be extravagant, they can be something as simple as a walk in the park. A date can be a movie night on the couch with a bowl full of popcorn. It isn’t about the date, it’s about the time you spend with your significant other doing things you both can enjoy doing together. People become too complacent in their relationships that they forget to take a time out to remember why they fell in love in the first place. A little effort goes a long way and will make sure the romance lasts long enough to keep each other happy long-term.
3. Make sure you are a priority. I cannot stress this enough. If he makes you his very last priority, don’t even bother giving him the time of day. If you aren’t his priority 4 months into the relationship you won’t be his priority 2 years in to the relationship. I have a job and am always busy but I make time for the people I love. It is called compromise. I know how to have a healthy balance of love and ambition and if I can do it anyone can because I am always busy. I have been the last priority many times in my life and will no longer settle for a relationship where I am not important until I walk away. Don’t believe in the excuses, when a man wants to spend time with you he will make time. You have to be important from day one and continue to be important throughout your relationship. Being with someone selfish who can’t compromise will never work.
4. Your significant other should be your BEST FRIEND. I have never been with someone who was my best friend. They were always the selfish boyfriend, the insecure boyfriend, the cheating boyfriend, the douche boyfriend, but never the best friend boyfriend and that’s why my relationships have failed. Your partner should be your ride or die, Bonnie & Clyde, and you should not settle for anything less.
5. Stop watering yourself down. Independent? Opinionated? Self Sufficient? Courageous? Smart? Got your priorities straight? Have a job and your own roof over your head? Oh yeah? Me too. I have been driven since I was 15 years old and have watched my relationships suffer because of it. I learned that this was not my fault. This was not my problem. It is not your job to make yourself small so people could be comfortable around you. It is not your job to be fragile with the egos of men who cannot handle your success. It is his job to get his priorities in line and learn to be confident with himself so he can be comfortable and supportive of your success. Period.
6. Don’t date a guy with Peter Pan syndrome. Still lives with his parents but owns a civic that has rims that are more expensive than your Chanel Bag? Over 28 and has no priorities what-so-ever? If he does not want to grow up or get his shit together, please do yourself a favor and run. RUN as far as you can. Manchildren are not your responsibility, do not take care of these fools or give them the time of day. If he wants someone to take care of him have him go to his mother. You did not give birth to him which means you are not entitled to be his slave or give him an allowance because his ass is broke. Manchildren are also allergic to commitment, which means you will wait forever to have him commit to you anyway so your best bet is to find a man who has priorities, a plan, a job, his own home, and your best interests in mind. Same goes for the men out there who are with these broads who want to be taken care of. Tell her ass to get a job and stop depending on your money to get her nails done. Just because you are a man does not mean that your girl gets to stay at home doing nothing while you slave away at work. I believe in equality.
7. Communication is key. We hear it all the time but it is so important that you be with someone you can talk to about anything. There is nothing I love more than to have a good deep conversation. I love being able to get to know someone at their most vulnerable state. It truly is beautiful to see people being human. Someone who knows how to communicate will not leave you astray wondering who they are, where you stand, how they feel, or what you both need to work on to keep the relationship going. Communication leaves no room for questions. If someone doesn’t communicate, is giving you mixed signals, won’t tell you how he feels, and cannot discuss your differences with you in a professional manner when the going gets tough then it just isn’t going to work out. I used to be with a guy who had an issue with everything I spoke about. I could not talk about anything without him having a smart-ass response. I could not talk about my accomplishments, my family, my friends, or my problems without him getting upset. You should never feel like you have to watch what you say around the person you love. If he can’t handle your opinion or the fact that you have a brain and a backbone then you need to walk away. It isn’t worth it to be with someone with selective hearing and insecurity issues.
8. Once a cheater always a cheater. Sure people cheat all the time and stop when they get caught. The problem is, if they didn’t get caught, they would probably continue doing it. I know the rules have changed in our society today but flirting with another girl is cheating it doesn’t matter if it’s in person or via social media. If he is willing to flirt via social media, he is willing to walk through that door if she is willing to give him an opportunity. Any type of romantic interactions with other women that isn’t with your girlfriend is cheating and even if you don’t think it is, it doesn’t change the fact that it is completely disrespectful to your significant other. If your man gets hit on by a girl and doesn’t have the common decency to tell them that he has a girlfriend, he does not respect you. Respect is a huge part of a successful relationship and so is trust. So yeah, once a cheater always a cheater because once the trust is gone, the relationship goes with it. And don’t be mad at the females your man cheats on you with because that’s tacky. Give your used toys to the less fortunate. Tell them they can keep him and move forward.
