I've been through it all when it comes to relationships. I've had ones that seemed like surefire wins that turned out to be disasters when he revealed more about himself. I've also had ones that were going so well until they weren't. It's impossible to tell where a relationship will go. Experience gives you a better idea, but that can make it all the more frustrating.
Some people I know are happy to settle. Well, they aren't exactly happy about it, but they figure that they have no choice. I try to tell them that they do have a choice. It's a matter of their determination, personality, and maybe a charming maxi skirt. Here's why I refuse to settle in a relationship.
It's About Me
Relationships are such an interesting and tricky concept because it requires you to be there for another person while also being there for yourself. You need to be generous, but you also need to aware of your own needs. It's a balancing act that can't always be easily managed. If you're doing everything for your partner, you're going to look like a pushover. But if you don't consider their needs, you're sabotaging your relationship. How can these two thoughts be resolved?
For me, the keyword is "consider." I always consider my partner's needs in a relationship and determine if they are feasible. This might seem like something you have to agonize over, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Most things I am able to do happily for my partner because they are things are would like to do as well. However, if there's something I'm not comfortable doing, I let them know. This doesn't mean I don't make sacrifices. It just means I have my own personal priorities in place.
I'm Not Going to Commit to Something Unhealthy
If I'm happy in a relationship, I stick with it. If I'm not happy, I leave it. It's a deceptively simple concept, and it's not always hard to live by. (I'm only human, after all). Sometimes, I think that being single would be worse than staying in an unhealthy relationship. Then, I snap myself out of this thinking by remembering that I have two choices: either I end this bad relationship or I don't. This means if I don't take action, it will be till death do us part. How romantic?
No. That's not going to fly. I'm not delusional. I know that fairytales aren't real and that even the best relationships take work. But that's exactly why they're the best relationships because both people in them have respect for one another are willing to work to make their union even stronger. A relationship doesn't even have to be abusive to not be worth continuing. If I'm sticking with someone only because they aren't hurting me, then I'm setting an incredibly low bar.
I Deserve the Best
Am I the greatest person that ever lived? No, I'm not (despite how hard I try). I am, however, someone who is always looking to do better. I can examine my past and see what mistakes I made and learn from them. I'm still doing it and will continue to. It's all part of the exciting journey I'm on.
Which is why I'm not going to get myself tied into a relationship that is no good for me. It's selling myself short if I am committed to self-improvement but decide that my dating life doesn't need to be held up to a particularly high standard. I imagine myself as another person. If I saw what kinds of relationships I was getting in from an outsider perspective, would I want to speak up? I'm honest with my friends when they ask me about their relationships and I would expect the same from them. By keeping my self-improvement in check, I can make the right decisions for relationships.