When I was over at my friend’s house the other night I was talking to her and her husband about a potential work opportunity that isn’t exactly ideal.
And her husband made an interesting comment. He said that when he was younger he always wanted to be in a relationship, thinking that something was better than nothing. But as he got older he realized that by being in that relationship he was making himself unavailable for the right woman.
When he finally let go and stopped settling, he finally met and married my friend. (At the age of 52. That’s a lot of years spent settling.)
I think this is such an important point to make and I wish I could sit down every person who is in a so-so relationship and explain this concept to them.
If all you ever want is so-so, then I guess it’s okay. But are you with someone who also only wants so-so?
I do know some people like that who got married and it worked for them.
But I think most people want a strong relationship that occasionally takes their breath away. And, if you settle because being with someone is better than being alone, then you deprive yourself of the ability to find something truly amazing. And you deprive the person you’re with of finding the best relationship for them.
And then it’s just this cascade, right? You settle, the person you’re with settles. The person who would be perfect for you no longer has you for an option, so they settle, and…
(Not that I think there’s just one person for each of us, but ya know. Far too often people go for “at least it’s someone to spend a Friday night with” or “At least he buys me pretty things” or “At least she’s good in bed.”)
The other issue with settling for good enough is that when that better fit comes along, there’s a huge temptation there to do something you shouldn’t. Because you don’t have that strong connection with the person you’re with that can overcome outside temptations.
Or, if you aren’t free when the right person comes along, you might find that that person is no longer available once you do manage to free yourself.
(Trust me. Been there, dumped the guy who was supposedly untangling himself when he took a little too long to make it happen.)
It’s not always easy to be single. But sometimes the best choice is to suffer a little so you’re ready to leap when the right person finally appears.