Stop Picky-Shaming Me: Why True Love Is Worth Waiting For

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When did it become the worst thing in the world to know exactly what you want and go for it?

We live in a society in which people tell us to take control of our own destinies and never settle for anything short of the best.

In high school, our teachers encouraged us to find out what we wanted to major in and apply to the BEST colleges for that major. Then, we went to college, and our professors encouraged us to find out what we were passionate about and pursue a career in that field and that field only. And if we get a job in the field we want, we're told to be aggressive, to really apply ourselves and succeed.

Settling is something that is frowned upon in almost every realm of our lives. Except for dating.

The minute I try to incorporate this "settle for nothing but the best" attitude into my dating life, my friends and family seem to absolutely lose their sh*t.

“But Candice, he was PERFECT!”

“But Candice, how are you ever going to meet anyone if you don’t ever really give anyone a chance?!”

“Candice, your expectations are just way too high.”

Can everyone please do me a favor and SHUT THE F*CK UP?!

I’m not one of those girls who needs a boyfriend all the time or is terrified of the thought of never being married. I like being single. I like doing my own thing and solely hanging out with people who bring goodness into my life.

I’m OK on my own, and the thought of remaining that way doesn’t really phase me at all if that meant the right person never came along.

So I don't want to settle for someone who's less than the exact kind of guy I'm looking for. I want someone who's more than just perfect on paper. And I know this because I was once with a guy who was perfect on paper, and he scared the sh*t out of me.

He was nice, hot and successful. He held doors open, called after every date, made me feel pretty and loved and supported.

But he was so wrong for me.

If I could describe how I felt when I was with him in one word, it would be “fine.” Not wonderful, not horrible -- just fine. “Fine, thanks," like what I say to the bagel guy when he asks me how I am in the morning.

He never gave me butterflies. I never felt like I could fully be myself in front of him because I never felt like he would truly understand me.

And in the four months we were together, I never took the step to define us as “in a relationship,” and I think it’s because deep down inside, I knew I had no desire to be in a relationship with him.

For some reason, though, I still stayed with him. For four months, I pretended like content was good enough for me. For four months, I really imagined myself with him. I imagined the whole nine yards. And I saw myself doing it forever.

If I ever expressed any doubts about this guy, everybody insisted I was being crazy. They said I was being too picky. They said I was AFRAID OF LOVE!

But my gut knew better. That whole time I was with him, even with all of the fantasizing about the white picket fence and the almost perfectly happy life, something deep down inside of me just knew it was wrong.

But I convinced myself that part of me was just the part that made me so picky. It was just the part of me that made me afraid of love. This was LOVE! And this unsure gut feeling was just because I couldn’t handle LOVE.

Well, I’m still not sure that I know what love is... but I’m pretty certain it wasn't that.

What’s funny is I’ve been with guys who were horrible. Guys who did terrible, douchey things to me and made me feel horrible and pathetic. But none of them scarred me nearly as badly as this guy did.

This guy terrified me because of my ability to be with him, to ignore my own better judgment, my own INSTINCTS and settle; that’s what terrified me.

So I vowed to never do that again. Even if it means being alone. Even if it means ignoring my friends when they call me “picky.” Even if it means hanging up on my mom a few times after her long lectures about me finding love.

At the end of the day, the truth is I’d rather wait the rest of my life for a perfect guy who never came around than waste the rest of my life with a mediocre guy who did.