Yes, actually, you CAN choose who you love!
They say you can’t choose who you fall in love with. Well, I say that’s BS. It’s also a very dangerous way to think.
If we believe we don’t have control over our emotions and choices, then we are in for a very wild (and not so great) ride.
The truth is. we have a choice regarding who we date and who we decide to invest in emotionally. We are in control of our happiness and actions. It’s pretty obvious the more we spend time with someone the more we grow a bond with them — especially when we're being physically intimate.
And, of course, our heart usually follows our actions, and before you know it we're head over heels in love with … a douche bag?
Seems ridiculous, but how many times have you fallen for a perfect jerk? How many times have you settled, just for the sake of being with someone? I mean, if you're going to lower your standards, at least you should fall in love with him as well.
Here are 7 reasons you MUST stop settling for a second-rate relationship and start choosing to set the bar and boundaries higher for a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
1. You are awesome — and your life and love should be awesome too!
If there is one thing in life that shouldn’t be average, that’s love (and the second is coffee!). Stop letting your fear of being single hold you back from waiting for a love that is everything you ever hoped it would be.
2. Where you set your own bar determines how anyone else is going to treat you.
The way in which we love and value ourselves essentially sets up the way in which we let other people love, value or mistreat us. It’s funny how we develop this unconscious attitude towards our own actions, words and treatment of ourselves. When we realize just how much we are worth, we set the standard for other people to also see our value. Or if they don’t, we at least know when to block those people from our lives.
3. Love is a tricky business, so make it a little easier for yourself.
Relationships are hard enough without adding to the drama because we forgot to set a standard. By being clear about what you want in the beginning and knowing when — and when not — to compromise, you give yourself a head start. No one wants a constant battle, or to be miserable because we let our values slip. Stick to your guns before you give your heart away, so that you can actually fall in love with someone who is good both to and for you.
4. Having standards means a greater chance of having happiness.
When we feel a healthy sense of self-love and a sense of what we really want and need, life becomes so much easier! It also means that we only attract the right type of relationships into our lives, because we are able to identify the toxic ones. When you know what the red flags look like, it becomes easier to be able to dodge them. And less drama and heartache generally means more peace and happiness in our lives.
5. You can sort the good from the bad (and the ugly).
When you're a woman who knows what you want and deserve, you will be able to sort the wheat from the chaff. If a man doesn’t live up to your (realistic and healthy) standards, then it's clear he isn’t worth your time. Save yourself the heartache. Save yourself the drama, time, money and emotional drainage. Set the boundaries and you will be able to focus on only inviting the right one into your heart and life.
6. You give yourself permission to grow and flourish.
Goodness, life is so much easier when our relationships are easy too! I’m sure some of you can relate to what it’s like to be in a draining and unfulfilling relationship. It zaps all your energy and thoughts, leaving you feeling exhausted. Needless to say it also puts the rest of our growth and life on hold. When you set a healthy standard for a relationship, it gives you permission to shine and grow and flourish in all areas of your life.
7. You get to experience a love like never before!
This has to be the BEST reason to set standards (that’s why I saved it for last)! Who wants to be miserable and settle for second best? My guess is no one! When you raise the bar to match your worth, you also give yourself the chance to invite an incredible love into your life. And love should be incredible. Yes, there will be the hard times, but overall it’s meant to be full of joy.
So do yourself a favor and stop limiting what could possibly be based of your fears, insecurities and doubts.
Your awesome love story is waiting for you.
Renee Slansky is a relationship and dating coach, as well as the Founder of The Dating Directory — an online community for women doing love, life and relationships.