Let Their Opinions Be Theirs

I am 35 years old. I graduated from a good college. I have a decent job. I’m pursuing my MBA. I have a full life of hobbies, activities, and friends to create memories with. I present myself well. I believe that I’ve been a good daughter who followed rules and didn’t cause trouble. Yet today, my mom told me that I am the source of her deepest worries.

She is worried about me because I am single. She is worried because I got a divorce three years ago and have not found someone else. She thinks I am too picky. She believes that I should settle just so I have someone to go home to, just to have companionship. But that simply is not me.

  • People who care about you want the best for you, but what they think is the best may not truly be the best for you.
  • When people share their opinions, it’s often a projection of their own situation and not a true reflection of your situation.

The two points above are important for me to remember. I also want to always be grateful, even for the unsolicited advice, because it means that I have people who care and want the best for me. At the same time of being appreciative, however, I need to understand when I should let the opinions impact me. The message from my mom was a projection of what she values most in a relationship–security and companionship–, which are not the most important things I’m seeking.

I am a whole person and am not incomplete without someone else. Whoever comes around will need to elevate and complement my life–I am not looking for someone to complete me. I do not need to settle just to have someone around me.

When it comes to relationships.

  • If I see potential in a person for a long-term relationship where we can grow and build a future together, I will go after it.
  • I will communicate when I feel that my needs are not met, when I do not feel understood, or when I need to understand.
  • I will do my best to be a good partner, to listen, to share, and expect the same back.
  • When we’ve exhausted the conversations and find that no more can be done to move forward, it would have been part of an ongoing conversation and it will not be a surprise that we stop dating.

I will no longer

  • Put myself in a position where I feel that I am not being treated right.
  • Stay with a person who mistreats me, disrespects me, and disregards me, just because I think that things will eventually change.
  • Communicate without being heard.
  • Say yes when I mean no.

Our family and friends care about us but they may not always understand us. People will always have their opinions and it’s important to be able to distinguish between what is advice to take in and what is noise to brush off. When it comes to relationships, I’ve learned a lot over the years, and I’ve gotten greater clarity in what I need and what I’m looking for. I know it isn’t easy and that it will always require work, but also know that I do not need to settle.

What do you look for in a relationship? Do you feel that you often have to settle? (Keep in mind that compromising isn’t always the same as settling.)

We deserve to be treated right! Don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve.