There’s one rule when it comes to dating and relationships that I believe in wholeheartedly, and that is to never settle. You deserve so much more than that. We are all worthy of great love and fireworks!
“Don’t settle” doesn’t mean following a superficial checklist you made when you were 16 where the focus on is on hair color, specific height, career, income, etc. Not settling is really about how someone makes you feel. Do you feel happy, safe, cherished, appreciated?
The fact that you are questioning your relationship says a lot in itself; deciding to move forward or to call it quits can weigh very heavily on the heart and mind. We can only be valued as much as we value ourselves.
Here are seven questions to consider while evaluating your relationship:
1. Do they make you happy?
Do you look forward to your time together? Are you excited about them? Are you inquisitive to continue to learn more about them and what makes them tick? As we settle into relationships it’s normal for that initial over-the-moon excitement to diminish slightly, but you should still be looking forward to spending time together .
Philosopher Joseph Campbell stated, “follow your bliss”. If your partner is not representing “bliss” for you then that’s a definite red light.
2. Do you share the same values?
Do you both value family, honesty, loyalty, friends, career, philanthropy, communication, intimacy, etc? They say opposites attract, and that’s fine and dandy as far as hobbies, interests and even personalities go to an extent. You should still share some of the above because you want a partner to experience life and create memories with.
Values are a different story; values are your “rules of life”. They are a fundamental part of who you are and are generally consistent throughout life; you’ve probably had a similar set of values since childhood. Your values directly influence who you interact with, how you respond to situations and the choices you make in life. If someone doesn’t share the same values, then arguments and frustrations are a guarantee.
3. Do you trust your partner?
Is your partner honest, reliable and faithful? Trust is the foundation for building a strong relationship. Trust means that you expect integrity, respect, and loyalty to be at the center of your relationship, and that you have placed your faith and your confidence in your partner. You expect your partner to keep promises and to stick it out when the going gets tough. Trust is earned over time as you get to know your partner more intimately and isn’t something to give lightly. Hopefully if you are still spending time with this person, then you have established they are worthy of your trust. If not, then the relationship needs to be re-evaluated.
4. Can you be yourself?
Most of us can pretend to be people we are not. We do this in hopes of gaining approval from others. Do you act out of character when with your partner? Doing so is exhausting and cannot be sustained long-term, you are simply wasting your time and the time of your partner. Don’t violate your identity because you think someone will like you better. The world needs YOU. There is nothing sexier then authenticity. There really is a lid for every pot so be yourself so that the partner you are supposed to be with will recognize you.
5. Does your partner bring you up or bring you down?
Are you happy more than you are sad? There are always going to be bumps in the road in every relationship. Feelings are going to get hurt. People are going to make mistakes and be unfair at times. These times however should be few and far in-between. It’s amazing how many people cry every day and still wonder if the relationship is the right one for them. Life is short. You deserve happiness, and the great news is that it’s simply a choice. Have the courage to leave any situation that is not creating happiness in your life. You must get rid of what no longer serves you to make room for what will.
6. Can you communicate?
The best relationships have amazing communication. No one is a mind reader. If you desire something, say it. If something bothers you, tell your partner. It’s really not what you say, it’s HOW you say. Speak with love and compassion. Do not attack. Be a solution finder.
7. Are they interested in Personal Growth?
This is not some new age babble, it’s a fact. Many relationships end because one person outgrew the other or in other cases one person’s core beliefs were sabotaging the relationship. All relationships begin with self. We must consistently excavate. Dig deep below the surface, look at our shadows and work on ourselves. Relationships serve as our greatest spiritual teachers because they often trigger in us what needs to be healed, but we must we willing to do the work. It takes 2 to tango! One person cannot carry the whole relationship, both parties must be equally invested in personal growth for the relationship to flourish and sustain long term.
It can be scary to leave a situation in fear that you will not ever find anyone else, but you will. Stay true to yourself, continue working on yourself and you will attract the right person for you. It can also be scary to surrender to a relationship. Perhaps you are looking for reasons as to why this relationship won’t work because you are scared to get hurt. Perhaps your core beliefs are that you are not good enough, or don’t deserve a great relationship so you sabotage it before you get too involved. There is no better feeling than to love and to be loved. It is our birthright.
In either case, have the courage to really look at the above suggestions and make the decision that will bring you joy and happiness long term.