Settling For Love Because You Don’t Know How To Love Yourself


This is what they say, “Never for settle for LESS than you deserve.”, but what if you don’t know what you deserve? What if you don’t know HOW to love yourself. I’ve been in love twice and I’m going to keep it 100…it was NOT my husband. I had love FOR him, but I wasn’t IN LOVE with him. I never knew what true love was until later in my life, MUCH later in life. I married when I was younger and stayed in a relationship that I wasn’t happy in. I married him for the wrong reasons, he was an escape from what I was dealing with at the time and I just figured that this could work and I would eventually fall in love with him.

It never happened.


I put on the facade and just went on being a happy wife who dealt with everything by burying it inside and keeping it moving. I didn’t get love from my family, my mother. I just thought this was how families were and how love was shown. I loved my grandparents tho, they showed more love than I could have ever wished for.  My mother’s love was different and that’s all I’m going to say about that. It was different. My ideas of what love was, versus how it SHOULD be were total polar opposites.

I just knew that I would stay married and being miserable was okay. Never strayed, did what I was supposed to, not a Stepford wife, but I performed all of my wifely duties. I hated it, I knew it wasn’t me, but I stayed. The whole “til death” vow. Our marriage wasn’t perfect, it was tumultuous. I left a horrible situation, married someone for the wrong reasons, little did I know I jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. I hated it. I hated him. This marriage…it wasn’t me, I hated me, but the problem was I didn’t know what “ME” was. Does that make any sense? I just knew that when my mother-in-law objected to the marriage during our wedding I should have listened and never married her son. *shrugs* No time machine, unfortunately. I settled. I settled for something because I was in a place where it was bad, and here was this guy who fell in love with me and wanted to marry me so, “why not?”. Trifling, yes, I know.


I’m not going to say there was no kind of love anywhere, because there was, I loved him. I was not IN love with him.

There’s a huge difference between the two.

When my marriage dissolved, not due to my lack of being in love, I felt free from the constraints of faking it, it meaning EVERYTHING. A decade of my life was gone because I chose to make the decision to settle for something that I didn’t want. It’s funny how you lie to yourself/others so much that you actually start to believe the lie. I believed the lie of me being happy in a marriage that I have regretted ever since saying “I do.”, staying in a marriage just to say that I was married. Sheesh, I was young and dumb as fcuk. Living a lie every day and finally being able to breathe easier felt great. I was free. I could be myself…yet again I STILL, didn’t know what “ME” was, who was I? It took me years to finally figure it out. My life wasn’t the greatest growing up, but I just knew how to adapt to certain situations that I ended up being in during my childhood/teen years. I didn’t know anything, so I had to pretend to be someone that I wasn’t.


I was on a quest after my marriage to find out who I was, to love me, to figure out what was acceptable in my life and what wasn’t and to remove myself from said situation. A lot of reflection. I had my guard on when it came to everyone. Especially my dating life, heart was frozen solid, surrounded by a moat filled with alligators. I eventually met someone who woo’ed me and there was something there and for the first time in the history of my life, I was in love. I could be myself, well at least who I thought that I was anyway. It lasted a few years, but eventually it dissipated. I wasn’t completely honest with him about who I was and I didn’t feel that I could be. So again, I wasn’t being “ME”, I was pieces of me, but not as a whole.

You might be wondering what in the heck, so I’m going to break it down as much as I can without putting everything about me on the “internets” as possible.

I went through a plethora of things growing up that I didn’t want to deal with, so I buried stuff. I was still pretending to be the me that was loved, had the best childhood ever, nothing bad/horrifying/scary ever happened. I had buried things so deep that I just forgot about. I wasn’t honest with myself or with the person who I fell in love with. Now that wasn’t the demise of our ‘ship, BUT, my issues definitely didn’t help the situation at all. I loved myself, but to an extent because I didn’t love myself completely.


What they say is true, how can you love someone when you don’t even love yourself. It’s true. Now, it wasn’t me hating my outward appearance or even my heart and soul. I had a cellar full of shit that I couldn’t deal with and even it being buried deep down, it hindered my ability to love myself completely. When you blame yourself for what’s happened in your life that’s bad, you hate yourself for it, could just be me; but I doubt it. I hated myself. I hated myself for not handling things differently, again the blame game. I vowed to myself that I would stop or try to stop. To be honest with myself and with the next person who was worthy of knowing who I was, not everything, but stuff that I’ve kept locked away for decades.

Years later, I met someone and we had come to a point in our relationship that I could be me, a little more of me than I could EVER be. I opened up about things, a lot of stuff that had been in the cellar covered in sheets and dust for decades. I pulled the cover off and I shared with him. What I was so afraid to ever open up about, was greeted with open arms, empathy, understanding and reassurance. Those bags I was carrying around forever, I put them down and he helped me with them. He removed them and put them somewhere I didn’t have immediate access to, they were “out of sight, not out of mind.” and I was okay with that. It seemed that with every bag, I started to love myself even more. Don’t get it twisted, I was in no way shape or form CURED, BUT I did start to love myself more and in turn I fell irrevocably in love with this man. I was able to be the me that I was and not pretend to be someone else. I finally knew who I was and as super flawed as I was, he loved me for it.  Peace was finally setting in along with relief, something that I haven’t had at all.

I still deal with a lot and therapy has brought me such a long way from where I used to be. Baby steps eventually lead to somewhere as long as you keep taking them. I took them, I still take them. Like I said our relationship wasn’t a CURE to my ailments, but it damn sure had some healing powers.

People come into your life for a reason, whether it ends in a “happily ever after” or not, they served their purpose. Don’t look to the negative of it, look to the positives, where you were to where you are now. Be thankful. That’s exactly what I am, thankful and will forever be grateful.  

Find it in you to love yourself, don’t do what I did. I’ve wasted decades on getting my life together. Learn to love yourself and don’t settle for a man, just because you don’t want to be alone. I never settled for that reason, I wanted out of something horrible that I was in and I clung to that one person. Still the wrong reason regardless. Be patient, get to know who YOU are and be the best be that YOU can be. If you have baggage, put them down and start unpacking them. Things get easier when you deal with them instead of burying them, no matter how far and deep you bury them, they still find a way of popping up eventually.


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