Once upon a time divorce was taboo, yet somehow we've entered a time where it is incredibly common. Now, a marriage lasting 72 days, such as Kim Kardashian's, or a marriage riddled with infidelity is OK? Maybe that's why the traditional vows of "till death do we part" have been commonly replaced by brides and grooms writing their own vows. (I wonder if people include in their vows, "If this gets too tough I'm leaving.")
While I understand divorces may be more complicated than that, and most people don't enter a marriage planning to divorce some day, it does make me wonder when do we know we are ready for marriage, and are people settling?
If you are not married or making plans to be married by the age of 30, it is not uncommon for someone to wonder why you are still single or utter the words "maybe your standards are too high" (possibly from someone on their third marriage). I'm of the belief that no one should ever settle, especially when it comes to marriage. When has settling for anything made someone insanely happy? I believe people should be fair in evaluating what it is what they want, while setting realistic and satisfying standards that will last a lifetime. Here's why you should never settle:
1. If you don't like something about someone now, you probably won't like it in 10 years. Often what irritates us initially is magnified with time. People are not like sweaters that you can grow into, nor is it ever fair to expect someone to change. What you see is what you get, so you had better love who you are with -- flaws and all -- or throw that fish back in the sea and keep fishing.
2. Spend time getting to know yourself. Sometimes the real problem is that people don't even know themselves and what it is they want. Time being single is quality time you should spend understanding yourself. Yes, dare to explore the abyss of you! Being authentic now may allow you to avoid a mid-life crisis later. Sometimes, people are so scared to spend time with themselves that they end up going from one relationship to the next. If you are that person, your relationship addiction may leave you susceptible to settling.
3. You're so worth it! Sadly, many people look for other people to validate their self-worth. However, when they fail to attract what it is they desire, they may begin to settle for someone they are not really into if they are willing to give them the affection they crave. The truth is that we must each see ourselves as the incredible person we are and the kind of relationship we deserve in order to have that gem enter our lives. Think about it: if you are settling, what are you really saying about yourself? That you can't do better? You must recognize and believe in your worth as a person in order to attract anyone else who will feel the same way about you. If you believe you are a gem, you'll attract a gem.
4. Settling is a sign of fear. Settling screams that you are afraid of being alone. One is not the loneliest number; but one plus someone you're not really into is! This world is big and there is someone out there for everyone, if we so desire. More importantly, the time you waste with Mr. or Miss. Wrong may be the time that you miss from being with Mr. or Miss. Right. The thing you should fear is settling!
5. Lust isn't love. People may know what it is they are looking for in a person, with non-superficial factors being quintessential. Then they meet someone who looks like Brad Pitt or Beyonce with similar bank accounts and all of a sudden being humorous, intelligent, and generous has gone out the window. Sadly, that is lust and it fades. If you don't have anything in common, conversations are a strain and the only thing you share is a physical attraction, enroll yourself in a 12-step program ASAP and step away.
6. A divorce increases your likelihood of a subsequent marriage ending in divorce. While divorce is no longer taboo and you may see it as your get out of jail free card if things don't work out, it also leaves you more susceptible to another, and another, and another divorce. Yes, those who divorce are more likely to have subsequent marriages end in a divorce. It's a fact, so wouldn't you rather get it right the first time?
7. Good things come to those who wait. If you have an accurate assessment of yourself, believe you are worth it and trust that Mr. or Miss. Right is out there for you, they will come. The best thing about waiting is it makes you appreciate 'The One' even more when they come along. However, one caution -- waiting doesn't mean you do nothing. You have to put yourself out there -- go out, meet people, try new things, try online dating or join a cooking class -- just get out there and date! 'The One' isn't likely to just show up on your doorstep while you wait at home watching Dancing with the Stars.
In the end, love is really what everyone is looking for and what everyone needs. There are A LOT of people out there and everyone wants to feel special! So, don't settle! You are worth it!
You're Non-Relationship Expert,