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Dear Women: Start Putting Yourself First

woman has had enough

I've been thinking a lot about my relationships recently. How they've affected my career, my business, my health, and my self-esteem. There are so many women who can relate to this because we tend to put others first instead of allowing for ourselves to be given any consideration. Why do we put others needs before our own so willingly, and so often? Some of my past relationships and the habits that I formed to suppress my own needs, opinions, or desires definitely began to affect how I behaved with my friends, my family, my colleagues, and even in my own mind.

I can recall a time that I looked in the mirror and didn't even recognize myself because I'd been allowing for other people to have power and control over my thoughts. I began to believe all of the negative things they would tell me, look for all of the reasons to prove that they were right, and nearly gave up on my own personal dreams because I just felt like they weren't important enough. They weren't as important as the person I was trying to impress or win over in my personal and professional life. I became obsessed with putting others first, proving them wrong if they doubted me, and I lost years of my own happiness that I can't ever get back. My hope is that now, I can take all of these things and use the experiences as a reminder that will push me to seek happiness in everything for the rest of my life, authentically be myself, feel no shame in being who I am, believing what I want to believe, and living life in ways that make ME happy.


Being too giving in relationships.

I remember the first time I had that slap-in-the-face moment. I didn't even recognize myself while looking in the mirror. I was dating someone who had a lot of personal battles and struggles with addiction. I would often find myself waking up alone in the middle of the night only to realize that 'my man' had ran off to feed his drug addiction. There were many nights I would be up, early into the morning, calling friends or even going to look for him so that I knew he was OK, that he wasn't in jail, or that he didn't OD at some after-hours spot. The moment when I knew I had to begin putting myself first was when I said to him, "if you're going to run off and do these things, just don't leave without telling me and at least let me go with you."

I was willing to sacrifice my beauty sleep for the sake of this man's life. Who was I? When did I allow for myself to be put second in a relationship that I put effort into?

This was a result of so many trust issues that I developed as an adolescent and I now realize that many of my relationships suffered as a result of me not ever putting myself first. If I wasn't OK with something, I didn't express it. If I disagreed with the man I was with, I didn't express it. If he made me feel unloved or taken advantage of, I didn't express it. I didn't want to 'rock the boat' or create even more tension in the relationship. I just wanted everything to be perfect.

How many women do you know who are 'dating' a guy, but in all honesty, she's just the girl he sleeps with, talks to on his terms, and doesn't ever take her out on a proper date? We can see from the outside that she has been bang-zoned. She's living in a dream world that sadly will come crashing down when she wakes up. As Kitten Holiday shares in her article, "If you are having sex with a guy and he isn’t interested in investing his emotions, his time or his loyalty, you are in the bang-zone. You are just a bang, just a notch, just someone to kill time with, get his rocks off with until he finds someone who can really keep his attention. Accommodating, compliant girls are the best kind of girls for the bang-zone. You may think you are the unicorn because you are doing everything you can to be compatible. But you aren’t – you’re being compliant. Compatible isn’t “the same” and compatible doesn’t come without conflicts."

You know that she can do better, but for some reason she is allowing for it to happen. All you can do is wait for her to reach that moment where she no longer has patience, and realizes that she does deserve more. Keep it real with her, and feel free to share this article if you think she needs it. It's time for her to move on.


Being a people pleaser.

If you've ever read the book 'Why Men Love Bitches' by Sherry Argov, you know that a strong woman is much more desirable than a "yes woman" who routinely sacrifices herself. So many women claim to be strong and independent, but are the first to allow a man they want to treat them as though they're a replaceable doormat that can be walked on and thrown to the curb whenever something better comes along. There are too many women who are in "situationships", aka the bang-zone, with men who have no intention of ever being in a relationship that will lead to marriage.

Moment of Truth: You deserve someone who values you as much as you value them. The good news is that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice y