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Article updated 2018
It can take courage to feel that somebody in our life is not in fact loyal; they are just one among the people hanging around us.
There’s a plethora of people who don’t let themselves feel the devastation and the loneliness that comes with having a sudden and accurate perception that their social network and even their family may not be loyal.
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Many people block these valuable emotions out; and then go and watch reality TV to feel good about their life. Loneliness is an authentic, painful feeling…the problem with loneliness is that if we actually feel it – we have to surrender to pain.
So, if you are there already – if you already let yourself feel lonely – not so you can emotionally punish other people or just for the sake of complaining for attention; you are a courageous woman. You are in a better place than most people, if you can feel this and do something about it.
So…what if you feel lonely because people aren’t keeping promises or being loyal to you? For example…
When the man you love is emotionally unstable, volatile….or disappears from your life.
When previously good friends turn in to people who abandon you.
When friends value the best option that comes up over being with you.
(My husband wrote an absolutely incredible article on the 5 things every woman ought to know about men. Check it out here.)
Loyalty is value
Loyalty is value; like money is value. Except loyalty is worth much more – it’s very rare to attract loyal people in one’s lifetime. Many lovers and many friends will be far more loyal to their own rules and values about how you should be – not to your soul; to your journey.
Loyalty is also the opposite of ambition. That’s why it can feel hard in a relationship with an ambitious, driven (though sexy) man, because it always seems, no matter how much he loves you, that his mission is more than the relationship. Although, interestingly enough; you actually want him because he’s ambitious. Ambitiousness is a trait women have evolved to crave and want in a man; the ambition solved the survival problem of not having enough reliable sources of food, protection, and reliable shelter for her family and children.
Loyalty is also a virtue that is unable to be embodied when a person values instant gratification over depth, character and genuine relationship. Sometimes, (and I’m assuming you’ve known people like this before), people start chasing the next best option, and get addicted to life’s next chaotic moment so young and so early in their life that developing any meaningful relationship eludes them forever.
Loyalty is harder to give when one perceives that they are bored and life is boring; yet don’t listen to the message that the boredom is sending.
Stimulation and new options are more appealing than the tiresome virtue of feeling boredom or loneliness. I did say loneliness; please don’t equate it with neediness. They are very different; one is taking value, the other is felt authentically regardless of whether we can get anything back.
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Loyalty is a highly evolved human value
Loyalty is even harder to give for most humans, because…it’s an evolved emotion, and it’s an evolved value, that goes beyond the self. It’s not about me. Loyalty: It’s about us. It’s about what we build together. It’s about being vulnerable to each other. That’s loyalty.
And vulnerability is value to both men and women in relationships – I want to be clear that vulnerability is not just something that men like in women. We just like it expressed in different ways to each other.
Loyalty can’t be faked.
If you are the loyal type of person, then it’s possible to pick whether or not someone also has that value in the first few times you meet them.
It doesn’t matter if someone markets themselves as a very loyal lover and friend – a lot of people do market themselves like this – how often do you encounter these smooth talking people, only to find that as soon as things get tough or that you aren’t stimulating anymore, they emotionally check out from the relationship?
Or disappear altogether?
Loyal people have a feel to them. And disloyal people have a feel to them. They are very different. Don’t you feel the same?
Loyal people know themselves; you can’t be loyal if you are all over the place and disconnected from the core of who you are; you can’t be loyal when you block these things out.
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Loyalty also can’t exist when a person refuses to consider the consequences of following their impulses and immediate gratification. See why it is so rare for humans to be loyal? We are often impulsive – or to put it nicely – spontaneously pleasure seeking beings.
The friend who suddenly has another “better” option crop up, and you had already made plans with them.
The man who valued the instant gratification of a woman who offered him sex or validation, over staying present and working on it with you.
The friend who is lazy and scared; so can’t come to see you when you had previously made plans to meet them.
A person who is loyal will often give it selflessly, simply because that is what they value. It’s a practised state; something that requires faith – and depth.
The problem with loyalty: it didn’t get our genes passed on
It takes a strong person to give loyalty. Loyalty didn’t get our genes passed on over the millions of years that we humans have existed. Loyalty could have costed our ancestors greatly.
let’s say you have the problem of finding reliable food, and you decide to stay loyal to an emotionally unstable cave man who could simply decide off the cuff not to get off the cave man couch that day to hunt for any food.
Yeah. Loyalty to that dude over any length of time could have costed your entire genetic future; your genes may die out permanently as you and your children could starve or be more vulnerable to predators.
