I’ve had my battles; I’ve been through happiness and heartbreak and triumphs and tribulations. I’m done. I’m not done with the concept of being with someone, or being happy for that matter. I’m done with settling for people who don’t deserve me. I’m done settling for people who don’t set my soul on fire and light up my eyes.

I’m not going to settle because I know what’s meant to be will be. Whether I’ve met this person yet, or I won’t meet them for years to come. I know when I do meet this person, I won’t be settling. This person is going to make me laugh harder than I ever have. They’re going to build me up and not tear me down. I am a strong believer that God has designed the person I’m supposed to be with, specifically for me. I believe in soulmates.

I’m not going to settle because I’m happy. I don’t need someone else to make me happy, I see other couples and I do wonder what that companionship would be like at this point in my life. But I’m not unhappy. I’m not settling.

Through all the ups and downs and turbulent waters of previous relationships I have learned I haven’t been with anyone close to the person I’m supposed to be with. There is a man out there for me; there’s someone out there for you, too. The problem with relationships these days is that people are seeking them. A relationship can’t be anything but superficial if you were out there searching for the next attainable catch, you see. You can’t swipe right on Tinder and expect to settle for someone you barely know, and you can’t scope the bar and settle for the first person you lay eyes on. While these may work out for a little bit, are they really anything you want?

A relationship is a companionship. I didn’t settle for the friends I have. I built relationships with them. I built trust. I built memories. Why would I treat a relationship any different?

I’m fine with not settling because I’m getting to know different people, and I’m getting to know myself. I may not have anyone to cook dinner, drink with and snuggle on a Friday night, or take me home to meet his parents; I’m alone and going with wherever life takes me. Life happens when you least expect it. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. What I have learned the most is you can’t make anyone want you and you can’t control the future. You also can’t change the past. I’m not settling because I’ve learned from my past mistakes and I hope to prevent future ones.

I’m not settling because instead of being in a relationship that’s superficial at the surface, I’m discovering things I never knew deep inside myself. I’m learning to be confident within myself. I’m learning to stand my ground, I’m learning to become bold. I’ve learned you can’t use someone in a relationship as a crutch. They are supposed to lift you up when you’re down, but in a relationship you’re a team. Each team player has to be strong and ready, and maybe I’m just going through training. Lord knows.

What I do know is don’t ever settle for someone who makes you think less of yourself. Don’t ever settle for someone who doesn’t light up your world. Don’t ever settle for someone who doesn’t want to experience life and the world with you. Settle for someone who shakes your daddy’s had when he meets him for the first time. Settle for someone who loves you as much as you love yourself. Settle for someone who would climb mountains for you, but alongside you. As a team. Settle for someone who respects your thoughts, your body and your beliefs. Settle for someone who makes you realize all the time you spent alone was worth it.

I’m not settling.

By Leigha Decker for Odyssey