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When he says he loves you, then takes it back

He loves me, he loves me...NOT? Wait, what?


A few days ago, one of my daughters called for boyfriend advice. “Mom, last week he told me he loves me, but he hasn’t said it since.” She wondered, did he really mean it, or did he change his mind? I reminded her that they've only been together four months. I suggested that she be patient with both his emotions and hers.

For the sake of anonymity, let’s call my daughter Gracey. Well, Gracey is not good at sitting on her emotions. So, she discussed her trepidation with said boyfriend. He explained that he does care, but acknowledged that their relationship is still in its infancy, and perhaps the words will hold truer in time. Gracey pouted, “Well I think I’m pretty awesome. If he doesn’t love me, then why should I invest more time?” In passive-aggressive manner, Gabby (I mean Gracey) told her boyfriend that she is not sure about the direction of their relationship. She cited this-and-that.

I suggested, “Don’t focus on the words; look at his actions. How does he treat you? And if the words accidentally slipped from his mouth, it's because he does love you, as a special person in his life. Give it time.” Unsatisfied, Gracey grumbled, “I just want someone to be obsessed with me.” I know Gracey was thinking back to advice received from her aunt Blanca, “In a relationship, you don’t want to be the hunter, you want them to hunt you.”

I laughed and asked Gracey, “Do you think I’m awesome? Yes? Well, I am obsessed with you. So there, you have one awesome person obsessed with you. And I am sure your dad and brother and sister are obsessed with you too. So there, you have four people, front row, looking up at you on stage. You don’t need more than that. You don’t need a man to be obsessed with you.”

When Gracey calls with a problem, I first like to reassure her. But I always like to broaden her lens so that she can see the world around her, instead of just a world in which she is drowning, gasping for air.

A friend, Irene, posted a quote that stuck to me, “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings. Believe in yourself.” This is a reminder to not hold others accountable for our happiness.

It feels great to be wanted, desired, and “loved” by others. But if that romance branch breaks beneath us, we need to be able to rely on our own wings. If a special person in your life tells you they love you, and they stick around to nurture that love, excellent. But why not celebrate the love within and rely on the power of your wings? The force to fly comes from within.

We can embolden those wings with the energy we bring into our lungs. The air we draw from giving, caring and loving others is mighty. Life is not about waiting for a person to tell us he or she loves us, romantically. Life is about constantly rototilling the love from within. It’s about sharing the seeds of love with the world. Sometimes expressing our love for others, whether romantic love or not, makes a difference.

Yes, it feels good to hear those "three" words. They are a reflection of the great things our partner sees in us - they are an affirmation. An article, in Psychology Today, points out that one of the things we forget to do is to tell ourselves we are loved; so, we tend to take the easy route and let others tell us.

So, my advice to Gracey is to grow in self-love and to spread that loving feeling to others. Love comes back in many forms. When you are expressing love to the important people in your life, you are also expressing it to yourself. So instead of Gracey waiting for her boyfriend or other people to say “I love you”, she should make a conscious effort to say the words to herself, and to others. Love branches out.


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Before I read this post, I had just finished telling my sister how I believe one of our strongest women in our family is Gabby, I mean Gracey, and how we all admire her courage in moving to an unknown area, without knowing anyone, or having family close by. Not to mention trading nice weather for cold, cold winters. But, she owns NY and she brought her spirit full of life and laughter and has made it her home. She’s a great example of a strength. Any man would be fortunate to have your love.

Be picky and selective and don’t settle. I love you ❤️💕

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