Something has been puzzling me. Why do I know so many women who won’t settle for less than the best in everything they do – caring for their family, their career, how they present themselves to the world – yet will continue to make excuses for the men they date who continually disappoint them?
I had a friend who, in her 20’s, had a boyfriend who would call her on the spur of the moment, and she would jump at the chance to spend time with him even though he hadn’t given her any notice. His birthday gift to her one year was a collection of stuffed animals from a smoky bar’s “claw machine,” and they smelled like it too. She explained away this kind of thoughtlessness by saying he was so busy; he was saving his money for a house, etc. etc. etc. Mind you, and this was a woman who had a graduate degree, a good job, great looks – the whole package. She was (is!) thoughtful and kind and would never treat anyone the way this guy treated her. Yet she hung on for several years, thinking she would be the one to change his behavior. Spoiler alert – she didn’t.
No matter how many times her friends and family told her he was not good for her, it wasn’t until she finally realized she was worth more than that she finally cut him loose.
It’s one thing to put up with that kind of behavior from a man when you’re young and naïve. Quite another to be in your 40’s or beyond, mature, successful, and accomplished!
I want to challenge you this year to honor the woman you are today!
Raise both your standards and your self-esteem by refusing to spend your precious time on men who clearly aren’t interested in a long-term, mutually beneficial, and authentic relationship. Look closely at your dating pattern. Does any of this behavior sound familiar in your partners, past or present? If so…time to re-examine!
- He always wants you to come to him – meeting at the restaurant near him or driving his way for the evening.
- He has no interest in planning anything to delight or surprises you, let alone impress you, with a date (in fact, often says, “Whatever you feel like doing is fine”)
- He sees you when it’s convenient – for HIM
- He is hesitant to introduce you to his friends, let alone his family
- Your last “gift” was purchased thoughtlessly, and at the last minute (or worse, your birthday/anniversary/big promotion was forgotten altogether!)
If you saw a friend dealing with this kind of garbage in her relationship, wouldn’t you be fed up for her? Wouldn’t you tell her to move on? Of course, you would.
Be a friend to yourself, and repeat that you deserve nothing less than the best. Then start working on finding it!