Here’s the deal, ladies. There are some reasons you should never just settle.
You do not have time to settle.
With ANYTHING that does not fulfill you.
In every case scenario, you CANNOT settle.
I have a lot of experience with settling and not settling, but I promise you –
Every time that I chose to unintentionally settle, I was so unhappy and I did not understand why until the experience taught me why.
Settling is always the answer for lack of fulfillment and uncertainty.
I was in a relationship with a guy for three years.
All three years were long distance.
Three whole years of the start of my young twenties spent bound to a person that I barely ever saw.
We were always so far apart that we could never know if we could be together for much more than a week or two at a time without feeling suffocated.
I am not saying a long distance relationship can’t work, because it actually does more frequently than one would think. However, it only works when you are with YOUR person and vice versa.
This was not the case in my relationship.
We were both nineteen.
We started dating on January 12.
On Jan 13, the next day, he was off to college in Virginia – I was in Florida.
That is a hefty distance, far too quickly.
Throughout the first year – six months in to be exact - I was becoming less and less interested and he was making no effort to ease my worries. He was handsome and he was sweet. But in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t even matter.
When you are long distance, you have to make an effort to talk to one another – an effort to communicate feelings, thoughts, ideas, goals, etc. He was more interested in his fantasy football league than getting on FaceTime with me, even once a day (which is an essential feature in a long distance relationship), or maybe even making a surprise trip to see me. I mean, there ARE ways to make a long distance relationship romantic. He just had no idea how to do so.
So, throughout the rest of the first year, I just assumed that he would start to know me more. What I liked, what makes me happy, what to do more of for this relationship – little did I know, the way of the relationship would never change. Something was always missing for me.
I started realizing that we didn’t have much in common.
That we never really had much in common.
I was just nineteen and excited to have a boyfriend.
I was growing, my mind was flourishing, my world was changing and I was happy. But that was all happening without him. I was happy without him.
My eyes opened.
My heart was breaking for him.
My heart was breaking for what I wish we could be.
I invested so much time in this.
I invested so much of my age already.
I invested a lot of my freedom in some ways.
This realization came just at the end of the first year.
By year two, I knew I loved him as a person and I cared for him. But in no way, was I IN love with him. I could never be. It just wasn’t in the stars. Even though I did not want to believe it.
There was no passion.
No excitement when I saw him.
I just didn’t want to hurt him.
The second year was spent ignoring my intense gut feeling and trying to fit together puzzle pieces that were made for two completely separate puzzles.
I was beyond uncertain.
I lacked fulfillment.
I would ask everyone if the ways I was were normal, if those important things came in time or if I was supposed to mold him? I HAD NO CLUE why I did not feel something that seemed so simple.
I asked my parents.
I even asked Google.
I got way too deep into Google for answers because I was so ashamed to admit I was in a relationship for SO long that did nothing for me emotionally, physically or mentally.
I was so desperate.
My gut told me over and over again that this wasn’t right.
But experience is the Mr. Miyagi of all teachers.
It is patient, persistent and doesn’t let up until you learn what you are supposed to – even if you have no clue why you are there.
I knew then that I should have listened and acted upon my gut feeling six months in, it would have been so much easier then.
Easing into the end of this story and fast-forward to the third and final year.
Three years together.
He sends my sister’s boyfriend to the grocery store to get me some cheap chocolate and a card – with someone else’s handwriting in it saying, “I love u, booger”
Yes. The “u” is for real. The “booger” was his idea of a cute nickname.
If you are at a loss for words, believe me, I was embarrassed for him too.
Sadly, this was normal.
He forgot everything and keeping him together as an adult was particularly difficult. He was a man-child.
But he was sweet and never did anything intentionally dumb.
I still thought that maybe, I was just expecting too much.
Maybe, he would change.
Which is why I kept pushing my gut feeling away.
But, there is a VERY important lesson here – one that I will never push away again.
YOU CAN EXPECT TOO MUCH AND YOU DO NOT EVER NEED TO SETTLE. YOU ARE COSMOS IN THE FORM OF A QUEEN WITH A FLOWER CROWN. YOU DESERVE WHAT YOU DESIRE AND YOU CANNOT FEEL SORRY FOR IT. EVER.
I knew this. I preached this.
Yet, I still was settling and I was really unhappy with myself for it.
That night, I decided I could not do it anymore.
I did not have to be disappointed every day.
I did not have to take on the stress of this lifeless relationship, for the betterment of HIS life. It was not bettering mine.
THIS WAS MY LIFE.
What in the world was I doing?
So, I made the choice to be happy – to do what made me happy.
But at the end of the day, the same question still remained:
How do you hurt someone you care about?
The answer: you just have to.
You cannot sacrifice your overall happiness in a relationship for someone else’s happiness. You cannot settle.
So, the next morning, I called him.
I told him how I felt.
It was very hard and I cried and grieved and so did he.
The comfort of having someone so constant in your life, every day -
Just gone within a phone call.
That was an experience.
But it was okay.
Walking away from a relationship that does not fulfill you only hurts for a night.
Just one night to watch your favorite sad rom-com, eat all of the chocolate and just cry it all out – because, by the morning, you feel free.
Free from settling.
Free from the guilt of not letting yourself have what you deserve.
Free from holding another person down.
Free from worry, stress, and uncertainty.
Free from being pissed at yourself for settling when you know you are wasting your time.
A month later, I felt like myself.
I felt proud.
I felt happy.
I felt boundless.
I felt free.
The moral of the story is that you, as a woman, deserve what you want out of this one life that you have. You do NOT need to settle.
You do not need to be in a relationship for three years with someone that you KNEW wasn’t for you six months in. People are who they are and if they are not for you, you do not have to feel sorry for it.
Don’t spend three years of your life settling.
Don’t settle for anything.
I promise you, that is the one thing that will steal your joy because it is depriving you of reaching your full potential in any situation.
"Don't settle. Don't finish crappy books. If you don't like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you're not on the right path, get off it. Life is too short for bad coffee and boys that don't care."