As women we’re always told, “not to settle” but no one really explains what that even means. It leaves us in a position where we are either being way too picky (yes, that is possible) or allowing ourselves to be with someone we aren’t madly in love with because we don’t believe our ideal exists.
In fact, I think we are settling in certain ways without even realizing it and being far too particular in other ways that don’t even really matter. But more importantly, we fail to take into account the biggest factor of finding love:
We place so much weight on finding the perfect guy, the right guy, the keeper— our soul mate, that we fail to do the work on ourselves. The work that is required to be in a healthy, functional relationship. Mr. Wonderful could walk right up to your face and you wouldn’t know it because your head is so far up your ass.
So let’s get out of your own way, shall we?
How to Stop Settling Now
Hey girl, you aren’t perfect, so what makes you think that you can list 47 things you must have in a mate? What makes you deserving of an amazing person? How can you demand perfection in someone else if you don’t first demand it in yourself?
And so, you will need to work on yourself. Start by dragging out that trunk of baggage you carry around with you. Trust issues, power games, manipulation (you know all that fun stuff that has been ruining your past relationships) and start figuring out how to be better. Whatever your crutch has been in the past, you need to take a good honest look at yourself and the part you played in your past relationships. These are the things you need to work on. Whether you go to therapy or you find a way to catch the behavior and stop it, getting a handle on your issues will put you in a much better mental and emotional space for a romantic relationship.
If you want someone to give you their best, you need to be giving yours.
Kill Your “List”
It blows my mind when I see some of the criteria that women have for their future mate. Guess what? You don’t get to decide whom you fall in love with. Let me reiterate:
You don’t get to decide whom you fall in love with.
Your mind thinks it knows what it wants, but feelings and emotions aren’t practical. Your list can say 6’1, lawyer, muscles, green eyes—and you could fall for the total opposite. The point here is to let yourself fall. Too often women meet someone who isn’t their type but toss him to the wind because he doesn’t fit “the list.”
You’re settling for an ideal that doesn’t exist. This is what it means to be “too picky.” It’s one thing to want to share similar values and interests (note that I said similar not identical) but it’s quite another to hold out for some Frankenstein creation you cooked up in your brain. Not to mention that if you found that ‘perfect’ combination of ideals—you might not even like him in real life.
Stop pushing men away because they don’t fit your perfect man mold.
When you first start dating someone it’s easy to overlook the things that bother you. This is the time that you’re supposed to find everything that they do cute and adorable. Guess what? Later on, those things most likely will become annoying. That’s totally normal. However, if there are things that annoy you off the bat, that’s something you shouldn’t ignore. Even if it’s something you think is silly like a horse laugh or a gross face they involuntarily make. What’s going to happen in 6 months? Sure, you think that you’ll get used to it—wrong. It will only get worse and you’ll end up resenting them for something they can’t help.
More importantly, this is the time you need to make sure you aren’t overlooking red flags and things that make you uncomfortable. Don’t just brush those feelings off—trust them.
Too many people are afraid to let go of someone that they are newly dating because they “like” them, when in reality they end up settling. You can’t be afraid to toss a guy if he does things that rub you the wrong way. You’re simply clearing the way for someone who won’t.
“I’m never getting married.”
“Men are all the same.”
“I’m not the relationship type.”
Welcome to settling for mediocrity. These are closed off hearts, absolutes and ideas you’ve latched on to. How the hell are you supposed to find anything meaningful in this world with mantras like that?
As we grow, change, develop and explore life, our needs and wants fluctuate. We change our minds, and it’s okay. When we slam a door and seal it shut, we are closing ourselves off to beautiful and amazing possibilities. Sometimes we might not even feel that way anymore but our brains have been drilling it into us. It’s one thing to close yourself off from negative things that have the potential to hurt you i.e. “I will never again date a controlling man.”
“I will no longer allow myself to be lied to.”
And, “I won’t be with someone who does drugs.”
Those are all things you should certainly steer clear of. But to close yourself off from something that has potential to change your life in an amazing way? You are committing to a life of settling.
Love Ain’t Enough
There are plenty of times we throw practicality out the window and it usually comes along with being in love. Falling in love isn’t rare even if it doesn’t happen often, or even if you’ve never been in love. Staying in love is. Lasting love is. The initial falling in love is the easy part.
When love has been difficult for us in the past and then we find a partner that gives us butterflies, we tend to see it as a big sign that this guy is The One. After all, we’ve never felt this way before, or maybe they’ve awakened something we thought was dead. Did you ever think that maybe the real sign here is you—not them? Maybe now you are ready, or you’ve done the work on yourself required to be more open to love and present in relationships.
When we put such a heavy weight on another person, we tend to miss that we could be settling for less than what we deserve. We pin our happiness on them, give them power they haven’t earned, and settle for less than we truly want.
Finding the right person takes time and when you settle, you’re blocking yourself from true happiness. It’s always better to be alone, working on your own happiness and personal growth than it is to be with someone you aren’t completely happy with. Remember that you are whole and complete all on your own, or at least you should be. If you aren’t…work on it! The right person won’t complete you, but they will add value to your life.
I don’t believe in mediocrity in general but being mediocre about love is one of the worst things you can do for yourself.
Image credit: Shutterstock
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