And all you get is the memory of your loyalty. Of course, we don’t have such survival problems and food problems today; although we are still strongly attracted to non lazy, ambitious men.
Loyalty is not always glamorous
Loyalty is not glamorous. People will often joke or sneer at a woman or man who is loyal; as if they are losing something by being loyal to someone who doesn’t seem worthy of it (but could very well be).
Loyalty often means sacrificing glamour and popularity for depth.
I believe truly loyal people are not afraid of befriending pain. They’ve been there, they’re not afraid to go there.
There’s a difference of course, between a high value person who chooses to gift someone with their loyalty and a person who seems loyal, but is only sticking around somebody because they feel like don’t have any other options.
A loyal person perhaps, can recognise when they weren’t loyal, and can apologise, and deal with that situation. That is also important.
A loyal person can handle their lover’s hurt. (that includes women being able to handle their man being hurt by her). This is something I have found painful to deal with in the past in my own marriage with my lover…when he was hurt, do I value my feelings of failure and guilt over hurting him? Or do I value feeling and sharing his pain, so he gets the gift of knowing that I do in fact care, and always will care?
How or why would someone become a loyal person?
Loyalty can be learned, often through many painful experiences – we find that loyalty is all we have. We can’t scamper around looking to take value from the world for too long before we begin to experience some crushing pain and rejection.
Loyalty can be offered when one has self esteem, courage and confidence, which a small number of people truly have.
If your ego doesn’t come first, then loyalty is easier to offer. (Another problem: men with large egos: we like them because of their egos. So just remember that; life is full of contradictions.)
If you can make fun of yourself, die for what you believe in, give up the very thing that your nervous system just CAN’T give up – for someone you love and trust, then you are loyal.
Your oldest and deepest rules about how people “should” be, for example, are a huge barrier to you being able to offer loyalty.
If you think your man should somehow text you back always, within 2 hours, yet he doesn’t text back all day for legitimate reasons – and texting you back would have cost him his focus (which feels like life or death in the masculine brain) – then you lose your relationship in that moment and possibly forever if this is repeated long enough.
Loyalty is choosing to love that person as a soul; no matter their circumstances
Loyalty is not pleasing someone when you fear someone leaving you – that is simply fear.
Loyalty is feeling what it’s like to lose everything and everyone around you – knowing they are dying slowly from the moment they are born.
Loyalty is feeling loneliness – so that you have room for the ones you love – because when you distract yourself with superficial parties, facebook comparisons and superficial friends and superficial cosmetic make overs – you don’t get to feel that pain. You get to indulge in the illusion of actually having something, having a full life, being someone, and being popular.
When all of us are just as human as the next. All of us are going to die. No amount of popularity or superficial masks will ever, ever change the truth.
More than anything, loyalty is beautiful. Because it is sacrifice.
Let’s say your man is being screwed over at work; not getting a raise he was promised, never having his skills appreciated and it is costing you both income and health.
Yet – he refuses to leave the work place; after years of enduring being there.
What would be loyal in this situation?
You getting angry over his weakness for not leaving?
Or you understanding that no matter what; he has reasons for what he’s doing, and you can nourish his soul by seeing him as the best man around even when he’s down?
If you thought getting angry was the more loyal option, well, it isn’t.
And you either choose to be loyal and gift his soul as I described, so that he can gain the internal resources to reciprocate and give back to you – or move on because you’ve clearly chosen the wrong man. if you want to know whether your current relationship is worth your effort, then consider checking out this article I wrote – the 10 Ultimate Signs of A Healthy Relationship.
How to choose the right people to be loyal to
Very often, when we look at ourselves, (especially as women, because we operate from guilt so much) – we begin to realise we could be doing more or being more; and this is not an unhealthy thing.
I want you to have the strength to choose the right people to be loyal to. I don’t want you to be a pleaser.
So how do you do that? First you test to see if somebody is willing to invest in the connection with you – of course, you shouldn’t expect someone to open up a great deal if your connection with them is still beginning. What you’re testing for is if they value the connection/reciprocation when you are vulnerable to them or open to connection with them.
This is called the reciprocation test. And if you want to learn more about inspiring a man to be more loyal to you, join our members in the commitment control area.
Here is what you need to do:
Find out if someone is willing to give proportionate loyalty back to you when you offer your vulnerability first. In other words: Give something first. By doing this – you get to learn about people when you give something; you get to see if they are at all serious about getting to know you or reciprocating.
