I’ve been married, divorced and remarried again. After several trials and errors, I believe that I finally got it right and the secret to getting it right was recognizing that love started with me.

Some quotes I lived by:

1. As a single woman, God is preparing me for something better and protecting me from something worse.

This prevented me from being in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. It kept me from settling, which I’ve found that many people do. There IS no such thing as the perfect man or woman, but there is a such thing as healthy vs. unhealthy. Before getting into a relationship you have to ask yourself what are your non negotiables? What is absolutely essential to you (honesty, support, etc.) vs what is acceptable (a partner with kid(s), a partner who didn’t finish college, etc.). This also involves embracing yourself where you are. I have yet to meet someone who has it all together or who has reached a point where they feel they can no longer improve – so how can you expect a perfect partner or mate? Sometimes we also have to learn to be comfortable in our skin and happy by ourselves. When I was single I remember taking myself out on dates – to the movies, to dinner, to coffee and enjoying every minute of it. Sometimes my husband and I still take ourselves out on dates because alone time is an essential part of growth.

2. When people show you who they truly are… believe them.

We can be so delusional in relationships. Last week, I kept coming across this Facebook Status: “If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.” So, if you find yourself in a situation where a man doesn’t want to make a commitment (and understand that commitment does not always equal marriage right now or kids right now) – then you really have to re-evaluate where things are. A habitual liar is still a liar. While people may not always express how they feel, behavior is something that can be observed over a period of time and is a “record” of conscious choices or decisions.

3. People only do what you allow them to.

If you allow your partner to stay out all night – he will stay out all night. If you allow your partner to call you out of your name – he will call you out of your name repeatedly. Also remember that silence can be perceived as consent, so even if you don’t say “it’s okay to disrespect me,” if someone does disrespect you and you don’t say anything then you are saying that it’s ok.

4. You have to teach people how to treat you.

Along with addressing issues of disrespect – you have to show people & tell people what you like. From the bedroom to the boardroom people need to know what your preferences are. If you like affection – show your partner by being affectionate. In the boardroom – if you like a written agenda – you have to make that clear. But that all starts with you – not other people.

What do you do to treat yourself like a queen?

Co-Founder & Executive Director of Donda's House, Inc. Wife to Che "Rhymefest" Smith. Believer. Writer. Scrapbooker. ΣΓΡ.

9 Comment on “FEATURE STORY: Finding Love Starts With Self…

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