Your relationship is like baking a cake for your best friend’s birthday. If you want that delicious first bite, you must follow the recipe for a solid foundation, says Lo Bosworth, author of The Lo-Down.
First you read the directions. It’s important to lay out some sort of game plan for all the different ingredients. Then you cream the sugar and butter together. In a separate bowl, you mix together all the dry ingredients. Add one egg at a time to the butter concoction you’ve got going. Finally, mix the dry ingredients together with the liquid ones. Throw it into a 350 degree oven for thirty minutes and voilà, you’ve created a cake!
Now consider all the time, energy, and dedication you put into creating your delectable masterpiece. It required you to select and read a recipe, learn how to put together all the components, and bake it for a while before you were rewarded with that tasty first bite.
Approaching romantic relationships is essentially the same, minus the messy ingredients all over your kitchen counter. As unromantic as it seems, creating the foundation for a delicious relationship requires a recipe. The recipe will instruct you regarding which ingredients are essential and at which point they should be added.
But, as with a cake, it’s the quality and flavor of the ingredients, and how they’re combined that give the relationship its sweetness. Miss one crucial ingredient and your relationship, or your cake batter, is bound to fall apart in the oven.
I’m guessing that by now you’re well enough acquainted with my analogies that instead of further explaining dessert essentials for three additional pages, I can move right in to what I’m really getting at.
Just as a cake has a recipe, consider this guide to be your recipe, your outline, and your formula for successfully cooking up a fantastic relationship. Each chapter is an ingredient essential to the batter. Each chapter builds on the previous one, furthering the batter along before it’s popped into the oven. Miss a chapter, skip a quiz, fast-forward a few pages, and you may miss an ingredient that is essential to what makes a good relationship really good.
I’m reflecting on this now because you have reached a point in the recipe where your batter is nearing completion. This part, Believing in the Right Guy, is the last ingredient you need before you start to bake your relationship into the scrumptious, delightful, amazing cakey goodness it can be. And any good pastry chef always does a final rundown of her recipe before she puts the batter into the oven.
Let’s do that right now. So, we know this guide is the overall recipe to creating a completely thrilling relationship. The Golden Rule is the first step in the recipe. You have to follow the first step correctly or else the rest of the recipe is a disaster in the making. So, you let go of all the misconceptions, preconceptions, whatever-ceptions of what you mistakenly thought was the underlying rule of relationships and accept the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule teaches you that if it doesn’t work out with a guy, it’s not that you weren’t right for him, it’s that he was not the right guy for you. With this knowledge you undertake the second step.
The second step is to understand that the Baddies are the types of guys who make you feel like the opposite of the Golden Rule is true. You learn to point out the baddies, understand why they are bad, and disregard them for guys who believe in you for who you already are.
Step three in the relationship recipe: Learn why believing in yourself is an essential ingredient. Believing in yourself brings the Golden Rule to life. Believing in yourself gives you the power to ignore the Baddies for guys who are worth your time. In addition, the third step teaches you how to believe in yourself if you need a gentle push in the right direction. It gives you empowering self-help tools that not only reinforce who you already are but turn that person into a girl others admire as well.
And now for step four: believing in the right guy. I know that so far I’ve taught you that a relationship is all about you. A lot of it is. You are one half of every relationship you have, and it’s important to make sure that that half is well cared for and loved and feels good about herself.
Once you’ve reached this level of self-satisfaction, it’s time to focus on the other half of what makes a relationship a relationship. Your boyfriend! You can do all the right things, but in order for a partnership to work, you need to get back what you put in. Your relationship will be successful only if this happens, so it’s best to find a good guy who is committed to putting as much time and nurturing into growing your love as you do.
So, how do you find this guy? There are a few components involved. First, you have to let your guard down. This is hard to do, especially if you have been hurt before. It’s a necessary step to take before you move forward, though. When you let your guard down, you put your faith in others. A relationship only works if that trust is there.
What will allow you to let your guard down is understanding that despite the occasional Baddie, most people are good people. Just like I’ve taught you signs that make the Baddies stick out like sore thumbs, I will teach you the signs that signal who these good guys are.
And what makes the good guys good? They respect others, treat them with kindness, and understand that every person is unique. They know that individualism is something to be regarded rather than scoffed at. They have a sense of right and wrong because they’ve experienced how hurtful “wrong” is and that “right” makes them feel a lot better. The good guys understand that it’s essential to be compassionate to others in order to get the same respect back. The good guys are the ones who feel the same way about life as you do. You are for them what they are for you.
As boyfriends, the good guys are the ones who will let you be you, and love you for who that person is. They will encourage you to follow your dreams, make big plans, and live the life you’ve dreamed of, with them by your side.
They will expect the same support from you, though. This is an absolutely essential requirement of women in any relationship. If they believe in you, you must believe in them in return. They’re the good guys, remember? They’re worth it! They have hopes, dreams, and goals just like you do. Relationships are about mutual respect, and your good guy will expect as much support as he gives to you. Be selfless and allow him to be who he really is. If you don’t, you’ll wind up as bad as one of the Baddies (but a girl, eww).
So, when you find a good guy for yourself — and trust me, they really do exist — celebrate your good fortune. Right off the bat you’ll know that you’re loved for being you and that he wouldn’t have it any other way. The respect you’ve been trying to squeeze out of other lame guys for yourself is already in place. At the end of the day, that’s what the good guys are all about. They love you for you because that girl is already good enough for them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lauren “Lo” Bosworth, author of The Lo-Down (© 2011 by Lauren Bosworth), has starred on the smash MTV reality shows “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills.” A graduate of UCLA, Lo lives in Los Angeles, CA. The Lo-Down is her first book. For more of Lo’s tips and advice, visit thelodown.com!