"For me, it's God and then family!!! I thank God for choosing me to receive the gift of you, Wife!! I Love You! As real men we are given the responsibility to take care of our family!!! I am clocked in and my time sheet is submitted... Hallelujah!!!"
The statement above is what one of my newly married sister-friend's husband wrote on her wall on Facebook. It struck such a strong chord with me for many reasons and on many levels.
It was a wonderful thing for him to say to her about his commitment to their family. It also confirmed my belief that you should never give up on love.
My sister-friend is a dynamic and fabulous woman in her mid-thirties. She's gorgeous, successful, smart, down-to-earth, loving and has one of the most generous spirits that I know. Before now, she hadn't enjoyed the best luck in love. She'd been previously married, and after her divorce, a string of unfortunate relationships followed. I didn't understand it because she is awesome.
Despite having been repeatedly disappointed by men, my sister-friend never gave up. Nor did she become bitter or jaded. Relationships wouldn't work out, but she'd get right back in the saddle and go for it again. I admired that about her because she was resilient and determined.
When she first met her new husband, all of our friends were concerned, yet hopeful. I remember being on our annual vacation weekend and she told me, "This is the one!" Having not met her boyfriend, I was admittedly skeptical. But, there was a new confidence in her about this relationship and this man that hadn't been there before. So, I got excited for her.
Then, my sister-friend started telling us stories of how he treated her, the things he said to her, and his general philosophy on life and love. I got even more excited! Finally, she was being shown the love and treatment that I knew she deserved all along. I remember praying for her that this would continue and this guy would keep up the good work. Well, he did! They were married last month in a beautiful island ceremony.
I learned such a valuable lesson from my sister-friend's story, and I hope you can too. She could have easily thrown in the towel and accepted the general perception that there are no "good men" left. Instead, she decided to rely on her faith that God wanted her to be happy and would send her the right man in due time. Her determination and faith kept her focused.
Moreover, my sister-friend never lowered her standards just to get or keep a man. She had an expectation of what her man should be and she stuck with it. If guys didn't live up to those expectations, she moved on. She never allowed herself to go down to a man's level that was not up to par. With that said, she'd given plenty of men who weren't quite there an opportunity to elevate their game. When they didn't rise to the occasion, she was strong enough to let the relationship go.
I am exuberantly happy for her and her new husband. Her journey epitomizes all of the things I believe in about love and that I write about in this column: 1) faith that true love exists and is out there waiting for you; 2) maintaining your standards and never settling; 3) remaining optimistic and hopeful; 4) and, working on self to be prepared when that real love comes.
As we get older, it is easy to become cynical, especially when it comes to relationships. And, particularly when you have had several bad ones. But, if finding love is your goal, you can never be deterred from searching for it. A string of relationships may not work out, but you cannot give up. Instead, be like my sister-friend, get back up, dust yourself off and try again!