Don’t settle for someone who is not free to love you the way you deserve to be loved. Not everyone we encounter is meant to be in our lives. Not every relationship winds up playing out the way we hope it will. Have enough self-respect to set boundaries around your own wellbeing. Chasing the wrong person will only lead you into a nightmare of heartache. Stand strong and stop settling. The right love will come into your life when you make space.
Our hearts don’t always judge best.
When it comes to romantic love, we’ve been sold a very magical fairy story. From a young age we are taught that this kind of love will overcome any odds. We watch movies filled with star-crossed lovers, and we watch enemies turn into passionate soulmates. That’s not how reality works, though, and that’s rarely how love works either. We can fall in love with the wrong people at the wrong times, and we can find that our love is not enough to overcome the obstacles we face.
Our hearts don’t always judge best. Sometimes they make connections where they should put up boundaries, and we find ourselves falling head-over-heels for someone who is unavailable on so many levels. You can’t always make it work, and when you look at the big picture, you’ll realize that is actually a gift in disguise.
It’s time to stop forcing something that doesn’t fit. It’s time to stop trying to build a castle on sand with someone who is already committed, or lost in their own pain and visions of the future. You have to start being honest with yourself and look at reality for what it is. Are you willing to settle for the guaranteed heartbreak of a relationship doomed for failure? Or are you ready to wait for something that’s equal, pure, and fulfilling? At some point you’re going to have to set boundaries for yourself.
Signs you’ve fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t have.
Yes, love is wrong sometimes. Particularly when that love is aimed at someone who is not available to love us back. Our emotions are powerful, but they often come from misdirected places. Having feelings for someone does not mean we are meant to be with them, especially if they fall within one of the categories below.
Is the person that you’re falling for already committed? Do they have a family with young children? A spouse who is already in the middle of building a life with them? You don’t have a right to destroy that, and it won’t end well if you try. Even if you do end up together, what cost will it come at? The cost of the children? The innocent spouse? Don’t put yourself in the middle of something that needs to work itself out. Have more self-respect than that.
Abuse comes naturally
Abusive people are everywhere, and they are extremely good at charming their victims or luring them into a false sense of comfort. Have you fallen for someone who shouts at you? Someone who belittles you, manipulates you, or otherwise threatens your physical safety and security. It doesn’t matter whether they are mentally or physically abusive. An abusive person is not someone you should commit your life to.
Controlling all the time
Do you want someone who goes out of their way to control you? Do they try to control what you do, who you see, and how long you stay there? They may also be the kind of person who demands that they get their way 100% of the time. To this sort of person, the world revolves around them, what they want, and the care they need no matter what. You will always come second (if you’re lucky).
An unclear future
In order to build relationships in which we are able to thrive and find fulfillment, we have to share the same visions of a future. Our personal similarities mean little when it comes to making something that can stand the test of time. If you’re about to commit to someone who doesn’t know what direction they’re going in your life — you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Do you have different visions for the future? You may need to think twice.
Does the person you love have a tendency to blame everyone else for their problems? Do they look at the whole world like an enemy? When they’re confronted with poor behavior, do they deflect and deny? These people are an endless victim in their own lives. It’s a victim mentality. Nothing is ever their fault. As a matter of fact, they may blame every aspect of their life on the actions and decisions of other people. They’re children who never grow up, and they take down anyone who attaches themselves to their chaotic spiral.
What you need to do next.
Have you fallen for someone who is already committed? Someone with a family, or even someone with a past that’s not quite over? Before you commit to something that ruins your happiness and your sense of self, you need to take a reality check, and refocus on what you want your future to look like. If you settle for this mistake, it could alter the course of your life.
1. Get a reality check
You’re at a crossroads right now, and you need to have a reality check before you decide which way to go. Think of it like orientating yourself before setting out on a road trip. Before you can head out in the right direction, you need to know where you’re at. That happens by stepping back and looking at things for what they really are. You need to accept that they aren’t the right person, so you can open up for the person who is.
Accept the reality of your situation. They have a family already. They’ve already made their commitments, they’ve already decided what life they’re going to lead. You cannot change the course of what happens to them, and you have no right to hurt others because of decisions your emotions have made.
Investing time in someone who isn’t available, or someone who hurts you (and themselves) is self-sabotage. It’s setting yourself up for failure and for painful lessons which can be learned in better ways. There is someone out there who is perfect for you, but they can’t come in until you move the wrong people out. Would you want this life for someone you care for? Would you want this back and forth for someone like a child or a sibling?
