I just read this on Huffington Post: When Is It Settling?
It’s always interesting to contemplate where we settle and for what we are settling. We always make compromises in relationships and every relationship has its own internal rules and logic.
My relationship with A was probably the best relationship I’ve ever had. We are still close — in fact, I saw him this morning. It was not perfect and it was not easy, but we made choices that worked for us and we supported each other, sometimes to our detriment. Ultimately, our life goals were inconsistent as we grew and changed. It’s sad, but it happens. Our friends are still devastated that we are no longer together because we were a bright shining beacon of success — two people who loved and cherished each other as friends and as partners.
When I look ahead, I am always aware of where I am willing to compromise and where I am not. My choices may not make sense to some of my friends — we’re never able to fully evaluate other’s choices because we do not understand the relationship rules or the fundamental truths we live.
I am more careful than they think. I do not enter situations blindly. I do not lead with my heart. I protect myself until I feel I can completely drop my guard.
Even now, I am not in love with anyone. Even now, I can walk away from any situation.
I have spent the last year since A and I split becoming a new version of myself. I have made plenty of mistakes. I have tried on new versions of me and discarded them. I have embraced my better points and tried to deal with my worst flaws. I have discovered flaws I had forgotten I had — hello, egomania, vanity, and snobbery! Still, I am more fully me, more fully alive.
I am older and wiser than I was when A and I met. I know more of what I want. I know when I am evaluating new partners where I am willing to settle and where I am unwilling. I know I will accept things my partner will do that will be incomprehensible to someone outside, but it will be logical to me.