Women are dichotomous.

We’re simple creatures. Most of our quandries in life boil down to our desire to be found beautiful. Are we worth striving for, being with, investing in? Do our features make you want to look closer, and do our hearts make you want to peer inside our minds? These are all simple questions, and the needs they speak to are rather easy to fulfill.

Yet we’re complex at the same time. The ways in which we ask the question, “Am I beautiful?” vary exponentially from one day to the next. The ask isn’t always clear to those who love us. We need to be told “yes” in quite a few different ways not because we’re thick headed but because that’s our biggest, most pivotal question. Somehow, many of us are quite good at hearing, “No,” even though our friends, our parents, our men, and our Creator, are resoundingly telling us, “Yes.”

I don’t just want my husband to tell me I’m beautiful. I want to see his jaw drop when I escape from the cocoon of wax strips, sheet masks, and curlers I’ve encased myself in for hours. I want him to put down his book and spend time with me because I’m more beautiful than even the most artful words. I want him to buy me jewelry because he wants to accentuate my charms. I want him to play with my hair because he can’t keep his hands out of it. I want him to tell me I’m pretty with his words, his hands, his time.

I am 100% confident asking for these things because I know it is okay to want these things. You should operate on this same level. Don’t try to force yourself into a smaller box than you’re in. Don’t stifle the desire to have your beauty acknowledged out of a fear of being high maintenance. Express the fullness of your desire, giving those you love the opportunity to love you back.

While I encourage you to want with abandon, I do caution you from having expectations. Wanting expressions of love and expecting them are entirely different matters. We should love freely, pouring out our gifts for others without expectation of reciprocity just as Christ did. Similarly, we should be free to make our love and desire known without expecting if or how it will be given. When we ask without expectation, we open our hand to whatever our loved ones and God are inclined to give. While now and then we may remain empty handed, we also open ourselves up to the joy of receiving the unexpected. Compliments, blessings, kindnesses, and experiences we could never have imagined will find us because we didn’t ask for something specific and limited. The issue with being high maintenance and asking boldly for love comes not from enjoying maximally, but from expectation. When we yearn for something with too much specificity, we effectively blind ourselves to the outpouring flowing our way.

Never worry about asking for too much affirmation. Ask away. Instead keep your expectations in check so you don’t blind yourself to all the joys blooming around you.

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