9. Leave your relationship out of Social Media. Social media has taken such a toll on romance. Stop putting your relationship on blast via social networks. No one needs to know your business and no one cares about the fight you had yesterday that you will be begging for forgiveness tomorrow. Also, if your man is following a bunch of chicks on instagram, I am not insinuating that he is a cheater but there is a slight chance he is probably flirting with one or a few of them. If you catch him in the act, let that be a red flag big enough for you to keep an eye on him. I decided to ignore the last time I saw a red flag and it bit me in the ass later when I found out these girls were sending my boyfriend naked photos. I was never the girl to snoop or be with someone I couldn’t trust but sometimes you meet someone who makes you that way. Never ever be THAT GIRL. If you ever feel like you have to snoop, walk away from that relationship. You can’t have one without trust. In addition, I cannot believe it has become socially acceptable to accept a “like” a “text” or a quote meme as some type of romantic gesture. I have seen people try to get their ex’s back by posting subliminals on their instagrams. Your 2-second-send effort is pathetic. When you want something, you go for it, you take action, and you get off of your phone. He doesn’t like phone conversations? Tell him to grow up. He wants to text you all day and all night but never call you or spend time with you? Don’t even waste your time. He wants you back? He better show up at your door. Social Media is not a platform for romance. If he wants to put little to no effort and hide behind his computer or his phone every day then you need to find someone who isn’t just a man of his word but a man of action.
10. No one is perfect. You are never going to meet a guy who is absolutely perfect so you shouldn’t expect to be perfect to him either. We are all flawed, we just have to find someone who embraces our weaknesses and flaws and turns them into strength and art. In turn we have to do the same for them. You have to look at the pros and cons and see what you can and cannot compromise with and if that person loves you, they will try to make it work. Love is when two people can see past imperfections. Love is loving the soul of the person. If you feel like the person you are with only loves your body and not your soul, you are in the wrong relationship. If you feel like you have to change who you are completely to be desirable then you are in the wrong relationship. No one is going to walk away from you because you have scars or small boobs lol. Flaws are art to many of us and life is too short to be with someone who can’t see how beautiful you are “flaws” and all.
11. Stay away from toxic relationships.
Abuse comes in many forms. It could be verbal like him threatening to leave you all the time when the going gets tough. It could be him threatening to cheat on you if you don’t live up to his standards. It could be him controlling how you dress, where you go, and clocking your every move. It could be him hitting you, even if “it was just once”. It could be his selfish demeanor that leaves you as his very last priority. It could be him leading you on for his own pleasure, lying to you to make you believe a relationship is in the future. It could be you both fighting all the time about nothing. Know when your relationship is toxic, know the difference between happiness and loneliness. Do not stay with someone because they are your comfort zone. Do not stay with someone because you are afraid to be alone. You are better off alone than with someone who doesn’t make you feel special, loved, or wanted. You should never feel disposable or like someone’s last priority. Your relationship should feel like an oasis not a prison or a game.
Play them with children not with adults. That whole mixed signals, texting 8 hours later, posting photos with chicks or dudes to get someone jealous is stupid. Don’t do it. You only end up losing in the end and the only way to win is to move on.
13. Looks don’t equal love. Ok, you have the image of Brad Pitt in your head and you want to marry someone who looks like him so you can have beautiful babies and blah blah blah. Sometimes, the nice guy is not the really handsome guy. Sometimes the nice guy is the average joe with the belly and the douche is the handsome guy in the muscle tee. See where I’m getting at here? I have dated hot guys who were douche bags and average guys who treated me better. You have to find someone who intrigues you intellectually and if he just happens to be handsome than you are lucky. But you can’t be closed-minded and assume that every hot guy is going to treat you right. Give the average joe a chance and you might be surprised at how handsome they become when they show you WHO they are. You should be focusing more on the guy who treats you right and not the guy who just looks pretty. Some crystals shine brighter than diamonds.
14. Date a man with a PLAN. The most important thing I always want to know when I meet someone is what they are passionate about. What drives you? What are your goals? What do you love to do? Sometimes they don’t know and it’s understandable but you gotta see them putting forth effort to figure it out for this to be acceptable. A man without a plan is usually a red flag unless he is doing something about it. You also want to make sure that you are a part of that plan if you have been with this person long enough. What good is a future if he doesn’t see you in it? or a part of it? If his plan is me me me and not we then you have a problem on your hands.
