Real talk, y’all. If you don’t respect yourself, no one’s gonna. Like I know it’s easier said than done, trust me. You like someone, you get caught up in emotions and your heart takes a wash rag to your brain and wipes out all common sense. I’ve been there. And from experience, I can tell you that you should never lower your standards or self-respect for anyone.
Let me say real quick that having standards does not mean thinking you’re above others or having a big ego. It means respecting yourself, determining your own worth, and not settling for less than you think you deserve. For me, my self-confidence and worth comes from God. He made me, after all. How big of a slap in the face would it be to Him if I didn’t respect something He created?
Why is respecting ourselves so hard?
I think what holds a lot of girls back from being confident in a relationship is fear. We’re scared of losing a guy if we say/do the wrong thing, so we tiptoe and focus more on “keeping” him, rather than building something real. We lower our standards and expectations, and then when he leaves we blame ourselves. I know it’s not really what most of us want to hear, but when we go into a relationship without self-respect and get left, we should be blaming ourselves. It sucks and I’m sorry for the bluntness, but it’s true. It’s not the end of the world, though. It’s a learning experience. Pick your head up, pray, and try again.
I’ll say it again: Have no fear. Just don’t. Having standards but ignoring them is like wanting a cookie, but settling for crumbs because you’re scared the baker will drop it. But crumbs are never going to be fulfilling. And the baker is God, so chill. If a guy wants to walk away because you have self respect, let him. Hell, open the door for him and carry his bags. Don’t analyze. Don’t think you’re going to change him. And don’t blame yourself this time. Cry a little, talk to your friends, talk to your mama, talk to God, eat a double-bacon cheeseburger and Reese cups for a week, whatever. But don’t open that door again unless he’s willing to respect you. You should never, ever have to compromise your standards for a man that you’re truly meant to be with. God wouldn’t send you one like that.
That being said, before men everywhere start throwing the condoms in their pockets they’re not getting to use at me, I’m not saying to read off a checklist of requirements he must meet to be with you. To get respect from him, you have to give it as well. If you don’t want to be played, don’t play him. All the wait-three-days-to-call Cosmo rules are crap without a mutual respect for one another. If what you want is a game, go ahead and play. But you’ll never scratch the superficial surface with that. If you want something real, you have to be real too.
I think deep down we all know this. It’s not new information. It’s just one of those things that’s easier said than done. Like when we analyze a guy not calling. We know if he wanted to, he would. There’s nothing more to it – it really is that simple. It’s harder to accept than it is to understand. But I promise, no matter what plays out, you’ll be happy you created some standards for yourself and ultimately respect yourself even more for keeping them. So don’t be scurred. Being desired and being valued are two very different things, remember that.
Love you dumplins,
-Annah (like Carrie, but with a southern drawl and less slutty and poorer)