When to settle for love, and when to "waka pass"
This movie I watched got me thinking about when to settle for love and when love is not enough.
Over a decade ago I ended a relationship with someone I still loved. We were each still developing, and perhaps at the time, I felt we weren't growing at the same pace. I remember saying something like:
”It's not that I don't love, it's just that that's all there is. Love is not enough.”
For years I have restated that in various forms to other people asking for advice who found themselves in unbalanced relationships. ”Love is not enough.”
This week I found myself sitting across from a table and feeling especially raw and vulnerable when someone told me I shouldn't settle for love.
I felt like they were telling me not to be foolish. At this point in my life, I feel like love is actually the only thing I would settle for. I wouldn't settle for a wealthy partner, or one with fame, if I end up in a relationship of any kind it will only be for love.
Is it foolish to settle for love? Must you deny your own well being if you ”settle” for love? Does love require extreme sacrifices and do those sacrifices require we diminish ourselves for love?
I want to believe that my past and current experience has given me some insights so I'm going to share it here even though some bad belle people will say; there she goes again single woman with love advice.
Don't settle for love if...
If you're on a journey of self discovery or you feel you haven't quite mastered yourself don't settle for love.
If you feel unequally yoked, that you are way more mature or that you have to play the ”parent” to your partner don't settle for love.
If you're just starting out in your career and you don't quite know where it's going to lead and settling for love means sacrificing your goals and passions don't settle for love.
If your partner is verbally, physically, or emotionally abusive using all kinds of gaslighting mastery to make you feel small don't settle for love.
If you're the one who makes quality time happen, and you're the only one who always finds ways to make time and sacrifices for the relationship don't settle for love.
If you settle for love in any of these instances somewhere down the road you're going to feel cheated. You're going to feel like the other person owes you for all you've given. You're going to be resentful. If you settle for love in that way love will never ever be enough to give your soul the peace and calm it requires. Your relationship will be full of strife.
Romantic love alone is not enough to fill up a person so don't settle for it, if you’re still trying to find self love.
When to settle for love...
When the love you have for yourself is at its highest settling for love will mean you've find someone to enhance your wellbeing.
When you feel you’re well on your way in your career and settled in who you are and what you do, at this point you won't feel like you're sacrificing or choosing between you or your partner.
When you know you can live without love from the other person, meaning you know even without their love your well being will be intact, embrace that. It doesn't mean you don't love the person, it simply means you're a fully developed human and while love from a partner is the icing on the cake, cake without icing is still delicious.
When your partner is your number one cheerleader for your personal and professional growth and you the same for them. This is the gift of love that previously was only offered to men, and we know this because the adage is: behind every great man is a woman. The same goes that behind every great woman is a partner who loves and supported them. So if while you're dating your partner supports your growth and pushes you to engage in things that are purely for your development even when that means late nights away, and lots of travel you hold the shit out of that love because that right there is the real deal.
When it doesn't feel like you’re giving up your freedom or reducing who you are, editing and deleting integral parts of you to keep the relationship because the love you have amplifies you, then you've got that good good good.
So yes love by itself, just love is not enough. Being in love is not enough if you yourself are empty. You have to come to the relationship from a place of wholeness. If you don't feel whole, love is always going to leave you feeling like there has to be more.
And there is more, but that is the space that only you can fill up, love can't do that for you.
Love is enough only when you are enough without it.