Viva logo

Why a Woman Should Never Settle for Less in a Man

by Kate Feathers 21 days ago in relationships

You can’t make a tree bloom no matter how hard you try.

Photo by nappy on Pexels

She thought she could change him.

She failed. Again.

All that’s left are crushed dreams of what could have been, while fully well knowing that it could never actually have happened. Because he wasn’t who he claimed to be at the beginning. Because he turned into another disappointment.

She’s tired of having her high hopes crushed each time. She’s exhausted from putting up with behaviour she should not have to put up with.

The solution?

Don’t settle for less. And don’t hope that one day, less will somehow turn into more. Because it rarely does.

My mum has been treated poorly by men her whole life.

She doesn’t ask for much. She’d like to know she’s being appreciated, loved and desired — the same as the rest of us. She doesn’t need you to send her a bucket of flowers every day, message her 24/7 or treat her as if she fell from heaven at all hours.

All she asks for is a man who will show her how much she means to him.

All the men she’s dated seem to feel like this is just simply too much. They accept without gratitude that she cooks and bakes for them, dresses up for their dates or gives them little presents here and there.

When my mum’s in love, she cares deeply. She puts the effort in. She tries to make it work, no matter how hard these men can get, tries to communicate and come to some sort of conclusion.

They prefer to wave their hand as if she was an annoying fly and divert the conversation elsewhere, so they don’t have to deal with conflict. The last ex-boyfriend particularly avoided conflict like plague.

When she cried, he went to sleep.

When she begged for them to talk through their issues, he said, “later.” Later never came.

When he was running late for their date, he didn’t tell her in advance, letting her wait for him for ages.

When she came to visit him after a week of not seeing each other, he played a videogame on his computer for two hours instead of spending time with her.

He never suggested going on a trip. Never surprised her, always forgot to keep his promises, rarely called.

Why would she stay with someone like that, I hear you ask?

Because when they met, he was the complete opposite of all those things.

It’s fascinating how much some men can change in the span of three months.

During the first few weeks, they’re simply charming. They bring you flowers, take you to the cinema, shower you with compliments.

“He treated me like a princess,” my mum said. “Nobody had ever treated me like that before.”

In just six weeks, the excitement was gone. My mum became old news. The princess turned into a forgettable part of his life. She told him her feelings, wore her heart on her sleeve, made herself an “easy conquest”, whatever that means.

The real question is, shouldn’t people just date each other when they feel like it without the silly a cat tries to catch a mouse kind of game — because the cat does catch the mouse eventually, and what then?

And that’s a part of the problem. If you’re only a mouse to him, he’ll toss you out once he gets bored of playing with you. You can’t go out there and look for a cat, ladies.

You need to find yourself a penguin. Penguins search for a soulmate, not a distraction.

My mum wanted to keep being that princess, even after he stopped treating her as such.

And that’s when she decided less was enough. Because less would eventually lead to more, surely, it had to. She clung onto this hope with all her might. She hoped and hoped, tried and tried, until they broke up long past their expiration date.

Until the breakup hurt her even more because she held onto the relationship for too long, let herself fall in love even deeper. And now she cries herself to sleep.

Sometimes people settle for less and decide they’re okay with it because they’ve lost all hope for a better outcome. Often, though, we only settle for less because we still secretly believe that one day we’ll wake up and this little pile of rubbish will turn into a gold mine.

Well, men can do lots of things, but they’re no magicians by any means. Yes, they can change in some ways. But they’re also rigid in others — no matter what you do, you can’t make that tree bloom if it doesn’t want to bloom itself.

If you live like that, you’ll spend every day hoping the tree will start blossoming, only to realise many years later you’ve wasted your time on a dead piece of wood. And it hurts even more.

When you settle for less, you compromise yourself in the process. You throw your happiness, your identity, your precious time out of the window. And for what? For a guy who doesn’t put the effort in, doesn’t communicate, doesn’t bother?

You’re worth more than that.

When you settle for less, you sentence yourself to an unhappy life, right there and then. Nobody can be satisfied with a partner who doesn’t fulfil their needs. Somewhere down the road, you’ll be unhappy.

Either you’ll give up and live with your disappointment, or you’ll realise how much time you’ve wasted on wishing the impossible to life. Both are rubbish in comparison to a happy single life, if you ask me.

Who knows? If you let that guy go, you might encounter a better one later on. It would be a shame to lose that kind of opportunity for someone who doesn’t deserve you.

If you settle for less, you betray your standards. You betray yourself. Figure out how you want to be treated and as soon as the red flags accumulate, as soon as your boundaries are overstepped, your expectations unfulfilled — get out of there.

If you try and try, and he still doesn’t bother, it’s time to cut to the chase. There’s no time for men like that. Putting a sexy picture of Hugh Grant on your wall might make your day more worthwhile than trying to get a sentence out of that guy.

If he gave up on trying to make you happy, it’s time to give up on trying to make it work. Because no matter how hard you try to change him, less is not going to be more.

Might as well go and get yourself the right amount instead.


Kate Feathers

Student of Literature & Languages, I write about relationships, self-improvement, feminism, writing and mental health. Contact me: [email protected]

Discover more of my work:

Receive stories by Kate Feathers in your feed
Kate Feathers
Read next: 10 Surprising Facts About Vintage LGBTQ Culture

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2021 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.