This week’s question comes from Tameka:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
My sister-in-law keeps telling me to stop settling but I don’t think I am. I would love your advice.
My “friend” is a former coworker that I have an amazing bond with. He’s a recent divorcee. His hitch is that his wife cheated on him, so in his own words, he’s a bit “dead on the inside” right now, but we have a great time together. I told him that I had feelings for him, and he said he just needed more time to get past the one-year mark. The confusing part of the situation is that he doesn’t let me pay for anything. Doesn’t that make it a date? (I personally refer to it as hangouts.) We hang out a few times a month for hours at a time (no physical intimacy). At this point, I am giving him until January to make a move. My question is whether or not he’s likely to make that move (his personality and history that he has told me is not one where he’s an initiator). So I’m just wondering how to proceed.
But regardless we have a great time together, and I value and enjoy our friendship. We also talk on the phone for hours on end a couple of times a month. Otherwise, it’s daily texting about our day, etc.
What do you two think? To all of those around me who have observed us together or read the texts, we come off like a couple.”
We find this an interesting question because what is clear is that you are not getting what you really want, and yet you want to know if that’s okay. It’s not okay with us and we want to know why it’s okay with you?
Please read through our response while knowing that we are giving you some tough love advice. Our goal is that you have a really great love relationship, not something mediocre that leaves you wondering if you’re sexy.
You Should Never Settle For Less Than What You Desire!
This guy is either too damaged to pursue a relationship or simply doesn’t want a relationship with you. There is no way for us to see this as anything other than a recipe for disaster.
Ask yourself this question, “Do I have a pattern for settling for less than what I really want in relationship?”
If the answer is anywhere near a yes, then you must be willing to break the pattern and move on from any man who is not giving you what you truly desire.
It may sound harsh however, the truth is that you are not doing yourself any favors by hanging out with this man and investing any more of your time (and heart) with him.
This is a one-sided friendship because you desire more. He is being selfish by allowing you to waste your time, which makes him not a good friend either.
The two of you appear to be a couple to your friends and family because you are having an emotionally intimate relationship. The emotional connection is giving each of you something you need, however, it will not be satisfying over the long term.
He is stopping you from pursuing other relationships, ones that may have real promise. Essentially, this man is blocking you from taking actions that would allow you to be open to meeting an ideal partner all while telling you he is not ideal for you.
This man is not available to you and likely will never be. It sounds like you’ve already given him many months to “make a move” and he hasn’t. So that’s all you need to know. You’ve arbitrarily selected January as his “drop-dead” date and we think that you simply need to move that up to right now.
We don’t think this man is a horrible human being, we just see that he is getting a lot of companionship from you without investing in you or risking his heart. The fact that there is no physical intimacy between you two tells you everything you need to know about him and what he wants from you. He is telling you who he is and what he wants, and we want you to believe him.
5 Reasons You Should Never Settle For Less Than You Desire
You Deserve Someone Who Loves You
A relationship where one person wants more and the other does not is an unbalanced relationship that creates an unhealthy dynamic. You end up giving your power away out of fear that the other person will reject you. In this case, rejection is your protection. Any man who is not willing to step up and claim you doesn’t deserve you.
Dating someone is a temporary situation where you can discover more about yourself as well as the person you are getting to know. Part of that discovery must include physical intimacy in order for it to be a romantic relationship.
Right now you two are friends without benefits, and yet you have hope that things will change. This hope is not serving you because you’re in sacrifice. You are accommodating this man’s issues and twisting into a pretzel in an attempt to earn his love.
Sharing your life with someone doesn’t just magically happen, it requires commitment and chemistry. Right now you’re in a fantasy relationship and it the sooner you end it the better off you’ll be.
It appears that a part of you believes that this is all you can get. Instead of putting your attention on this unavailable man, focus on discovering the reason that you don’t believe you deserve a fulfilling relationship with someone who will shower you with affection, attention, and claim you. Stop settling for crumbs from someone who isn’t capable of giving you more and start looking for that guy who is as crazy about you as you are about him.
You Can’t Settle For A Lifetime
Companionship is nice when you are feeling lonely, but it isn’t enough for a lifetime together. One of the reasons to commit to someone for a lifetime together is so that you have someone to weather the storms together.
