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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > 03

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Are You Being Cherished? Or Cheated?
(7 Signs That He Cherishes You)

Whether you meet your new love interest online while surfing the Net, or in line at your local supermarket, make sure he’s someone who’s worthy of your affections.

I am reminded of this very valuable lesson as I reflect upon a draining relationship I once had with a guy who wasn’t pulling his emotional weight nor valuing the beautiful woman that I consider myself to be.

Call it temporary insanity, but in my efforts to please him, I abandoned my own needs and sense of worth. I gave, I hoped, and I prayed. I stayed longer than I should have, thinking that somewhere down the line he’d come to appreciate what he had in me. Ironically, the less I required, the less he gave.

Here I was dodging the advances of other men, to be with a guy who didn’t make me a priority; who only loved me when it was convenient.

But then it occurred to me that the worse offense of all was that I wasn’t even honoring myself! I was letting him treat me in ways that I had never allowed with a man before (because I thought he was such a great catch). Even though his calls were sporadic, he was uncompromising, and when I expressed my desires of the relationship, he would accuse me of being too demanding.

Then one day I had a reality check. Someone in my family became very ill and this guy whom I adored wasn’t emotionally supportive at all. I realized that his actions wouldn’t even qualify him as a good friend, let alone that of a boyfriend!

The thought of what I tolerated just to be with him embarrasses me in retrospect.

Sound familiar?

So often we as women settle. We think that “knights” are found in fairy tales, or we buy into the too-many-women-too-few-men ratio hype. Many of us don’t even hold guys to chivalrous standards any more, accepting what comes our way as a reflection of the changing times.

In essence, we’re cheating ourselves.

Life is indeed bittersweet. There are so many variables we can’t control: the loss of a loved one, illnesses, violent crimes, a son or daughter who chooses the wrong path, the boss from hell, and economic upheaval, to name a few.

The “choice” of a loving, giving mate helps to cushion the blows of life and weather its many storms. It makes us stronger. It nurtures the spirit and helps to fulfill our divine roles. And as women, we are the backbones of society! We give life. We create homes. We raise families. We run offices. We support dreams. And you really can’t give from an empty cup!

The bottom line is this: If you’re not being cherished, you’re being cheated. So if you’re in a relationship that’s wreaking havoc with your sense of peace and your self-worth, repeat after me. “I can do better.” Add this mantra to your daily affirmations. And move forward!

But first take note of how a “cherished” woman is treated:

1) If a man cherishes you, he won’t compare you to Halle Berry, or Jennifer Lopez, or his mom. He will accept you for your good and bad, and love the things that make you uniquely you.

2) If a man cherishes you, he will be committed to making the relationship work. He will honor your feelings and value your thoughts. He will compromise on issues of importance so that both of your needs are fulfilled.

3) If a man cherishes you, he will support your dreams and encourage you during times of failure. He’ll take a personal interest in what you do. He doesn’t necessarily have to share your vision, but he’ll cheer you on to victory just the same.

4) When a man cherishes you, you won’t have to track him down or do headstands to get his attention and to get him to spend quality time with you. The desire to be together is mutual, and he’ll move mountains to make it happen.

5) When a man cherishes you, he won’t betray your trust or reveal your secrets.

6) When a man cherishes you, he won’t keep an emotional score card of what he does for you and how often. He considers it a pleasure to do things that brings his woman pleasure.

7) When a man cherishes you, he won’t flee at the first sign of trouble or tragedy.

Here’s wishing you a relationship in which you are truly “cherished,” and most importantly, that you cherish yourself first!

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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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