By Author V.S.Atbay
1) KNOW YOURSELF
Know what you want and why you want it. Learn how to be free, yet secure within your own self. Understanding and knowing your needs, desires and expectations is important. If you don't know what you want, don't waste your time or your partners time by playing around. Careless experimenting can lead to trouble. If you know what you want in a relationship – remind yourself so you don't forget. Be responsible to your needs. It needs to be fed. If you don't have a clue, then explore respectfully and responsibly.
2) DON'T SHRINK AWAY FROM YOUR GREATNESS
Shrinking away from your standards by lowering your expectations to compromise for your partners short comings is unproductive and a waste of time. If you're shrinking from your own beauty, greatness and success to “match” your partner or make them feel secure or comfortable all the time, then you're hindering your own growth and chances are, you're settling for the wrong person. Feel comfortable with who you are at all times. It's not your responsibility to constantly rub your partners ego. If you can't celebrate yourself with him, if you start to move backwards in life, if he pulls you down, if you have to act broken to give him something to do, if you underestimate your worth so he's not uncomfortable with your successes, then your in an unhealthy relationship with someone who doesn't give two pennies about your growth or what makes you happy! That's the bottom line.
He's too into himself - and probably too worried you'll outshine him - and the more you succeed, the more happier you are, the less he'll be impressed. Why do some men act this way? Most likely because their immature, unstable and insecure about themselves - so someone's going to pay; guess who that is? Yup, YOU.
If anything, your success will only threaten him - ever come across an insecure and envious man? It's emotionally draining and disappointing - and your conversations will always hold a subtle competitive and combative undertone to it. Doesn't make you feel secure or loved - but truthfully, love has nothing to do with it. Like Tina Turner sings, "What's love got to do with it" exactly, thank you Tina! Because without respect, there's no love.
3) EXPRESS YOURSELF CONFIDENTLY
Be bold. Express yourself without fear or hesitation. Yup, just like confident Michonne, ...but umm, without the sword, of course!
Tell your partner what you want, why you want it and what your expectations are, but express it respectfully. You should not fear or feel intimidated by your partners possible reaction. If you feel afraid or intimidated by him, then you're with the wrong person. You're already psychologically and emotionally entrapped.
The right person will make you feel at ease and comfortable at all times no matter how challenging the relationship becomes. Ever interacted with a calm person? It's pure bliss. In fact, a man who's understanding will appreciate your upfront approach. Men don't like reading minds, so take positive advantage of this and express yourself. All the better for you. Lay it out in the open.
4) REMAIN MUTUALLY RECEPTIVE
Remain open and ask your partner to express his own expectations, needs and desires too. It takes two to tango and reminding him that you encourage mutual self-growth, will remind him that you have expectations, standards and needs. Women are nurturing leaders by nature. If you fall asleep at the wheel, he will to.
If you remain on top of your game, he will too – but don't constantly look back and don't constantly wait on him twirling your hair. Do your thing. Live your life. Babysitting Services Out of Order.
5) BE INDEPENDENT
Celebrate and practice your independence consciously – make your own money, have your own friends and social life, engage in healthy activities and make your dreams and passions come true. This will keep you on track and not allow you to fall dependent on your partner. Appreciate yourself. Feeling dependent on anyone (emotionally or financially) can strip you of your self-esteem, self-respect and confidence. It doesn't matter how much he loves you. Having responsibilities, being accountable to yourself and being independent will add value to your life and empower you. Plus, you should want all of these things. Asking for permission to be content or happy is a big no-no. Be the right woman for yourself, and the right man will come along. This doesn't mean to reject his efforts in making you happy, accept and enjoy his love, but also create a life of your own in the process.
6) TRUST YOURSELF - BE YOUR OWN BOSS
Learn to make your own decisions. If you're constantly passing questions or ideas through your partner "ad nauseum," then chances are you're allowing yourself to be micromanaged and fall dependent and him, and this can become a bad habit; (with the exception of joint and family planning) of course, learn to celebrate, accept and have confidence in your own ideas and choices. Create and stabilize your own backbone and follow through. Why build crutches, when you can build a backbone?
