For those of you who have ever loved, you know love is selfless. It endures the hardest battles and it puts up with the toughest of sacrifices, but it’s all worth it in the end. Love is a partnership, an adventure all in it’s own. An unbreakable bond between two people who are conscious of it and willing to maintain it’s strength; but just because you are in a relationship, doesn’t mean you are in love. Nor that you’ve found yourself a MAN. Let me remind you, there is a major difference between BOYS and MEN, GIRLS and WOMEN. There is a difference between a BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND and a PARTNER.

One of the hardest parts of being in a relationship are the sacrifices made. We all know that as soon as we tangle our once very independent lives with another person, things are going to change very drastically. The time that was spent 100% on your own is now being shared between two people. The activities you enjoyed, you may not get to enjoy as often and selfishness is no longer a part of the equation. If he’s a boy, he will bail. If he is a man, he will endure. Here’s why:

Success is promoted, not feared.

Men know that success is a mountain we are all climbing and not only do they provide you with whatever rope they can, but they cheer you on because they can’t wait to see you get to the top. They are your biggest fans AND THEY SHOW IT. They are not afraid of your success, they’ve got their own. They’re excited to see you climb further and they’re even more excited to be your partner, your man (or woman), your lover, because, let’s be real, what could possibly be sexier than a power couple?

Boys, on the other hand, usually come with a plethora of  insecurities. They need to feel like they are above you or they feel useless altogether. Don’t let a boy drag you down. Empower yourself. If you haven’t found a MAN yet, then do it all on your own! As the wise Lady Gaga once said “Your career will never wake up one day and tell you it doesn’t love you anymore”.

The future isn’t definite – but you are.

A man knows when he’s found the woman of his dreams. We all have a checklist in our heads that we expect from our partners. Respect, honesty, a sense of humor, etc. A man knows when a woman exceeds his expectations and, believe me, HE WOULD NEVER LET HER GO. She is everything he has been waiting for. No amount of bottle rats, tinder hoes or perfectly engineered girls will change his mind. He has found ‘the one’ and he will work to get her and work even harder to keep her. If you are that woman, you will know it because he will show you and, as a woman, you will reciprocate.

A boy is unsure. He has no clue where he sees himself in five, ten years – All he knows is his plans for the weekend and you’d be lucky to be included in those. He wouldn’t sacrifice a boy’s night for you because – well, he sees no point in it. Besides, who cares if he goes out all weekend with his buddies, you’ll be there anyway, right? WRONG. No woman stands for left overs. If you catch yourself doing so, you may need to re-consider your limits and re-evaluate your relationship.

You catch yourself wanting to be better.

He is an inspiration. He knows what he wants and he goes after it without letting anything or anyone stop him. You respect him because of what he does, not what he says. He has shown you his true colors and they painted a masterpiece for you. Get it girl! (I mean, get it woman!) You find yourself wanting more than you had before, being more fearless, more centered. At the end of the day it isn’t about those who came into your life and rattled you (even though that’s always a passionate adventure), it’s about those who came into your life and centered you. Brought you peace. Made you feel safe. So take advantage of that feeling and propel forward at full force!

A boy, rather than good, promotes anxiety. That feeling of uncertainty where you don’t know whether you’re facing up or down. Where you catch yourself wondering if he’s ever going to come around. Leave him, let another GIRL deal with the immaturity and you go find yourself some peace!

He’s not just a lover.

A man isn’t ever just a lover. A man protects you like a father, encourages you like a coach, guides you like an older brother and trusts you like a friend. A man is always ready and willing to hear you out, learn from you, lean on you, but most of all – simply be there for what you need at the moment.

A boy doesn’t have time for all that. A boy is wrapped up in his life, with his own questions about the universe and he is too busy trying to find himself to help you with any of your issues. A boy is usually best left alone and, trust me, unless it’s 2 am and he’s craving some Netflix & chill you probably won’t be hearing from him anyway.

Now gentlemen, this goes for you as well. A woman and a girl are completely different and every argument on this article can translate to a WOMAN vs GIRL argument. In fact, that was my intent. So before you go on thinking we are all the same, re-read these four reasons and re-think whether you’ve got yourself a girl or a WOMAN.