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How to Keep a Good Woman
by Briana Johnson-Sims
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March 18, 2019

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7 Minute Read

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How to Keep a Good Woman

Courtesy of CreateHer Stock

I love love. But at the same time, I embrace being single. Being in relationships has taught me a lot about what I am and am not willing to accept. But being single has taught me a lot about myself and what I want in my future.

Thanks to a combination of my past experiences in and out of the single ladies club, I have a pretty strong idea of what love means to me and what I want in my next relationship. I’ve observed, I’ve reflected, I’ve learned, and I’ve decided that there are some non-negotiables. It turns out the list isn’t all that long, but it still might be a challenge.

We’ve talked about how to approach a woman, and then how to build a foundation for love. Now let’s talk about how to keep a woman, because this is the place where some of the best men seem to be getting stuck. Once we have a foundation – based on respect, communication, and love – boundaries, vulnerability, and effort become even more important.

This is how you keep a good woman.

This past year, I read an incredible book called Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I’ve always admired couples that could spend time together but also spend time apart doing their own thing, but it wasn’t until I read this book that I understood why. There’s this misconception that being in a relationship means losing your individual identity, but I prefer the book’s definition: “Each participates in the relationship, and each has his or her own life.”

Men I’ve seriously dated have lost me when they tried to take away my freedom to be my own person. Hint: these are the guys who think you should conform to their beliefs or be present for them every second of the day. I can love someone and have different values, choices, or habits than them. And they should accept an occasional “no.” Likewise, I have to accept times when my man wants to workout alone, go on guy trips, have a different faith, or do other things apart from me.

Being single has given me the opportunity to learn more about myself as an individual. It has also taught me that I can do things alone – sometimes I prefer it! This means that when I get the opportunity to be in a relationship, I’ll be that much better at setting boundaries and loving someone without trying to control them.

 

Being single has given me the opportunity to learn more about myself as an individual.

Now, while I am a big proponent of freedom, I also believe in being vulnerable in a relationship. Vulnerability is choosing to share parts of yourself with someone despite fears that you may have about the outcome. Unfortunately, it’s still often seen as a weakness.

One of my relationships ended when my ex decided he needed to work through his personal demons alone. In my next relationship, I’m looking for someone willing to open up to me when things get difficult. Tell me what you fear, what hurts, and what you dream about, and I’ll do the same.

I may not have all the solutions, but in a partnership, communication is essential for growing together. Being vulnerable builds trust and intimacy by forcing you to expose all of yourself, not just the parts that are easy to share.

Courtesy of @samanthaclarke

Effort, however, is perhaps the most important aspect of a successful relationship. Love on its own isn’t enough. Both parties have to be willing to work at it every single day because people change every single day.

It takes effort to keep learning about me and the woman I’m becoming. It takes effort to love me on the tough days when I’m not my best self. It takes effort to plan dates and make time to keep the “spark” alive. And it takes effort to simply communicate among the distractions and challenges of everyday life. Whew!

I’ve had life throw all types of wrenches in my relationships: wrenches like pledge processes and long-distance moves. I’ve been successful and I’ve failed. Sometimes we decide that the relationship isn’t worth the strain of holding on. Sometimes, only one of us is willing to do what it takes to keep our love alive. I’m convinced, though, that if it’s truly meant to be, we’ll both keep working at it, because that’s the only way to go the distance.

So, when you find a good woman, a really special woman that you can’t imagine living without, make sure to bring your “A” game. Give her room to be herself so she can blossom beside you. Give her all of yourself so she knows it’s real. And don’t hold back, because she might forget that you love her at all, and that’s how you lose her.

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