I Need Effort From My Partner, Not Excuses

It’s easy enough to convince someone that you want them, but proving it is a whole other challenge. I’m emotionally exhausted from dating people who claim to want to be with me but then scramble to come up with excuses for why they can’t meet my (basic) expectations. I’m fed up — I’m worth the effort, and I’m done dealing with people who can’t see that.

  1. I need to receive the same amount of effort that I put into a relationship. When I want something to work, I do everything in my power to make it happen. All I ask is for the same in return. That equal balance of effort is what makes relationships last, and if the person I want to be with puts more effort into explaining away their flaws than fixing them, I know that whatever we have would fall apart anyway.
  2. I’m not asking for the moon here. I’m super low-maintenance but I stand firm on the standards I have. I don’t demand 24/7 texting availability, but don’t take days to text me back and then claim that you’re “just bad at texting.” When someone pulls this nonsense, I know it’s because they can’t be bothered to try to impress me, and it’s their own damn fault if they get upset when I end up choosing someone else.
  3. If I really matter to someone, nothing will stand in their way. I always make sure that the person I’m dating is a priority in my life. I know it’s not always convenient to rearrange schedules or make small sacrifices to see each other, but it’s often necessary if both people want the relationship to work. If someone really wants to be with me, they need to find a way to make it happen, not just throw their hands in the air and curse fate for keeping us apart.
  4. Laziness isn’t an attractive quality. The way someone behaves when we’re just “talking” is an indicator of what to expect in a relationship with them, and you can bet that I pay attention to the effort they make from the very beginning. Someone who regularly bails on dates may as well be wearing a shirt made out of red flags — I’ll know right away that this is someone I’d have to mother throughout our whole relationship, and I’m not willing to put up with that when there are plenty of more responsible people out there.
  5. Anyone can offer up excuses; true effort stands out. It’s insanely easy to find someone who can come up with every reason in the book why they can’t commit or “don’t have time” for a relationship. It’s a lot harder to find someone who could make excuses, but instead figures out a way to make things work with me. I’m tired of dating people who think that they’re such a catch that they don’t have to worry about putting forth the same amount of effort that I am to create something real. Newsflash: if you have this mentality, you’re not as great as you think you are.
  6. I value intentions just as much as actions. Look, I understand that life doesn’t always work out conveniently, and I’d never be so egotistical that I’d ask someone to upend their whole life for me if we were just casually dating. If the person I’m seeing has a legitimate reason as to why they can’t meet my expectations, I’m not going to hold it against them. If they had full intentions of sticking to our plans to hang out but had to bail because of a last-minute work project, I’m not going to immediately write them off. The effort matters most to me, and even if the results don’t always pan out the way I’d hope for, I just want to know that the original intentions were solid.
  7. Every relationship has obstacles. Even my happiest, healthiest relationships didn’t come without difficulties. When I start dating someone, I do it knowing that eventually we’re going to face problems both between us and from external sources that are going to test how much we’re willing to go through to be together. If the person I’m seeing can’t be fussed to give their fair share of effort from the start, I know better than to hope that they’ll change if I settle for them.
  8. I’m tired of hearing the same thing over and over. I swear, there must be an encyclopedia of excuses that everyone’s read except me. You can’t cut your clingy ex out of your life because you value her as a friend? Heard it. You’re scared of commitment because your high school girlfriend cheated on you ten years ago? Heard that one, too. I get that we all have baggage, but come on — if you’re going to give me a thousand “can’ts,” at least get a little more creative.
  9. I’m too old to deal with half-assed love. There was a time when I was willing to go along with excuses and settle for less than I deserved. But I’m a different person now, and I’m over wasting my time on people who claim that they want me but don’t care to prove it. If someone can’t show me that they’re willing to give me 100 percent, then I’d rather them give me nothing and leave me to find someone who will give it their all.
  10. They don’t really want me if they won’t even try to be with me. All the pretty words people like to throw around are empty if there are no actions to back them up. I’ve lost count of how many promises and declarations of feelings I’ve heard that turned out to be meaningless, and now I realize that even though their words might’ve said otherwise, these people didn’t truly want me. If they did, they would’ve done everything possible to prove it.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.