15. Be with someone who isn’t selfish. No relationship should be one-sided. If the person you are with only likes to do what they want to do when it is convenient for them then you need to find someone else who doesn’t have “only child syndrome”. It takes two to tango and no one likes to dance alone. This also applies to the bedroom, if sex is allll about him, GORL, get out of that relationship FAST. Sex should never be boring and you should not be the only person putting in the work. A relationship takes compromise and effort on both ends to make it work. If its their way or the highway, take the highway, it might lead you to someone better who understands that the world does not revolve around them….and isn’t lazy in the bedroom too!
16. Don’t over-think shit. I am STILL guilty of this. My past traumas leave me always questioning things and living in fear that the past will just repeat itself. Learn to just let go and go with the flow of things. Trust your intuition not your fear, time reveals truth. Relax, breathe, this guy might just be a winner. Never let your past experiences stop you from experiencing.
17. We all make mistakes. Mistakes can vary. Sometimes we make the mistake of forgiving someone who should have not been forgiven. Sometimes people cheat and are actually sorry. The most important thing on any side of the coin is to forgive ourselves and forgive others (depending on the situation). On rare occasions many of us do take someone back for cheating or mistreating us but its a huge risk because when they do it again, we resent ourselves for allowing that person to hurt us again. You HAVE to forgive yourself. Sometimes we love so blindly that we forget how we should be treated. You have to force yourself to remember but you have to forgive yourself if you forget. I used to have such bad resentment issues with not just my past relationships but my friendships as well because I love deeply and I hurt deeply too. I am still learning forgiveness. I am still working on forgiving myself for the mistakes I have made and the men I have allowed to break my heart. I just always tell myself that some things fall apart so the right things can fall together.
18. We all have a different definition of love. I realized recently that I have been with people who couldn’t love me to the capacity that I was capable of loving them with. The capacity I deserve. Some people need a lot of love, and some people only need a little. Most of the men I have been with rarely tried at all to love me and I still settled for whatever I got. I don’t want someone who will move mountains every day. I want a lover who is also my best friend. I am not perfect but I am really good at loving people. I understand what loyalty, love, and respect means. I have my own life and am independent and I like my space just as much as a man does. I have a genuine interest in making sure the people I love are happy. I have a genuine interest in making someone happy. However, I have broken my own heart loving the wrong people without realizing that I knew that they couldn’t love me the way I deserved to be loved. I never trusted my intuition and I should have. They say you should give without receiving, I don’t believe in that. I believe a relationship should consist of two people who share love equally and if you happen to meet someone who can’t love you or cherish you, it just isn’t worth it being unhappy. However, everyone is different. Everyone shows love in different ways. You just have to find someone who is your missing puzzle piece. Someone who loves you the way you want to be loved. Your perfect match.
19. Beware of the lingerers. Some people we have been with never really ever go away. They assume you have a revolving door they can just walk in and out of the minute they think you are moving on. Another toxic relationship you don’t need in your life. If they want you, they will show you and they will CLAIM you. You shouldn’t have to be wrapped in some other guys arms for him to wake up. If you close a door, keep it closed, turn the page, burn the page, whatever the hell you need to do to keep the person who broke your heart away unless he does something about it. They can either commit to you or get none of you. That simple.
20. Don’t settle. This is the most important lesson and one I least need to describe. If you are not happy you are not a tree, walk away. Settling only blocks the happiness you could be receiving from someone else who can love you better, treat you better, support you better, and respect you. I see so many relationships based on comfort or financial comfort and it saddens me. Two people should be in love. Head over heels in love. No one should stay together just because they are comfortable or can’t survive financially on their own. lol I know love can be a motherfucker but we cannot give up hope. I truly believe there are good men out there with good intentions though I haven’t had the best experiences. I think it is important that we understand that we are ALL representatives of love when we go into a relationship so it is our responsibility to set the tone of how that person should be treated. Expressing love is teaching love and when you hurt others you are letting them believe that love is painful and dishonest. Be a good representative of what love is, and watch old traditions come alive. Love is a BEAUTIFUL thing. It isn’t a bad thing to love love or want love, it makes you strong to be honest about it. It is ok to be lonely too. Most people are but just wont admit it. Just keep the faith and continue to follow your other passions till the right person comes along.