A common RPW post goes like this:

I’ve been with this guy for X amount of time. These are all the things that are going wrong in the relationship. He’s doing x, y and z and I want to change that. I love him very much how do I change myself so he’s better.

I commend the women who look to themselves first for the root of the problem but I cringe every time I see “I love him very much”. It’s a line that gets put into so many posts and I have a secret for you.

Love isn’t enough.

Men have two things that they require like air: respect and sex.

Don’t misunderstand, love is important and everyone wants to be loved. However, your love must be demonstrated through the lens of respect. Furthermore, respect is often necessary for us to feel attraction to a man. After all, who wants to let someone into her bed who she doesn’t respect? Who wants to care for a manchild for the rest of her life? Who here wants to lead the relationship?

Love changes over time. In the beginning, infatuation is a fire and it’s all consuming. These feelings fade as a relationship becomes comfortable. Love deepens and is a shared bond that can sustain you for life. That love requires you to think highly of the man you love. It goes beyond hormones and passion.

That love is also easily confused with habit and attachment when a relationship is on the line.

Often I see “I love him very much” along with a list of his faults. What that really means is: “I’m very comfortable in this relationship and I don’t want to start over”.

You can care deeply about someone and not respect them. If you do not respect a man the relationship isn’t sustainable. So instead of attempting to identify “love” for a man, ask yourself if you respect him. Does your gut tell you that you would follow him into a fire? Forgo your path to join him on his? Will you proudly show off your relationship to friends and family without omission? Do you think he knows where he’s going in life and will you stay by his side through thick and thin?

Love isn’t enough. There must also be respect for the relationship to survive.