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27 Jan 2017

Signs You're In A 'Good Enough' Relationship

You’re in the best relationship you’ve ever had, he/she is sweet, good-looking, hard-working and fun, and yet there’s one essential thing missing. 

This is what I call the “Good Enough” relationship or a GE for short. A GE relationship will show you that love exists and that you deserve it. Your partner will be everything you thought you ever wanted (up until this point in your life). Your GE will be what you prayed for when you were being cheated on and lied to by your past lovers. Your GE is supportive, very loving and will stay by your side until the end of time. Your GE is not your “soulmate,” and does not ignite a burning fire inside you for long, but they are good people who deserve your love. In my lived experience, 85% of people will end up with their “Good Enough” partner.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Good Enough. Good enough is like a fresh Wendy’s burger, it’s not gourmet, but it’s not McDonalds either. Some people settle for just plain bad. They date abusers, compulsive liars, no aspiration-having types and they stay with them. Not you. You got yourself a good one! They have a decent job, can cook a good meal, your friends really like him/her and your parents have given you the thumbs up to take it to the next level. Everything is actually fine and dandy, except for the fact that you feel a little dead inside when you’re around them.

Ok, ok, dead inside is a mean way to put it – you feel kinda lacking. It’s not really their problem though, you remind yourself. This is definitely a ‘me’ problem. I should be able to make myself happy and I don’t really need anyone to do that for me. That’s what we tell ourselves as we stroll through the mall with our GE’s, staring at other couples and wondering about their level of happiness. The ones with the really big smiles who can’t stop touching and kissing, those guys are new, wait until they pass a year, then they’ll feel like I do. You constantly make up rationalizations about why your love feels like a five out of ten.

Your GE is not your dream relationship but you’ve grown up and stopped dreaming anyway. You must accept the sobering fact that people aren’t perfect and that you just gotta choose someone who’s pretty good. If you’re satisfied in your mediocre relationship, stop reading here!

Still with me? Ahh, ok, so you’re curious about the other 15% of people who have formed a deeply passionate and everlasting bond, that Obama-Michelle love. That’s because somewhere deep inside you, you know that you’re settling for good enough and that even though few people still believe in Mr./Mrs Right, he/she still exists. You are of the few people left who don’t want a mediocre existence, you want to live with passion, purpose, joy and excitement (my kinda person).

Before I go on to talk about how you can tell if your relationship is GE, I have to talk about areas of compatibility. Now, I’m not a couples psychologist, a love-scientist or any other romantic, niche service, I’m just a girl who listens closely to her spirit and intuition (this is where I get this ish from). I’ve observed that there are levels of compatibility to relationships and a typical GE relationship is lacking in at least one fundamental area. These are what I find to be the most important areas of compatibility:

*LIKES/DISLIKE: You and your partner like and dislike similar things.
*INTELLIGENCE: You are your partner are on the same mental level.
*LOOKS: You and your partner are equally as physically attracted to one another.
*TIMING: You and your partner are ready for a relationship.
*FINANCES: You and your partner are comfortable with one another’s financial circumstance.
*FAMILY: You and your partner accept one another’s family circumstance.
*HABITS: You and your partner are comfortable with each other’s habits.
*CULTURE: You and your partner can connect on a cultural level.
*SPIRITUAL CONNECTION: You and your partner make each other grow spiritually.

A GE relationship definitely has timing compatibility, maybe looks, likes/dislikes, maybe culture, heck it your GE may even have eight out of the nine but if it doesn’t have spiritual connection, you don’t have anything my friend. That’s right, a “good enough” relationship is lacking a spiritual connection and that prevents you from growing at a rapid pace internally. This is because the relationship isn’t challenging your spirit to grow. You aren’t being faced with moral questions or learning about your deepest fears or questioning the depths of your love, you are stagnant spiritually and so yes, you are definitely settling.

How to tell if I’m in a GE relationship?
*You can’t talk about spirituality with your partner
*You have a lot of communication problems
*Your relationship is surface level
*You revert only to friends for spiritual resolve
*You don’t feel like you get good advice from your significant other
*You feel like a teacher in your relationship but they teach you very little
*You are utterly bored despite going out with friends and staying active in your relationship

Is my relationship really GE or am I just not ready?
This is the money question. What if your relationship is perfect and it’s just that you are not ready to receive the great things that your partner has to offer? This is a real fear and I can totally relate, however, don’t you think that if the relationship was perfect and you just weren’t ready that the following would happen… That individual would leave some kind of unshakeable impression upon you and after you muck up your chances with that person by walking away or cheating or by not treating them well, you would grow spiritually and realize that the person you left was doing good in your life and you had failed to receive it.

In other words, when you finally are ready, you will remember that person and realize that they were in fact “the one” and not a GE. There’s no way to find out until you are ready to see it. You can’t expedite this process. Don’t hold onto someone because you think they might be the one but you’re not ready! That’s selfish. Go and grow up and if you still want that person, go get them! Hopefully it won’t be too late. If you are even questioning whether it’s you or if its a GE relationship then you need to break up either way.

Should I leave a GE relationship?
That’s a dumb question. Yes! You deserve more than a mediocre life and “good enough” relationship. I believe that joy, success and happiness belong to those that live authentically and according to their spirit, you can’t settle and accomplish this at the same time. Quit setting for good enough and start fighting for a chance to have a love that makes you greater everyday.

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Casey-Anne Bradfield

Casey-Anne Bradfield is a blogger at www.torontorelationships.com. Toronto Relationships is a place to discuss the dynamics between the intimate connections people make with one another throughout their lives. Some of her topics include dating, parenting, work and career relationships, as well as friendships. Casey believes in the concept of human growth and development and her stories always come from a place of acceptance, responsibility, and self-reflection, as these are the principals in which Casey believes are the key to a happier and more supportive lifestyle. In addition to writing blogs, Casey is keen on supporting others’ success stories, as she believes strongly in the power of support and altruism.

Casey's appreciation for social improvement came about as a response to some very difficult experiences. Some of these difficulties were: Seeing the after affects of a life in the Children's Aid Society, losing a close family member to a criminal lifestyle, growing up in a single parent household, being isolated from her extended family, living on her own at a young age, being bullied, and being sexually assaulted. Casey feels that every difficult experience she has encountered has served to make her a stronger person and her hope is that others going through similar situations will also move forward and go on to empower themselves and others.