We all want to be loved, but not all of us end up in relationships with people who truly value, respect, and adore us the way we deserve. There are many different reasons this happens, but the result is the same: You end up settling. In the end, you feel abandoned, unloved, and resentful. Why put yourself through that? Here’s how to seek and ensure you get the love you deserve.
- Know exactly what you want. You need to know what you want if you’re going to get it. There’s no other way to pick and choose a future partner. If you have no clue what type of person you’re looking for, you can’t find it. It’s always good to keep an open mind because people can be pleasantly surprising. Still, you should at least have a good idea of what you’re after.
- Set standards and stick to them. Knowing what you want means you’re more equipped to set certain standards for your partner. If you won’t tolerate dishonesty, then you need to find an honest person. If the person you’re with falters even once and you know you need the truth regardless of how hurtful it may be, they need to go. This way, you can make room for someone who’s up to your standards. There is someone out there who will meet them.
- Don’t lower your expectations. We all have high expectations going into a new relationship. But, when our future partner falls short of some of those things, we tend to ignore it. We don’t want things to fall apart, after all. The first time they’re disrespectful or disloyal, they apologize sincerely. This fools you into thinking there will be a change. The truth is that there won’t be. If they loved you the way you deserved, the first mistake wouldn’t have been so huge.
- Speak up. When something bothers you, speak on it. Communicate what you need and do it promptly and clearly. If the person you’re with doesn’t know what you need, you’re never going to get it. If the person you’re dating can’t or won’t understand you, it won’t work. It’s pretty hard to communicate your needs for the rest of your life with someone who won’t listen.
- Don’t compromise on the big stuff. Compromise is a must in relationships, but the big stuff should never be up for discussion. If having kids is a number one priority for you and your partner isn’t into it, neither of you will be truly happy in the end. You need to be on the same page when it comes to the big stuff or someone will always be disappointed and not get the love they deserve.
- Never let anything slide. This isn’t to say that every little mistake your partner makes should be on blast, but the things you let slide at the beginning of the relationship will be the things you end up breaking up over in the end. Letting someone get away with taking you for granted, cheating, or any other unacceptable behavior will only lead to further and possibly more atrocious forms of the act.
- Pay attention to red flags. Red flags are obvious and they tend to pop up pretty quickly. The thing is, they’re always the same shade as the rose-colored glasses we all wear when we’re falling in love. Take those glasses off and pay attention. Those red flags are reasons to leave a person before things get too far.
- Seek out a true connection. In the age of attention over connection (we’re all guilty of it!), it can be easy to get wrapped up in someone who makes you feel good even if it’s in a superficial way. If you put more stock into someone that you truly connect with on more than a physical level, you’re more likely to end up in a truly loving relationship.
- Make tough decisions. Nobody wants to break up with someone. It’s not a fun experience. But if things aren’t going how you want and the person you’re with isn’t rising to the occasion, you need to cut them loose. It’s harsh, yes, but you’ll never be loved the way you deserve to be loved if you don’t let go of those who can’t or won’t love you at all.
- Live your best life. Be authentically you and you’ll attract someone who’s more for you than the people you’ve dated in the past. It’s possibly the easiest way to make sure that you’re getting what you need out of love.
- Work on your own faults. If you want to be loved the way you deserve to be loved, you’re going to have to recognize your own problems, issues, and ways you contribute to failure in relationships. Maybe you self-sabotage or you’re scared of commitment. Whatever your own issues are, work them out, and then you’ll be closer to getting things right with someone.
Why you have to leave if he doesn’t love you enough
- You’re too old for this crap. I don’t care if you’re 16 or 56 — life is too short to spend it with someone who doesn’t treat you right. The right relationship will last a long time (possibly forever), and you don’t want to look back and realize that you spent all that time with some douchecanoe instead of someone who treated you with all the adoration you’re worthy of.
- You can — and should — have standards. Some people like to call women with standards “high maintenance,” but the truth is that we should have standards as long as we hold ourselves to the same ones. If you’re the type of girl who goes out of her way to make her partner happy, it’s okay to expect the same from the person you’re dating. Settling for less isn’t fair to you.
- There’s someone out there who would love you better. It’s easy to fall into a mentality that assumes that things can’t possibly get better than they already are, but trust me: if your man isn’t treating you right, you can absolutely find one who will. There is a guy out there who will make you his priority, who won’t hit on other girls behind your back, who will show you that you’re his world instead of just giving you an empty “love you” before you leave for work in the morning.
- Being single is better than being in an unworthy relationship. Who says you have to be in a relationship at all in order to be happy? The prospect of being single after being in a relationship for so long can be scary, but it’s absolutely worth it. Sometimes, we need to focus on ourselves and remind ourselves that self-love is just as fulfilling as being loved by someone else. Even if you feel a little lonely sometimes, it will be better than being in a relationship that makes you feel alone.
