“This is what I know. Don't settle for 40, 50, or even 80 percent. A relationship-it shouldn't be too small or too tight or even a little scratchy. It shouldn't take up space in your closet out of guilty conscience or convenience or a moment of desire. Do you hear me? It should be perfect for you. It should be lasting. Wait. Wait for 100 percent.”
- Deb Caletti, The Secret Life of Prince Charming
First of all, allow me to apologize for the rather monotone color scheme of clothing I have been sporting the past few days. It didn't hit me until I wore color today that I've been wearing black and white a lot in the past posts and a lot more in the next posts to come. My doctor was the one who noticed it because along with my colorful outfit, he saw that I was living life in technicolor again rather than in just black or white, which was how I saw things until I decided to bounce back and pick myself up from all this mess and decide to keep going. This is probably my most casual outfit as of yet- black tank top, ripped jeans and black pumps... you cannot go wrong with this outfit. It's one of those safety net outfits for when you want to just throw something on without having to over think. Besides, I love these ripped jeans so much, I want to wear them forever.
If there is one thing I have learned from every relationship I have had... (well the most recent actually most of all)... it would be this: Don't settle. I have come to understand how I shouldn't accept a significant other who doesn't make an effort or who regularly treats me like crap. At some point, I learned the hard way that you will know when the bad outweighs the good, when the arguing is overwhelming, the lies are mounting and you're basically headed for nowhere fast. Looking back, my mistake is that I saw those things that bothered me in the relationship but for a number of reasons that I tried to justify my partner's behavior, I decided to turn my head and look the other way... ignoring these character flaws completely just to avoid an argument or some kind of altercation. Since hindsight is always 20/20, I acknowledge that I refused to address problems and I allowed them to basically pile up until eventually a hefty amount of emotional damage accumulates and you don't just know how to deal or where to even begin the fixing. In many ways, I think I lost myself in the process and this time, I took a long look at myself and I realized that who I see and what I feel about myself is far more important than what everyone thinks. I mean think about it- if we do not value ourselves...we sure as heck can't expect other people to. It's nice when for instance people will get to see my shiny, diamond in the roughness... but this is all pointless if my self-esteem is shot and my confidence- non-existent. So I find that I am ending up covering my real inner beauty instead of putting it on full display and well, that often leads to taking whatever you can get... scraps and recycled goods or in other words: we end up settling.
If you have ever been in love then I am sure you know when you are absolutely certain about someone that you're absolutely sure you can change everything in your life for them. But that is the promise of every new love and sad to say, that promise is almost always broken.We have to be careful when making such grand promises because these can make you out to be a liar. You say one thing, then you believe it, make grand proclamations and too good to be true pronouncements and professions of our love...until something comes along that forces you to embrace your own contradictions. Then you end up not keeping your promises anyway because the going gets tough. As much as that sucks, that's all right. Everyone has the right to change their minds...after all. If you have been lucky enough to have not dated someone who treated bad or simply did not make an effort, chances are, you probably know someone who has... If you don't, well use me as an example. Seeing someone being mistreated and consistently and constantly unhappy in a relationship is so much more different from your heart and feelings actually having a direct link to all that carnage. When you are a mere observant, it is a cinch to spot a dead end and a cancerous relationship that is a hop, skip and a week from a break-up. I have heard my friends (and I too have been guilty of saying this) that "You should break-up with him and move on." When you aren't directly involved or invested the way the other person is, it is so easy to say such words. But to follow that advice especially when you are emotionally invested in something and snip that cord and cut cleanly is truly a tough and arduous task. It is easier said than done.
