It was about seven months ago when my friend and I had a sudden realization.
Many of the girls we knew were dating or married, and although we complained a lot about being single, we concluded: we wouldn’t trade places with any of them.
Let’s make a pact, I said.
We will never be satisfied with just anyone.
There are several reasons why someone might settle for someone who doesn’t quite fit in; fear, despair, or even a distorted sense of self-worth can be to blame.
People are so afraid of being alone that they date people they can’t even make them happy.
Still, it’s hard to recognize when you’re doing it.
We are constantly comparing everyone we meet with idealistic views of who we think we deserve, which can distort our sense of accommodation.
“She’s a six for beauty, but a ten for personality.”
“He’s nine in bed but five in intelligence.”
There is a fine line, however, between aiming high and being unrealistic.
When you’re in your twenties, it’s especially tricky because you may discover traits other than the ones that will be important to you ten years from now.
You might end up neglecting someone who doesn’t meet your ultra-high or ultra-specific standards and you might regret it later.
In fact, you cannot dream of an ideal partner.
In fact, you often can’t explain why you’re attracted to someone.
So how do you know when you’re settling for someone who isn’t good enough?
Do you remember how much worse it could be
“At least he’s not abusive.”
“At least she doesn’t cheat.”
“At least he’s not as boring as Miriam’s boyfriend.”
If you think you keep trying to convince yourself how good it is, it’s probably not that good.
Of course, your situation could probably be worse, but that’s not the point.
The point is, if your circumstances were significantly better, you may need to reevaluate why you’re with the person now.
More importantly, if you’re so focused on what the person isn’t doing wrong, you may not realize where you’re falling short.
You are constantly making excuses.
It’s an uncomfortable scenario.
She is late again, or for the tenth time, he gets belligerently drunk and insults her friend.
The fact is, you shouldn’t have to make excuses to explain why your partner behaves a certain way.
It not only puts your friendships at risk, but it also forces you to deal with unnecessary stress.
You have to change yourself from the inside out.
Sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing it.
Many people find themselves changing important parts of themselves to make it work for someone else.
Of course, there are positive transformations that can happen when you fall in love with someone.
Perhaps you’ve given up a bad habit or adopted healthier ways.
However, if you suddenly find that your values have changed or you have given up on your goals, you may need to reconsider your relationship.
Making big sacrifices for a person so that you can become their ideal partner is one of the worst ways to settle down and be content.
Ultimately, you can never meet the other person’s expectations.
The right person won’t want to fundamentally change you and definitely won’t want to get in the way of your dreams.
You must feel that your partner is helping you get where you want to be and allowing you to be the best version of who you are.
You are trying to change him/her.
How many times has an “ah if…” crossed your mind?
“Oh if Ricardo were more ambitious”.
“Oh if Aline were less relaxed”.
Of course, there can always be something small about a person that you would change if you could, whether it be mild stubbornness or some insecurities.
What separates this from resolution, however, is that you finally accept these flaws because much better qualities outweigh them.
In the end, you can only change a person so far.
If you’re in a relationship because you expect the person to suddenly stop their irrational jealousy, overcome apathy, or reject petty tendencies, take a step back.
Being in a relationship shouldn’t feel like a project.
If this happens, in all likelihood, you will never be satisfied with the finished product.