How to do this? Eg: if it’s a friend, you treat them to a coffee or dinner first, because you enjoy being a giver (because that’s who you are); and if they never care enough to say a big genuine thank you, to appreciate it or to return the gesture…or worse; lose contact with you; then you get to see that this person isn’t in the right place to give you loyalty.
In fact – if someone is only in it to take value from you – they will never reciprocate. If they have decent values; or are interested in the relationship with you to any level, you’ll see an attempt to reciprocate.
What about if it’s a man you’re trying to test?
Well, if it’s a man: you give something first such as listening to him, paraphrasing what he says and trying to understand his position. And then, you share a short story or a fear, and see if he’s willing to give you his presence and time.
You can also show a vulnerability: that you are sick and can’t meet him because you can barely move from the couch but invite him to watch a movie with you; if he can be there when you can’t offer sex then he has some loyalty.
If a man is interested in you as a person, he will be able to offer his presence – not just compliments, not just flowers or a meal, not just sex. The key is presence.
Not even taking you to see his family or friends. Presence. Presence is the hardest to give – this matters more than flowers and a nice dinner out; as exciting as they are 😉 and I know it’s always nice to be treated to those things that require a man’s money.
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Don’t lose hope too quickly
I am curious: how often do you feel that people really give loyalty? How often do others – men or women, children and even parents – really show loyalty?
In a world where people are focused on taking what they can from others without realising how taking just empties the friendship or relationship bank account…what are we to do?
Try to recognise if you have a habit of experiencing a knee-jerk reaction of anger and hate when someone is disloyal.
Sometimes, people are the reciprocating kind of people; people who do want to be genuine and develop a relationship with you; but they are going through a period where they can’t give that, or a period where they don’t value relationships.
Just because one human can’t give it; doesn’t mean every human being is like that. There really are gems out there who are loyal, just like you. Have the courage to believe.
Only the catch is: they actually want loyalty from you, too.
What can we do to attract loyal people?
What can we do to attract a loyal friend, or a loyal man?
Here’s what we can do:
– Be a person who is willing to get out of herself and add value to others first. People will naturally be attracted to you. For those who don’t know my work: value is not money; in fact, if someone wants your money – or values money over a relationship with you, then you need to re-consider them. One of the highest forms of value that you can give is simple genuine connection: it could be in total silence; it’s just the intent to connect, not to impress, or dominate, or compete as most of the world tries to do – it’s an intent to connect.
– Be discriminative of who you’re willing to give to – loyal people naturally get to this point anyway, because they realise most people are crappy. Other loyal people feel it if you feel the need to be friendly, open, flirty and to gain status and approval from everyone. That’s not loyalty, it’s something else – it is fear and superficiality and being insensitive.
– Meet different people in different places. If we keep ourselves safe and holed up, holding on to past bad boyfriends or bad friends…and wasting valuable time and energy on what isn’t working, it’s our own life that we waste. And the time that could be going to investing in people who do value loyalty.
(ask yourself: “If I had 5 other friends, 1 or 2 of whom are loyal, would I still chase this friendship or person?” Better still – ask someone else that question and get them to answer it for you. We often can’t be honest with ourselves, so the reflection of others can be handy.)
– Ask yourself: “Have I spent more time asking for what I want and need in this relationship, more than leaning inward to truly understand where my friend/lover is at and what they want to experience with me?
– Be loyal first. Relax in to desperation and temptation and the desire to always chase what’s new and exciting, find out what you’re really feeling and face it. Sometimes these seemingly flashy and cool things in life come at a big price.
– Never make decisions out of fear or a lack of self esteem. It’s the least resourceful place to enter in to a relationship or friendship from.
– If you are impulsive, which (I know what it’s like to be impulsive), focus more on infiltrating your body with deep breath and relaxation, and in the process, becoming a sensitive person. Sensitivity is important for relationships to last. Our impulses can have huge consequences – especially if we say things out of anger, self doubt, resentment, envy…
And finally, don’t be loyal if you don’t want to be. Sometimes, we are not ready. We don’t have to be loyal. Loyalty is not for everybody in every stage of life.
And if you really are a loyal person, and value loyalty at all costs (ie: being loyal yourself, not just demanding loyalty from others)…remember that disloyal people exist as a contrast…if there were no disloyal people in the world, we would not see the value of loyal people. Disloyal people are also valuable for that very reason.
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