- It will hurt less once you’re away from him. It’s going to suck at first, and you’re going to want to text him and get back together. But the more time you spend apart from him, the less it’s going to hurt and the more you’re going to realize how much better life is when you’re not love-starved. It’s hard to see just how bad things are when you’re in the middle of it all, but once you step back and see it with new eyes, you’re going to realize that the way you were being treated wasn’t what you deserved.
- Deep down, you know you deserve better. Your head might be questioning if you should really expect more out of a relationship. Your gut will tell you everything you need to know. If something inside you is telling you that it’s wrong, listen. This isn’t what a good relationship should look and feel like. Your expectations aren’t too high just because you want to be treated right.
- You should never settle when it comes to love. If you want to settle for a lackluster burrito or a so-so song on the radio, it’s cool. We can’t always get what we want. Making a big deal out of everything that doesn’t go our way is immature and pointless. Still, we should never settle for a crappy relationship. We’re choosing to be with this person. We should absolutely expect to receive the kind of love that we’re giving out.
- He doesn’t deserve someone like you. He might save kittens and babies for a living. But, if he treats you like garbage, he is undeserving of a relationship with you. It’s possible for someone to be a great person but a lousy party. And it’s more than fine for you to recognize that you deserve better.
- You have the ability to control this part of your future. You can’t control it when your period decides to come a week early when you’re wearing white pants. You can’t force the train to un-break on the day of the most important job interview of your life. However, you can decide whether or not you’re going to stick with someone who doesn’t treat you well. The love you’ll have in your future is in your hands. You owe it to yourself to take hold of the present and control it to create happiness for yourself.
- You’re not stuck up for knowing your own value. People just love to claim that women who have higher standards are conceited. That’s just not true. You’re not a bitch for recognizing your own worth. Nor are you conceited for knowing what you bring to a relationship. It’s not stuck-up to say that you’re not going to settle for someone who doesn’t love you the way you need to be loved. It just shows that you’re a confident woman who knows what you deserve in a relationship. You deserve to be loved, for a start.
How to walk away from a guy who doesn’t love you enough
You might know deep down that the relationship can’t continue, but that doesn’t make ending it any easier. Here are some tips on how to make the process slightly less painful.
- Give yourself a reality check. In order to be at peace with yourself, it’s important to feel good about the decision you’re making. If he doesn’t love you enough, you know you have to end things, but there has to be more to it. Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, psychotherapist and author of Training Your Love Intuition, advises a bit of self-assessment to ensure you’re doing the right thing. “Make sure before you convince yourself it’s the end, you’ve tried to fix the problems — effectively,” she says. “Make sure you’re not part of the problem and that you’ve spoken up about it. Then put your eyes on your partner: Has your partner really effectively tried to work on this problem?”
- Lean on your people. If you have a supportive family and loving friends, this is the time to call on them to help you as you get back on your feet. It’s unlikely that they’ll be blindsided by the revelation of your unhappy relationship, and they’ll probably even cheer when you admit that he doesn’t love you enough and it’s time to walk away. This is when your relationships with those closest to you will be strengthened and you’ll be reminded of who you were before things went so wrong. Allow them to help you grieve, pick you back up again when you fall, and push you to new heights of greatness. He doesn’t love you enough, but they will.
- Commit to putting yourself first. When you’re in an unhappy relationship, it can have an effect on your overall well-being. If he doesn’t love you enough or in the ways that you need to be loved, it’s important to love yourself enough to cut ties. “Someone isn’t good for you when you don’t feel like the best version of yourself in the relationship,” says Samantha Burns, dating coach and author of Breaking Up & Bouncing Back. “Oftentimes when you’re with the wrong person, it will feel out of balance, with you giving more than you’re receiving. In a healthy relationship, there should be an equal effort invested by both partners. You can tell someone isn’t good for you if you’re regularly feeling on edge, anxious, insecure, needy, argumentative, jealous, sad, or crying frequently.” If this is the case, you have to commit to your personal happiness and break the toxic chain. You deserve to be loved. You have to give yourself that gift.
- Create a whole new you. While you’re focusing on yourself, make sure you’re using the time wisely to create a better, stronger version of the woman you’re meant to be. You can do this by pursuing your passions, focusing on self-improvement, and generally exploring the possibilities life has to offer. “Spend time rebuilding your self-concept and identity by working toward new goals in your personal and professional life,” Burns suggests. “Engage in new hobbies, whether it’s signing up for your first 5K, learning to play the guitar, or planning an international vacation, and surround yourself with quality friends who build you up.” In other words, live it up. You might just be surprised at how much happier you are without the guy who doesn’t love you enough weighing you down.