By: Abbey Lyn Clark, Regular Contributor
When it comes to starting up a mature and honest romantic relationship, most young adults run into some confusing roadblocks. For example, our mothers, grandmothers, siblings, aunts, cousins, etc tell you: “Never settle for anything less than you deserve.” However, the danger of settling and the fear of settling is real. This is because the same relatives are also asking if you have a boyfriend at every family gathering and frankly, anytime it’s socially acceptable to.
ROADBLOCK: Other people will try to get involved in your love life.
SOLUTION: Own it. It’s yours and no one else’s to control. Period.
Settling is not the answer, nor will it ever will be. The truth is, we live in a unique generation where dating takes undercover names like “hanging out,” “seeing each other” or “going out to dinner.” Don’t get me wrong, dating still exists but it’s incognito. In the traditional sense of the word, it’s a thing of the past. Dating is archaic because today there are so many other things to worry about. For example, you could get involved with someone and not necessarily label it as anything; this is dangerous.
ROADBLOCK: You live in a world where people enjoy being single (imagine that!). You may not want something serious and vice versa, they may not want something serious with you!
SOLUTION: It’s okay as long as you are up front about your feelings. There are more eligible bachelors that will want something serious, but how are you going to find them if you don’t meet the ones that don’t want something serious first? Furthermore, you have to be honest about what you want from the start so you don’t find yourself in a gray area. If you don’t want something serious, you should communicate this. Seeing where things go is always an option. I’m not sure why most people think you must be in a committed serious relationship or nothing at all. Isn’t that the point of dating?
I hope this is striking a cord with you. I recently had a conversation with one of my girlfriends about so many of the people we know in unhealthy relationships. She posed the question: “Why do so many girls settle. Why do they put up with being in such a toxic relationship?” If you have wondered the same thing, I would advise you to stop worrying about those girls and look within. Sometimes, there are reasons that people are in relationships that look toxic on the outside. Sometimes we don’t see those reasons. Sometimes, there aren’t any good reasons why those girls are involved with who they’re involved with, but you can’t do anything about it. Your journey is your own, and you can only be honest with yourself.
Although the road is not always smooth, it pays to learn and grow from the confusion. When you make the decision not to settle for anything less than you deserve, make sure you know what not settling means for you. To all my single ladies out there: Navigate your love life with grace, honesty, and compassion. Every bump, every missed turn, every wrong turn, every roadblock-- it’s all part of the journey, and what’s not fun about a roadtrip?
About Abbey: Abbey Clark is a rising senior majoring in English and Human Development at Boston College. Along with being the I AM THAT GIRL local chapter leader at BC, she is also a yoga instructor and the co-president of her all female a cappella group: The BC Sharps. She loves spending time with her friends & family, baking, and traveling. She is an advocate of healthy living, real beauty, and is so proud to be part of such a beautiful organization that is changing the world for women and girls!