I could write a blog about not settling in every area of our lives. Especially as we enter a new year and consider things that we want to change in 2017. But I want to encourage the single sistas not to settle in dating. Making a decision to join your life with someone is a huge one and shouldn’t be taken lightly or without much prayer and assurance. So, I’ll say it now and repeat it a few more times: ladies don’t settle!
Remember in my last blog when I spoke about a fear of being alone? Making decisions from a lack state of mind is a surefire way to speed onto the entrance ramp to Settle Highway. It means you’re grasping for whatever you can get just so you can say you have something. Before you know it, you’re moving full speed ahead into a direction that you shouldn’t be. How can you tell? You begin by making excuses for the person you’re with. We’ve all done it. We see a GLARING RED FLAG but we excuse it away as something we’re willing to compromise. He has a horrible relationship with his mother, sisters and every other woman in his life but you say things like “but they just don’t understand him”. He doesn’t have the same faith beliefs or traditions as you but you say “but he prays”. He has 5 kids and 6 baby mamas (you’ll catch it later) and you say “they’re all crazy and try to keep him from his kids”. He doesn’t make time for you, cancels dates and rarely answers his phone when you call but you say “he works so much”. Chile. Listen. Stop.
It is ok to examine a potential mate with a fine toothed comb. After all, you are allowing this person into your most sacred, intimate space and sharing energy and time with them that you can never get back. You are priceless, but you should come at a price. We think we’re doing too much, being too high maintenance or expecting too much of a person when we ask questions or have doubts. So we brush over HUGE character flaws because hey, he likes me, I like him, he has a job, he smells good, he smiles just right… But none of these things make him out to be a good man. Character is what makes a man great.
Being alone is painstakingly hard. I get it (much better than most). But you know what’s worse than being alone? Waking up one day in a relationship with someone and still feeling lonely. Or suddenly coming to your senses and saying “I deserve so much more” after you’ve spent years with someone trying to force it to work. Or becoming baby mama number 7 and realizing the other 6 weren’t as crazy as you thought. You see where I’m going with this?
Sis, don’t settle. You are too precious and worth too much. If you’re having doubts, difficulties and something just ain’t sitting right with you, take a step back. You can set the pace for how things progress. Pray. Always. Unceasingly! And when you get answers, even if they aren’t the answers you’d hope for, heed the warnings.
In case you need them spelled out in black and white, here are some telltale signs that you are settling in your relationship:
- The relationship brings you down. Your significant other doesn’t inspire you to do or be your best.
- He is overly critical or too focused on his needs to be supportive and loving towards you.
- You feel you have to change yourself -– your values, goals, or dreams — for your partner to accept you.
- You are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship. (This should be a no-brainer, but please flee the scene if this is you)
- You are consistently putting your partner’s needs before your own without reciprocity or compromise from him. Since he doesn’t compromise, you morph into someone else to accommodate his expectations, needs, or desires.
- You’ve been cheated on repeatedly and keep giving him more chances in spite of the fact that he has proven to be untrustworthy.
- You find inconsistencies in the things he tells you or he seems like he’s hiding something.
- He won’t fully commit to you and always has an excuse or a way out when the conversation is brought up.
- You find yourself making sacrifices or exceptions that make you resentful of him.
If any of these or other issues are consistent in your relationship, address them head on. If they aren’t resolved, don’t be afraid to cut it short. You gain strength from listening to your voice, the voice of God and from living life on your own terms. And if your girlfriends are calling things out to you, don’t immediately dismiss them and say “they’re hating” or “they’re just mad they’re still single”. Sometimes others see what we refuse to see. Learn to discern. Whatever you do, don’t settle!!