I was struck when my mom told me that a friend of mine loves more with her heart than her head.
All of a sudden a spillover of cartoon illustrations of couples in thought bubbles started to pop up in my mind. A huge heart that overpowers the brain when she sees her crush. Her almost drunk-like state in his presence. Her willingness to sacrifice everything for his sake! The images are a bit much but the truth is that this is something very real for us girls.
I was quite the opposite when I was in my teens so much so that I brought my “objective” mindset to my one and only relationship. To illustrate my point, I once (proudly) told my fiancé: “In our relationship, I’m the cerebral and objective one while you are the emotional and subjective one.”
I believed 100% in this. I badly wanted to contradict the popular belief that the One will ‘just come’ and I will fall madly in love with him and I’ll just have to “follow my heart.”
Lies, I tell you.
What is true about catching the One? All you ladies – Independent. Throw your hands up at me. I’m not referring to the making money and buying my own diamond rings bit of Destiny’s Child’s independence. I’m talking about the quality of independence in knowing what a girl wants and deserves and working on and for it.
Why was I like that in my teens already? You can say I was way too busy working on my self-esteem to even think of guys – let alone welcome a relationship. Now that I look back on those years, I was unconsciously working on myself for him and while I was meeting boys I already started to come up with a formula of who the One was for me.
I didn’t have 50 boyfriends and I certainly didn’t need to test drive any man to know if we were compatible in a relationship. Neither did I have to party every night to meet men. I never dressed to reveal and shock any man just to catch their attention – if I did, then I probably didn’t know any better.
Here’s my formula. There were only five things that would run through my mind and work on overdrive to analyze a man I would meet for the first time and even more to the guys who were already my friends – granted I was also working on perfecting these qualities myself.
- He has a vision of who he wants to be and is trying his best to follow it. He can humble himself to know God and to trust in God’s plans.
- He knows how to treat a woman. He knows and shows me what I’m worth. With acquaintances, this means I don’t need to call or text him first and I don’t need to catch his attention any other way other than trying to get to know me as a person.
- He teaches me new things and is open to learn new things from me. (this usually comes after being #1 to begin with)
- He makes me laugh (not roll my eyes.)
- He’s genuine. (just to echo #2)
These qualities are difficult to detect when emotions of wanting that cute guy to like you are in the way. It’s even more difficult to deal with this when he’s desperately trying to be the guy with all those qualities – but is not. This next thing I’m about to say is also rather difficult to do when you’re a teenager and you question your self-esteem day in and day out while in a relationship with a teenage boy.
Here I go.
I made sure, I was not afraid to get disappointed. In short, I never settled. I didn’t mind getting disappointed one guy after the other if I knew there were red alerts pointing to problems, I might encounter in the future if we did end up in a relationship. I was always the forward thinker and in the end was completely disappointed in myself for being way too picky. Eventually I stopped being afraid to get disappointed in myself because I knew I didn’t want to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship — which was sometimes so hard admit.
For a while, I believed that I was a solid rock and had no romantic feelings at all even when I was slightly considering a possible relationship with a guy. I made sure I didn’t feel any butterflies and rainbows when a guy was so obviously showing his affection towards me. Obviously, I took every relationship – even the hypothetical ones – very seriously.
All for the good.
When the One arrived, I was on my knees in front of God everyday asking Him WHY? Is it him? Is it really him? In the equilibrium of my mind and emotion, God reigned and said: “Well, yeah, aren’t you happy? I want this and I know that this relationship you will have with him for the rest of your life will not just be good for you but the best for you – the both of you to get to Me.” Awesome.
Thank God, God gave us both mind and heart – He lives in both. But see, the great thing about God is He wants us to know before we love and know while we love. That’s why ladies, please, when you love, love more with your head than your heart.
Yup, ditto to the quote below: