if you wanna be a wife, act like it

song: only love by ben howard

read time: 5 minutes

the current time probably isn’t relevant, but i think that it ought to be noted only since it’ll be evidence to the fact that i couldn’t get this topic off my mind. i thought about waiting until a reasonable hour in the morning to write it, but heck — 4:29 AM is as good of time as any.

the title says it all —

if you wanna be a wife, act like it.

okay, so why the title? i have been having a lot of conversations lately with women lately who are wanting to be in relationships. i mean, i don’t blame them— we were created for relationship. it’s what we were intended for.

i think that sometimes, as a twenty-something year old who is desperate to be in a relationship it’s easy to go crazy with exploring the options. it’s almost as if we give ourselves free-reign to do whatever the heck we want when we’re single because we’re not held accountable by a relationship. we’re not responsible for anyone else’s feelings. we’re not committed to anything.

in all reality, that’s just not the truth.

as a single girl, you don’t get a free-pass on all your actions. you can’t do whatever you want just because you feel like it. your actions matter.

instead of writing a long transition, i am just going to get into it—  

to all the girls who are saying they want to be a wife, but can’t seem to find yourself in a healthy relationship — it’s time to stop acting like a single girl without a care in the world and start acting like a wife.

what’s that mean? it means this—

1. fyi. your guy friends aren’t your girlfriends. i started learning this around 23— my guy friends are not my girlfriends and i shouldn’t treat them like it. as you grow older, you realize, your relationships with guys has to shift. it can’t be the same. you cannot be as close and intimate with them as you once were. why? it blurs the line— for you and for them. just friends becomes friends with benefits and that’s just not a place you want to be in. friends with benefits leads you to the limbo stage— where you’re not taken, but you are and no potential guy is going to pursue you because he thinks you’re taken.

2. don’t be a tease. it’s easy. don’t go flirting with every boy you see just because you can. while it may be fun and feel good to have a flirt buddy or have the attention of someone(s), the flirting game merely devalues you and your interactions. when you meet the guy of your dreams, you want him know that you’re totally interested in him. you don’t want a flirtatious reputation to proceed you. and you definitely don’t want him to think that you are flirty with every male that walks by. you want him to feel like your flirtiness is on reserve for just him.

3. pick one boy, not five. online dating combined with our need for attention has made it socially acceptable for any girl or guy to be talking to a handful of people at one time. but let’s be real— no one wants to date like the bachelor does in real life. it’s stressful and is downright unnatural. bachelor style dating makes for good television, but shouldn’t be a role model for real life dating. if you don’t want to be one of a million girls that a guy is talking to, be honorable and treat men with the same decency. basically, stop using boys to pass the time and as avenue to boost your self-esteem. if you’re using boys to make you feel better about yourself, it won’t matter how many boys you talk to— you’ll still always feel empty. which, leads me to…

4. know your worth. you are valuable, you are worthy of a great love. your value is not determined by your relationship status, how many people you’ve been with, or who you are with right now. being loved by someone, right now, in this moment, does not make you any more or less valuable. you are valuable all on your own. you have something beautiful to offer the world— you are smart, you are funny, you are creative, you’ve got a personality that people gravitate to. find your worth outside of another person. when you know your worth and realize that you are valuable just as you are— you will be able to love yourself and others freely. you’ll be able to live and breathe in a relationship, without putting pressure on another person to give you definition and worth. because, real talk, no person was meant to carry the pressure of giving someone else worth.

5. learn self-control. there’s an epidemic of a lack of self-control in this generation. that’s being real. if you don’t like it— then prove me wrong. we’re living in a world where people do things just because they “feel like it”. people make wrong choices because in the moment they “feel like it” or they “want it”. plain and simple, that’s selfish living. love— love does the opposite. love is selfless. loves says, “i feel like doing “this”, but i know my actions have influence and will affect someone else (either, now or later) so therefore, i will exercise self-control and do what is right.”

let’s just be real honest— when you learn self control now as a single person, it’ll be much easier to live it out when you’re married. because i guarantee you, when you hit a rough patch in your marriage and your husband isn’t giving you the attention you need and want— you’ll need self-control to not flirt with the cute dad at your kid’s school or getting all "gone girl" on your husband.

