“Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

Well ladies, why should he bling out your left hand if you’re giving him ALL the goods for free? Naturally, as women, we are lovers, nurturers and very passionate about the people we love. So much that we tend to compromise ourselves, miss red flags and push boundaries all in the name of love. However, those things sometimes cost us the very thing we work so hard to get. THE RING!!! Let’s be real and admit to ourselves that we’re playing for keeps. We’re not interested in some fly by night fling or another friend with benefits. We’re ready for the happily ever after with all the bells and whistles.

The only problem is we’ve been treating the dudes we date as if they’ve already sealed the deal, but the truth is they’ve barely gotten their feet in the door. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but let me let you in on a secret. I learned we have to stop treating him like he’s already our husband!

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I’m sure you’re shocked I said that out loud, but I’m only stating facts here. Our unchecked inclination to love and our desire to give our all can potentially lead us to end up with nothing. We tend to give too freely and too quickly then wonder why we end up broken hearted and single. We have to stop giving without boundaries to a man who has yet proven he will commit to us exclusively and unconditionally before God and both our families.

After a few conversations with my male friends and looking back on my own experiences, here are a few dangers I learned about treating my boyfriend like a husband:

  • We’re Less Likely to be Seen as a Reward

When you don’t set yourself apart from all of the other women that may be vying for his attention, you are seen like all of the rest. You have to set yourself apart from the other women he has previously dated and those who are still approaching him when your back is turned. Putting standards on who you are and what you have to offer shows him that you’re confident and will not waiver on the requirements needed to secure your love. It makes being with you more of an honor and privilege and not just another option.

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  • We Unconsciously Create Unrealistic Expectations of the Relationship

Ladies, this is where we really get hurt! When we begin to treat our boyfriends like husbands we unconsciously start to expect him to act like one.  Now, most people would say, “well shouldn’t he act like a husband before we get married?” Yes! but let’s put that in perspective. It is important for a boyfriend to present husband like qualities so you know that there is potential. We all want to know if he’s concerned about our well-being if he accepts our flaws, considers our thoughts when he makes decisions, is willing to put effort into the relationship, if we can trust him, and our communication is great (just to name a few). However, because he is not our husband, he’s not thinking about acting like one. Here is where we start expecting husband like gestures from him which causes tension in the relationship. When you expect him to act like a husband we run the risk of elevating the level of our expectations and we put the relationship in a space it’s not ready to handle yet or sustain. It’s like putting boiling hot water in a plastic water bottle and expecting it to withstand heat it wasn’t built for. Ultimately, like the plastic bottle, the relationship will dissolve and we’re left picking up the pieces of our spilled hopes and dreams.

  • We Leave Less to Look Forward to

So it finally happened; we married him and we’re thinking we’re off to marital bliss. Until we realize there isn’t much room to grow because we’ve been playing the role of his wife the entire relationship. From day one we have been at the home base plate waiting for him to catch a clue all the while he was barely on the first base plate. After all the years it took him to finally get to the idea of marriage, we’re over it. We’ve exposed and given all of ourselves in the dating phase that there’s not much left in the marriage phase. Believe it or not, we’re exhausted! So we run the risk of thinking that the work is over when it has really just begun. Because we have already given him everything while we were dating, it leaves less to be desired which makes room for boredom and sought out attention from other women.

The moral of the story is BOUNDARIES. It’s ok to be a great girlfriend. We just have to know the difference between treating him like a boyfriend and a husband. So ladies let’s take our time… allow our relationships to blossom. It could be beautiful and ultimately result in another level of commitment.

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Because trust me if he likes it he will put a ring on it! I’m living proof.