There is no perfect relationship—we all know that.
It takes two people willing to make a conscious effort, and using love as an action, not just a word we use.
There are ups and downs, good times and bad, better or worse.
But what about the mediocre relationships? What about the relationships that don’t exactly fulfill us, even if we are fulfilled within ourselves, yet are good enough—a settling of sorts?
We talk of codependency like it’s a bad thing; however, there are many codependents who are enmeshed in a way that works well for the relationship. When there is sincere love, care, need, and desire, they can often properly feed off of each other and build a strong bond. It’s a balance of sorts—a yin for the yang.
We are all codependent to some degree, and if we weren’t, we wouldn’t need anyone at all. There would be no relationships of any kind—we would each be an island unto ourselves.
Likewise, we all settle to some degree. We can’t be everything to everybody. Love is not what the movies portray it to be. It’s not all candlelight dinners and flowers. It’s friendship and trust. It’s honesty and companionship. It’s the day-to-day challenges, caring for each other in sickness and health. It’s being there when times are tough, a life raft when everything is sinking around us. It’s stopping to get milk on the way home. It’s picking up the dog poop. It’s real life with romance sprinkled like confetti from time to time.
So how do we know when we are truly satisfied in a relationship or when we are settling? When we are happy within ourselves and enjoy our solitude, how can we be sure that what we are accepting and compromising on in a relationship is, indeed, right for us? For those of us who are broken in some or many ways, how can we tell that it’s not our ego, insecurities, and fear guiding us versus the healthy and healed parts of ourselves?
I don’t have the answer and maybe none of us do. Relationships take work and can cause much angst. Solitude is a safe harbor for us to dock our discomfort, rest our minds, and sort through our feelings.
May you depend on another, but rely on yourself. May you seek satisfaction from a relationship, but never settle. And may you listen to your heart, but not let it override what’s in your best interest.
In the words of William Butler Yeats:
“O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.”