As I find myself wrecked and confused from the carnage of another twisted, broken relationship that should have ended long before it did, I’ve come back to the same question that I always do at the end of every failed relationship. Why do we continue to settle on people, relationships and moments that we know aren’t going to work?
Sure, we see the red flags. They could be slapping us right in the face with the gusts of tornado winds as they rip apart the relationship that we thought we were getting into, but why is it that we don’t acknowledge them with more hesitation? Why is it that we let our hesitations blow in the breeze, thinking they will get taken away with the leaves on a crisp Fall day? Why do we think that the caution tape that we’re approaching is going to suddenly break free, that all warning is gone and that we can now pass freely? Why is it we continue to jump in head first, without fear of any consequences, thinking that the dive will be worth it all? The list of reason why we ignore all the possibilities could go on and on, but maybe we ignore all of these red flags thinking that they will possibly change for us, just like we would for them. Why do we settle on the bad qualities in hopes of just having someone by our side instead of pursuing someone else that could potentially have all the good ones traits we deserve?
Sure, we could be wrong about our initial impressions. Maybe this person is just nervous or even hesitant towards getting into another relationship. Maybe this person has been broken in the past and they’re feeling protective of their heart. Maybe this person is nothing like the persona that they’re portraying at that current moment and they’re waiting until they get to know you better to show you how they really are. Or maybe this is just a glimpse of who they really are, but that might change once they spend more time with you. The list of maybes can go on and on, but maybe we’re just afraid that there is going to be no one else after this one to love us back.. Why do we fear that there is no one left for us in this world?
Sure, we don’t want to look like prudes by not giving someone a fair chance. The what-ifs will always eat at us if we don’t give them an opportunity to be wrong. What if I don’t go out with them on that second or third date, that could be when it all changes. What if I don’t answer that phone when they call, that could be the moment I learn we’re good for each other. What if I don’t see them this week and they find someone else. What if I don’t put myself out there for them more, they could walk away. What if this comes to an end and I’m alone again? What if I end this and I end up regretting it? What if I have to get back on a dating app and start this process all over again? Maybe that is it. Maybe it is just the simple fear of having to reintroduce your heart to someone new and start this aching process all over again. Why are we so afraid of having to start from the beginning again with someone new?
Here’s the main problem: A majority of the time, we don’t realize that we’re settling until it’s over. It is like sex sand, sucking you into a relationship vortex that you can’t dig your way out of. We’re not able to see all the differences that we have made or the ways that we’re changing our own personalities to fit with the one that we have chosen as a partner, but once we’re out of it and can see the light of day, it is just pure insanity to look back and see that it wasn’t a perfect fit like we thought it was.. There wasn’t this insane chemistry or romantic movie moment where we thought our story was written in the stars. We weren’t compromising on anything; We were just sacrificing our hearts on the doorstep of love in hopes that something good would come of it.
We’re so terrified of the unknown and being alone that settling becomes so easy. We’re so hesitant of having to start over yet again that we compromise on our beliefs and mold ourselves into these people that we don’t even recognize at the end. Sometimes it feels like we’re just drowning in love and don’t know who we should give it to that we accept whoever is close enough and willing to take it. While we think that we’re strong-minded individuals and that we can fend for ourselves, when we find ourselves in the middle of a wrong relationship, we don’t have the guts to admit that we held on for far too long just because it was easier than admitting defeat. Sometimes it just feels easier to give in to the quicksand and hope that someone will be there to rescue you on the other end. It breaks my heart that at the end of every failed relationship, that is the moment when clarity comes into play, where you realize that you had to learn the hard way, but maybe for you, this can be your moment of clarity.