• 12 Armadillos

Don’t Settle in Life

Lately I have been thinking a lot about settling.  People who are settling in life with relationships and jobs.  Some of my friends are single, some of them are dating…..my advice:  don’t settle

When I was younger, I was willing to settle a lot more in my relationships..  I made excuses for things that really should have been big red flags.  I dated the same guy in college for three years.  We got engaged.  We broke up and I was pregnant and all alone.  Life was not fun at that moment.

When Paige was one years old I met my ex husband.  He swept me off of my feet.  I got flowers all of the time and he told me a week after we met that he thought he was falling in love with me.  I was much more guarded with my heart and kind of took it with a grain of salt.  I ended up falling madly in love with him and knew that I would get my fairytale ending after all. 

There were lots of red flags but he was crazy about me and I was crazy about him.  Certainly love could conquer all.  William came along and having a baby puts A LOT of stress on a relationship.  It is hard.  William was a few months when we were transferred to Nova Scotia, Canada.  It was very hard being so far away from my family and having a new born baby.  I missed my family, friends, and home. 

Ultimately,  we were just too different. He is a nice person but is not the right person for me.  It doesn’t make him a bad person and it doesn’t make me a bad person.  I am thankful that I didn’t have to settle for a relationship that was not what I deserved.   I was very sad but knew in my heart that I had to be with  someone that was crazy about me as much as I was crazy about him. 

I was back in the dating world with two kids.  Let me tell you that being in the dating world with kids sucks.  It is very hard.  I went on match.com and started the dating game again.  Corrin kept telling me “you have to be in it to win it.”  I didn’t want to be in the dating world but I didn’t want to be single for the rest of my life more.  I would have much rather been at home vegging on the couch.  “You have to be in it to win it.” 

I met a lot of guys on match.  Some guys I really liked and they didn’t like me.  Other guys really liked me and I wasn’t into them.  You can’t take it personal.  It has to click for both people.  I dated a really nice guy who was a producer for Fox News.  I flew up to meet his parents in Boise, Idaho when we attended his high school reunion.  His parents were VERY cold to me (probably because I had two kids) and so I broke up with him when we got back.  I was not going to settle for a relationship where the guy’s parents thought that their son could do better.  The guy was devastated.  He begged me back for a long time.  I just couldn’t do it.  I would never settle again. 

I hated being single (I LOVE having someone…a companion) but at this point, I hated the thought of settling more. 

One thing that I have learned is that you cannot make a guy be crazy about you.  You cannot force that.  They have to want it more than you want it for them.

I was tired of match.com and about to stop doing it for a while.  (I would get on and off of it because it can be overwhelming).  My friend urged me to go out with Brad.  I noticed that he had two kids and I really did not want to be the Brady Bunch.  After a lot of urging from my friend, I decided to email him back.  One thing that really stood out what that he was Catholic and his faith was VERY important to him. 

I met Brad and we hit it off right away.  I thought he was super cute and had such a funny personality.  His number one priorties were his two girls and I loved that about him.  We dated for about three months and I thought everything was going great. 

One night we went out on a date and were enjoying the evening.  We were only three months into the relationship and I didn’t expect him to tell me he loved me but I needed something.  I needed to know “I think you are swell.”  Brad is not a mushy romantic person so I get that the romantic poems were not happening.  I looked at him and said “Are you crazy about me?”  I just needed some type of affimation three months into this.  He was silent.  He then said “I am sorry.  I don’t want to lead you on.”

What was happening?  We were having such a great date and all of a sudden he tells me it is over!  My heart was breaking.  I REALLY liked him and thought that maybe he could be the one.  We had so much in common and had a lot of fun together.  I wanted to scream “You are such a jerk!”  I knew that me acting like a fool would not help the situation.  I regretted the way I acted (crying, screaming) when my marriage ended and I was not going to make the same mistake again.

I calmly looked at him and said “I do not want to be one second with someone who does not want to be with me.  I do not want to be one second with someone who is not crazy about me.  I deserve that.  I will NEVER settle again.  I don’t have to.  Two kids, ten kids, a million kids….I am still a catch and there are plenty of guys out there who would love to be with me.  Have a great life.  I was very very calm. 

This was on a Wednesday night.  I called Corrin and cried my eyes out.  She did what any good sister would do when their sister just got dumped and said “He is such a loser.” She proceeded to say all kinds of things to convince me that I was way better off without him.  She said “He is going to try and get you back and you BETTER ignore him.”

Thursday and Friday were miserable.  I was still devastated.  I really liked Brad.  On Saturday, he forwarded me a funny email and said something like “I hope all is well there.”  I called Corrin and she said “he is such a loser…DO NOT CALL HIM.”  I was secretly excited because he obviously still had some feelings for me or he wouldn’t have sent the email.  Later on during the day, he called and  left me a message (of course I didn’t answer) saying he thought he made a mistake. 

I immdeitly called Corrin and Dave.  What should I do?  Corrin said “DO NOT CALL HIM….he is a loser.”  Shen then reminded me the million reasons that she had made up (he has no personality….lol…soooo not true) and that I needed to move on. 

A few days later I had enough.  I broke down and called him.  According to him, he had made a huge mistake and wanted to know if I would give him another chance.  He admitted later that one of the things that made him start to think that he made a mistake was how calm I acted when he said it was over. 

I did give him another chance but was very clear.  I am not settling.  If you are not crazy about me, I don’t want to be with you.  If I am not crazy about you, I don’t want to be with you.

We continued to date and things were great.  About six months later we were talking about life in general.  Brad “I don’t want to get married for at least five years…I have been burned in the past and don’t want to rush into anything.”

Me “We have to break up then.”  Brad “Why?”  Me “Because I am not dating anyone for five years.  I have been burned too in the past.”  Brad “Uh, Uh,…well maybe three more years.”  Me “We have to still break up.”  Brad “Why?”  Me “Because we have been dating almost a year and I am not dating anyone for four years.”  Brad “Ok.  I don’t want to break up with you. We will get married sooner.” 

Two years from when we met, Brad and I got married in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  We both got annulments through the Catholic Church and had a Catholic Church ceremony six months after our civil ceremony in Tennessee. Brad insisted on the annulment in the Catholic Church.  This was it for him.  This was the real deal.  He was in this forever and making it forever to him meant going through the Catholic Church annulment process. 

I am so glad that I didn’t settle.  I was VERY picky the third time around.  When our kids go to college, it will be just Brad and I.  I know that he and I will have the best time together.  You have to be with someone that you know when the kids leave the house, the two of you can still have fun and enjoy each other’s company.  I am lucky because both my parents and Brad’s parents really enjoy each other after several years of marriage. 

So my advice…. If you are dating someone and they want to date forever…..dump them…why would you settle for that?

If you are dating someone and it is obvious you are way crazier for that person than they are for you….dump them…why would you settle for that?

One thing you cannot do is make someone be crazy about you.  It is not possible.  They have to want it more than you want it for them.  You also, though, have to have reasonable expectations.  Do you expect too much?  Are your expectations unreasonable? 

Life is hard and love is hard.  If you are single, remember you have to “be in it to win it.”  Keep your standards high.  Guys (and girls) will rise to the occasion and YOU are worth it!!!!!


Brenham, Texas


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