As a man, I hold myself to a certain standard for how I treat (all) women, and especially my girlfriend and those close to me. Because of this, I can't help but be a bit perturbed when I see or hear about examples of mistreatment for no reason.
Nobody should ever have to settle for less than they deserve just for the sake of being with someone. The problem these days is, sometimes mistreatment or "good enough I guess" is seen as normal and acceptable. It's time to raise your standards.
Here are five signs you might be settling...
1) You don't feel like a priority.
While one's life shouldn't revolve around their relationship, when you make a commitment to a woman in your life, she should move to the top of your list of priorities. Sure, we still have our own lives, friends, work, commitments - but that is no reason to ever neglect our woman or make her feel like second best.
If you always feel like you come second place to other parts of your man's life, you might be settling for less than you deserve.
2) He doesn't improve your confidence.
My belief is that a man should always be making his woman feel beautiful. It doesn't have to be a grand romantic gesture, but a simple text during the day or a kiss on the forehead can be enough to make her smile and feel appreciated.
If your man doesn't help you feel better about yourself (he should never make you feel worse), you might be settling for less than you deserve.
3) He takes away more of your happiness than he adds.
It's unfortunate that this even has to be said, but it does. It doesn't matter how much you "love" someone, if they bring more negativity to your life than positivity, you need to let them go.
If you argue more than you talk, are rarely intimate, and/or he has a negative attitude towards you, you might be settling for less than you deserve.
4) You have to prove yourself to him.
A man who truly cares for you will commit himself to you for that reason. He will love you because of who you are, not because of what you do (or can do) for him.
If you feel as though you have to work just to keep your man interested, you might be settling for less than you deserve.
5) You sacrifice more than you compromise.
This one is the most telling. Nobody is perfect, we know that. Some people have an impossible set of standards that need to be bent a little bit in order for a real live person to be what they want. But, there is a limit.
If you find that the man you're with doesn't even resemble the same species as the man you were searching for, then you may have crossed over from compromise into sacrifice. We must always remember that staying single and waiting until the right person comes along is always better for your happiness than committing yourself to negative relationships along the way.
I find that many members of the younger generations are so unaware of what a happy, healthy relationship looks like, that they don't even know what standards to set for themselves. I have found this list to be helpful both for women to help define what they want, and for men to set an outline for who they want to be.
The first step to keeping yourself happy is to recognize your own value and self worth. Then, and only then, will you recognize when someone is falling below the standards you have set for yourself, and will know not to accept it.
Never negotiate your own value, the right person will come along and love everything about you that the wrong people took for granted.
James Michael Sama is a writer, actor and public speaker who writes regularly on his website jamesmsama.wordpress.com.