85638823I have always had a thing for sweet guys. There is something about a man who opens doors for me, helps to put on my jacket, asks if I’m OK over-and-over, picks up what I drop (even if it’s a gum wrapper), offers a whole bunch of hugs, or smiles excessively at me. I am head-over-heels for too much sweetness. I love to be adored more than I adore myself. I love to be cherished as if I am the most beautiful specimen in the world.

But if the feelings are not mutual, I could care less about how sweet a guy is, especially if I’m not attracted. If my eyes are not set on him, I do not care about how he admires me. His admiration means nothing. It’s a negative and selfish feeling to have, but I know that I am not the only one who felt this way.

I say felt because I have had a change of heart. I had to get rid of my shallowness and rethink what I desired in a significant other. The requirements—yes, requirements— that I established were ridiculous. I am known for having high standards. My standards may have been too high to reach, so I had to remove a few of them from their place after realizing that I was going nowhere.

Nothing is wrong with having high standards, either, but when they are equivalent to a mannequin in a display window, that is where a problem rises. The qualities that I listed in my mind were comparable to someone in a fantasy or dream.

I sought only perfection, but realized that I am not perfect in any way, so the flawless man that I desired would be the same.

This came in an epiphany and I am so glad that it did. The high elevation in my head had begun to suffocate my lungs. There is nothing good about mistreating or ignoring someone who only wants to love and respect you. Nothing wholesome comes after being mean to a man or woman who only wants to encourage or uplift you.

It is true that beauty fades and heart last forever. Although the outside of a person is an important factor to keep in mind, it is the inside of him or her that should matter most. If an individual is filled with love, spirituality, kindness, affection, sacrifice, and all that is wonderful, why would anyone want to risk losing that person as a friend or significant other for physical flaws? It is amazing how often we overlook those who genuinely care about us. It is during hard times that we finally open our eyes to see that they have been with us the whole time.

If you are single, scratch the shallowness. No one is perfect. Everyone, including you, has flaws. Some flaws can be hidden or camouflaged, while others cannot. Some flaws are blatantly obvious, while others are minute. If you have someone who is always asking how you are doing or showing concern for you, but you are extremely disinterested, do not rebuke them.

Do not be mean to them. Appreciate their kindness and respect him or her as a person. You may not want to be friends, but you can always give respect. It does not matter if you are not interested in their appearance. Pay more attention to the internal qualities that he or she possesses. You do not have to accept anyone as your significant if you do not want. It is your choice.

However, be conscious of everything you do.

If you have someone who is too nice to you, bask in their niceness. Be thankful that someone even wants to treat you that way. However, if this niceness is perverse, that is a different story. If you are being disrespected, that is to be handled in a different way. You do not accept that. However, if someone you know is overly kind and it’s uncomfortable, respectfully let him or her know. No one deserves to be treated like trash.

Neely Terrell is a school librarian, freelance editor, and writer. She is a graduate student at the University at Buffalo, where she studies Library and Information Studies with a concentration in School Media.

She recently completed her book “Dumped and Delivered: Seeds To Uplift The Brokenhearted, Single and Committed,” which is available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Terrell recently became the first student, African-American or otherwise, to have her book in the student bookstore at the University of Buffalo. This is the third installment of her four-part series this month.

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