Source: Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm / Getty
We’ve all settled in at least one aspect of our lives. Whether it’s taking a job we hate, or entertaining unfulfilling relationships, we have all experienced feeling dissatisfied in our choices.
Why do we do it? So many reasons. We get comfortable and complacent. We get used to our routine and it feels impossible to consider a new, more challenging role. Sometimes we let fear keep us stagnant.
As far as friendships go, I think we get so caught up in how many years we’ve been friends with people that we overestimate the value of those relationships. We look at others who have had friendships since elementary school and we revere those relationships. We think that those people are lucky. But I always wonder what the quality of these friendships are. Are the bonds strong? Is the communication consistent? Is the relationship healthy? You can have decades long friendships that were more harmful than healthy. It’s about quality of time, not quantity.
I luckily found some major keys while scrolling Instagram on this exact topic.
Black Twitter stay having gems man. I’ve carefully cultivated a cohort of fire ass independent female creatives that I follow, who never hesitate to share words of wisdom on life and love. I stumbled across this quote the other day:
“The quality of a relationship is measured by how long I am happy. If I am in a relationship for 10 years, and I was happy for 2, the quality of the relationship expired at 2 years. The remaining 8 years spent was me denying myself happiness to preserve an expired idea.”
That hit me deep. If we really examined the quality of our relationships, we would realize how many times we’ve chosen to settle.
We remember and view relationships the way we want to, but it sometimes isn’t reality. We tend to suffer unnecessarily by continuing relationships that no longer serve us.
While relationships can be super emotional, sometimes comparing it to something a little more practical can help us view it different.
For a second lets look at picking and choosing a partner as the same thing as shopping for a new apartment.
If you’ve ever searched for an apartment in New York, you know that it is not an easy task to find the perfect space. You got your non-negotiable list handy: modern appliances, close to the trains,laundry in building or at least close by. A good sized bedroom, a dishwasher if you can swing it. We search hundreds of listings and trek all over the city, dreaming of the perfect place to rest our heads after a long day of work.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but as I get older, I get more selective. My apartment isn’t perfect, but it’s the best apartment I’ve ever had in the city. Laundry in unit, dishwasher, standing shower,large bedroom, big living room space. I’m close to Central Park, bars, restaurants, and trains. In a lot of ways, I won. I think if we were more selective about our partners in the way we operate when it comes to finding apartments we wouldn’t get caught settling. A shitty partner is very similar to a shitty apartment. In this case, it’s a ‘pre-war’ walkup with no laundry in the building. The occasional rodent problem, or bed bugs, overpriced, and lacking in amenities. We’ve all had this apartment, we’ve all experienced that partner. The key is to learn that we can have better,and deserve better. If we just take our time, learn from our mistakes, practice patience, and believe that the perfect mate and living space is out there, we will be more satisfied and happier overall.
I remember when I first moved into my apartment. The satisfying feeling that this was it; the perfect place to live. I encourage ya’ll to give yourself room to experience that feeling. The partner or potential that sparks something in you, draws you in,and nothing can change your mind. That’s it! Give yourself space to feel this type of joy in your platonic and romantic relationships, in your job, in your life. There is so much beauty in the world, so many opportunities to cultivate joy. We cheat ourselves every time by settling for anything less.