You want a relationship. You’ve dated, but not found “the one”. You start to doubt if there’s anyone out there who can fulfill your dreams of a great relationship. Your tired of on-line dating and perpetually looking. And then it happens. You meet someone who is attractive but maybe not your ideal. You have some things in common and they seem nice. When you spend time together it feels alright and at times good. But there’s still something missing. Maybe you notice some incompatibilities or flaws, but you choose to overlook them or make excuses. Whatever the case, you don’t feel 100%. You tell yourself you can’t have it all. You are tired of going through life alone. You want a partner.
It’s at this point, you begin to think, “Maybe”good enough” is okay?” or “It’ll get better, they will change.”
Even though you feel safe, or maybe content, you’re not truly happy. You’re glad to have someone in your life, but your relationship lacks a certain connection or spark that brings deeper fulfillment and excitement. Again, you wonder, “Sure I want it all, but is it even possible to have it all?” or, “Maybe I’m unrealistic and I should settle for good enough?.” But is “good enough” actually good for you?
Many people decide to compromise their true hopes and desires in order to be in a relationship. They lose faith that it’s possible to find a great partner. Or perhaps they fear being alone. Some people compromise their standards in order to satisfy other immediate needs or desires such as having children or needing a caretaker, or wanting the lifestyle the partner offers. Overlooking core needs for any reason may work for a time, but usually, once that immediate need is met, other needs that were suppressed begin to surface and create a feeling of longing for more.
To further complicate matters, well-meaning family and friends can have an impact on our decision-making. Unfortunately, those closest to us can encourage or discourage a relationship based upon their own needs or criteria without having a clear understanding what is actually best for both people involved. Other pressures such as age, finances, child rearing, even health, can influence people to commit to someone who may not be right for them over time.
So what happens if you settle for “good enough”? Well, you may be content for a period of time as long as some of your needs and desires are met. But eventually you will not be fulfilled. It’s a little like longing to build the home of your dreams, but settling for an apartment. Both offer the basics of shelter, but one helps you rise to a greater challenge and become more than you are today. More than just meeting most of your needs. Finding the love of your life goes far beyond expectations, it helps you become more than you anticipated and brings more happiness and greater fulfillment to every aspect of your life.
Unfortunately, some people compromise for a lifetime and remain in a less-than-fulfilling relationship. But by the time they recognize they are missing something or long to be truly happy, they feel powerless to make a change. They have ignored their true beliefs and desires for so long they feel stuck. They allow their own guilt and the expectations of others to keep them from following their heart and dreams. The saddest part of this scenario is that you can’t regain time you spent compromising. And both people in this type of relationship suffer. Both parties could be far happier and more fulfilled in a healthier, more fulfilling relationship.
Sometimes we are not aware of why we make our choices. Every relationship is a learning ground. Our experience teaches us what actually brings us happiness and fulfillment. Life is short and we do our best to find happiness. Yet, what makes us happy at one point in time may not in the future. We grow and change according to our own thoughts and needs. Rarely does anyone change for their partner, and if they do, there may be resentment and the “change” may not last. So before you compromise assuming things will become what you hope for, think again. Know you will have exactly what you settle for and be ready to truly love and appreciate that person “as is” without any agenda to change them.
When you compromise any of the foundational elements of a great relationship (friendship, passion, respect, love) you are essentially robbing yourself and your partner the joy of experiencing a full and complete relationship with a different person that can share all of these elements. This is why it is so critical to know yourself first. Know what is truly important and know what you desire. Never compromise on the important things you value–it will only lead to regret and most likely a broken relationship.
When you compromise to be in a relationship, you may just miss out on “the one” that would bring you your greatest happiness. It can be scary keeping the faith that you will find someone who fulfills your desires and needs, but when you find that person it will be more than worth the wait.
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