The first two men I dated after I got divorced had the same thing in common: they were not my ex-husband. They were also the best I could do. So I thought. Turns out I was wrong. Very wrong.
My ex-husband isn’t a bad person. He’s just not my person. I knew once our marriage was over I had an opportunity to finally find my person.
Well, I blew that.
I had a rough idea of what I wanted beyond “not my ex-husband.” In reality, I was grabbing at straws. I would meet men and put way too much value on the part of the dating where they try and dazzle you. I was easily dazzled.
I hung in there with a series of wrong men because of a seemingly real fear that I was not going to be able to do better. It was a self-esteem issue. I know that now.
If you don’t know your worth, you can’t match your worth to your companion.
I met a lot of men who were impressive in one way or another. They had an amazing job. They were talented. The problem with looking at all the traits that make someone sound good is that, frequently, the idea of the person is better than the actual person. You can have all the talent in the world and it still won’t make you a decent person.
If you’re currently in a relationship and you’re staying because you think you can’t do better, I’m here to tell you that you can. The issue isn’t being able to do better, it’s being able to realize it.
If you have obstacles in the way keeping you from this realization, you’re going to be stuck in the land of “this person is good enough” until you remove the obstacles and the person.
In order to find the person you deserve, you have to have a very serious conversation with yourself about what you deserve. You must set a standard.
I’m not an advocate of having a long list of characteristics, traits, and accomplishments that someone has to have in order for them to be the perfect partner. Hell, I don’t think that the perfect partner exists.
When you focus on the person, rather than the idea of them, something magical happens. You see the person. This isn’t always good for them but it’s always good for you.
Staying with the wrong person is often easy to do. This is because of two things: either we don’t want to put forth the effort to go back to the dating pool or we would rather be with the wrong person than alone.
Going out and finding someone better is hard work. I get it. I’d rather stick bamboo under my fingernails slowly than to go back into the dating pool. It’s no reason to waste my precious time with the wrong person.
Staying with someone to stave off being alone is a crime against yourself. You have to accept and embrace the idea that the person out there that is better for you than this ill-fitting partner you currently have is…you.
Making this decision requires you to be alone. If you value yourself, alone isn’t bad. It’s empowering. You give that power to yourself. How cool is that?
If your gut is telling you that there is more that you deserve, more that you want. Don’t ignore that. If you feel like something is missing, it is. You don’t have to know what that missing thing is. Acknowledging its absence is enough. Not acknowledging it is called settling. Settling makes you miserable.
Sometimes, good enough just isn’t. You’ll know if you have found someone because you don’t question it. You will find no need or desire to compare them to anyone else. They are enough. Enjoy it. Be enough together or be enough alone. The great thing is that the choice is yours.