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I rarely, if ever, listen to the drive time disc jockeys (even though I dated a prominent one here in at Atlanta years ago).  Usually, when they start endlessly talking ad nauseum about some silly subject designed to titillate the masses, I switch to another station or at times even just turn the radio off in favor of a little blessed hard found silence on the drive home.

Today though, on the way home from the airport, one of the local shows hit on a topic that was morbidly fascinating to listen to.  It was a case of not being totally surprised by the subject matter, quite frankly it’s something I’ve addressed many times over the years.  Instead it amazed me that so many people would get on live radio and be brutally honest, no holds barred.  They were taking the chance of hurting those that love them or that were clueless in their relationships by using not only their names, but in having someone hear and recognize their voices.

As I said, the topic was not a surprise.  The DJs asked who amongst us had “settled” in their relationships for someone that was “safe” rather than what we truly wanted.  By safe, they meant someone that we thought would be a good mate or parent, that would most likely never stray but if we’re honest with ourselves, we really have little to no attraction to besides friendship and never will.  They asked who had married someone that they “learned” to have some feelings for, however pale those emotions might be, but that they do not have passion for. 

The phone lines were literally jammed with callers almost eager to tell their tales of passing over the ones that fired their senses for the one that will simply “do”.  While there were plenty of men calling, the women were far more brutal and plentiful in their descriptions of how boring their mates were.  Most also were very honest about their lack of attraction for their partner’s looks and desirability factor.  Even those only married a short time no longer had any great desire to be intimate with their mates.  The spark just isn’t there and wasn’t there to begin with.

It was almost as if the floodgates had been opened and all the people that had been hiding in the shadows with their discontent, now felt free to finally share their deepest secrets with all of Atlanta.  So why do so many people settle and stay in relationships that are not meeting their needs and never will?

Why are we all still here?

Why are we still dealing with it?

What is it that makes us attempt to salvage every shred of our relationships?

Is it attachment? Insecurity? Is being alone so terrible, that we’re settling with unsatisfactory actions or the lack thereof? Can they really love us as much as they say they do and act like such jerks sometimes? (Uninterested, interested in someone else, or only interested in themselves?)

Some of the reasons we settle in relationships and stay in relationships:

  1. Security
  2. Fear of Change
  3. Safety
  4. It’s easier to stay in our comfort zone without too much effort required or expected of us
  5. Attachment
  6. Afraid to be alone
  7. Not wanting to disappoint our peers or family and take the chance of being excluded from the “group” and upset the status quo
  8. Fear of being seen as the bad guy/gal or appearing selfish
  9. What if the next relationship is worse?
  10. A sense of Obligation/Responsibility, whether real or imagined

 

Is there a way you are settling for less than you deserve in a relationship? Are you saying a clear “no” to things that do not work for you or the things that are not right for you? Are you afraid of being alone? Afraid you will not have another chance at love? And most of all, do you feel unworthy to have a deeply loving relationship?

Or could it be that having a real adult relationship is too scary and too much work?  Is it too daunting to let someone see that much of yourself and take the chance they might not like what they discover? Are we too afraid to reach for what we want and deserve to have..to live life to the fullest?  Are we becoming a society that is satisfied with apathy and being just “okay” rather than striving for excellence in every area of our lives, personal and professional?

Are YOU settling?  If so, why do you choose to cheat yourself and everyone around you by withholding major parts of yourself or disconnecting from life and not living it to it’s full potential?

Is it ever okay to settle for apathy and merely what we think we can “get” over what we want and need to be TRULY happy in order to live life to it’s full potential? Is that fair to ourselves or for that matter to those we choose to settle for? Are we cheating them out of their chance for happiness as well?

 

What Makes You Stay – Deana Carter from Hope Floats

Look at me
I’m in a place
I never thought I’d be..

Don’t have the strength
To fight anymore
Or a reason not to leave.

So tell me why I still keep holding on
To something I just cannot see.

What makes you stay
When your world falls apart?
What makes you try one more time
When it’s not in your heart.

At the end of your rope
When you can’t find any hope..
You still look at her and say
I just can’t walk away.

Tell me what makes you stay.

I’m not afraid
Of living alone
I was alone before he came.

I’ve been in love
Many times before
But this time’s not the same.

I’ve always been the first to say goodbye
Now it’s the last thing I can do.

What makes you stay
When your world falls apart.
What makes you try one more time
When it’s not in your heart?

At the end of your rope
When you can’t find any hope
You still look at her and say..
I just can’t walk away.

Tell me what makes you stay.

When it goes this deep
And feels this strong,
I can’t convince myself
That this love is wrong.

What makes you stay
When your world falls apart?
What makes you try one more time
When it’s not in your heart?

At the end of your rope
When you can’t find any hope..
You still look at her and say
I just can’t walk away.

Tell me what makes you stay.

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