On the matter of settling. I was told that I would be alone forever, no one would love me, and I would just be used and tossed aside like I had always been. So I need to address this, as I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be told this.
You can only be those things if you allow it. I refuse to sell myself short ever again and to ever be treated as a disposable commodity.
See, the way others treat you is a reflection of how you treat yourself. If you have no self-respect, if you think nothing better of yourself than to jump from person to person, then you will get nothing more than that.
I, personally, would rather be alone than be treated like that again.
Prior to my last relationship my life was pretty much like that. I would bounce from person to person, looking for validation, acceptance, and "love". Well, when you do that you get very little of those things and a lot of using.
My last relationship was not all bad, in my opinion. We shared some really great times and some really great love. I learned what I do want - and what I DON'T want - in a future relationship.
I do want: respect, adoration, space, sharing, trust, conversation, sincerity, and cooperation. I don't want: codependence, neediness, obligation, or distrust.
I have discovered in order to accomplish this goal I must first complete myself. I must have self-respect, self-adoration, appreciate my space, share my self, trust myself and others, be open, sincere, and work toward a cooperative relationship and goals.
No one can complete you but YOU. My ideal relationship would be with someone who was a complete person on their own. They will be self-confident and not need anyone to make them feel good about themself. They will appreciate and respect their opinions, hobbies, and interest and in return respect mine. We will have "my space", "your space", and "our space". We will work cooperatively on life together, neither of us pulling the other up or pushing the other down.
We will be two complete people, coming together to compliment one another.
Being single has shown me I DO NOT NEED ANYONE. I got the bills paid, dishes done, laundry finished, floors cleaned, dinner made, homework complete, baths and showers and brushing teeth, and even had a moment to breath. I made it.. .. .. all by myself. Each day that I complete reminds me I am strong beyond my own knowledge and I am an asset to my family, myself, and whoever I chose to share my life with.
I will not settle, I don't need to. I will not sell myself short, I am worth more.
And someday someone will appreciate that, respect that, and love me unconditionally and just as I am.. .. ..