As women who maintain & juggle different relationships throughout our lives, our natural instinct is to nurture & invest in the relationships we build with others. To be nurturing is one of the many things that makes us so special. This ability allows us to be amazing mothers, friends & spouses. This quality in us ensures that the people we care for are taken care of. Often, what we take for granted is, with the ability to be nurturing to others comes great sacrifice; even if initially we view our sacrifice as an investment. Our natural instinct is to pour whole heartedly into our relationships because we water & feed what we want to grow. But unfortunately, pouring too much, too often, too soon can result in unreciprocated action & a drain in emotions.
There is so much pressure to prove ourselves worthy in our romantic relationships that we try carrying the weight of two worlds on our shoulders. Aside from just being a good woman who provides advice, motivation & support, we move in ways, whether intentional or not, that ensures we are unforgettable, reliable, consistent & better than the last. Eventually, in doing this, we spread ourselves too thin without the slightest idea that the person is worth it. We get tired when 6 months has passed & we have no more to give because in our gestures of affection we have created leeches. Today, I write this knowing that I AM GUILTY of this. I know many others much like myself who invest entirely too much, too quickly. We give people all the benefits of having a spouse, many times without even the slightest effort or promise of a long-term commitment. At this point in my life, I have come to the realization that holding back a little is a sure way to still put myself & my needs first. I can still be transparent while establishing clear boundaries in regards to what a person should or should not receive from me. From experience, I have learned that everyone is not worth the sacrifice & all relationships do not warrant the same level of commitment whether it is romantic or not. I have played roles of “step-mommy”, bail bondsman & Uber driver far too many times to count without the slightest “thank you”. Roles I have taken on became expected of me, so “thank you” & “I appreciate you” became obsolete. So instead of “courting” me, I courted them. That is a problem.
Society has stigmatized the foundation of solid two-way relationships so much that unfortunately, we provide benefits in a shorter amount of time to love interest than we do with friendships that have been established years before. Granted, the elements of the relationship may differ a bit but in safeguarding ourselves we make sure our friends are trustworthy before we begin to disclose or establish a true bond. We need to use that same momentum with those we are interested in romantically. There needs to be a paced, two-way street where both parties in the relationship give & receive. The dating process is just what it is; dating. Dating does not obligate us to do anything more than have a good time & enjoying each other’s company. The whole, “proving ourselves worthy far too early in advance”, mentality is over today. Building foundational relationships happen two-ways, always. What we teach people early on becomes the standard for the rest of our relationships. Mastering the ability to give in moderation & as warranted allows us to further recognize our self-worth & gives us less pieces of ourselves to pick up, if by chance things do not work out. It is an easy to fix to a constant behavior & one of the biggest gestures of self care that we could ever give ourselves. After all, loving ourselves first should always be first.
Until next time conglomerates, keep living your best life, the best way you know how.