Allow me to make you understand the love you deserve. Love should not make you feel like a burden. Love should not be treated like hard labor or a job... and it shouldn't feel like it either. Love should not feel circumstantial. It isn't supposed to be an "I love you more than you love me" kind of situation and vice versa. It should not make us feel sad more often than happy, or have bad times outweighing the good. There should not be conditions, levels, lesser degrees of love or a criteria step or a scoring sheet when it comes to love. If there are... then I am sorry to say but perhaps you are feeling something else- maybe desire or comfort but certainly not love. Effort that comes with love should not be one-sided; all of the little things and the grand gestures cannot come from only one person; and if you are hurting, the person you are with should as well. Love should not revolve around waiting to hear from your significant other about how/what they are doing, where they are, when they will be back and all those tiny details that constrict your loved one... even if you infinitely care about them. Personally, I find that that to be the worst. Certainly it should not involve sitting by the phone, checking if you have signal and waiting for something...or anything from them. The phone might ring then you set yourself up for disappointment when it turns out to be a message from somebody else. You have to basically just be content that they are out there and you have to be completely unfazed by their absence and then you carry on with your life.Love should not feel like uncertainty and it certainly should not feel like a battle. At the same time, it should not feel like a tug of war or a chess match between two people trying to prove they love the other more. Evaluate your circumstances and perhaps you have mistaken your physical attraction, infatuation or crush at a time when you are vulnerable for love. These feelings are flimsy and fragile and won't last. The very first sign of difficulty will cause these relationships to fold and demolish whatever attraction you have for that person. LOVE IS KEEPING THE PROMISES ANYWAY. Finally love should not feel hopeless... because it never is. You don't just give up on the people you love- you may suffer the occasional setback but you can never be knocked out. Love should seem to make all things possible, even if things are not necessarily going peachy in the current moment. In love, most of the time, you and your significant other will prevail and if you don't...then you won't... but at least you tried. But still love shouldn't feel like you both won't.
Maintaining a relationship with another person is difficult. But parting ways, even with a lousy partner is less tasking for a number of reasons... the most probable one being that you've become so accustomed to the routine of having someone for the sake of having someone even if you are no longer being treated well. I've heard this many times from friends- that they end up staying in a relationship that no longer works because maybe they would rather have someone... anyone...than be alone. If faced with this dilemma, choose to be alone, seriously. Maybe you don't want to risk them finding someone else immediately and getting over you so quickly and true, that is a blow to one's ego... but worst things can happen. Or maybe, like me, just maybe you actually delude yourself and establish a mindset wherein you believe that this is the person you deserve... this person and their lackluster effort, their belittling insults, their disloyal habits- you convince yourself that that is what you have to endure... you don't. You deserve more. But over time, perhaps you've lost your self-esteem and belief in yourself and the patience for a decent person to come around and want you, so you end up lowering your standards to the point you end up finding a false sense of comfort that you end up staying in a very toxic relationship. The harsh reality is this: when something is detrimental and unhealthy (and toxic even from the start), it is destined for failure. Whether you end it on your own terms, wait to get dumped or wait for the inevitable colossal incident to leave you without a chance or a choice, that's when you know you should not have wasted time and energy on something doomed to fail. And so, if you are going to end up single regardless, why not save yourself weeks, months or years (even) of stress, tears, anger, frustration and disillusionment? REFUSE TO ACCEPT ANYTHING LESS THAN HAPPINESS AND IN KNOWING THAT YOU ARE GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE.
This requires patience- it is after all a virtue. If like me, you are single and untangled yourself from a relationship comparable to cancer, wait. If you are involved with someone who makes you feel like garbage... it's completely different scenario and something has got to give. Maybe from a distance, it looks good. Perhaps the idea of it seems nice in a vague point of view. You have choices here, don't deny yourself of that.
As for me, I have decided I have to take time for my emotions to recover... truth is, they haven't fully recovered yet even though I entered a relationship that was in all definitions ridiculous, looking back. While I am sorting my feelings out, I want life. I want to get over the endings and start again. I have always loved new beginnings. I want experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. I will confess I was scared at the beginning. But then again, I will also always be scared of the ending.
The truth is: I am more scared of going through life afraid to keep trying.
Tank Top: Topshop | Ripped Denim Jeans: High Five Brands | Bag: Prada | Pumps: So! Fab | Necklace: Ever New | Rings: Forever21