I have settled a lot in my (short) dating career. I have said yes to that second (and third, and fourth…) date even when I didn't want to. I mean, hey, why not? There's free food, and maybe he'll grow on me.
But here's the thing. That guy never grows on me. Best-case scenario is that we develop feelings of mutual comfort.
Worst-case scenario is that he increasingly repels me until I am left with no choice but to ghost him early in the game.
And what never happens? He never makes me genuinely laugh out loud. He never makes me anxiously check my phone every five minutes for a text that will launch me into summersaults across the living room. He never gives me butterflies.
But I've been noticing a difference in myself lately. I no longer want to even casually flirt with a boy unless he makes me as stupidly excited as the sight of my first crush did when I was 12 years old.
When this change first started happening, I was convinced something was wrong with me. "Am I over dating?" I thought. But that's not it at all. I'm not over dating; I'm over settling.
I am perfectly capable of paying for my own meals, and I know how to be happy on my own.
The only boy I am going to be making time for from here on out is the one who gives me butterflies. And here's why.
Because they don't last.
Butterflies don't last forever, but that's no reason to forget about them completely.
In fact, you're going to need to remember those butterflies when you're 15 years down the line with your partner and arguing about bills and carpools.
Butterflies remind you of why you guys got together in the first place. They're your reason for hanging on to what you have.
Because the right person is the only one who deserves commitment.
There are plenty of hot people out there to f*ck around with. That's all well and good when you're just having fun.
But when it comes to actually committing to one person, you better make damn sure that that person is the right person for you. And how can you tell? You'll feel it.
Because too many things in life are already mediocre.
Between trips to the laundromat and your quest to make the time pass during your nine-to-five, life is filled with the mundane.
Do yourself a favor: Make sure your love life is not subpar. Life is filled with plenty of boring things that don't make you feel. Your relationship should not be one of them.
Because they humble you.
The person who gives you butterflies has a hold over you that is total and complete.
This person makes you vulnerable. And when you're vulnerable, you become humble. You know you don't hold all the power.
Because you shouldn't have to wonder.
When you're choosing between someone who makes you want to do cartwheels whenever you speak his name and ... well, the other guy, there's no doubt as to which person you should pick.
You deserve to be confident in your romantic decisions. You deserve to live blissfully in the knowledge that there's nobody better out there for you.
Because they remind you you're living.
Butterflies make you feel alive. The highs are so high and the lows so low, but one thing is certain: You are LIVING.
Butterflies remind you that you're a living, breathing human who can really feel things. It's like you've been running on autopilot when suddenly you meet someone who puts you back in the driver's seat.
Because they're an extension of your gut.
"Butterflies” is a cute term for “feeling good.” Trusting your butterflies is like trusting your gut. More often than not, your gut knows something is right before your brain does.
There's no room for intellectualizing when you trust your butterflies. You feel that it's right, and that's enough.
Because you deserve to be deliriously happy.
Not content. Not comfortable. Not even just plain old happy. You deserve to be DELIRIOUSLY happy.
You deserve to with the person who makes you smile awkwardly when you text. You deserve to be with the one who makes you laugh until your stomach hurts -- even when his jokes aren't that funny.
The one who makes you feel fire even when he's just holding your hand. You deserve to be so happy that you almost feel high.
Because you are not obligated to be with anybody.
You do not owe anybody a second date. (Or even a first, for that matter.)
If you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it. And if you're not “feeling” anyone, that's okay, too. Focus on yourself for a while. There's no shame in that.
Don't be your mom's sad, settling friend. Strive for more. You deserve it.
Because your life should be electric.
Think of your love life as a blank canvas. Do you want it to be matte grey or in technicolor?