Thought Catalog
May 12, 2017

When They Tell Me Not To Settle

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What is the issue?
Meiying Ng

“Don’t settle”, they say. Don’t settle for someone who you know is not good enough for you, is what they mean. Your friends and family don’t want to see you in a relationship with someone who doesn’t meet your, or their, expectations.

But what happens when your significant other rises above all expectations, and it still feels like you’re somehow settling? How do you explain that you’re choosing to let go of a perfectly good partner in search for something greater?

We were never perfect, but you did most things right. You were smart and charming. You supported my goals, and reminded me daily that you loved me. You told me I was beautiful, especially on days that I felt my worst. And when all of this wasn’t enough anymore, you asked me if I felt like I was settling. And the honest answer was ‘no’.

I didn’t feel like I was settling because I didn’t consider myself better than you in any way. People use the word ‘settling’ to describe someone beneath them; someone with a lack of ambition or career, at best, or someone who cheats or abuses, at worst. You were neither of those things, yet something inside me told me to walk away.

Something inside me told me that I was settling, but it had nothing to do with you as a person. It had everything to do with my feelings and my ability to love so much stronger. And once I realized this, I knew we were both settling.

You deserve a great love story, and so do I. I chose not to settle for something that I wasn’t completely sure of. I’m not confident that I’ll ever find whatever it is I’m looking for, and that’s ok.

But I’d rather spend time on my own, focusing on other important things in life, than with someone who I couldn’t give my whole heart to.

Some people are perfectly happy making the choice to be with the person who is perfect on paper, even if their heart isn’t all in it. I respect that decision; we all come from different walks of life. But to those who, like me, want all or nothing, I advise that you choose nothing.

You never know what’s around the corner, but there’s only one way to find out.TC mark

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