I got a real life example yet again this week why I will not settle ever again for anything less than I deserve.
A former high school friend from an even 'former life', about 25ish years ago, whose parents are still connected through friendship with mine, reached out to me for my recent birthday and the New Year.
I sent him an email thanking him for his well wishes and we traded a few emails catching up on what had happened in our lives over the last few years. I had not heard from him for probably 3 years or so as I had shut down a lot of my contacts as I was going through xh's infidelity and subsequent separation and divorce. I was just done for a while explaining to far away friends and dealing with their ignorance of the situation at times and just relied on my close by friends, who could not only listen but also provide that shoulder to cry on.
Last I heard my friend had never gotten married but last time I talked to him he was in the process of building a house with his long-term girlfriend. I was glad to hear it, thought maybe he is settling down. He is a good guy, very straightforward but also very romantic in many ways. He always wanted kids but never found the woman for that and so I was rooting for him that she was the one since they both were still young enough. Turned out, only a couple of months after they moved into their new house she moved on with another guy whom she had started seeing behind my friend's back while he was traveling for business. This was about 18 months ago.
Fast forward to now. She discovered that, after all, my friend was the better man for her and so she is has been making an attempt to come back after she put him through hell and took him to court over the house.
I can certainly understand the desire to reconcile a long-term relationship, been there, done that.
But, when he told me that the only reason he is with her again now is that he has a hard time being alone and that she is available to him right now but that he does not trust her at all, I kind of lost it with him I have to admit. I told him about this site and asked him to read a little in the BS forum and in the Healing Library because he talked truly like a BS; I heard all the pain but yet he was bargaining with himself and in denial about the impact of her betrayal.
And then it hit me - how far you can actually come in your healing and how that fear of being alone for a while or maybe for a long while does not mean you have to lower your standards and settle for whomever comes your way. I would never even consider somebody who told me I was not this and that 'enough' for them and take them back. I am starting to be able to pull myself out of that funk, when you feel lonely and become vulnerable to any guy who shows the slightest of interest in you.
So, I wrote him a nice but firm email with some of the wisdom quoted from SI. And shared my long and still very windy road from total collapse under the infidelity of my xh, failed attempts at reconciliation and slow, but steady growth and healing from thereon forward, steps backwards and picking up and moving forward again.
But listening to him sure just made my resolve stronger - never settle.