I used to always find myself feeling dissatisfied in relationships that were actually really good. Eventually, I realized it was because I had unrealistic expectations of guys and needed to reexamine and readjust my standards. Now, I’m with a great guy and while things aren’t perfect, I’m happy. I don’t call it settling, I just call it getting real.
- Acceptance really is the first step. Instead of immediately getting frustrated at the first sign of an issue, I actually took the time to assess the situation and decide then and there if it was something I could deal with. Some things about a guy can be changed but some things are just built into his character. I had to decide if they were really a problem that I couldn’t handle moving forward and if it was just me being picky. Turns out, I could and it was.
- We have common core values and that’s what is really important. Once I decided that I could let go of the silly things, it made it that much more apparent that the reason I want to be with this guy in the first place is that he had good standards and principles. That’s what truly matters to me in a relationship and that was worth working for. I want to be with someone upstanding and respectful and if I find those traits in someone, the silly things become even less relevant.
- Sometimes the good outweighs the bad. If the guy I’m dating has some bad habits around the house but is really affectionate and kind to me and others, is that a deal breaker? Not really. I can live with forgetfulness on the small things but if he makes me feel like a priority with the big things, I’m not going to let him go.
- I have to remember that every person is different. This seems like an obvious thing to notice but I’m often completely oblivious to it when I’m in a relationship. I have to switch off the voice inside of my own head telling me that he should always understand MY point of view. No two people handle things the same way. I had unrealistic expectations of him and that continuously set me up for disappointment. Once I started being more understanding of how he went about things, I was able to let go of most of my frustrations.
- Effort makes a huge difference. If we come across some things that are hurting our relationship, we talk. Everyone says communication is key and I’ve never found anything to be truer. After realizing just how much I wanted this relationship to work, talking about specific things that really needed to be changed was a huge help. I realize now that even if he isn’t perfect, the efforts he puts forward to try to understand my needs better go a long way.
- We all show love in different ways. I tend to overcompensate sometimes when it comes to showing affection, but like I said before, not everyone is going to do the same for me. I have to focus on the things he does to show me love in his own way. I’ve never felt unloved and I’ve never felt like he wasn’t supportive of me, even if there are things he does that get on my nerves. When I acknowledge those things, the day to day annoyances are a lot less bothersome.
- It’s made me aware of my own flaws. When our communication game stepped up, I began to notice things within myself that could stand a reevaluation as well. I have silly little habits that get on his nerves and I also get really emotional when it’s not justified. I don’t just want him to adjust for me, I want to become a better person for him and in turn, myself.
- I have to put my money where my mouth is. I can’t expect him to make all the changes. Effort goes both ways and if there’s something I need from him, I have to be willing to do the same. In fact, we both lead by example when it comes to showing each other what we want and need from the relationship. If that doesn’t come across, we dumb it down even more and flat out say what we need. It’s taken a true level of commitment and understanding to be able to put those actions into play.
- I can’t get lazy. I have a tendency to enable bad behavior out of sheer laziness. With a lot of past relationships, I got so tired of telling a guy what I needed to the point that I was bordering on nagging. Eventually, I’d give up and just let him continue to treat me poorly. I didn’t want to become a doormat again and since I was honestly trying to bring my best self forward, I had to figure out a way to have my voice be heard without seeming ungrateful or becoming redundant. It takes a willing partner to be open to this but I’ve found it’s completely worth it.