To Thine Own Self Be True

“We are becoming the men we wanted to marry”  – Gloria Steinem

I’ve recently begun to accept and enjoy the perks of singlehood. This definitely hasn’t  been the norm for me. The last relationship I had was a little over a year ago and it lasted a little over 4 months.

It was the most disastrous relationship I have ever had.

As time has passed, I’ve had dates, companions and ‘gentlemen of note’ meander in and out of my life. I’ve even fallen in love. Nothing has truly fulfilled me. Each experience taught me something new about dating, about humanity or about myself. I’m far from being an expert but here are a few things that I learned along the way that I’d like to share with you:

  1. Always force yourself to give yourself time to clear your mind from a previous relationship. Don’t jump into something else for at least a few months. If you do, chances are this person is just a ‘rebound’. Once the dust settles, you’ll realize that this person may not be the one for you.
  2. Don’t settle. Comfort can be a sneaky thing. People long to be loved, even if it’s really an illusion. It should be that you’re looking for Mr. Right, NOT Mr. Right Now.
  3.  Never waste your time on someone who doesn’t share the same end goal as you. You’ll end up forcing yourself to believe that this other person wants the same thing that you do and you’ll be in for a rather heart breaking surprise.
  4. Friends with benefits is never as easy as it seems; someone will always get hurt. The way I see this, I’d much rather have a one-night stand and never see or hear from the person again than to have a faux lover.

I’ve always hated that the idea of belonging to someone. No one ever belongs to anyone. I don’t care what the argument is, we should all strive to belong to ourselves and share with others the life that we’ve created. That’s what I believe.

In a way, I’ve realized this as the biggest perk of singledom. I am creating an ecosystem; my own little world full of goals, experiences, passions, successes and adventures. I am getting to love the person I am and who I have become more than ever. I love that I work hard and I’m slowly accepting my curves. I love my personality and my quirks.

I’d like women to consider the fact that they don’t have to wait for this magical relationship to appear, that they can in a way, cultivate that for themselves. In a way that is deeply selfish in the best way.

Love and The Art of Settling

There comes a time in someone’s life where reality hits you over the head with a cast iron skillet.

For me, that time has arrived, albeit perhaps temporarily. Even though I’m 25, I’m realizing that constant dating is full of unrewarding drama and has been nightmarishly disappointing to say the least.

It’s no wonder women and men tend to settle for someone that they think is the ‘best that they can get’. Modern dating has become too complicated…so many strings attached. People aren’t meeting organically anymore, like at a grocery store or church. Nowadays, people are dating other people that they meet on social networks, whether its Twitter, Facebook or

Which brings me to the topic at hand: The “Art” of Settling. As a matter of fact, I have settled a couple of times in my past for a number of different reasons. So it comes as no surprise that an acquaintance of mine forwarded an article from the Huffington Post to me entitled:

“Why So Many of Us Marry The Wrong Person”

The author of the article, Jennifer Gauvain, explains the main reasons why people tend to stay in unsavory relationships:

1. We’ve dated for so long I don’t want to waste all the time we have invested in the relationship.
2. I don’t want to be alone.
3. He’ll change after we get married.
4. It is too late, too embarrassing and/or too expensive to call off the wedding
5. He is a really nice guy; I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

I’ll agree with every single reason except #3 and #4 because, well…we never got married even though we were together for 8 freaking years; but that’s a whole other story.

Every time I wanted to leave my ex, I always thought about one thing: ‘My grandmother would have never left her man. She would stick by him through thick and thin, deal with his negative aspects and be resilient. After all, love is unconditional. Gotta stick this through.’

That very thought was what kept me in a flavorless relationship for so long. I always had known I was settling…I could have easily found someone more compatible with me; someone more acclimated to my hobbies, my interests and my tastes. But I was too scared of being alone…of losing everything that we had worked so hard to build together. The house, the car, the jobs.

What made me stop the cycle of settling? Realizing that life is too short to be unhappy with someone. If the person you are with doesn’t fulfill you completely, stop lying to yourself. They are not going to change, you aren’t going to force them to change.

You deserve exactly what you want. I used to think that my standards were too high…but then I wrote my standards down and realized that they weren’t that demanding at all:

  1. Must like kids.
  2. Have an education, be working on a degree or have a major goal in life.
  3. Be agnostic, atheist or be completely accepting of New Age
  4. Be well versed; have knowledge in literature, science, history etc.
  5. Looks aren’t a priority but should be tolerable at least.
  6. High libido.
That’s it. How simple is that? So since I broke up with my ex-husband I swore I wouldn’t settle again, and I haven’t. That’s not to say I don’t want to settle down (which I certainly do) but this time, I’m holding out for Mr. Right.