The more you ask for "permission," the more you will doubt your own decisions, and the less empowered you'll feel. I'm not saying don't share your ideas or thoughts, I'm saying trust in yourself.
Chances are, when you learn to call your own shots, you're cutting him a break as well and he will appreciate your strength and courage. If he feels insecure by your decisiveness, independence or strength all the time, everyday, then go back and read # 2 as a reminder.
7) YOU ARE COMPLETE
Be with a person that can compliment you, not complete you. Remind yourself that you are already a complete and extraordinary woman. Why? BECAUSE YOU ARE. Allow yourself to feel this actively and truly recognize what makes you special, even if you don't feel secure or your best self at the moment.
Attitude and embracing a positive frame of mind is crucial. What you see, how you imagine yourself and how you feel is what you're attracting in your life - you have the full power to either nourish your soul or abuse it, so use your energy wisely.
Think of your body, mind, emotions and your soul as your baby. Would you harm your baby? Would you look at your baby and utter discouraging things to. Would you tell your baby she or he looks ugly in the mirror? Would you neglect, starve or over feed your baby? Would you find a man you don't trust to take care of your baby, to give her or him "temporary" love? Would you put a razor against your babies wrist? Of course you wouldn't! So the same applies to you - treat yourself as you would your child - and nourish your inner self.
More importantly, you are already born perfect with beautiful imperfections and no one can complete you or make you happy, but yourself. No one is perfect and perfection is quite frankly an overrated desire!
Your scars are unique and beautiful. There's a Japanese practice called Kintsugi, it is the art of fixing broken pottery by filling in the cracks with gold. In the end, it adds a unique and beautiful character to the pottery.
We all have broken parts and pasts we're not happy with and we've all been hurt, but it's how you see and define the broken pieces that matter. It's what you do with these cracks that matter.
It's what you fill those empty, hurt and large gaps with, that matter most. If you shove self-hate or bitterness in the deepest and darkest corner of your heart, well bitterness and hate is exactly what you'll cultivate and no other person can heal you of your emptiness or loneliness - but yourself. God helps those, who help themselves.
Also, no other person has the ability to heal your wounds or make you feel extraordinary and amazing, as you do. And temporary flings, eye candies and superficial relationships will never fill in that void, because many of those interactions are short -lived.
No one can give you confidence, love or appreciation as best as you can. It's starts with you; so water your roots. And if you choose light, happiness and acceptance, you'll cultivate a positive mind, body and soul. After all, your experiences complete you. Your past has strengthened you - and here you are alive and reading this article! ;-)
So ladies, don't wait hand and foot to follow through on your dreams. Being with a man does not make you any better or any worse. If you've had this idea all your life, that only after you've established your relationship can you move ahead with your dreams, chances are you're missing out on your own greatness everyday.
We're no longer living in the 40's where women were mentally, socially, emotionally or spiritually restricted from self-expression. We're also not leading or living the lives our mothers lived, whether your a first born generation or come from an immigrated line of families.
This doesn't mean join the first feminist group, start a riot or put men down; all I'm saying is you have every opportunity and privilege in this day and age to liberate and love yourself by being the best version of who you are. Both for yourself, your partner and the people around you.
Having a partner is a sweet side order to life, a compliment to who you are- but the absence or presence of a man should never stop you from growing or living your own dreams. If you take away the cherry, will a delicious chocolate cake lose it's value or taste? Of course not! Now imagine you are that cake - full of delicious substance. If you get a cherry on top, great! If not, you still have the cake, in other words, the main dish. YOURSELF.
Adding too much weight on his absence or presence measuring your self worth based on his existence or non -existence is a mark of deep rooted insecurity, dependence, lack of focus and low self-esteem - you would be living in distress - so check yourself, before you mess your self -up!
Deal with your mind, body and soul - before you share your heart. Sharing your love should not have any secret motives, and specially not ones that you think will boost your own ego or self-esteem. Every person deserves to be loved for the sake of love. No one should be a tool at the expense of your insecurities or uncertainty. More importantly, if you can't be well on your own or without him- then you most likely won't be well with him.