6. i’m going to get in trouble for this one. it’s your bed, not his. realize this, it’s a privilege to wake up next to you in the morning— not every guy ought to have that honor. at the end of the night, send him home. he has his own bed.

7. forgive and move on. it’s really quite simple— don’t hold grudges. don’t take forever to talk about things. if you have an issue with someone or something, talk about it. forgive. then move on. i promise, you’ll need this skillset when your man forgets to pay the electric bill on time.

8. don’t play games. plain and simple, no one has time / energy / or heart space to play games when it comes to matter of the hearts. be honest, be real. if you like a guy, let him know. don’t make it a game. if you’re trying to get attention from a guy, do it in an honorable way — don’t mess with his mind. playing mind games, attempting to gain the upper hand, trying to pay someone back— it’s not wife material. when it comes to relationships, all games do is cause drama and destruction.

9. keep it classy. i used to think that you had to be quiet and reserved to be classy. i thought that you couldn’t be feisty or be a person of passion—now, i realize i was all wrong. a classy woman is true to who she is, she knows her worth, and and embraces all her flaws and views them as unique characteristics that make her one-of-a-kind. a classy woman speaks well of people, believes the best in people, and doesn’t surround herself with drama. a classy woman doesn’t use her body or the way she dresses to seek attention from the rest of the world, but captivates the world by being unapologetically true to who she is.

10. know your boundaries. our culture has made boundaries seem like an old-school concept. boys charm girls saying sweet nothings then follow up with lines like, “you ought to push your boundaries just a little bit, trust me.” some guys will push your boundaries all day long trying to get you to go a little further than what you know is right, but at the end of the day— a guy never chooses the girl who pushed her boundaries. a guy will date and fool around with the good-time girl, but he’ll never marry her. be the girl the guys want to marry. know your boundaries and keep them. a guy who loves you, a guy who genuinely cares about you, a guy who plans on sticking around for awhile will never push your boundaries. he’ll respect them. when you want to break them, he’ll be there— remind you of your boundaries, and not let you do something you know you’re not ready for. any guy who doesn’t respect you and your boundaries— kick him to the curb or grab your stuff and run.

11. keep good secrets. secrets are a real thing. in junior high, the biggest secrets we had, as girls, was if our friend had a crush on the cute new kid. but as we get older, secrets become bigger, more real, more serious. learn to keep secrets. practice now when you’re single— because when you’re married, you’ll encounter moments where your husband needs a safe place. the secrets you know are for you, they were entrusted to you— not you and your best friend.

12. you are not your past. your past does not define you. don’t keep replaying moments from your past, don’t re-listen to the voices that told you negative things about yourself, don’t relive the hurt you experienced. your past is your past— which means, it was meant to be lived and experienced once — that’s it, no more. there comes a time when you have to realize you’ve outgrown your past— you are a different person than who you were a few years ago, a few months ago — accept the new you, celebrate the new you. when you move on from your past, you give yourself permission to live a beautiful life and for people to love the you that you are today. nothing from yesterday defines you. right here, right now, you have the opportunity to decide who you are, what you want to be known for, and what you will allow to happen in your future — your past has no say in the matter. a wild, extravagant, and stunning life is waiting for you— but first you have to let go of everything in the past to grab ahold of all the goodness that’s waiting for you in the future.

13. keep your kitchen clean. well, because if you don’t learn this now— it’s only going to get harder when you find a husband who doesn’t understand what it means to do dishes. and lastly, learning to keep your kitchen clean, will give you the discipline, patience, and courage to do numbers 1-12 (kinda).

as a fellow journeyer in the land of singleness— who is to say that any of this is actually right. but as i’m living out the last 365 days in my twenties, i’d like to think that the past decade of girl talk, long nights of crying from boy drama, and the tragically hilarious and sometimes awkward male encounters have taught me something.

i’m not saying this is a magic formula for finding a husband — obviously, it’s not— i’m still single. but what i am saying, is that if we’re single — let’s do single well. let’s respect ourselves as women and the men we hope to marry one day.