I’ve noticed something about young women that has me bothered. I’ll get straight to the chase since you may be wondering why someone like me should be so bugged. Well, first let me say that I have sisters, cousins, nieces, and girl friends that are practically family members to me and when it comes to them – they have my heart. I’ve practically heard it all when it comes to topics such as dating, divorce, and anything and everything that has to do with men and relationships.
You see I’ve been the go-to guy on love advice ever since I was young. Girls in school always gravitated to me when it came to talking about their crushes, and the older I became, the more women continued to share their love stories and wanted my thoughts on what they should do when it came to the man department. From my college lady friends, work colleagues, to even my bosses, I seemed to be the first phone call before and after a date.
Perhaps, this is true for a lot of gay men, but for me, I found that it was not just about listening and being an ear, I found it to be such a mission in wanting to see the women in my life want to make the right decisions and feel more powerful in their own skin. So, when it came to a break up or a bad date, I did not want them to feel like it was actually going to break down their soul. I wanted to inspire them to stand on their own two feet and not allow some crummy date or poor relationship ruin their stride and spirit.
I care a lot about women. I obviously care about all people but I’ve have been very outspoken about women empowerment for a long time. One of the reasons is that the women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing in my life have made some long-lasting impressions on me. Seeing them hurt or go through some type of difficulty really motivates me to go out there and shed nothing but goodness and light around their day.
This brings up an instance with a gal pal I recently connected with: a young girl in her twenties, in school, that had just met a guy out and about at one of the local bars. She was fixated on how he looked, his social media pics, and what he had planned for their first date. When I asked her what she really liked about him, she replied, “He is really nice to me.” That reply basically stopped me in my tracks. I went on to say, “Well, of course he should be nice to you!” “All guys should be nice to you!” The more we engaged in the conversation, the more it opened my eyes to learn that she was not use to guys just being nice and generalized that a lot of her friends thought guys were just a bunch of players. That made me sad, as I know the dating scene is hard enough as it is these days.
There is an app for this, and right-or-left-swipe for that. The courtship factor is long gone, especially with the tidal wave of technology that has taken over the way we communicate. It has not only made the way we interact much different on a normal life basis such as at work, ordering take-out, mail service, transportation, etc., but it has most definitely drowned the dating world. First phone calls have turned into text messages, and really getting to know somebody has turned into social media stalking. So, what is a girl (or a guy for that matter!) to do these days when wanting to seek out true love?
I think a lot of it starts with learning what she does and does not want in a relationship. The whole “loving your self first” is not new advice. That has already been written about for years. It’s important for a woman to truly understand who she is, what are her goals, values, and most importantly, be fully aware that she deserves R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Sticking to that mindset is what will firmly set up her dating boundaries. She should also go into the date with a solid line of how she should be treated. This will not only give her a dating filter, but will also show the guy she knows who she is, what she wants and what she will allow to enter into her life. The self-esteem factor is important, but that develops even more through life (for both men and women). Owning that conviction of personal boundaries will help weed out any bad eggs and focus her eye more quickly to catch the red flags of dating.
These red flags such as a guy saying something inappropriate, crossing the line with a tease to get your attention, flirting with another girl, or being too into the nightlife scene, are often over looked. Why? Many times it has to do with a girl not knowing what she deserves. You see, in many cases, we only know what we know, and a lot of what we know about relationships comes from our childhood. How did your dad treat your mom? How did your mom treat your dad? Was the example of what you knew of a relationship to be a toxic and dysfunctional one, or was there a strong level of dignity and respect?
So, before you jump into the land of love or consider getting into a relationship, I want you to think about these points:
Are you fully aware and understand what is considered to be a healthy relationship?
Do you know that you deserve a healthy relationship and won’t settle for anything less than that?
When you notice a couple red flags from the very beginning that means those red flags are not ever going to go away, and you need to walk away.
Do you know what you want out of a relationship? What does that relationship look like to you?
Are you comfortable with keeping up your personal boundaries even in the name of the dating game?
Do not hide beneath the technology blanket. Understand that the more you communicate verbally and in person will only allow you to better understand a guy’s intent, character and personality.
Are you own goals and platform intact? Do you have drive in other areas of your life?
Being respected and treated with kindness should be an absolute given!
You deserve nothing but the best when it comes to love. Who you allow to share your life with you should be just as wonderful as you are. The truest soul and love connection is based on the utmost respect you have for one another.