2. Refocus on your needs
You need to get outside of your toxic relationship. You need to stop looking to unavailable people and start focusing on fulling your own needs for a while. You don’t need a romantic relationship to be happy. While these partnerships can certainly be a part of that goal, they alone can give us that sense of meaning and joy. We find that within ourselves, and we reach that plateau by becoming our own champion.
What are you looking for in this other person? What is making you willing to risk your own happiness? Do they provide you with support? Do they make you feel beautiful? Or validated? Do they make you feel seen in a world that seems like it ignores everyone and everything?
It’s so easy to look to others to fill that hole within us. But it never quite makes that quiet longing go away. That’s because what we’re longing for is our own love. We want to be our own best friends. We want to be comfortable sitting in silence with ourselves. That’s impossible when you’re struggling with self-loathing, though, or looking to others to give what you already possess within yourself.
3. Build up self-esteem
People with high self-esteem don’t allow themselves to be taken in by people who don’t want the best for them. Those who believe in themselves are those who don’t settle for a relationship they know will fail. They invest their time wisely, and they invest in people who are on the same track in life. If you want to become one of those people, then you need to rebuild your self-esteem from the ground up.
Stop looking to other people to give you a sense of validation or self-worth. Until you know what your value is, the world will continue to devalue you. Understand that you have a right to happiness and the type of future that provides you with comfort, peace, love, support, and fulfillment.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your right to be happy with someone who is themselves a happy and self-fulfilled person. Learn to love your body. Celebrate every inch of it and fall in love with the person who lives inside of it. You are smart, and strong, and capable of learning anything you need to thrive. Embrace your power and see yourself as worthy of more than a subpar intimacy.
4. Give yourself boundaries
When we think of boundaries, we have a tendency to think of the lines we draw between ourselves and other people. Those aren’t the only boundaries we have to set, though. When it comes to our happiness, we also have to set boundaries for ourselves. There are lines you can’t allow yourself to cross, and this is especially true when it comes to our intimate relationships.
Set some limits for yourself, especially when it comes to a love interest that needs to be out-of-bounds. If you can’t cut them out of your life entirely, then you need to limit their presence so that you can heal and move on. Remember, theses lines are only set in stone for a little while. Once you’ve moved on with your life, you can always come back and reassess.
Consider your feelings and what triggers might lie between the two of you. Limit the time you spend together. Don’t put yourself in compromising positions in which you have to talk yourself out of temptations. Make it as easy as possible and put distance between yourselves where you can. Don’t accept excuses and don’t allow yourself justifications. None of those will pay off when you end up heartbroken or alone.
5. Stop settling for less
Your determination to be with someone who can’t give their all is not necessarily as accidental as you think. Our tendency to settle is — more often than not — tied into our patterns of self-sabotage. When we think little of ourselves, we engage in behaviors and decisions that confirm that negative belief. We set ourselves up for failure, and one way we do this is by investing in toxic and unavailable partners.
At some point, you’re going to have to make the decision to see the patterns and stop them. You’re going to have to stop settling for less than you deserve, and you’re going to have to do it both consciously and gently.
Be compassionate with yourself, but stern. You can love someone and still know that they aren’t good for you. On some rare occasions, you can even keep them around in limited spaces in your life. The person you decide to build a life with, though, should be someone who can give as much as you give. Partnerships that last require give-and-take. They also require emotional and physical presence.
Putting it all together…
Although we like to trust our hearts, they can lead us astray from time-to-time. We can fall for the wrong people, and we can find ourselves falling for people who are even emotionally and legally unavailable. Rather than settling for inevitable tragedy, we have to protect our happiness (and our hearts). Don’t settle for someone who can never really be there for you.Take action in the name of your future and the love that’s waiting.
Give yourself a reality check. Take a step back from the situation and imagine you were watching someone you love re-enact your circumstances. Would you want them to settle for someone who is married already? Someone who abuses them, or belittles them? Refocus on your happiness and your needs. Return to your self-esteem and rebuild your confidence from the ground up. Then set some boundaries for yourself. Stop crossing the line and you’ll be able to find happiness. Love yourself. Value yourself and have enough respect to stop settling for people who can never connect with you any the way you desire. The right person is out there waiting for you, but they can’t come into your life until you make room for them.