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Over the past few years, I have not had the best of luck when it comes to dating or finding the “perfect” guy. For some reason, I always attract “grown boys” and unintentionally fall in love. However,  although it has taken me a while to see that it wasn’t the guys I was choosing to love, I finally realized I had yet to choose to love myself.

Give me a few more sentences to make my statement clear before you say, “Girl, what are you talking about?”

For so long, I’ve been the pursuer and the persuader, believing that I had all of what it took to keep a man. But in reality, I had yet to really keep up with my self-worth, values, love and affection. And because I didn’t know how to properly love myself, I was OK with placing my life and heart in the hands of grown boys who didn’t know how to love me but also didn’t know how to love themselves either.

You see, I’m a strong woman of faith and I know for sure God is love. And this, my friends, has exactly been the missing piece to all of my relationship puzzles — finding a man who loves, talks and values God just as much as I do.

For example, most grown boys who I’ve dated had no care of going to church or building an intimate relationship with God. But for some reason, they wanted an intimate relationship with me — someone who is a Jesus freak but also a freak in the sheets.

Boy, I’ve had some sinful nights and guilty pleasures. It all felt good at the time but when it was all said and done, I felt embarrassed and depleted knowing I had given myself away to someone I wasn’t actually in a committed relationship with. Once I started to fully understand that a man will allow you to give him your heart and soul without even doing the same in return, I realized I was being cheated. And I mean, I was doing all the cheating. I cheated myself out of saying and meaning the word “No;” I cheated myself out of my self-worth and rationalizing the situation before it became a situationship.

Do you want to know why I love men? Well, because they are like night and day. And one thing’s for sure, you can’t steal their heart away. They just won’t allow you to. But what they do allow is for you to show them who you really are. They have some of the oldest tricks in the book, and guess what? We women fall for them every single time.

Some men like to pillow talk with us, by saying things they know they don’t mean — and we fall for it anyway. You see, a man doesn’t want to fall for a woman who’s fallen for him. He wants a woman that will stand his tests, know that she is worthy and that she’s the catch. Men want a woman who is unavailable and not always convenient.

Us ladies think with our emotions, knowing that they change every split second. But men, they think like the next man, which is logical. For instance, if a guy you just met smashes on the first night, he might automatically think if it was that easy for him, how easy has it been for others?

Now before you all go gangster on me, I’m not bashing us ladies. You probably don’t even think I’m on our side, but I am.

When you actually let a man show you who he is before y’all start having sex or before he starts spoiling you with distractions, you’ll learn how to move effectively without pouring your all into him so soon.

If a man says “let’s just be friends” or “I want to take it slow,” then do just that; remember to listen and pay attention to what he is saying to you. Please don’t try to ignore his truth and interpret it to be something he didn’t say, because like myself (who I used to be), some of us women are very prideful, thinking that we can change and convince a man to want us mutually. And we do this because we feel embarrassed or don’t like being rejected by his decision or choice of words.

However, oftentimes, we can get caught up thinking if we just have sex with him he will change his mind. Or, if you pay for this or do that, he will see you’re the one. But to keep it all the way real, we are only belittling ourselves and making ourselves look like a crazy, foolish lover.

All of the extraness, such as whining, self-doubt, lack of confidence and going above and beyond just to get a man to notice us must stop today. Not to mention, all of the texting, calling and the habit of stalking their social media pages (including their exes’ pages) stops today!

You see, a man who really values and wants to spend time getting to know you will actually show you. He will even let you know if he’s interested or not; you don’t have to ask. So, no more forcing something that’s not even meant to be. You can’t make a man love you nor want to be with you.

So, just like myself, learn how to love who you are and who God created you to be. Learn how to honor your worth, mind, body and soul. Lastly, honor your morals, values and your God, because God is love! And note, no more being a foolish lover.