In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Benjamin Barry inspects Andie Anderson's handbag after she intentionally leaves it behind on their last date. What Ben doesn't realize is Andie planted two New York Knicks tickets inside one of the pockets as bait. Lo and behold, Ben can't resist the allure of courtside tickets and calls Andie to finagle a last minute date. Andie hangs up the phone and with a satisfied grin proclaims to her girlfriends, "And that... is how it's done." 

To the untrained male eye, the handbag is a tiny portable storage space for feminine products and lipstick. But alas, it is so much more. On a first date for example, a handbag is a first and last line of defense in the war that is the dating game. The dating game can be defined as the endless hoops one jumps through to prove that he or she is worthy of being deemed as "date-able." Let me explain in the context of a first date. Inside a woman's handbag is her cell phone, innocently tucked away. What the man doesn't know is that there is an army of besties fully prepped and on stand-by via group text, eagerly awaiting to be debriefed during a restroom break. Inside the handbag is also a makeup pouch full of beauty essentials, including but not limited to sweat-proof napkins to wipe away the stress and ensure a faux, but very convincing effortless glow that says, "I woke up like this!" 

I use this illustration not to poke fun or chastise dating, but rather to bring up a chronic issue that I myself struggled with throughout previous relationships: playing to win. I've seen this manifest in my own behavior as well as the men and women around me, whether it be my closest friends or the latest rom-coms. In a society that over-romanticizes relationships, the pressure to love and be loved has never been greater. As we get older, potential prospects seem to dwindle in number, leaving a twinge of doubt as to whether or not we will ever find the one. 

One of Cosmopolitan Magazine's most searched articles featured The Secret to Getting Any Guy. Lofty promise, eh? I couldn't help but cringe as I scrolled through the feature, not out of judgement but more so because many of the tips were once upon a time my very own go-to secrets. Secrets that not only lost me every guy, but also a sense of my dignity and worth. So I beg you to indulge me as I counter each of Cosmo's secrets with the truth that I am convinced led me to find true love.

1. "Choose your wingwomen wisely- you want to be surrounded by friends who are outgoing..." Since when did women need to have wings to be considered worthy of a night out? And who says the value of a good time lies in being an extrovert vs. an introvert? Lies, ladies, lies. This is the kind of talk that garners rivalry between women. You deserve to feel welcome as you are, not because of the perks you bring to the table.

2. "Show off your neck and shoulders." Let me clear- a woman's body is worthy of praise because she is fearfully and wonderfully created. To say that showing off any particular body part holds any weight in getting a guy is disrespectful to the honor and care you deserve. A man worthy of a treasure like you will be primarily interested in the fullness of your heart...not your bra. #truthbomb

3. "Use your drink as a seduction prop." Disclaimer: If this article is about how to get any guy for a one-night stand, then this piece of advice is exactly on point. In which case the entire article could have dropped this line alone and the guy would be got. But for those seeking a long-term love, I pose this question to you: If it takes props to get your man's attention in the first initial moments of contact, what makes you think you as a person will be enough for him? This isn't an audition and the relationship isn't a Broadway play pre-set for a limited time only. No, no. You are the leading lady deserving of all eyes and a standing ovation. Any guy who needs a prop isn't looking for a woman to love, he is looking toys and really should marry his X-Box. (Can I get a witness?!)

Your worth is far more valuable than the most precious gemstones in the world. So much so that the Creator and King of the Universe gave up His life to know you to the fullest, devoid of secrets. Tim Keller once said, "To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us." Wowza! If that isn't pursuit, I don't know what is! When you ask God to see yourself through His eyes of grace, you are then awakened to the treasure you are. You are "loved with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness [He] has drawn you." (Jeremiah 31:3)

You see, the ultimate secret to finding love is: "It's [already] in the bag!"


Xoxo, Diwa Doll


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Photography: Mirna Plakalovic Photography