Never Settle. These two words have always remained prevalent in my mind, now more so than ever. In all aspects of my life, I’ve realized the importance of these two words ESPECIALLY in relationships.
Yesterday, I went to lunch with my cousin and her childhood friend Jojo joined us. Now I THOUGHT this was going to be a normal catching up sort of thing, especially since his mom and my grandmother are best friends. I’ve known his family my whole life. Nah, this lunch literally turned into YOU MAKE ME WANNA.
After some general conversation Jojo asked me if I was in a relationship. I hit him with a “Nah” and kept it at that. He then proceeded to say, “Well, don’t settle no matter how hard it is. I know firsthand. Especially when the person you love didn’t wait for you. You know, even though we were always friends I’ve loved you since I was 18. Then you up and got married on me” (as he’s looking at my HAPPILY MARRIED cousin). Meanwhile she was not here for it AT ALL.
He then made the situation worse by saying, “Katrice, you know a relationship, specifically marriage is a like an investment property. It can be a big beautiful house on the outside but on the inside it can be full of BLACK MOLD and need repairs. Since someone lived in it before, it has A LOT of damages from the people that didn’t take care of it. Then you gotta spend time and money repairing something that you didn’t even know was broken because they patched it up but never really fixed it!! Just speaking from experiences. Saying that to say, be careful when you do get in a relationship.” I sat there completely flabbergasted... BLACK MOLD. I've never in my life heard someone compare a marriage to a house with black mold.
Jojo proceeds to say, “You know me and your cousin could have been a power couple and made beautiful music together. You know (looks at my cousin) if you say the word I’ll leave her.”
My cousin was in such a state of shock, she said she never gave this clown a chance because she looked at him as a friend. She had no idea her FRIEND had all of these unrequited feelings. I was shocked because of how bold he was and he was being DEAD SERIOUS. I found it disgusting that he was saying all of these things, mind you he has a WHOLE WIFE AND KIDS and he compared his marriage to BLACK MOLD.
The icing on the cake was the unsolicited advice Jojo TRIED to give me.
“Katrice, you’re intelligent but at any age no one is really ready for a relationship. You know what I mean? It takes a lot to be with a person and really be with them through it all, especially if you love someone else. You just can’t leave even if you want to. Males generally don’t change, so you have to be okay with accepting different things, you normally may not.”
From this awkward yet funny lunch, I took a lot away:
1. NEVER SETTLE
This goes without saying. Settling isn’t good in any way shape or form. It often leads to resentment and a sense of nostalgia. Whether it is tomorrow or ten years from now you’ll be the unhappy party. Jojo is a perfect example of this, while he was out trying to get with someone else, his wife is really happy and in love with him. Due to Jojo settling he’s always wondered if he had a viable future with my cousin (even though they never did). When you settle it leaves you feeling empty. You’re constantly pouring into a person yet because you don’t care for them they can’t pour into you. It’s not that that person can’t pour into you. No, the problem is that because you never wanted to be with them, nothing they say or do is going to make you happy. The main thing settling can bring is a sense of regret.
2. DON’T LISTEN TO EVERYONE’S ADVICE
Nine times out of ten the person giving advice may not be the most qualified to do so. Again, Jojo is a perfect example of this. I didn’t ask for his advice but for whatever reason, he felt he needed to shed light on relationships and why people aren’t ready for them. The main thing he should’ve been doing was discovering a solution for his unhappiness. Oftentimes, it’s easier for people to help the masses instead of helping themselves. By giving me this “great” advice that I already knew, it allowed for him to ignore the mishaps in his own life. I’ve learned that it’s easy to hear others advice without necessarily listening and sometimes it is best to do just that.
3. WAIT FOR MR./MS. RIGHT NOT MR./MS. RIGHT NOW
Waiting for who YOU deem the right person to be can be hard. Sometimes we make the mistake of just trying to make something work simply to be with someone (which I have been guilty of in the past). In the space of time we are waiting for the right person it's important that we don't SETTLE for convenience. Convenience is comfortable but it's not what you really want. And, the person that may be your "convenience" may have real feelings for you. Again, this isn't fair to them or yourself. Convenience leads to stagnation and with stagnation comes no growth. Neither one of you can grow to be the best version of yourselves, which is what a relationship should bring about. Mr./Ms. Right Now is always going to be the best thing you never had.
4. IF YOU'RE NOT HAPPY... GET OUT
Most of the time this one is easier said than done. No one wants to be the person that hurts someone else but it's even worse to stay with a person and not want to be with them. When Jojo compared his marriage to BLACK MOLD, I was shocked. Black Mold is the most toxic form of mold and it leads to MANY health problems. The presence of it signals that there is damage in the in other parts of the home as well. Now, saying that your marriage is toxic and irreparable is a lot. Coupling this with the fact that he asked my cousin to "say the word if she wanted him" is even crazier. The problem in this scenario is that Jojo is unhappy but he doesn't want to leave his comfort zone (here's that convenience) even though he's miserable, without jumping to someone else. Jojo is a prime example of why it's important to leave a situation before it gets to this point of supposed misery.
Though my lunch with Jojo and my cousin had to be the most interesting lunch I've had yet, these four things stuck with me. Anyone of us can be Jojo. So, we have to make the decision to be truly happy and not just fake it. Waiting for what you really want is always better than convenience.
Images via GIPHY
*names were changed*