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I don’t believe in regretting any of the decisions I make, and my dating choices are no different. Through it all, I have learned something time and time again; never settle.

I approach this post with some hesitation because I still have a lot of respect and love for the person I realized I was settling on but the message is important. D and I were together for 6 months and it was my first relationship since the disappearing boyfriend so I put a lot of hope and value into it. It also happened to occur at a time in my life where I was unhappy at work and desperate for a husband.

On our first date, there was an instant attraction. We talked all night at a restaurant downtown and immediately made plans for a second date. Only a month later, I had met his son and we had thrown ourselves full speed into a committed, serious relationship. I not only fell in love with D, but also the little boy. Ok, so love is an understatement. I was ridiculously insanely crazy about both of them, especially together.  I even got close to his mom and dad, and we spent many nights grilling on their deck or catching Blue Jays games together. My life was finally what I wanted it to be, only deep down inside I knew I was settling.

Throughout our relationship, and Trace can vouch for this, I had lingering doubts about our future together. Not the tomorrow future, but the two years down the road future. We had decided that, despite only being together for a few months, we wanted to get married, have a house, and more kids and at the time I thought “This is what I’ve always wanted”.  Only when I said it out loud did I realize that I didn’t. There were big differences between how we wanted to raise our children and how we approached many important milestones in life. While we agreed that Reality TV was amazing and that the Blue Jays sucked, I began to see that there was more to being happy than just liking the same TV shows and pizza toppings. Basically, there were big things that, in the end, I was just not willing to settle on. Important, foundational things that I knew would be fulfilled one day, but with someone else.

In the end we parted ways quite amicably. I still care for this person very much and miss his little boy every day, but I know that I made the right choice for myself. When it comes to relationships, we need to realize that we could be with this person forever and we should make sure we like EVERYTHING about the pairing, not just some things. I learned a lot from this relationship, most significantly not to settle if I’m not 100% sure. If you have lingering doubts, bring them up from deep down inside you and think about them. If they’re things you feel you can get past then go for it but if not, you owe it to yourself to bring them up, talk them out, and potentially walk away if need be.

A year ago I was with this person and happier than I thought I could be but seeing where I am now and how I feel today I realize I was only the “diet” version of happy.  It was nice, it satisfied me at the time, but I never got the full flavor and satisfaction that I was looking for. Now, despite being single, I can confidently say that I have no regrets about moving on from that relationship and I’m looking forward to bigger, better things to come.

Written by Cat