8) TAKE ACTION
If you're not happy, make a change. Don't drag yourself over hot coals. Don't wait on your partner to act first – although communication and responsibility is key, you don't need permission to find happiness. You're not imprisoned. Take control of your life and be in tune with your core self without feeling guilty. If you feel stuck in a rut, read my article (4 Steps to Get Yourself Out of a Viscous Cycle.) Playing mind games, waiting games or testing games only reflects poorly on you. You're better than that, and you know it.
9) GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF
Detach and breath; you must exhale, in order to inhale. Don't suffocate or cling onto your partner.
If you're suffocating or you're a stage five clinger, then you're probably harboring feelings of insecurity, HYPER sensitivity, jealousy and possessiveness. Something is not right! Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3.
Dig deep and investigate why you are feeling this way. If you're honest with yourself, the answers will become clear: You'll experience mind blowing epiphanies. (Buckle In). So yes, please don't act like the woman in the photo your about to see - it only reflects poorly on you and quiet frankly ladies, no person is worth such degrading and UN-classy behavior!
If he is provoking or stimulating these feelings in you because he flirted with the girl next door, then communicate your feelings in a mature, non-dramatic way and speak up. Don't dwell on your feelings, "eye" him with resentment, stare at the knife or use sex as a way to "get back" at him. *shakes head*
Years ago, I got mad at my fiance (boyfriend) back then and walked out of the car and right out into the pouring rain. This was my deliberate attempt to make a point. What was my point? I didn't care, I was angry.
The problem was, the car was parked in the middle of a parking lot before the argument escalated and the ground was really steep. I remember the water level reaching past my knees as I marched away from the car and his attempt at calming me down, frantically. The engine was running, my mascara was running, I was running, he was running, everything was running! What a disaster! I look back now and can't believe how I acted - I know, we women are emotional and can lose control - but the key is to learn from these humiliating experiences and embrace a calm and mature lifestyle. Now my fiance and I look back and just laugh at that day as he continue to tease me. *chuckle*
So no, you don't need to throw pots and pans or the cat either; be heard and find a way to resolve those issues like an adult. If he's a player, you should know that by now. If you were thinking of changing that about him- big mistake! You can't tame a loose or uncommitted animal. No offense to some of the men out there, but you know who you are.
If he has wondering eyes and this makes you feel uncomfortable, then clear the air and ask that he either stops because you won't tolerate being disrespected or you'll have to make a decision that's best for you. Then follow through.
Refuse to be in a relationship that makes you feel unhealthy or unhappy - you have better things do to, like live your beautiful life.
If you don't have a solid reason to feel like this but still do, then evaluate yourself. Perhaps you're not happy with yourself or in an area of your own personal life. Maybe you're taking his actions the wrong way and befriending paranoia. Reflect. Recognize the source of your problem. Get help and make some inner changes. Also, avoid emotional replacements and over the top drama. It's overrated ladies. Mastering and getting to know yourself is a learning curve worth investing in.
10) STOP MOTHERING HIM
Back off and chill out. Stop mothering him. He does not need a mother. He needs a woman that can take care of herself so he can take care of himself. The more you baby him, the less independent he will become. Walk out of his lane, let go of the umbilical cord and let him do what he does best. He didn't ask you to be there, so allow him to stand on his two own feet - and if he wants to provide for you, then allow him to love you. If he wants to spoil you, why are you stopping him? Balance your masculine and feminine energy out wisely; you're composed of both.
The more you baby a man, the more you will discourage him from growing, maturing, taking on responsibility. You're stumping his growth, bruising his ego and allowing him to be lazy while you do all the work. And I mean, ALL the work. You're telling him subconsciously, "You don't have to do a single thing - I'll take care of all the responsibilities."
If this is the case, then why bother creating another huge mess by having expectations? Why over analyze his actions? Why build resentment? Why fuss and complain? And why bother getting upset when he doesn't meet your needs if you're placing yourself in that circumstance? Get it? You have a lot of wisdom at your hands, use it wisely and don't create senseless projects for yourself using him as the tool. Please stop. It's self-destructive.
