Why You Should Always Do Better Than Settling

My first long-term relationship was something of a disaster. Not all of it, but there was definitely an implosion at the end – all three of the ends.

It was also beautiful. Warm. Loving. Happy. Which is why it’s so hard to forget.

As soon as we met, I knew I liked him. Sometimes there isn’t a reason, and that’s when it’s best for me – when I can’t put my finger on exactly why he draws me in, but something is just right, and you just get along. Tripping over words is no longer an issue because he makes them come out of me like perfect poetry. Around him, I am witty and charming. Around him, I am excited and enthralled.

I haven’t felt that way since him.

I’ve been on plenty of dates. I’ve done the mandatory download of Tinder. I’ve chatted with a smattering of guys at the bar. None of them have made me feel the way he did. I feel bored, like I’m watching a show I’d rather turn off than settle into. Sometimes I push that boredom away and force myself to feel something. When this new guy is kissing me I kiss back, even though I’m really thinking about the way it was so easy before, how I didn’t have to think about how to move and where to put my hands. And now it just feels (and it is) forced.

Sometimes I’ll think I’m having a good time, but then, fork poised halfway to my mouth or mid-laugh, I remember how much better it felt with my ex.

My friends think I go through a lot of guys. The truth is, I’m just trying to find one that makes me feel the way I used to, or something different, something new and raw and wonderful. I’m tired of pretending for the sake of not feeling lonely. We all deserve to have someone who makes us feel something, that all-consuming something that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Please don’t settle for someone that doesn’t make you feel natural, excited, joyful, whatever it is that you feel when you’re in love. But also: don’t stay with someone purely for that feeling. I am on the search for balance – an actual connection with someone who will be kind to me, who I get along with, and who will love me wholly and completely for me. My ex and I had a connection, but we also had issues, and lots of them. As right as it sometimes felt, underneath the feelings,  we were all wrong.

I am holding out for someone who makes me smile, who warms me, who I want to kiss back. I don’t want to be with a guy just for the sake of getting the good morning text that I am used to, or just so I can try to forget about my ex. There is nothing real or viable in that. And sometimes I am lonely, but loneliness does not always need to be filled.

Sometimes you just need to wait it out.

Featured image via VanessaHudgens.

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