If you are a Scandal lover, last week you probably heard Olivia Pope say “If you want me, earn me”. I, like many of you, had to catch my breath and clutch my pearls. For some reason, her statement resonated with me and made me consider why relationships fail, falter or flounder. I am not sure if I totally believe that a person or a person’s love can always be earned, but I do believe that we can treat our partners and ourselves in a way that is deserving of love, or “earnable”. Yes, I know that I earnable is not a word. But I do believe that we can behave in ways that warrant affection, gain trust, produce acceptance, ensure empathy, enlist support, merit loyalty and engenders consideration. In some ways, maybe we can “earn” love or/and partners.
But how do we “earn” our partner and earn our partner’s love? I am not sure if I know the answer to that question. But I do know that there are three important ways to start “earning” love, and the first person’s love you need to earn is your own. So here we go…..
The first tip: Value yourself, and then validate your value. In other words, respect and treasure who you are. Then behave in ways that support/demonstrate that you are worthy of respect and that you should always be held in high regard. Why is that important? Because so many times we don’t fully cherish ourselves. Many times we don’t take care of our bodies; we don’t exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, or participate in other activities that keep us physically healthy. Some of us don’t take care of our spirits. We allow toxic people in our lives, negative people in our homes, and pessimistic people in our inner circles and haters in beds. We sometimes fail to mediate and/or spend time alone to recharge, reflect and reassess our lives, decisions and our future. And, some of us don’t challenge our minds. We don’t expose ourselves to new people, new surrounding or new perspectives. We don’t seek out people who are smarter, wiser or more accomplished. We fail to ask questions, challenge convention or detour from our routines. If we are honest with ourselves, we will all admit that we don’t always value ourselves like we should. But the good news is that we can change and make better choices.
After you care for yourself, value yourself, like the queen that you are, it is validation time. How do you validate your value? By acting with what I call “with expectancy”. Acting “with expectancy” means that show that you deserve trust by first proving that you are trustworthy. Acting “with expectancy” means that you demand respect by first sharing and enforcing your personal boundaries that support you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Acting “with expectancy” means that you demonstrate that you deserve honesty by first walking and acting with integrity. Acting “with expectancy” means that you show that you are accountable by first honoring your own promises and obligations. Acting “with expectancy” is not an option; it is a personal imperative.
It is a personal imperative because in life there are 3 important ways that help people know who you truly are: education, demonstration and validation. So always remember to share who you are, show who you are and then validate, or if you want a “s” word, substantiate who you. And then, expect and accept NOTHING less from others and from yourself.
The Second Tip: Find out what to do, then do it. Everybody has a core set of needs and desires. If you want to unlock a woman’s heart, earn her, find out what her needs and desires are and try to consistently address them. In other words, learn her love language and speak it fluently and emphatically. Determine what makes her tick and then do it!
You would think that addressing your partner’s needs would be pretty intuitive, right? Wrong. Many of us know what our partners’ needs are but sometimes we fail to acknowledge them or we don’t attempt to meet them. It is not always intentional, but for many reasons, we stop paying close attention or stop doing the things that initially made the relationship desirable, fulfilling and fun. For example, if you met her at church, don’t expect her stop going to satisfy you. If you met her at a basketball game, don’t expect her to stop attending games to always accompany you to a museum. If you showered her with words of affirmation, don’t think you can stop without suffering some repercussions, especially if Words of Affirmation is her love language. As the saying goes, “what you did to get her, you better continue to do to keep her”. That’s good ole’ relationship wisdom.
Also remember that relationship behaviors, skills and rules are not transferable. Don’t get me wrong. Relationship skills and behaviors are important, but HOW the relationship skills and behaviors are implemented must be customized to the individual, and must be tailored to the specific relationship. Here’s the truth - we are different partners with different people. In one relationship, you may be controlling. In another relationship, you may be a team player. If one relationship, you may be sexually frigid. In another relationship, you may feel sexually attracted and liberated. Circumstances and variables greatly influence how we show up in relationships. And different situations and different periods in our life greatly influence how we receive and express love.
So if you want to “earn” her love, find out what makes her tick and identify ways to make sure she keeps on ticking. Make her needs a priority too. Don’t sacrifice your needs, but work together to find ways to ensure that you both get most of what you want most of the time.
The final tip: Stay attractive so that you will attract. This is a hard topic, but let’s be honest. Some people get complacent in their relationships. Why? Because too much safety, comfort and security cause some of us to regress. It causes some of us to become careless, lax and easily satisfied. And for most of us, a woman who is not growing is not physically, intellectually, spiritually or sexually attractive. In many ways, when our partner stops growing or striving it feels as if she is not trying to earn her own respect, let alone ours. It might sound harsh but I ask you to consider your own lives and your own previous partners. Did you stay attracted and/or interested when you partner did the same thing, the same way, at the same time and with the same intensity? If I was a betting woman, I would say that your attraction and interest declined and the decrease had a negative impact on your relationship.
So commit to on-going and life-long growth. Keep learning, listening and laughing. Establish goals, make a bucket list, and live your passion. Nothing is sexier than a woman knowing her divine mission and going after her dreams. And just so we are clear, being physically healthy can be a dream. Going back to school can be a dream. Feeding the hungry can feel the dream. When you are moving, growing and challenging yourself, you gradually become more attractive. When you become stagnant, unproductive and unmotivated, you are not “earning” anything but frustration, disinterest, failure and apathy. And, all of those are relationship killers.
Let’s be clear - we all have struggles that prevent us from showing up as our best selves (i.e. death, depression, disease, disaster, etc.). But even in those hard times, when we show our partners that we are resilient, tenacious, powerful, resourceful, and durable we are and remain attractive. I have even seen many partners fall deeper in love with each other during crises. Why? Because inner strength and vulnerability are attractive. Both are “earnable” traits because they reveal YOU, the persevering you.
What will earn your love, commitment and your dedication? Do you know? What will earn your partner’s love and commitment? Do you know? If you don’t know, it is time to find out.
“If you want me, earn me”. What a challenge! What an opportunity to CREATE Love that your soul craves and desires. So remember and consider these 3 tips: 1)Value yourself, and then validate your value 2) Find out what to do, then do it 3) Stay attractive so that you will attract. If you keep those 3 tips in mind, you will not only “earn” her love, but more importantly, you will “earn” your own.
Blessings as you continue to CREATE Love in your life!