“The more of me I be,
The clearer I can see.”
― Rachel Archelaus
Happy Monday, Authentic Woman! I hope you all had a loving day on Valentine’s Day, whether you’re in a relationship and celebrating the day set aside for couples in love or not. If you’re not in a relationship because you recently broke up, got divorced or happily living single, you can still find ways to celebrate yourself by spending part of the day with family and friends or hanging out with some of your besties. Don’t allow a broken relationship to ruin your good times.
More Insights on Loving Yourself Better:
“What do you get when you fall in love? A boy with a pin to burst your bubble… That’s what you get for all your trouble…” These are lyrics from one of Dionne Warwick’s biggest ‘oldie but goodies’ hits called, “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again.” A bit dated, for sure, but its meaning is still relevant when it comes to the matters of the heart. You see, falling in love never gets old; it’s the aftermath stemming from a lost or unrequited love that will cause your heart to bleed and life as you know it to suck!
Since the dawning of time, women have been perceived as the nurturer in relationships, while men were identified as the breadwinners and protectors. The times, they are ‘a changing’ and have changed as, reportedly, more women than men have garnered college degrees in their chosen field, serve as head of their households and are taking the reins as leaders and CEOs of big conglomerates. It’s safe to say that women are embracing their girl power and its full stem ahead!
Is it any wonder, then, that men might be left feeling a bit intimidated by the rise in female power and therefore, might not be as forthcoming as we are in baring their truths and vulnerabilities in a hopeful committed relationship?
The fact remains that those Neanderthal men still exists. You know, those guys; the ones who think women should be seen and not heard. It’s hard for some men to view women as equal partners in their professional and personal relationships. So, choose your potential mate wisely and be yourself. When you enter into a relationship, authentic and whole, a self-aware man who is confident in his own skin will be attracted to the confident person you are.
The battle of the sexes is an ongoing phenomenon and both sexes oftentimes get it wrong. It behooves people to do a self-analysis of what they want from a relationship, before taking the plunge into a love affair that could go all the way South. They should recognize that an all-consuming and overwhelming attraction for someone could very well be a response to feelings of lust, instead of love.
The art of communication is the basis for sustaining a relationship, along with trust, support and mutual respect. In Essence of Romance, the relationship guide for singles and couples that I co-authored with Chicago author, Eve Cogdell, we introduce expert views and researched data on relationships and explore the challenges couples face, including rejected and lost love, recognizing tangible actions from men who are in love and, examining what both sexes really want in a potential mate.
The thing about love is that it’s complicated. Men and women expect different things from the relationship and are hardly on the same page. Before diving heart first into what could possibly be a perquisite to a broken heart, women need to know what those things are. Does he just want sex, as in friends with benefits or is he truly committed to being present in the relationship? Are women in really okay with a man who is simply on the chase, or, are they looking for something more promising?
Steve Harvey, comedian, talk show host and author of Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, advises women to be smart when it comes to relationships. According to Mr. Harvey, If a man isn’t looking for a serious relationship, he’s not going to change his mind because you two are going on dates and being intimate. The only way to know what a person wants in a relationship is to ask. Men are not mind readers and women need to get pass that preconceived notion of walking down the aisle after the third date.
It’s been proven time and again that humor in a man acts like an aphrodisiac for women. Besides being financially secure, respectful and trustworthy, a man of wit tends to bring out the happy in women. Regardless of how much a man makes you giggle, however, women should look beyond those outside enticements and use their intuitive listening power to decipher the bull from the real.
You might believe that he’s your guy for the rest of your life, but all men who talk a good game and wear great smelling cologne don’t have your best interests at heart. The late poet/humanitarian, Maya Angelou said “When you know better you do better.” If we don’t know better, we won’t do better.
There’s a reason people come into our lives and you have to trust that when the right person comes knocking at your heart’s door, you will know he’s the one. If you are suffering from a broken relationship, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, thank God for the experience and work on loving yourself better.
In order to heal yourself from the aftermath of a broken relationship, and love yourself better, you have to be authentic in dealing with your emotions. Don’t pretend you’re alright when you’re not. The sooner you allow yourself to “feel” the hurt, disappointment, and anger. The sooner you get over him, the sooner you can take back your shine!
Here are five woman power tips to use daily on the journey to loving yourself better from a broken relationship:
1. Get rid of the’ when love was good’ evidence- those sweet, sappy love notes, photographs taken at Disney World and the monogrammed bathrobe that you thought bonded you forever…
2. Look in the mirror every morning, smile at your reflection and say, “Self, I am enough!”
3. Let bygones be bygones. Don’t play the blame game or try to coerce him into loving you again. When you’ve done all you can to make the relationship work and he still wants out? Let him go. There’s a reason certain people come into our lives, so keep your heart open to receive the gift of authentic love when the right man comes knocking at your heart’s door.
4. Hang out with your girls and let them pamper you with kindness in ways that let’s you know, “they got you.”
5. Pamper yourself in warm baths of jasmine or body wash of your choosing. Sleep on satin sheets. Listen to self-affirming songs and pour yourself a cold glass of your favorite liquid courage and savor your “Me” time.
Those pity parties you’re throwing for yourself is okay, up to a point, but if the breakup is causing you to breakdowns, seek professional help.
Always treat yourself special!
Portions of this article first appeared in my column for ME Magazine, 2015