Don’t settle for being an option.

One of my biggest struggles with my dating life, and just life in general, is being treated like I’m an option, and not a priority. Wanting to be valued is a basic human desire, especially as a woman. We inherently struggle with our self-worth on a daily basis which is coupled with the constant ridicule and expectations of society around us. We must be pretty, but not too pretty because then we are too self-involved; we must be strong, but not too strong because then we are intimidating and emasculating; we must be delicate, but not too delicate because then we cannot handle life (Men face their own set of obstacles, but that is for a later rant). When the current climate surrounding relationships is added in to this, it is easy to feel as if you will never escape the back burner.

When I was struggling to keep my relationship with my son’s father alive, one of the biggest battles that I faced was that I was the last on his list of priorities. His friends, lifestyle, and countless others constantly came before our relationship. This became more apparent after the birth of our child and I spent night after night waiting and wondering if he would ever come home. Taking care of our family was just one of the options he had to choose from each day, and it was very rare that we were what he chose. In later relationships it was a similar struggle- I was even told once that I was just a rebound and that he had no interest in me. No woman deserves to be just an option but unfortunately this is the world we live in. Everything is about convenience and what feels right in that moment without any regard to the feelings of the other person involved. It doesn’t matter if you are just using them for that moment’s pleasure, to get over an ex, or to avoid being alone for the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about dating someone and then realizing you are incompatible and then choosing to sever ties- although from my experiences this is not how we do things anymore. People are not willing to give the other person the decency of telling them they do not want to continue pursuing them, in this day and age we just disappear and leave that person wondering and dangling on the hook just in case we decide they are convenient to be with again. When you are on the receiving end of this it can be truly humiliating and disheartening.

Ultimately, I had to learn that a man could not make me whole and if I waited for that then I would never reach my full potential as a woman. I had to learn to take care of myself because I was the only person I could depend on to be there every day. I had to take responsibility for the disaster that was my personal life because I was the only factor I could control. I decided that I would never settle for anyone who could not cherish me and appreciate what I had to offer, even if that meant being alone. I decided that I would not allow someone into my life that treated me like I was just one of many options. At the end of the day, if someone truly wants you in their life, they will make room for you. They will make it a priority to talk to you each day and be there for you through all life has to offer. They won’t ignore your messages or avoid talking to you. We see this each time we see the man that “wasn’t ready to commit” happily settled in with someone else a few short months later. The truth of it is that they didn’t want to settle in with you, and that is a hard pill to swallow. It hurts and makes us feel that we are worthless when that couldn’t be further from the case. We must recognize our worth and move on, as painful as it is. God has something better planned for you and one day, there will be someone who sees you for what you are, and you will become their priority.

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