Have you ever taken a semi-permanent break from dating because you had so many bad experiences meeting guys?
Have you ever felt so broken after a bad relationship that it took ages for your self-esteem to recover?
Have you ever had an ex ruin your life long after you broke up because he wouldn’t let go?
All those bad experiences add up. All those bad experiences change you.
Because now you know that love is a minefield. It can blow up in your face.
The risk just doesn’t feel worth it anymore.
That’s why I invite you to become a Relationship Warrior.
A Relationship Warrior is a woman who refuses to abandon herself in her pursuit of love.
She takes up her Sword and Shield, and she moves through life with a Warrior Spirit that keeps her fighting for truth and love.
When you are a Relationship Warrior, you know how to protect yourself.
You’re not moving through life scared, avoiding rejection, trying to please everyone, hoping to be chosen.
You’re moving through life strong and proud, able to take whatever hits come your way, and NEVER losing sight of what you’re fighting for.
We Need Love Warriors
The brilliant and beautiful Glennon Doyle came up with this idea of being a Love Warrior.
If you know anything about Glennon, you know that her biggest evolution as a person came when she chose herself and HER desire over what society expected of her.
It’s a radical choice.
We women are trained to believe that it is our job to make our relationships work no matter what. If something goes wrong, it’s OUR fault. If we’re seeing a guy and it fizzles out, we did something to turn HIM off.
Love advice puts all the burden on women. It’s a woman’s job to attract a man. It’s a woman’s job to flirt and keep the conversation flowing. It’s a woman’s job to get him to commit. It’s a woman’s job to make him happy.
Relationships end up feeling like this job we have to perform. And if we fail, it means that WE’RE not good enough.
Love Warriors don’t put up with that.
Love Warriors include THEMSELVES in their circle of love.
If loving someone else requires that you deny parts of yourself, numb yourself, take on all the guilt, or pretend you like something you don’t, then it’s not love.
We Need Relationship Warriors, Too
That’s just the beginning.
I believe we’re also being called to become Relationship Warriors.
Relationship Warriors understand the dynamics of relationships. They’re protected from whatever toxic stuff might get thrown at them. They refuse to allow themselves to be defeated or deterred by the obstacles thrown at them.
Relationship Warriors know that one of the biggest obstacles they have to outsmart and outwit is the Wrong Men.
These are the men who don’t even bother to try, because they expect women to make all the effort.
These are the men who make us feel guilty for something we didn’t even know we did.
These are the men who lovebomb us only to get angry when we ask to slow down.
These men are obstacles to love because they lead us away from the good men. The men we SHOULD be with. The men who are our happily-ever-after.
What makes it so hard is that you don’t know whether any particular man is one of the good guys or one of the wrong guys at first glance.
You’re showing up with an open heart. You want to like him. You want things to work out between you.
You don’t have your sword and shield with you, because you’ve been taught that those things have no place in love.
You’ve been taught that love means showing up without any defenses and trusting him and having faith it will all work out.
Then when you get hurt over and over again?
You’re told to forgive and not be bitter and never lose hope.
You know what I’d tell you?
I’d tell you that THIS is Warrior Training.
What You’re Supposed to be Learning
Each bad experience is supposed to be teaching you skills that make you stronger.
Skills like discernment, so you spot red flags before you get in too deep.
Skills like boundaries, so that men respect you.
Skills like focus, so that you don’t confuse admiration and attention for the real thing.
None of us wants to have to be a Warrior.
We just want to show up and be loved and love in return.
We want to be the Princess who sings in the forest so her true Prince will hear her voice and come find her.
I wish it could be like that…
But because we’re dating here and now, in THIS world, we need to know we can protect ourselves if necessary. We’re in charge of keeping ourselves safe. That ability helps us in our search for love.
When we know that we can handle ourselves no matter what happens, we can invite new people into our lives and take more risks.
Think about it:
How would dating feel to you if you knew that no matter WHAT you’d be all right, because you know how to take care of yourself?
For me? That knowledge would have changed my life.
But better late that never!
If you’re ready to start your Warrior Training, here are the 3 defining traits of the Relationship Warrior.
#1. Her Warrior Spirit
The Relationship Warrior knows what she’s fighting for.
She’s not doing this for male approval. She doesn’t need to please everyone, or to have everyone like her, or to get a relationship just so she feels good about herself.
She is on a quest for the big ‘L’ – LOVE. And she won’t settle for anything less.
She knows that love won’t just fall into her lap. It’s an ideal she has to strive for. She’ll have to face adversaries. She’ll have to face herself. She’ll need courage and grit and the wisdom to spot when she’s being led astray.
The Relationship Warrior doesn’t buy the old story we’ve been told about love. That a man has it, and someday he’ll give it to you if you’re good and beautiful enough, and then your life will be perfect.
Life doesn’t work that way. Even if you’re in a great relationship, you still have to create love every day.
Which makes love a challenge…
And a challenge is what warriors love best.
#2. Her Shield
The Relationship Warrior has a very effective shield that she carries at all times and never feels guilty about using.
It’s her NO.
She is comfortable with saying no.
She is comfortable with setting boundaries.
She is comfortable with walking away.
She says no to anything that isn’t love. She says no to anything that’s about control. She says no to anything that makes her feel small.
The beautiful thing about this shield is that it’s incredibly effective at repelling men who want to use her or take advantage of her. Men who want an easy mark can’t get past it.
Meanwhile, good men see it and think:
Finally! A woman who says yes when she means yes and no when she means no. Where has she been all my life?”
#3. Her Sword
The Relationship Warrior’s sword is her Word.
This is how she cuts through all the confusion and manipulation and innuendo to get to the truth.
She’s direct with men. If she doesn’t understand something, she asks.
She’s not afraid of asking a simple question, even if it reveals something she didn’t want to know or changes things between them.
So many of the messes in relationships are caused by our fear of saying something.
We’re scared to say something for a reason. We’ve seen what happens.
The quickest way to end a relationship is to ask a man where it’s going, right?
But here’s what I want to suggest…
If a man breaks things off with you because you asked him a question or you raised an issue, maybe he just outed himself.
Someone with nothing to hide doesn’t mind an honest question. But someone who’s just using you doesn’t want to be called on it.
Don’t be afraid to use your Word.
As long you’re showing up with curiosity and neutrality, your Word is not threatening to anyone.
But the wrong guy will see it as aggressive, and he’ll attack back, because his ability to use you depends on it never being spoken.
Will You Take On This Challenge?
When you show up in relationships with your Warrior Spirit, your Sword, and your Shield, you can handle yourself.
You’re perfectly comfortable with saying no, so men can’t take advantage of you.
You’re perfectly comfortable being direct, so men can’t pull the wool over your eyes.
And you keep your eye on the prize, so that you’re not distracted by guys who offer you everything BUT love.