Why you don’t have to settle for less, and why you probably still will…

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As single women mature, they often hear the musings of their loved up friends and colleagues constantly telling them to stop being so fussy when it comes to men and dating. Luckily for me, I’m yet to hit that stage, although I have heard the complaints from many of my girlfriends, all of which are a vast array of ages, from late 20’s to early 50’s!

While I do agree that some women (and men) can sometimes set unrealistic expectations when looking for a potential partner – I truly believe that there are some major things that you should not have to settle for.

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This revelation is something that has only come to me now that I have met someone else – someone who I have much more in common with than anyone else I have ever dated. This is not to say that this undermines my past relationships as being a waste of time or worthless, rather, a lesson. I would not be able to appreciate my current situation if it weren’t for those past experiences. As they say, hindsight is 20/20 – and looking back, I was blinded, and I probably settled for much more than I should have. Our deepest values were on different pages – and this ultimately caused many issues.

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Like many women, the fear of being forever alone can get the better of you, and so you continue an exhausting cycle within a relationship that sees you happy only 40% of the time. As for the the rest of the time – you’re curled up in bed in a teary-eyed ball, with a tub of salted caramel Haagen Dasz ice cream and a mere table spoon as your only companion. Towards the end of my relationship, more often than not, I was always sad and I felt alone. How can someone be made to feel so alone when in a relationship?

Having said this, the situation wasn’t all bad, he never cheated on me, never laid a finger on me in an aggressive manner, and of course – I loved him. So why on earth would I break up with him? It is certainly a confusing cycle and when you’re stuck on that roller coaster of emotions, with its magnificently high ups and tortuous downs, you just don’t know what to do! Like me, you settle for the situation as is, because you think it could be worse, and you won’t know any better until you’re forced into a new relationship. Sure, it might be worse out there – but it also might be a million times better!

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I’m beginning to understand the importance of being on the same page as your significant other. Of course, a few differences keep things fun and interesting, but for the most part, your ideals, values and beliefs need to complement one another, in order for things to come naturally and easily.

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If you’re in a relationship that is causing you to fight in the first two months about some pretty major topics, then it is likely that this situation will only get worse – unless one of you settles. But you shouldn’t have to settle. Compromise and communication is integral in any relationship, but when you settle, the resentment from giving into something that goes against your own values can prove to be detrimental in the long run, and it works in a way in which compromise does not. There is a difference between settling and compromising – one will work negatively to tear you apart, and one will work to maturely bring you together.

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Whether the value in question relates to drugs, finances, religion, marriage, work ethic, children or whatever – if you have a strong set of beliefs regarding the subject matter, and your partner is on the opposing end of your belief – I’m sorry, but it’s a ticking time bomb – and shit will totally hit the fan sooner or later! It might not be a deal-breaker, but it will cause constant underlying friction. If you ask me, that’s no way to live, and being alone and happy is a small price to pay than to downgrade your set of values. This will also open you up to meeting someone who is on the same wavelength as you.

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Had I known this earlier, I wouldn’t have lasted in my own relationship for the amount of time that I did. But as I said, I needed to go through it in order to prepare me for the amazingness that would later be sent my way. The universe works in mysterious ways, but she damn well knows what she’s doing!

So this is my message to all of you out there stuck in your not-so-bad, can be great at times – but kind of mediocre relationships. If you’re disagreeing over something small – just let it go. But if its over something important to you, consider whether its really worth your time.

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Love & Light,
x Cat

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Why you don’t have to settle for less, and why you probably still will…