Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Better to be Single than Settle

I'm tired of settling.  I'm tired of getting into relationships wherein I feel the need to justify my continued presence there, where I need to rationalize and explain away the behavior of my partner, and where I give far more than I get in return.  Companionship is great, but at what cost? 

I was really sad about being alone last night for the holiday evening.  But I was thinking about it this morning.  Would I have rather had the company of someone like the ex, who generally made me feel like an insecure little girl all the time?  Sure, we could have skimmed the surface and I wouldn't have been alone, but I also wouldn't have been with anyone who actually made me feel good about myself.

I can't figure out why it feels like such a crime to expect more.  Why I fault myself for expecting too much, when really I I just want someone who will treat me with the same level of respect I treat people, and appreciate me as much as I would them.  Sometimes I convince myself that I'm being unrealistic to expect that kind of reciprocity....that there is likely no man in the world who will be able to match what I have to offer. 

I hope that doesn't sound cocky, but the fact is that I'm awesome in relationships.  Possibly too awesome because I tend to bestow my gifts upon people way past the point that they deserve them.  I don't know how to be any other way, and as much as I bemoan it sometimes, I really don't want to be any other way.  I like knowing that I love with every fiber of my being, that I give 150% in a relationship, and that my devotion knows no bounds when I love someone. 

Yes, I get burned.  Sure, it would maybe be easier if I gave less of myself, if I held back a little.  But I guess I just don't see the point.  I can't change who I am. 

Even now, I've found myself at a point where I'm starting to feel like my 17 year old self again....a bit hopeless about my romantic future.  At 17 I'd never been kissed, never been on a date, never been in love.  I thought I'd be alone forever because I felt so far behind everyone else.  I felt so disconnected from the entire idea of being close to a man, and it just turned into something that I couldn't even imagine happening in my own life.

I feel like I'm back there now.  I've had three major relationships in my life, and now I've been on multiple dates with others, and only three have made it past one date.  But those dates have either been entirely spark-less or they've offered the kind of sparks that are fleeting and that will not move me forward. 

I don't want to be stuck in place.  But I also don't want to latch onto the first nice guy to come around just because I don't want to be alone.  I don't want to fall back into old patterns for the company.  I don't want to settle for less than what I logically (and in my heart) know that I deserve.  If that means that I'm alone forever.....I don't know.  If that means that I'm alone for a long time, okay.  It sucks, but I'm tired of selling myself short.  I'm tired of telling myself that this is enough, it will do, probably there's nothing better out there.  That's a shitty way to think. 

Life is going to be what it's going to be.  There will be good dates that go nowhere.  There will be bad dates that at one moment make me depressed and at another moment make me laugh.  There will be times of no dates, when I need a break, or the universe isn't feeling it, and sometimes that may suck, and other times it may be just what I need.  There will be holidays spent alone, there will be holidays spent with friends.  I will sometimes be the single one in a group of couples. 

There will be exes that come back.  Some will come back for good reasons, with good intentions of actual, reciprocal, respectful friendship.  Some will come back to continue the patterns established in our now failed relationships.  I will need to continue to refine my ability to say no, and to do what's best for me in spite of instincts to the contrary.  I will need to look out for myself because ultimately, for right now, no one else is doing it for me. 

I will make mistakes.  Some will be willful mistakes, with full knowledge of my error in judgment in advance.  Some will be completely unintentional and unexpected, and those will hurt more. 

I will be hurt.  Disappointed.  Let down.  I will feel cynical and sad and pessimistic and gloomy.  I will wonder if I'm doomed to be alone, and I will feel sorry for myself sometimes.

But.  I will also have fun.  I will celebrate the freedom I have to do exactly what I want when I want with no accountability to anyone.  I can kiss someone I just met if I feel like it and not feel like it is a betrayal to anyone.  I can go out dancing with a girlfriend until 3 in the morning and dance with a handful of strangers throughout the evening and go home alone.  I can leave my apartment and just go drive for 30 minutes or 3 hours if I want to. 

I will continue to learn what I want and what I don't want, and it's okay if that means my standards go up.  I will get used to the idea that I deserve all of the things that I want, and that it's not greedy or wrong or unrealistic to expect to be respected and loved and appreciated.

I will continue to learn how to love myself, and not to fault myself for mistakes, or judge my actions too harshly when I do stupid things, or impulsive things, or out of character things.  It's good to shake things up every now and again.  It's good to break the mold.  I am a constantly changing and evolving person, and I have an endless potential for growth.  I've not yet reached the peak of my awesomeness, and I've not yet reached the finish line of my happiness.  There is more to come.

 "I learned to love myself, because I sleep with myself every night and I wake up with myself every morning, and if I don't like myself, there's no reason to even live the life." -Gabourey Sidibe


  1. When I was dating Greg he did something very surprising. He suggested I read "Why Men Love Bitches." I was like you. Gave 150% all of the time. Men don't want that. We see it as being true to ourselves and loving. They see it as no mystery and us being a doormat. They need to learn to communicate in our language, and as much as it pains me to admit it, we need to learn to communicate in theirs too. Eventually, you both feel safe and get to that place. But it shouldn't be from the get go. That was one thing that self-centered ass was right about, though. I gave way too much of myself, too soon. I was "too" nice and "too" giving. Somewhere along the lines I struck a balance. It took time.

    This time in my life-my 30's, has been such a journey. I have come into my own (still learning). I have accepted I am one flawed character, but one awesome character at the same time. I've learned I am a constant work in progress, and sometimes I need some help with that work.

    On those days that meeting that incredible someone seems so impossible, take a deep breath and relish the moments you get to spend with yourself. Because someday, those moments will be far and few between. They'll go to him and perhaps children if you go that route. You will long for the days of being just you.

    I know you know that the universe will unfold itself to you as its meant to be. I'm happy I get to be along for the ride.

    Do what you want to do when you want to do it. No regrets. :)

  2. @heatherfl: Ugh, I have to admit that's kind of depressing. :/ I honestly feel like trying to be any other way than what I am is just game playing, and I don't get the appeal of that. I'm trying to get better at not giving so damn much so early on, but it's a constant struggle. It's my nature. I do not want to be a doormat for sure, but I know I end up coming across that way sometimes, just because I want to take care of people and be there for them, even when they don't deserve it. I guess it's all about the balance, like you said, and for right now I guess I'm just screwed, as I definitely still am out of balance here.

    Sometimes I just wish that being exactly who I am was enough, that I didn't have to hold back on something like being caring in order to establish the right dynamic. Things like that kind of make me feel a bit disillusioned with the world, you know?