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Community Voices: Love is patient, Love is kind. Love is not waiting for a text back.

Self-respect: pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity

Since I can remember my goal was to one day find a love that was different from any love I had ever seen.

A love different from the love my mom endured for years, one that I didn’t have to endure but rather be engulfed in. A love that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, one that presented me with magic and a feeling similar to the one after a long day at the beach after a shower. A feeling of content and safety with the right amount of risk, the kind that makes your wonder how to make time stand still.

In my opinion any love that didn’t remind me of dancing in the rain at midnight to Dave Matthews was no love I was interested in. But here’s the kicker, I have chased everything but that love.

I instead have been chasing love that left me wall sliding crying at 2 a.m. Love that made me question my ability to be in a healthy relationship. Love that made me chase and beg. Love that made me punch my steering wheel in heartbreak.

Here’s the thing: love comes from the Lord, it’s a gift. Therefore, anything the Lord’s hand is in is not meant to hurt or to be chased. Yet so many times we, myself included, stare at our phones waiting for a text or a Snapchat back.

It all comes down to self-respect. If you don’t respect yourself, no one else should have to and they won’t. Maybe that text back is God’s way of giving you an easy out before the sobbing at 2 a.m. comes. I’ll be honest, I’ll take that no text back.

Good men exist. Love will come when its timing is perfect: you can rush it and fall for all the wrong ones or you can spend this time learning you.

Learn how many slices of pizza you can eat before you have to unbutton your pants, learn all the words to “Super Bass,” learn the art of listening and not speaking, sleep in the dead center of your bed because one day you’ll have to share.

Go see all the magic the world has, and cry and laugh as much as your body will allow. Kiss boys and take pretty pictures. Read your Bible. Wake up every day with a goal of some sort. (Also don’t make your bed. There’s no time for that, life is too short to make your bed.) and master the art of self-respect and walking away from anything that does not serve you in a positive way.

The time will come. Until then I highly suggest that you don’t spend your days lying in bed and staring at your phone. The word will keep turning with or without you. Go with it. Kick ass. Delete his number. Smile. Breathe. Lots of boys think you’re pretty: it’s not just him, I promise.

Ashley Yates is a student at the Aveda Institute Atlanta who loves all things beach, music and adventure related. She plans to take her career in the hair industry to travel, write, create and change lives.

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