Women who need a man’s approval and acceptance can place a high value on his gift giving. In her mind, the cost and frequency of a man’s gifts equate to his adoration, love and commitment.
Gifts tell a woman how much a man cares about her.
A novelty tee-shirt or a wilted bouquet of flowers from Kroger tell a woman, she’s an afterthought. But your favorite scent, tickets to a musical you mentioned or he reserves the exact table in the restaurant where you first met, tells you he’s paying attention to the things that are important to you.
Either way, Omega, Gucci and Chanel can’t fill the aching void in your soul.
Depending on a man for your happiness is a deprived way of life.
I grew up feeling undeserving of a man’s love and commitment.
My father was stern, quick-tempered and emotionally detached. He was a cheapskate. He doled out money to my mother with a clenched fist for household necessities. When I was in elementary school, my mother worked full-time to purchase my few school clothes and shoes with her paycheck. As a teenager, I had to beg my dad for money for a movie ticket, school activities and clothes.
His stingy, emotionally rigid temperament left me feeling dejected and unworthy.
As an adult, I craved a man’s adoration, attention and validation. I appraised the quality of a man’s love by the gifts he gave me and the money he spent on me. If a man didn’t indulge me with presents, or his gifts were cheap or void of sentiment, I felt like he didn’t value me. But if he bought me nice things and he took me to uptown restaurants, I believed I was truly special to him.
The problem was: I didn’t love myself and I didn’t feel worthy of a man spending money on me. I was afraid I would look like a gold-digger, I would somehow be obligated to go out with him again or he might expect me to sleep with him.
Taking responsibility for one’s life is the foundation of personal power.
When I dated my third husband (yes, 1-2-3), he wooed me with a fully-loaded Pandora bracelet, Key West vacation, Keurig coffeemaker and two pairs of expensive designer shoes. Of all the men in my life, I thought he was the ONE who would love me and take care of me forever.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it, he bought my love.
Two years after we married, he decided he wanted to move to Florida to live alone.
Divorcing my third husband was a turning point for me. I realized that I am responsible for my own happiness, and if I expect others to make me happy, chances are I will be disappointed.
I learned to love myself and I treated myself to the things I wanted in life.
I bought myself a Lois Hill sterling silver bracelet, an expensive Tucker saddle for my horse and a Brahmin handbag. I went on a Caribbean cruise with my girlfriend and whilst sipping champagne, I purchased two enchanting Tarkay paintings at the art auction.
I depended heavily on my husband to do yardwork and home repairs. I felt helpless when the toilet and kitchen disposal went on the blink and the tall weeds and shrubs ravaged the pasture fence.
I unjammed the disposal with a broom handle. I fixed the toilet flush value with a thingamajig. I purchased a Stihl professional trimmer and brush cutter and I discovered the muscle power of a handheld bushwacker.
I relied on my husband to transport my horse in his 4-horse trailer. I bought a used pickup truck and a 2-horse trailer. I learned to hitch my trailer to my truck, load my horse and I drove myself to trail rides near and far.
I became an equal in the dating game.
I began to share in the expense of dating. I frequently went Dutch treat and sometimes, when I felt spunky and benevolent, I picked up the entire tab. I demonstrated to myself (and to a man) that I was a self-assured, generous and independent.
Suddenly men found me intriguing and desirable.
I overcame my low self-esteem issues and my lack of confidence with men. I got over my fear of abandonment and my hyper-sensitivity to rejection. I learned to value myself as a woman who was worthy of a man who would love and respect me.
I took responsibility my happiness and welfare and I stopped needing a man to prove his love to me by showering me gifts.
And when I am genuinely attracted to a man, I find it easy to graciously and genuinely accept his compliments, attention and gifts without feeling obligated.