If you never settle for less than what you deserve then you’ll know that you can count on your partner to have your back. Whether you are dealing with financial difficulties, family drama, or health concerns, knowing that your partner is going to be there for you is a great comfort. This is one of the main reasons we partner up.
There is a Swedish proverb about relationships that sums things up nicely:
“Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow.”
You are looking to double your joy and half your sorrow. Never settle for less than someone who is just as excited about sharing a life with you as you are with him.
It Is Easy To Bail When Not Fully Committed
When you settle for less, it becomes much easier to leave when things don’t work out as planned. Committing through thick and thin requires that you have a strong connection at the beginning. The Romance Phase of a relationship doesn’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean that you should skip it altogether.
The Romance Phase puts gas in the relationship tank so you and your partner can get through the inevitable power struggle that every relationship goes through. If the Romance Phase is truncated, then it’s all too easy to bail on the relationship when challenging times arise.
Most relationships end because the couple cannot navigate through the Power Struggle Phase. On the other side of the power struggle is the promise of unconditional lasting love. But you have to be willing to move through your conflicts and accept each other as is.
If you are settling, you will always wonder if there is someone better out there. Someone you would be better suited for, who understands you, and will also want to be intimate with you and shower you will affection for a lifetime.
A Good Man Is Not A Unicorn
You’re currently treating this man like he is the only good man you’ll ever meet. He is not some rare specimen that you’ll lose forever if you move on.
It makes sense that you want to try to hold onto him. He clearly makes you feel good. You’re getting some of your needs met. Part of you is probably afraid that you won’t find another man who is willing to be so open and emotionally intimate with you.
But one of the reasons that he is so open with you is because he is working through the pain of his divorce with you. He should be seeing a therapist and not using you to heal his heart.
You are giving your power and your self-worth to the hope that he changes his mind at some future date. This fear-based mindset is not serving you. There is an abundance of good, single men in your world. Men that you will find attractive who would be more than willing to step up and claim you to take you off the market.
Stop settling for a man who is not available for anything more than friendship.
Your Soulmate Is Blocked From Finding You
Because your heart is set on trying to make it work with this unavailable man, you are unable to see any better matches that are available to you. Right now you’re spending so much time and energy on him there is no room for your soulmate to make an appearance in your life. You wouldn’t even see him if he was lingering in the periphery.
As long as your heart is tied to someone else – even with a small thread – your beloved will not be revealed to you.
You are wearing blinders and putting all of your focus on hoping that he will choose you when he becomes ready for another relationship. But you are functioning more like a rebound relationship for him. You are safe because you are sticking around and not asking for more from him.
Your soulmate relationship won’t leave you settling for less and wishing for more. It is about expanding your heart, and growing together to become the best versions of yourselves. He is not asking anything of you, nor are you asking anything of him. There is no future with this man that ends well.
Stop Settling For Crumbs And Start Making An Effort To Meet Your Soulmate
Stop settling and start dating! Go out with as many men as are making the effort to ask you out. Stop wasting one more moment of your precious time with someone who is clearly not interested in a relationship with you – and is willing for you to not have what you desire so he can have you available when he needs to feel good about himself.
Additionally, we recommend that you never pursue a man for a relationship. There is a reason why opposites attract, and part of that is the dance of masculine and feminine energies. Ultimately, a man who wants a relationship with you will pursue you.
When you allow a man to lead the dance you won’t step on each other’s toes, and you can create harmony together that is greater than the sum of your individual parts. The best part is when you only date men who take the lead you’ll never have to ask the dreaded question, “Where is this going?”
We’d bet that if you asked your coworker where this relationship is going, he would mumble something about not being ready for a relationship right now and that would be the truth. He is not ready for a relationship. Waiting for him to become ready in hopes that he chooses you when he is not a good strategy for lasting love.
Stop settling for crumbs and go out and create the relationship you deserve!
If you find yourself settling for less than you desire and don’t know how to break this pattern, then join us for a complimentary Soulmate Strategy Session. This will allow us to determine what is blocking you from the love you want, and what to do about it.
Orna and Matthew Walters are TV’s favorite dating and relationship experts. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.