How You Can Stop Yourself From Settling After Years Of Being Single

by Ellee Shirk
Jelena Jojic

For the better part of my adult dating life, I've always wanted what I don't have.

I've always wanted the exact opposite of the "too good to be true" thing staring me in the face and asking me to simply open my eyes.

Either I derive some twisted pleasure from constantly psyching myself out, or timing has failed me more times than I can count.

I first chalked it up to being a complete sucker for the chase. And maybe it's not so much what I don't have, but what I can't have.

But, I still want the person who makes me work for it, makes me question my feelings and makes me want him more. I do complicated, and I do it well.

When tied down by the constraints of a serious relationship, I'm a complete commitment-phobe. I'm always wondering how it feels and what it means to have found “the one.”

Well, newsflash: "The one" does not exist. Compatible people weave in and out of each other's lives all the time. Like everything else in life, relationship status is based on timing.

But even still, I choose to walk away. I'm sometimes heartbroken and always intrigued by the unknown.

That doesn't mean, however, that the rotating first dates, multiple text pals and dating games aren't exhausting.

And so like most Millennial women, I found myself settling for the in-between. I settled for the boy who is more than a friend, but less than a boyfriend.

I convinced myself I was lucky enough to have my cake and eat it, too.

But after years of nibbling on the same old piece, it's left a bad taste in my mouth. I realized it's time to put down the fork, wipe clean the plate and reject the chance for seconds.

The offer is not as sweet as you think it is.

That's because you're never forced to evaluate what you really want.

Just like your relationship status, your wants and needs are left in limbo. And if you happen to catch feelings, his often become more important to you than your own.

While communication is key, yours is lost or forgotten.

Dating someone part-time is like volunteering to keep a secret. You have no idea what's being asked of you, and there's always a chance you'll slip up.

With your guard up, you're bound to fall down.

By not allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you'll never experience the beauty of revealing your true self to others.

Your time is too valuable to waste.

Either you're in, or you're out. Figure out the good, the bad and the ugly, and do it quickly because he's not always worth the wait.

Keeping it casual doesn't always have to mean keeping it cool.

Someone is bound to get hurt, and it's most likely you.

Social norms state that no label means no responsibility, no expectations and no explanation necessary.

For those who buy into this slogan, you need to understand emotions are messy, and so are endings.