Maybe it sounds silly to say that out loud.
Because of course, why would you ever settle for someone who doesn’t love you? Or doesn’t even try? We like to think we are better than that. That we aren’t willing to accept whatever’s thrown in our general direction.
Yet we do it often, don’t we? Even if we don’t want to admit it. We feel such strong feelings for a person, and if they decide to be with us, we assume they must feel the exact same way. It’s reasonable to think so- if someone commits, it’s not exactly a small thing. If they didn’t care for you at all, they wouldn’t be dating you.
Yet the truth is, so many people decide to date someone because they are lonely. Or they think it will heal them of past trauma. Or they believe that it’s going to make them a better person. While these can be common reasons, yet they usually are accompanied by someone being crazy in love with you. If they aren’t…it becomes apparent quickly.
Some people really do choose to be with you because their feelings are intense and they are incredibly interested in you. They feel on top of the world, and like you’re the best thing to happen to them- until they don’t anymore. For one reason or another, their feelings shift. They may not even fully recognize it happening, but they start trying less and less to show how they feel about you.
That’s where we settle. When we are so sure that someone once loved us, that we will wait until they decide to love us again.
Sure, everyone goes through a rough patch sometimes. Part of love is standing by someone when they are going through things — loving them when they aren’t their best. It’s working together to ride out whatever storm has moved in. Part of love is staying strong and not jumping ship at the first sign of trouble.
Yet there is a difference where someone needs you to love them through something, and someone chooses to stop loving you while they go through something. There is a point where someone stops even making a basic attempt to love you, and regardless of hardship, you don’t deserve that.
Because when someone loves you, they are open and honest with you, but they do not stop showing they love you. They do not suddenly give up all effort in letting you know you’re loved and cared for. They don’t wake up one day and glance over at you and think that they no longer have to try and hold onto you.
They just don’t.
Yet we still remember when everything was wonderful. We recall the beginnings with perfect memory- the sweet things they said, the magical moments we spent together. We remember when they told us they loved us, and how we were ready to do anything to be worthy of that love — even accepting less than what we should have.
So we tell ourselves that it’s just temporary. That things are difficult now, but they will get better. That is we can hold out long enough, they will remember why they chose us in the first place, and everything will go back to how it was before.
The truth is this: if they choose not to love you during the hard times, that says a lot about who they are. If they can only love you (and go the extra mile) when things are going great, then they don’t love you. They may love the convenience of you, or they may love the idea of you. But they don’t honestly love you.
So please, don’t settle for someone who doesn’t even try to love you. Someone who knows what makes you feel cared for, safe, and adored and chooses to not do those things. Because yes- it is a choice not to love someone, just like it’s a choice to love someone. Someone who doesn’t care to hold onto you and doesn’t try because they know you will be there the next morning regardless.
Because you deserve a love that cherishes you and doesn’t think that saying they want you one time means they never have to repeat it. You deserve someone who recognizes how lucky they are to have you in their life, and aren’t willing to let you go without giving it all they have.
You deserve someone who pays attention to the small details and uses them to show how they care for you. Someone who understands that effort isn’t merely supposed to be the way to get someone to date you, only to stop trying once they have a label. Someone who knows that love can only grow if both people put the time and energy into making it grow- it doesn’t do so on its own.
So please, don’t settle for someone who doesn’t even try to love you. Because if they aren’t even willing to put an effort to show you how incredible you are, then you’re doing yourself a favor by realizing that. You deserve more, and even if they can’t give it to you, it doesn’t mean you will never experience it. Yet, in the meantime, you need to love yourself enough not to stay shackled to a relationship that asks so much of you and gives you nothing in return day after day, month after month. You deserve so much more than that.
It’s time you finally let yourself see that.