One of my biggest fears in dating used to be settling. Every man and woman at some point in their singlehood has settled. It probably sucked which is why so many of us fear that it will happen to us again. For those who are fuzzy on the definition, settling is basically dating someone who you intrinsically feel is less than you originally desired. It’s not necessarily about looks, status or personal circumstance at all. What I consider the true test of whether you’ve settled is simply feeling like you could do better. If you are looking for the right person you should realize that it’s all about how you feel. You’re feelings are the indicator that you might not be getting what you want. Once you find out what you want and only date those who can provide it, settling is no longer an option.
You might be one of those singles who feel they know exactly what they want because its on their “list”. If you have a list take a moment to go over what’s on it. The usual suspects of honest, non-smoker, funny, college educated, etc. Those are all great qualities but my philosophy on being single is that you have the perfect opportunity to be selfish. Sure, its great to look for characteristics in someone else but there is no better time than when you’re single to focus on you. Every single should create a new list. ‘How do I want to feel?’ should be the title and on it should be every emotion that you can possibly attribute to the person you want to date.
On my own list one word is on the top all by it’s little self; adored. Maybe it’s because I’m the youngest in my family or my father’s favorite but I love feeling like the man I’m dating adores me. The wonderful advantage of listing how you want to feel is that no one can talk you out of wanting to feel that way. There is no argument to convince you that what you feel is wrong or that that feeling isn’t important. When you use a traditional list as a barometer there is always the debate of does he need to be tall or does she need to have a college degree? But when you list how you want to feel no one can question well do you need to feel secure, supported or valued? Yes, Yes, Yes!
In case you’ve never viewed dating from this perspective before, here are a few ideas of how you should want to feel when you’re with a potential date. Be as creative as you want and there is no limit to how long the list can be. Simply think: When I’m with (pick a name) I want to feel……
Like a priority
Like a person not an object
Like a person not a dollar sign
You might be settling if you let dates treat you like an option and not a priority. When you are with this person they are only giving you half of their attention. You may even be settling in a courtship if you allow a man or woman to tease you or feed your insecurity. I once had a man mention that I needed to work out my back, I noted as an Aaliyah (R.I.P) video was on that television that her back wasn’t muscular and his response, “Well, she’s skinny.”
*side eye* *blank stare*.
When we place more value on what adult men and women are supposed to have a career, a fashion sense, strong family ties instead of how they actually treat us, we are selling ourselves way short. I believe there is a way to get everything that you are looking for, all the items on both list. My only suggestion is to focus on the inside and then the outside. Commit to what’s on your list and pass up anyone who doesn’t fit the criteria. You can be flexible on things like height or weight but not on respect.
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