I haven’t written about love lately for the simple reason that I’ve been very uninspired by the men I’ve been dating (silently praying that they aren’t reading this…xo sorry!)
What I mean by that is, I’m purposely dating quality guys which frankly I haven’t always done, but there is no spark.
They would be great boyfriends, but they fall into the good decision category with bran muffins, salad and brushing your teeth before bed. It’s good for you, but you’re never really excited about it.
I enjoy my time with them, but when they ask me out a second time there’s a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach even though they’ve been perfect gentlemen. So I’m torn between breaking things off and sucking it up…I get nauseated either way.
I had a realization shortly after my 20th birthday. I dated this guy at my work and everything was great, wouldn’t say we had a spark, but I was always laughing when we were together.
(ladies, laughter does not equal love…just want to drive that point home). Exhibit A…
Funny… but not my idea of Mr. Right
I was talking to a coworker about it and she asked what I hoped to get out of the relationship. It was then that I realized, we had no future. Sure, emotions made me hold on as long as possible because he seemed to be a stand up guy and someone I wanted to keep seeing, but there was a nagging that I didn’t truly want to be his girlfriend.
When it ended, it was a wake up call. Here I am at a top-notch university where the dating pool is everyone and I’m wasting my time chasing mediocrity.
My love life in a nut shell was a sad cycle of finding someone visually attractive with a decent personality and bending over backward to make them happy while I was simply complacent. Sure, I had arm candy at parties and someone to eat dinner with, but I was not surprised when it ended two or three months down the line. In most cases, I was kind of relieved I was single again.
Now I know people say, don’t take relationship advice from single people…
Well, my wisdom is from experience and Hallmark movies, so I know my shiz.
But on a more serious note, being single has allowed me to realize my own worth because I’ve spent so much time with myself and watching other relationships happen through friends and family.
Think of your own relationship if you are in one, or drum up something from your past. Are you settling for someone who doesn’t treat you the way you deserve?
How have these people talked to you? Have you ever been so afraid of being alone that you allowed someone to say things to you that you never would have tolerated from a friend? Saying these things back in your head, if they’d been directed to your best friend from their significant other, what would you tell them?
And, more importantly, what have you said? Nobody is perfect so we will have no pretending here. I’ve cursed my fair share of ex’s with stubbed toes and dysfunctional pasta.
There’s so much more to attraction than the visual element.
One thing that makes me cringe because I’ve been guilty of it is when I hear people say, “How did she get him? They are such a mismatched pair. He’s too attractive for her.” and vice versa because there is a whole other dimension to a successful match.
Granted we all have our trends. In a room full of eligible guys, I’m guilty of singling out the tall blond blue-eyed boys. The huskier, darker, shorter and manly men are glanced over (just watch, my husband is going to be a 5’5 brunet).
But once you get past that initial attraction, what do you have in common? I’m asking you too look at these people’s energy, zest for life, and the way they act.
There’s a saying that a person who is nice to you but a jerk to the waiter is not a nice person.
Looks fade, personality doesn’t.
Alright, so they aren’t guilty of disrespect, but are you inspired by this person? Do they have passions, a drive for something aside from marriage and a happily ever after bubble?
To be more concise, selling yourself short isn’t just not having the most visually attractive mate or settling for bad behavior. It isn’t dating outside of your tax bracket either, but rather settling for someone who’s goals don’t match your own in their richness and they’re complacent with their lot in life. You have one life, don’t waste a single day.
I understand that responsible people have long shifts at work or school and all they want to do is come home and relax. That is so completely understandable.
But home should make you excited because you can have downtime with your significant other and not because you want to make a beeline your bed.
You need to be with someone who selflessly wants you to grow and evolve along with them. In our tender twenties, we are different people every month. We know absolutely nothing and everything at the same time. Six months ago, I can honestly say I was a different person, and six months from now, I’ll be different too.
Our experiences shape us and before 25 years old, we have to admit that our experiences are soooo limited when you look at the breadth what the world offers. Even being 25 doesn’t mean you have your crud together.
So, find someone who is willing to understand, forgive and nurture you through good decisions and bad, and you should want to do the same thing in return.
*Yes…I inserted a lame Vampire Diaries gif, bite me. But hot damn, Zach Roerig is delicious isn’t he? You’re welcome ladies.
But back to my point. Don’t let your fear take over your love life. By now, I’m sure you’ve assessed your dating style and you know if you’ve been settling. I know people who are in relationships for the sole reason that they don’t want to be alone. They are afraid if they let this person go, they’ll revert to bad behavior or they won’t find anything better.
Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t hope that later it will get better because people don’t radically change. In a relationship, you just get more comfortable and the little issues you had at the beginning will only get worse.
Yes, people oft morph into a more refineded version of themselves, but an apple seed will only grow into an apple tree no matter if you clip the the branches into a pine tree shape.
And you never ever let someone clip your branches.
You are a damn majestic tree!
So why do people sell themselves short anyway?
Let’s break this down into a marketing senario. Stay with me, I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but I’ll be concise.
I know it’s gotten long but hear me out.
When a vendor is afraid that a product will stay on the shelf too long or it won’t sell, he marks down the value. It attracts people who were previously not interested because it was too much work to attain something so full of worth.
And when you don’t spend much money on something, you don’t treat it the same way you would something expensive.
Or, perhaps you over value what you have because you’ve invested so much for it.
Studies show that between two groups of people who bought the same crummy product for either $10 or $100 have differing opinions of its worth. The problems they had were exactly the same, but the group that spent $10 were honest that it was incredibly cheap. However, the group that made the bad investment and spent $100 tried justifying their purchase by focusing on the few good aspects and ignoring their problems.
So the main take away here is RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT AN INVESTMENT.
You need to value the product that is you, not what you’ve put into a relationship!
Nobody has the power to to stick up for you like you can.
You’ve been checking off all of these issues in your relationship but are thinking, I’ve already been with this person for years, I already bought a ring, Save the dates are out, We have a dog together, yack yack yack mack flack.
A child is the only exception to this because another human life is involved.
The only thing you’ll be sacrificing if you break things off is your pride or some money. But your youth, your time, and your potential is priceless.
There is no return policy on your life!
There is a woman from my home town that has been married to her husband for over 25 years. She says that before her wedding, her dad took her aside and said, why are you marrying this man? Do you need him? I’ll buy you anything, and support you for as long as you say so that you will never need a man. And she told her father. I don’t need him, I want him. I want to spend the rest of my life with him because everything is worth more when we share in it together. But if he left me, don’t worry, I don’t need him, but I want him. I love him.
So know your worth.
Know there’s a difference between someone who is into you and someone who wants to be in you.
Know that it is easy to get into a relationship with the wrong person, and know that it is never too late to say, “hmmm better not”
Know that you deserve to be heard and respected. Actions speak louder than words, so don’t be blinded by I love you.
Know that a cute smile doesn’t make for happily ever after and is not a free pass to make you a door mat.
Know that when you truly love someone, there are no checks and balances in the relationship. You’ll find yourself doing things for the other person because you care about them as much as yourself.
Know that being needed will leave you exhausted and resentful. If someone who is fine standing alone but wants you in their life because everything is better when shared with you, the love will never be exhausted.
And in closing, I’ll ask you a question inspired by matchmaker Patti Stranger.
If you were trapped in an elevator with one person, who would you want to be in there with you?
Hope your Simple && Sweet answer is the person you’re dating.
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