Love doesn’t mean compromising your morals and values, but oftentimes men and women find themselves acting outside of their character to find and keep a partner. (Credit: Photo courtesy of Unsplash / Tyler Nix)

By Nijiama Smalls,
The Black Girl’s Guide to Healing Emotional Wounds

“Anything a man loves, he takes care of it.”

These are the words my partner has said to me on numerous occasions, and they are true. Prior to marrying my husband, I dated guys that were “sneakerheads.” They adored their sneakers so much they would carefully and meticulously clean them with a toothbrush and faint at the thought of putting those shoes in the washer or dryer. 

I also dated the guy that loved his flashy car. Every Saturday morning I’d watch him hand wash his beloved “whip,” assuring the entire car including the tires were buffed, polished and shined. But what I realized is that some of those men that put so much effort into their “things” didn’t devote that same level of attention and care to me–I’m just being real here.

But being naive and hungry for love, back in those days, I did whatever I thought I needed to do in order for them to love me. So, if it meant doing things I was uncomfortable with or things I didn’t enjoy, I did it. If it meant doing things that were illegal, I did it. If it meant doing things that didn’t line up with my values, I did it. If it meant putting up with his toxic personality, I did it. If it meant losing other relationships that were once valuable to me, I let them go…for him. I wanted to win his love.

I’m here to tell you that this is not love and you are wasting your time. The Creator of love says that love is kind and is not self-seeking.

Ask yourself the following questions–today:

Is the partner that I’m with kind to me all the time?

Is the partner that I’m with self-seeking or selfish?

Does this person value me the way they value the “things” in their life?

Do I love myself more than I love being in a relationship with this person?

A large part of our emotional health is directly tied to the partners we choose. Always choose people that will choose you in every decision and bring out the best in you.

This article was originally published by The Black Girl’s Guide to Healing Emotional Wounds.