So, a few months back I was dating a really great guy. But, we decided to end things. I know you’re thinking, “Well Shanay, if he was so great why did you decide to stop dating him?” Well, it wasn’t easy, I can tell you that. He was special to me. To be honest, he kind of still is. But the facts remain; it didn’t work out for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons I have come to terms with now is that I pursued a relationship with him; he did not pursue a relationship with me. During that time it was hard for me to see that, but you know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.
To be honest, I always wondered throughout the tenure of our relationship whether I was pursuing him more than he was pursuing me. There were certain issues like I always contacted him more and I was the one initiating possible times for us to spend together. When we needed to have those conversations about boundaries and if we were dating or in a relationship or whatever the case may be, I initiated all of those conversations. Now, let me say this, men are not stupid. If they want you, they will pursue you. They will go above and beyond to be with you. Dare I say it; they will let you know when they want to move things further into a relationship. You do not have to guess and check, and guess and check, and ask questions, and have long talks and walks on the beach. Men know what they want. If that man doesn’t make it known that he wants you…then he probably doesn’t. Now, I don’t say these things with malice and yes some people’s stories are different but, in my experience, in the experience of some of the couples I have counseled as well as some of my male friends, this is the overall perspective. The one for you will be honest about his feelings toward you. He will pursue you wholeheartedly and recognize the charm within you. However, he cannot do that if you do not understand and recognize the charm within yourself. Discovering who you are and what sets you apart from every other woman takes time. You have to spend time getting to know whom you are and whose you are. When you begin to recognize that you are a beautiful, intelligent, funny, strong, wise, determined, patient, sacrificial, caring and loving woman and are worth more than rubies, then and only then can he recognize all of those things. Don’t just repeat those qualities to yourself, believe them, walk in them, and expect others to see them in you. Go on dates with yourself, tell yourself jokes, encourage yourself, tell yourself that you are beautiful, sexy, talented and more. If you don’t know what is special about you: Read your bible and learn what Gods says about you, ask your parents, ask your friends, and ask your colleagues. Chances are, they know a little something about what makes you sparkle!
Some things I have come to terms with: Although there are reasons from both sides as to why the relationship didn’t work out the way we would have liked, I know for me, I was way too invested in him. I think he was genuinely trying to get to know me, but I was already looking toward some kind of future with him. I knew I was doing this when I would just think about building our lives together, I was too focused on it and it wasn’t healthy. The way to prevent yourself from experiencing this specific pain is to recognize the steps that your body, mind, soul and spirit take when you begin to get too focused on your partner. I had to recognize my physical symptoms, my mental symptoms and my spiritual symptoms. Uncover your triggers and have an accountability partner who can talk you down from the ledge. I didn’t guard my heart and he didn’t have to work that hard to win me over.
My dad once told me that I needed to be with a man who loved me more than I loved him and who loved God more than he loved me. It was great advice and I feel like after this past relationship I now truly understand what that means.
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How I knew he wasn’t the one for me: It wasn’t easy to come to this conclusion. Although he loved God, had a job, was ambitious, funny, intelligent and attractive, it wasn’t enough. When it comes down to really making something work it takes both people, it takes a lot of investment and initiation on both parts. He wasn’t very available to build something with me and when he was I had to compete with all of his outside obligations/plans. It’s funny though, one of the things that attracted me to him was his ambition and the fact that he had so many things going on. To be honest, I never really asked him, but I don’t think he had the time for a relationship or should I say the type of relationship I wanted to have. All in all, we just weren’t on the same page and when that happens other things get misconstrued. You start to feel unappreciated and you start to feel like it’s not worth it. He did some things wrong and so did I. I was pushy, I was demanding, sometimes I said things in a way that sounded like I was attacking him. I was expecting him to be ready for something when he was still just trying to understand our journey, and that was wrong. Who knows, if it had been another time things might have worked out.
Some things I learned along the way:
- Men go after what they want. If he doesn’t go after you, most likely he has other options or he doesn’t see a future with you.
- Stop asking him questions about where things are going. Trust me, if he wants things to move into a relationship he will make that blatantly clear. If he doesn’t want them to, his silence will make that clear as well.
- Have your own thing going on. Don’t sit at home hoping he will call and put off spending time with other people because you want to make yourself available. Be Busy! Do what you love! If he wants to, he will make plans to be with you. Even if he is not the type to take the initiative he will try and fit himself somewhere within your busy schedule.
- Guard your heart. Don’t give up your love so easily, girl. Men can see that. They see you want to be in a relationship, they see your desire, and your clinginess! Showing this relinquishes your power and it can make you seem desperate to a man. Stop! Get a hobby, discover new interests, live your life, honey! Believe me, the right man will come along and want to live it with you.
Lastly, some steps to know if he is the RIGHT one for you, girl!
If you are not religious or spiritual some of these will probably not be something on your list but, these are some qualities I look for when deciding if he can be a contender for the RIGHT one.
- He Luh God! (This is the single most attractive quality for me ).
- He treats you with respect, he values you, and he builds you up and does not tear you down.
- He is able to be strong for you when you are unable to do that for yourself.
- He understands the definition of compromise. He will sacrifice for you because he knows it is important.
- He shares his life with you. He takes you to meet his friends/family and invites you to events that are important to him.
- He has made it blatantly clear that he wants to build a future with you and is not afraid to reexamine himself in order to make it successful. He will pursue you!
- Lastly, he cares about what is important to you, even if that’s not as important to him.
These are obviously not the only things you look for in the RIGHT man. But, these are some important attributes. Think long and hard about what you want it to look like and wear those expectations you have and things you can’t compromise on your sleeve! Do not settle! The right man is around the corner and he is just preparing himself to meet you.
Just remember, let him pursue you with his whole heart!