Thought Catalog

I Know It Is Tempting To Settle, But Please Don’t

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Ryan Pouncy

Let’s flashback to the beginning of 2017. It was a brand new year and I had just turned 25. Reaching a quarter century could have easily been a celebration, but I was rather somber, with not much excitement for the future.

Once again, I was sitting at the dinner table with my family in a beautiful venue with amazing food and company. I was supposed to be grateful, I know. But my heart was hungry for love, no matter how hard I tried to fill it up with inward pursuits and familial affection.

There was only so much I could do to be independently fulfilled and despite what self-help books preach about solo happiness, it is okay to admit that life would be much rosier with a loving partner. Twenty-five marked a quarter century and I had managed to stay single for the entirety! I am not considering the laundry list of narcissists, cowards, and the like because they made me even lonelier than I would be as the world’s most single girl. I sure as heck felt like I was worthy of that title if it was a real thing. I even went so far as to believe I was fundamentally flawed and nobody’s somebody.

I felt numb and lonely, cycling through the motions of living with minimal zest or passion. I was sick and tired of scrolling through social media and hearing about all of the seemingly awe worthy relationships around me, believing that every other girl was lucky in love with the exception of yours truly. Comparison is the thief of joy, let me tell you!

While my college friends were vacationing with their fiance’s in the dreamy, luscious Caribbean, I was still tagging along with my parents on their yearly trip to Hawaii. Totally third-wheeling it. Hawaii is amazing either way, but even my mother could see the frustration and restlessness emanating from my pores. I was at my wits end! How many more frogs would I need to kiss before I would finally find my prince?

Although many elements of my life were in order and I had blessings on blessings on blessings, I had the right to be disheartened. I was tired of being patient for love to enter the horizon. Admittedly so, I was petrified that I would always be alone. Or with somebody that wasn’t right for me. And that doesn’t count in my book. Would dinner for one be my fate?

If any of you lovely ladies have been in a comparable position, I wish I could give you all a big hug and reassure you that your time will come. I know just how tempting it is to settle for any man you come across. It is better than being alone, right? I beg to differ! Luckily, with what seemed like a stroke of magic, I met my current boyfriend a few weeks after I hit that all-time low point. And he turned the lights back on in my rather dim life.

At first, I was extremely skeptical of his motives, waiting for reality to knock me back into place. He didn’t give me any reasons to believe I was in some type of prank so I gently let him into my world.

Delightfully awestruck, might I add. He was the prince I had been desperately searching for all along, showing up when I least expected it. If it weren’t for him, I would have probably settled for a few different guys that had been circulating around me via Tinder, Facebook, and whatever else a frantic single girl would download to hunt down men.

Fortunately, I didn’t let my temptations for companionship lure me into the kingdom of settling. You see, if I had settled for any of these mismatches instead of being impatiently patient for the right guy, then I may have never met my beau. I could have been with someone who took me for granted or with a fellow who didn’t motivate me to become my best. Or I could have chosen a reasonably nice guy who I had limited spark with, which would be a waste of both of our times.

The list is endless and the thought of being with someone just for the sake of being with someone nauseates me, yet I was so incredibly close to doing just that.

Ladies, I understand the struggles associated with being single, as I essentially went on several hundreds dates with myself over the years, wondering where in the world my guy was hiding. And looking mighty strange to outsiders! I mean it takes some major self-confidence and courage to be your very own companion, especially when the easier route is to settle with any guy that rolls around. I did have my moments in which I caved in for short periods of time, only to wake up and get out of those dynamics before things got too serious. You live and you learn!

My relationship is only a few months in and is imperfectly perfect, but it is enough for me to know that what I am feeling is real. For the first time ever, I don’t have doubt and confusion tugging at me in every moment.

I am with someone because I want to and not for the sake of filling up a void and telling everyone I am finally off the market. Our relationship isn’t centered around my ego, with my heart being at the forefront. Who knows where I would be right now if I settled? I don’t even want to think about it quite frankly. Please, take it from me. Let’s believe in the trajectory of our lives and keep holding on until we know we have stumbled upon a complete man that will shower us with everything we deserve. With our true love by our sides, we will create so many beautiful memories.

Keep that dream tattooed in your mind and believe that you will find what it is you are looking for. As cliche as it sounds, love truly does knock on our door when we aren’t running around the place, knocking on every door that may open. Do not lose hope and throw in the towel on those lonely, dark days, succumbing to any frog along the way. I didn’t and look where I ended up. TC mark

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