“Heal the boy and the man will appear.” – Tony Robbins

A boy becomes a man when he commits to himself first and accepts himself for who he is and where he is developmentally in life. This includes his lifestyle and career choices, his successes and failures, his familial relationships, his friendships, his childhood, his romantic past, his values, his vices, his strengths and weaknesses, his future desires and goals, etc. And on the romantic relationship front, he either decides that he enjoys being independent and uncommitted to another person (aka single) while being forthcoming with this truth, or he peacefully decides that he’s ready to put forth the effort to grow relationally (aka settle down) in hopes to fully love one woman for the rest of his life.

The use of “peacefully” was extremely deliberate. A man can not be coaxed, tricked, trapped, forced, or given an ultimatum to commit when he does not want to. And before you think that thought, I’ll go ahead and say yes you’re right. Many men have “committed” in situations involving pregnancy, ultimatums, and maybe even threats. I mean, we can get pretty insane when we choose to love someone. However, I can guarantee you that eventually that man is going to question the relationship. Why? Because life. And when he realizes that he was not given the freedom to make that decision for himself, without pressure, the relationship is immediately at risk. Whether you’re now married or if children are involved.

It is important that a man rises in love with you (falling in love is for people who are still brainwashed by Disney and rom coms). It is important that he, as a man, is happy with himself first and foremost. And then that he saw you for everything you are as a woman and chose to love you. Your accomplishments, your failures, your victories, your downfalls, your beauty, your flaws, your quirks, your habits, your hobbies, your ambition, your aspirations, etc. This is so important because WHEN the disagreements, conflicts, and hard times come, he’s going to need to remember that he chose you and WHY.

I firmly believed that love is a choice; one you make daily. I used to fall for the hype: that love was this epiphany moment you have after getting to know someone for some time. But experience taught me that, sometimes, in order to love someone, you have to unlearn everything you ever thought you knew about love. Love doesn’t happen instantaneously. Infatuation does for sure. But love…it is a process that grows over time and is built on a solid foundation of mutual respect (aka friendship). I can’t imagine that any couple has a perfect relationship or a perfect story, despite what it may look like on social media or in public. Some people are just really good at keeping their business to themselves.

There are a PLETHORA of relationship coaches and gurus who give amazing advice in regards to relationships for those of us who desire that unique partnership experience. Much of that advice is aimed at helping us differentiate a man who is ready for a relationship vs. one who definitely isn’t. If you’re fortunate enough to meet a man who respectfully expresses his disinterest in commitment, then please believe him. How you proceed in that matter is your choice, but the risk of disappointment is much greater. All the advice that is out there is meant to help you recognize a real one and protect you from heartache. After all, heartache isn’t actually a thing we set out hoping to one day have a personal story for. But the good news is that even those life experiences help us grow and mature into the women we become.