11) COMMUNICATE AND FILTER OUT NEGATIVITY
Communicate after a fight. If you need some time or a few days to cool down, take it. If not, communicate and deal with the issue. Letting resentment and grudges build up will not solve the problems. He can't read your mind and you shouldn't expect him to - so say what needs to be said. Also, encourage him to open up to you without nagging pressure. Don't go to bed angry, arms folded across your chest. How will that solve anything? And no, angry sex does not "fix" the issue. If anything, you're avoiding the issue and he'll be more than glad to participate. You're telling him indirectly:
"I won't follow through on what makes me happy, you don't have to communicate with me or make an effort to resolve our issues. I have no expectations. I don't respect myself. It's okay, let's just shove this under the carpet, again. "
Get it? So that's the picture you paint, when you avoid resolving conflict.
Also, don't take out your anger on the wrong person either or make an impulsive move you might later regret. Stop. Stop. Stop. How many friends have you lost along the way over your relationship? How many doors have you slammed real hard? How many jobs have you quit? How many people have you treated like dirt who crossed your path? This is what anger does - It's poisonous and slowly destroys the bottle that carries it.
Threatening to leave is also not productive. It's a form of violent communication. Think about it. All of these actions breed child's play, drama and immaturity. Get to the point, get to the bottom of things and don't allow bitterness to come in between your relationship. You CAN communicate with class without acting like a starving banshee on PMS!
This is a sign of maturity and being pro-active. Before heading for greener fields, water the one you have first. If it fails, use your failures as fertilizer for better growth.
12) ALLOW MUTUAL EXPRESSION
Drop your defenses.
Anticipating what he's going to say is the worse thing you can do, because you're just giving birth to more anxious, nervous and negative energy by being awfully presumptuous. Nothing drives a person more insane then the feeling of being on trial or worse, dealing with a catty know it all.
Assuming you know it all, is one the of lead causes of break -ups. Why? Because you leave no room for understanding or fair communication. Stop acting like a psychologist or a psychic! Because then, all systems in your body, brain and common sense, shut down. And he's left walking on glass - ugh, one of the worse feelings on earth!
Walking on glass automatically forces the other person to quiet down, withdraw, cater to your defensive mood and craft their responses in a way that they think is more "suitable" to you - telling you what they think you want to hear, as apposed to the truth. They will literally proceed with caution. It's an extremely uncomfortable feeling - a huge turn off.
Men will either lash out, avoid you or withdraw very easily if they fear their about to get a third degree burn from you! This is terrible, because not only are you getting in the way of your own relationship, but you're disabling him from being comfortable with you, from being himself with you, from being genuine. See the vicious cycle? So if you can't figure out why he can't communicate with you, reflect on yourself first- are you providing or coming from an understanding place? Also, apply this to your other relationships.
So clear your mind without bias; who's being incarcerated? Who's on trial? No one? Oh ok, good, just checking!
If he is expressing his feelings, listen to him as if you would to one of your best friends. A good friendship is the foundation of all successful relationships. Don't shut him out, look away, avoid eye contact, tap your stiletto against the concrete floor, grunt or sigh annoyingly. Don't hover over him, breath like your in labor, mock him, finish off his sentences, "kiss your teeth", yell in public or get into a power play. Gosh, I can go on forever! Ladies, you know exactly what I'm talking about - we've all been there and done that.
Remember, 90% is what you don't say and body language speaks volumes. Imagine if your partner did everything I mentioned above, to you - rude huh? (Okay, with the exception of the stiletto thing!) Would YOU want to talk to YOU? Would you want to be your own friend or lover? Not in a million years.
Read my article, (10 Ways to Control Your Angry and Impulsive Reactions)
And if you're on the receiving end of this behavior, then I would evaluate if what you're tolerating is truly healthy.
So yes, allow him to open up; chances are, you'll hear some valuable information and understand his feelings better, thereby, learning how to communicate effectively and come to some peaceful agreement.
You can handle it - you're a strong and supportive woman. Listening skills are key. Don't just listen with the intent to reply, hear and understand what your partner has to say. The same applies the other way around, no worries, but right now we're focusing on you ladies, so let's stay on topic.
In the end, all relationships are an investment. You either make a smart investment or a poor one.
