Say Goodbye To Mediocre Romantic Relationships, And Stop Feeling Bad For Having High Expectations
As someone who deeply looks into the heart of folks who I desire to be romantically linked to, the top of my list of relationship standards is goodness and kindness. It is from this place that all of my relationships bloom, or don’t bloom. If I fundamentally don’t think his soul is pure, no matter what assets he has, what’s on his resume, and how physically attractive he is, if “being nice” isn’t the starting point, there will be no connection sparking between me and him.
While I hold staunchly to this standard, I’ve noticed that a lot of other criteria I have for partnership suddenly flies out the window when “I know he’s a good man.” To be frank, I have very specific lifestyle, professional, and career needs in a potential partner, but I always suppressed those desires out of fears of being “too superficial” when it comes to significant other selection. “Money will come, character doesn’t,” I would tell myself.
Until I realized, the sacrifices I was making to fill the gaps to make up for the professional, financial and educational disparities between me and some of my exes became too much of a burden to bear. His disappointment in himself started to wear down the integrity of our relationship. Frankly, when a man isn’t stable in himself and his ability to provide/manifest his dreams, it can lead to a lot of relationship dysfunction. After seeing this time and time again I finally realized the root of this relationship pattern in my life— I was settling.
It took a lot for me to admit this to myself, because I’ve always dated outwardly “good men,” but I’ve learned to drill down and get more specific about the life I want to lead, and actually find someone whose current state of existence is on the path to that or is already there.
“Too many people wind up settling for less than they deserve when it comes to these baseline needs,” Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples therapist in Los Angeles told Elite Daily.
“So, I have and continue to encourage singles and couples to settle for much more than what they typically do.”
Continuing, “Assuming that this is the only life that you get to have, do you really want to be at the end of your life only to come to the painful realization that you settled for less — potentially much less — than what you really wanted in your heart of hearts?”
Now mine may have been lifestyle settling, but for some people it could be settling for a partner whose sex drive is abnormally lower than theirs, or settling for a partner who is mean to them on a daily basis, or settling for a partner who has insane jealously and insecurity issues. Now, some things can be worked through, but if you’re spending more of your time complaining about your partner’s behavior than celebrating it, there is probably some fundamental incompatibility issues between you and them.
Figuring out what’s best for you requires some alone, self-work. Dr. Brown says we all have baseline needs, which include kindness, trust, gratitude, freedom to be vulnerable, and dedication.
“These are your non-negotiables — your bottom-line minimums,” Brown says.
“For instance, love, marriage, where you want to live, being with someone that you are proud to walk through life with, etc.”
It can be scary laying this all out, and frankly, it can eliminate a lot of potential suitors, but you have to go though the hard process to get what you deserve.
“Be courageous,” Dr. Brown advises. “Be self-aware and honest with yourself about what you really want and don’t want in a relationship. And then make a firm lifelong intention to settle for more — because you deserve more of what makes you happy, fulfilled, and grateful.”
And last but not least, don’t question yourself. Women have been conditioned into accepting the least of a man, just to have one. We are slowly moving away from this and demanding more.
“You may wonder, ‘Is it OK to feel this way? Am I being too critical?’ You may even make excuses for your partner,” board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Susan Edelman told Elite Daily.
“But if you feel that something is lacking, it’s better to be aware of those feelings rather than talk yourself out of them. Not communicating with them makes it hard for your partner to know there is a problem, and thus for you to figure out if they are willing to address what isn’t working for you in the relationship.”