Rule Number One: Never Be Number Two

What does this actually mean? If you’re not first, you’re last? What one won’t do, another one will? I see this phrase posted on social media often, and I really just wanted to break it down for those who question it. I think it can pertain to any competitive aspect in life—job related, sports related, pageant related, dating related and that's where I begin in this post--being number one when you're dating.

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Wynwood photo shoot with Carl Dawson. Click here for more of Carl's work.

So you meet a guy and you click. There’s a spark. A comfort. A familiarity. And so the two of you talk often and hang out when you’re able and go about your business as friends who happen to be attracted to one another. Time goes by, and now you talk every day—morning and night, and all the time in between. You share ideas and wisdom and fears with one another and now your desire to know more about each other grows—it's intimate. He wants to know your ambitions and you want the secrets of his life and he wants to tell you his goals and his dreams and with his added inspirations, your vision grows. You get this vibe from him and it all just feels good. Feels fuzzy. Makes you want more.

Then you get the dreaded news that you are in competition with other females. You hear through the grapevine that he is giving his attention to other people, too, not just you. So naturally, what you thought was evolving into what may someday be a relationship, you now begin to think it was really just a misunderstanding. But because you are a female and you’re always caught in your feelings, you are heartbroken. So what do you do? You flip out. You dig for information. You get so wrapped up in what he is or isn’t doing with you and/or another person that you panic. You lash out. You act out of fear. Out of desperation. Out of a state that is not true to who you are.

When men have you thinking less of yourself, or have you questioning their motives or have you thinking you may be in competition with someone else … do not panic … I repeat … do NOT panic!

Women tend to act out of desperation because of the thought that there is someone out there who is better, prettier, skinnier, sexier, everything-ier, doing for him what you won’t, saying to him what you don’t and while that may be the case, it also may not, and because it may not and because there are no clear boundaries, women need to get one thing clear—do not meet a man and expect him to cut off all his women for you … instead, prove to him why he should.

Don’t be the woman who needs a man—be the woman a man needs and with that, you earn respect. Add value to his life, other’s lives and to your own life. Know your worth. Love yourself. Be so absorbed by all the beautiful things in your life already that you have no time to question why he hasn’t called, or text or sent you flowers or remembered your birthday. Stop analyzing his every move. Stop creeping on his social media. Quit falling into the trap. If you want to love a man and want a man to love you, then do, think, breathe, and act in a way that is nothing BUT loving, to both him and others, but most importantly, to yourself.

There will always be better, but that’s not what this is about—being better than someone—no, it’s about being the best version of you that you can be and when you’re that—when you’re YOURSELF, living and breathing and sleeping kindness and gentility and when you’re real, and when you’re constantly improving yourself with the intent to help improve others and when you value all the things you’ve already been blessed with, you realize that you have enough and ultimately, you are enough.

I used to act on impulse. I used be the girl who flipped out when my man was caught talking to another female, or every time I heard bad news, I would pry and dig and try to find answers and that really weighed on me. It broke me faster than anything and that’s what negativity does … it eats at you and it makes everyone around you hate you. But when I discovered how to let things go and just not worry, it made all the difference in my life and now I can translate that to everything I do—pageantry, exercising, dieting, working—and the best one yet, dating.  

Don’t get mad if who you thought you were connecting with is also out there connecting with other people … what you have is exclusive. Your heart, your love, your thoughts, your dreams … don’t get even, or get revenge or act out of hate. Let it go and move forward with the truth in your mind, body and spirit. Keep doing you. Keep evolving regardless of what he chooses to do because listen, there are people out there looking for exactly what you have to offer … even him ... he just may not know it yet. While there is no one on this earth’s surface who is perfect, there is someone out there who is perfect for you. Someone who will make you feel beautiful, someone who will make you laugh so hard your stomach hurts, who will reassure you of your worth even though you don't need it, someone who will let you be yourself and above all, someone who complements you and brings out the best in you.

So, rule number one, never be number two, but if you feel like you are number two, be wise enough to know the power is in your hands. There is no game to be played. No competition to be had. You are eliminated from the equation the minute you understand your worth. Focus on your dreams. Focus on your vision. Focus on yourself. And when the time is right, you will have someone who will never make you question if there is a number two. He will not walk in front of you. He will not walk behind you. He will walk beside you, hand in hand, letting the world know he has one and only one and that YOU are his prize!