Think of how you would want to be treated. If you're treating him like trash or an abused dog, chances are he'll bite back and disrespect you when the pressure builds. Respect yourself, by respecting your partner. You will start a healthy trend and probably introduce the art of action, forgiveness, humility and strength. Very much like mother nature. So lead by example. And no, this is by no means a form of "submission." I'm not asking you to be submissive or passive, so take a deep breath. I'm asking you to be mature and respect yourself.
Allowing your partner to speak is a sign of maturity, experience and mutual respect. It means you're adult enough to care - and if he's a wise and mature man as well, he'll respect the love you have for yourself, coupled with a great head on your shoulders. Aren't you a great catch, ..yes you are! ;-)
13) FACE THE FACTS. ACCEPT THE TRUTH. MOVE ON.
If the relationship is not working out and you've had enough, don't make another set of excuses for him. Read my article (The Uncommitted Lover and the Revolving Door Syndrome)
Avoid tolerating poisonous behavior. If he's not good for you, if you've felt nothing but pain – MOVE ON. You don't need another doze of morphine.
By making excuses for his behavior, you're allowing him to control your life and rob you of your happiness and free will to chose right from wrong, again and again - it's like getting stabbed very, very, very slowly.
When was the last time you were truly happy? Truly laughed?
He won't change if he hasn't already for himself, because change starts from within. When you make excuses for him, he most likely knows this and if he's not a decent human being, he will most likely take advantage and manipulate the situation. You become weak, foggy, out of control and vulnerable when you choose to become ignorant. Take control and have no fear or doubt in wanting better for yourself. In facing the facts with courage, you realize that letting go is a mark of true strength. Don't look at it as a loss, but a gain - because that's exactly what it is when you liberate yourself. Read my article (Women: How to Spot the Right Man After You've Been Heartbroken) and by "right" I mean healthy and sane.
14) EXERCISE WOMANLY WISDOM
Tame your emotions. You don't need to express your love 24/7. It's overwhelming and not always necessary. Keep your cool, love your partner with depth, but also wisdom. Keep a part of yourself, for yourself. (aka, Me Time). When you lose yourself in your partner, you risk the chance of losing everything if the relationship doesn't work out one day.
In other words, don't place all your eggs in one basket that may not be strong enough to hold it together.
Remind yourself of your priorities, standards and remain focused. Remind yourself of who you are and learn to express love without having to submit your very last breath on a golden platter.
No one wants a possessive "in your face" overachiever - please don't tattoo his name on your pretty face, leave love scars on your arms, stalk him at work or shop for wedding dresses when you can't even communicate respectfully or more importantly, respect yourself.
That's psychotic. Passion and chemistry is important, but don't quit your day job. Understand that sometimes, too much emotional turbulence and intense passion can breed separation someday if you're not in control of your feelings. Are you always on cloud 9? Hmm, come down to earth please - coffee is getting cold. Your friends miss you.
Also, the more you give and empty out, the less you're going to feel respected, and the less you're going to respect yourself when you start to feel unappreciated, taken for granted and so on. This is only much too common and natural. Happens to many women who over commit. Too much of anything will get boring and overwhelming - a love that once meant something, will start to lose it's value and spark.
So chuck the desperate, over the top sentimental and obsessive disposition away, far far away; and embrace reality, practicality and a good sense of judgment on your head. Chances are, he'll realize the strong, loving, loyal yet confident and independent woman you are. If he's the one who's emotional, irrational, all out of control and wants to run away with you to the Figi mountains to have a monk wed you, then I suggest you seriously question his sense of mental and emotional stability - and evaluate if you're with the right person for you. If he's holding your happiness hostage, then I'd start looking for patterns in your relationship that hold you back.
Romeo and Juliet were overly dramatic and look what happened to them, *shakes head.* Stick to reality, ironically, you have a better chance of making it out alive and seeing your family at the next Thanksgiving dinner.
