Not Going To Settle

I've been in three long term relationships. All three lasted anywhere from two to three years. The last two LTR's involved engagement ring shopping, but I was never proposed to because things didn't get that far.

I can honestly say that in the last two LTR's, I could have married each of those men and been satisfied. But, not truly happy. My extended family would pester me as to when I would "settle down", and would be sorely disappointed to hear that after all those years, things didn't work out.

"But, he didn't cheat on you. What's the problem, then?"
"He makes good money, and treats you well. Why not?"
"He's really great with kids, what more could you ask for?"

The words they used were "settle down". That directly involves "settling" for someone. There is a tiny bit of my core that likes to believe that there is a soul mate for everyone; that there is a perfect partner out there. Relationships take work, I clearly understand that, and life can be messy. I wouldn't expect to be in a relationship that didn't involve effort of some kind or another. How hard is it to accept the fact that I won't settle?

Of course I'd like to be married one day. But, I only want to do that once, and do it right. I take marriage vows very seriously.

My last LTR of two years seemed to be a sure fit. I thought that after all this time, I had found the person I was meant to be with. My family adored this man, and when they found out we were looking at rings, I was already being congratulated as a taken woman. Things went downhill after that, more from his end then mine. I don't believe in demonizing your ex's, and I had my own things to work on, but there's the difference. I always want to better myself, and whatever issues needed to be worked on, were. They were quite trivial compared to his.

He was fired from his job for being lazy, and not finishing assigned tasks. I knew that he hated the job, so I thought of it as a new opportunity. He said he had been applying elsewhere for weeks at that point, but he continued to be unemployed for months. I refused to pay his half of the rent and bills because I found out he never put in a single application elsewhere. Finally, he took a job that was physically demanding. Called me two weeks into it, saying he quit. Came home with a new computer. Unemployed again for another three months. Kept borrowing money from his parents to pay his half of the bills. Took another job that he was content with.

During all of this, I hadn't spoken a word to my relatives. They thought he was still working. I didn't tell them at his request, because it was shameful for him. I encouraged my ex to apply for police officer positions; after all, that's what his bachelor degree was for. I have several relatives in the field, and he asked them to be references. They agreed of course, but were surprised to never have gotten a phone call asking about him. That's because he never applied. Upon questioning, he still wanted to work in law enforcement, but never "had the time" to apply. How does an unemployed person not have the time?

I tried to work through all of this with him. I wanted us to become closer and stronger, but he didn't want to discuss it. He was spiteful that I didn't pay his half of things. When I did leave him, my family was genuinely upset. After hearing such things as "you're an idiot for leaving a great guy like that", I finally told them about his job history. I was met with silence. They expected me to stay with him, after all, he has a job now, right? We had only been dating for two years. I know it was better for both of us to be apart. He could focus on getting his life back on track. I was able to be on my own, and am still loving it.

I love being able to hang out with my friends whenever I want. I love running my home the way I want to. I love cooking what I want to cook; gah, it's nice to be able to include mushrooms and green beans in my dishes again! I finally was able to adopt a cat (my ex was allergic). I'm certainly not alone; I have a close family and awesome circle of friends. I don't feel the need to date someone just to "date" them. I'm not lonely. There's no void to be filled. Sure, I've been on a couple of first-and-last dates since then. I just know what works for me, and what doesn't. I'm not going to settle.
urielsparsile urielsparsile
26-30, F
Jan 23, 2013