Don’t Settle For Less

So lately a few of my friends have been having some relationship issues. And in some cases, it’s just the usual bumps that go along with being in a relationship and sharing your life with someone else. In others, I am noticing that they’re starting to wonder if they made some smart decisions, or if they’re actually settling in their current relationship. Now, I’m not going to share who or what, or anything like that, but instead, I’m going to offer some advice. Don’t settle. I’ve been single for a while now, and I think my last couple of relationships were me settling. I overlooked things that usually would be big red flags, and why? Because I was tired of being single. Yeah, I said it, I didn’t want to be single anymore, so I overlooked some serious issues, and jumped into a relationship anyway. Guess how well that worked out for me. Yeah, not so great. So instead, I’m going to go through why you should never settle. I can assure you, I won’t be settling again. It’s not worth it, and for all I know, it distracted me from meeting the right person.

I am a big believer in soul mates, and finding that one true love. It’s what makes me a hopeless romantic. I also believe that God places people in your lives for a reason, to teach you something. I definitely learned a lot from my past couple relationships about settling, and about what I really want in life. Now, everyone is different, but for me, there are some definite things that I can’t settle on again. I tried to ignore them, or even say it wasn’t so bad, and I could look past it, but I realized that simply wasn’t true. I wasn’t happy, and I was constantly wondering if there was someone else who would be a better fit for me. That’s not fair to me, or to the guy I was seeing at the time. So to me, it’s very simple. Don’t settle.

With one of my exes, one thing I settled on was ambition. I am a very ambitious person, I want to do well in life, and I’m always looking to succeed, and move forward, whether that is in my job, or becoming a healthier person, or becoming a better person. I want to be an asset to any company I am with, and I want to help the company and myself to grow and become better. That means I am always hustling. It means sometimes staying late at work, the day before you’re supposed to go on vacation, because you promised a client some work. It means doing extra work around the house, because you want to help your family out, and don’t want them to stress, even if you’ve been at work for 10 hours. It means getting outside and going for a run even if you don’t want to, because you know it’s going to help you be a healthier person. I am big on improving myself and moving up and forward in life. With that being said, I don’t necessarily have my whole life figured out. With that being said though, I can’t stand someone who has no idea what they’re doing with their lives, and because of that, they just hit pause. They’re not in school learning something, they aren’t working in a field to gain knowledge or experience. They’ve just paused, and are working part time, spending too much time on the internet, and just floating around until something finds them. That to me, isn’t what an ambitious person does. Even if you aren’t in the dream job you always imagined, you can always learn something new, and add to your skill set. There’s a saying, “jack of all trades, master of none, but better than a master of one.” I hadn’t heard the full saying until today, but it really makes a difference, now doesn’t it. I may not be mastering this one area, but I am learning a few different things, that will be useful to me. Imagine if I just focused intently on one thing; I’d miss out on so many different opportunities. And by having all these other “trades” I am actually preparing myself to have a wide skill set, especially when I do get that dream job. So what I like to see in a guy, is someone who is doing the same thing. Maybe he’s not settled in his dream career yet, maybe he doesn’t even know what he wants to do with his life. But, he is trying new things, he is pushing forward, even if he doesn’t know where forward is going. He’s trying to make a better life for himself, maybe he’s even helping his family out. Whatever it is, he’s doing something. Rather than just sitting around, hoping life will give him a good kick in the direction he needs to go. I tried pretending that this wasn’t important to me, and all it did was make me unhappy and a bit of a nag. I don’t want to nag my significant other to go find a good job, to start thinking about his future and what he wants to do. That’s not something that sounds fun to me. Supporting someone who has already thought about his future and is working to improve himself, now that sounds like something I could handle. But don’t complain about going nowhere if you’re not trying to move forward. That just shows a lack of ambition.

Don’t settle on a pushover. I see so many relationships where it is clear that one person is more dominant than the other, and one person is always getting bulldozed into doing something they didn’t want to do. What a boring relationship. In my opinion, a good relationship is agreeing on the big things, and knowing that it’s ok to argue a bit about the little things. Now, in some relationships, one person just gets what they want. The other is so willing to keep the peace, that they just bend immediately to the other’s wishes. In other cases, you argue for a little, discuss the pros and cons, look at other lamps. This isn’t the end of the relationship, it’s not even a big deal, but it’s a discussion, and it’s allowing you to learn something about your partner. Rather than just caving, you instead are fighting for what you like, and more likely than not, you will be able to find a compromise. This also makes it a little more exciting. You’ve gotten to talk with your SO about something new, and discuss reasoning, and you’ve learned some things. Imagine how boring it would be to just have someone agree with you on everything. I would hate that. I know I’m wrong on certain things, and it’s nice to have someone challenge your thoughts and ideas sometimes. That’s how really great ideas are born. Through challenge, you have to think through things a little more than if someone is just always nodding along. Plus, having someone call you out when you are in the wrong, is not always the most pleasant, but it’s important when you’re growing as a human being. Relationships aren’t always about finding someone who completely agrees with every thought you have, I mean with that attitude, you may as well date yourself. It’s about finding someone who challenges your thinking, makes you think outside the box. Challenges you to try new things, and see things from a different point of view. Sometimes it’s refreshing to have an argument here and there.

Don’t settle just because you’re “(fill in the blank) years old.” When I was a kid, I had my whole life planned out. By 25 I was supposed to be engaged, and married by 27, and kids by 30. As I am turning 24 this November, and am still single, it’s fairly safe to say that my plans are going to be shifted a little bit. Now, with that said, I am not concerned. I believe in soul mates, and that there is a plan, and my plan was different from God’s plan. His timing is always best, and I’m not going to attempt to mess with that by settling for someone just because he is around. I urge you to do the same. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if it’s meant to be, it’ll feel right, and if it’s not, don’t push it and try to settle because you’re approaching the cut off age that you set for yourself. People don’t have expiration dates, and it doesn’t mean that if you don’t have someone now, that you’ll never have someone. It’s hard to believe that at times, but you need to just ignore the pressures of society to find someone. Everyone does things at their own time, and sometimes what you think is right, just isn’t in the plan. Don’t fight that. Go with the flow, and keep your chin up. What’s meant to be will be. Don’t force it, and don’t settle for someone that doesn’t make you completely happy.

Don’t settle because everyone else is getting married. I have plenty of friends that have gotten engaged, married, and are starting families, some even younger than me. There’s a lot of pressure when everyone around you is getting married, or engaged, and it makes you feel like you need to do that too. Don’t fall for it. Everyone gets married at different times, and there is no “right time” for marriage or getting engaged. Peer pressure is rough, especially when it’s pressure that you’re putting on yourself. Keep in mind, you aren’t your friends. Just because they’ve met Mr. Right, doesn’t mean the guy you’re with is your Mr. Right. Instead, if you’re having doubts and hesitations, don’t try to push past them, and settle because you’re comfortable, and all your friends are in relationships, so you need to be too. It’s just not worth it, and it won’t lead to happiness if you settle and just decide it’s good enough. Eventually, it won’t be good enough, and you may have missed another opportunity.

It’s tempting to just settle in a relationship that is ok or that you’re comfortable in. But there is a difference between settling and bending on a few things. Don’t settle for any reason, even if it seems like time is running out on your personal timeline. Life is too short to settle, so if he/she doesn’t make you happy, and you don’t enjoy spending time with them, then you need to get out. It’s so important to be happy in a relationship, and know exactly what you can bend on, and what you can’t. If there are serious issues, those aren’t going to go away, they will only get worse. So don’t settle, just because you’re old enough to settle down, or there is pressure to do so. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.

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