15 STOP BEING A CONTROL FREAK. HAVE FAITH. RELAX.
Remain one step ahead and allow him the chance to be himself. Have faith in your partner, support, observe from a distance and watch. When he tells you of his goals, simply utter “okay” with confidence and faith, and allow him to prove to you what he wants to prove or work on. Don't poke, prod, question or destroy his dreams. You wouldn't want him doing that to you. Remember? Stay out of his lane. Trust. Give him a fair chance and let him grow. It can be hard at first, but it gets better, allowing you some space and time to yourself as well - which puts you both in harmonic rhythm.
If he's expressed opening a new business to have a career dream come true and you're stressing over his decision at 4:AM, then you need to cool it sister...hmm, someone is over worrying, perhaps?
When you get out of his way and allow your partner to make their own choices, you can evaluate on your own time if his actions truly speak louder than his words. Or, if his words match his actions. Watch for patters in a non-suspicious or interrogative way and focus on yourself in the process. How can you learn to let go of self-destructive habits?
16) TAKE HIM OFF THE PEDESTAL
Please take him off the pedestal. Why is he up there in the first place!? Is he stuck in a tree?
By placing your partner on a pedestal, you're creating unrealistic expectations and visions for and about him and chances are you're heading towards a big let down. Believe me, he doesn't want to be up there. He will jump right off. This is frightening for men and it usually scares them away knowing he's obligated to meet unrealistic standards.
Focus on yourself and accept him for who he is. Fixing him, turning him into the next president or CEO is unwise and simply foolish. Those are your dreams, not his, so don't lay your dreams onto him - unless you want to become his mother.
Walk on your own foundation. Make your own dreams come true. See him for who and what he is in the NOW, and encourage mutual self-growth together by communicating and challenging each other in a fun way.
Placing him on a pedestal and waiting for him to meet your "demands" or needs is a plan set to fail leading to lots of confusion, heartache and misunderstandings. How crazy is that!?
Sometimes you have to take off the rose colored glasses. Maybe he's not your "Knight and Shining Armour," but an unemployed psycho wrapped in tin foil who'll make the exorcist seem like a romance story!
Will he have any real intentions of respecting and loving you? Who knows. You'd have to take him off that pedestal. Wake up and see things for what it is.
17) FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION
Nothing will lead you in the right direction as your intuition or gut feelings will. This is a gift you have as a woman. That's all I have to say for now.
USE IT. TRUST IT.
18) ACCEPT COMPLIMENTS
If he gives you a compliment, accept it with confidence. Don't put yourself down in front of him. How is that empowering? How you see yourself, is how he will see you and remember you. Create positive images and embody positive images. Don't play the self-pity game. It's a game and it's a weak attempt at raising your confidence level. How would you feel if the man you complimented, always put himself down? Eventually you'd look at him as someone with no self esteem and question your standards.
Not very attractive huh? If you're complimented, accept it with a smile - because you damn sure deserve it! Right? Right. ;-)
19) AVOID PLAYING THE VICTIM: WOMAN-UP
If you are doing this, you're not taking responsibility for your actions. Period. Finding a way out of your faults or flaws is like stepping inside a deadly trap - it's only going to come back and haunt you. If you want him to take responsibility, then you should too. Don't sabotage the relationship in order to avoid truths you don't want to face or deal with.
Face your issues or mistakes, deal with them, learn from them and grow from them. Also, playing or pretending to be the victim is the unhealthiest way to gain trust or attention. Falsely victimizing yourself will only disable you from growing - it's a cheap method of getting your way or finding a way out. Honesty is the best investment you can make and deposit in your relationship.
You're not always right, and constantly putting the pressure or blame on someone else is immature. If it's your fault and you know it is, WOMAN -UP and accept responsibility - you will clear the air quickly and get back to life.
20) BE YOURSELF: EMBODY YOUR DREAMS
Ugh. No one will ask you to move the Himalayan mountains, so be the best by being yourself and have confidence in what you already possess in your mind, body and soul; take a chill pill. Perfection is accepting and loving yourself on a full time basis. Embody in your dealings the kind of woman you want to be everyday. The kind of woman you see yourself tomorrow. Get out of your head and into your skin and do what you do best. With or without him.
Ladies, I would love to read your thoughts, experiences and comments below. Men, don't worry, your thoughts are welcomed too. Let's connect! xo