A few months ago my friend, we’ll call her Sophie, came to me and shared what was going on from the inside of her situationship. (Now if you’re confused by the term situationship please go read my post Allow Situationships! so you’re up to date). Sophie explained to me that she did not understand where she stood in her relationship and essentially was having to plead for this Roy (we’ll call this guy Roy) to spend even a few hours with her, outside the convenient. As Sophie sat on my sofa, I felt her pain. Sophie had invested over a year in this situationship, she’d been given many empty promises and sweet words, but no commitment, no action, essentially nothing. And worse of all, Sophie did not think that this relationship was all that bad, due to her past experiences.
That evening I told Sophie enough was enough, and it was time to say BoyBye! Ladies we really need to raise the standards we hold for the men we enter even a situationship with. (Just remember the person you’re likely to enter a relationship with is likely to be from the group of people you are associating with). And now I’m not talking about superficial standards like ‘He needs to be talk, dark and handsome, with a 6-pac, has money and is popular’ (AKA a life-sized Ken doll). Honey, they do not exist! And if he does exist, I’m sure he’s likely to have the character to match your superficial standards. If you think you don’t care about the character of your man right now, trust me, if you intend to marry this guy (and to stay married) you most certainly will!
Now Sophie is not the exception, I remember a friend who was talking to a guy for years; whom we later found out was talking to multiple girls (females this really is the norm if you didn’t know!). She thought she was special; he had given her no indication that they were not exclusive. And often time I think that we females are whispered a few sweet words by these men out here and suddenly lose our wits and fall head over heels without someone there to catch us. Ladies, Roy is not planning to catch you, he’s too busy thinking about catching Sarah, Mary and Alice! So stop falling and use that brain God blessed you with instead of following your heart. Please forget what Disney has been teaching you from the age of three. This is not a fairy tale!
The only reason why we as females allow a man to treat us like Roy treated Sophie is because we do not know our worth. We do not understand the way we ought to be treated. And because of this lack of understanding, we do not ask for more. Meaning Roy will realise the little that is expected of him and simply give that little. Low self-esteem is a very delicate place to be! I expand on why it’s especially dangerous to be dating while in this delicate place in Is marriage on the To Do List? (Point 1).
Some of you are probably rolling your eyes at me at this stage, ‘I get it Olivia, I’ve probably been in this year-long situationship, making him dinner, doing his washing, while he’s never even shown me in public. I probably have massively low expectations due to some sort of underlying low self-esteem. Now what am I supposed to do about that?’ I’ll give you the advice that I gave to Sophie.
1) Talk to yourself in the mirror! Do not wait for a man to affirm you. Affirm yourself! I’ve been doing this for years. When I’m feeling low or going through something I tell myself something like ‘Olivia, you’re okay, you’re going to get through this.’ Post-situationship/ relationship I suggest you affirm yourself by saying things such as…
‘I am enough.’
‘I am beautiful, I am talented, I deserve the best.’
‘I deserve a man who makes plans, whose intentions are pure, who does not waste my time, someone I can build a life with.’
‘I believe that God has plans for me and I will get there with or without a man by my side.’
‘I will not allow anyone to stop me from finding my purpose and maximising my potential and from allowing God to use me.’
Over the past few months, I’ve loved seeing the videos of fathers affirming their daughters’ self-worth and beauty. Guys if it can work for these children, it can work for you! Just remember, what you tell yourself on a regular basis, your mind starts to believe! So tell yourself uplifting things. Remember ‘You is Smart, You is Kind, You is Important.’ (Please go watch or read The Help if you haven’t).
2) Become the sort woman who will add jewels in her husbands’ crown. Be the sort of woman who does not fear getting married after walking away from Roy, because you laugh knowing that God’s already created the next steps and plans for you (onwards and upwards ladies). Basically have the goal of becoming that Proverbs 31 woman (if you don’t know about her, she’s flawless, go check her out in Proverbs 31:10-31).
How do you become like this woman of virtue? By constant self-improvement and by working on yourself prior to entering a relationship. Do you think this woman became this phenomenal overnight? No. Do you think this woman suddenly became this fabulous when that ring was placed on her finger? Definitely not! Becoming this woman is a lifetime work of striving to be better.
Remember that you need a time in your life to concentrate on yourself, prior to adding someone else to the equation. Remember you will attract what you are. So if you’re purposeful and intentional and faithful, that is what you will attract. If you’re directionless with low expectations, that is what you will attract.
3) My last point is just to say… I’m not saying a post-situationship/ post-relationship will be easy. It won’t. By talking to someone on a regular basis you form an emotional connection and if you have feelings for this person you most definitely will have become attached. So give yourself time to be upset or cry or whatever you need to do. If you’re the sort of woman who can be feeling these post-relationship emotions for the next year, set yourself a deadline for when the mourning needs to stop and for when the affirmation and growth need to begin.
I actually did this with a friend of mine who went through a break up at the beginning of 2016. We put a date in our calendars of when the crying had to end and the moving on (by herself) had to begin. And now she’s massively flourishing. And after she had put herself back together, the man who put her through pain wanted her back (surprise, surprise). Studies have shown that women initially feel the pain of a break-up more than men, however long-term males feel it more. (If you don’t want to take my word for it, read more at Health and Men’s Health.)
Just know that saying BoyBye will probably one decision you will not regret. Remember, that sometimes God has to move Mr. Wrong out of our lives (no matter how cute he looks sitting in his suit or leading out in church). So he can build us up again, so we are prepared for Mr. Right (in his perfect timing, if it is his will for us to be married).
Remember break-ups are hard (even if it wasn’t ever an official relationship) and we can protect ourselves by not even entering them. Please go check out Is marriage on the To Do List? for some pointers on the mindset one should have before even contemplating a situationship/relationship. Hope this helps! x