You don’t have to be anyone’s default option.
Relationships of convenience, “situationships” and default relationships all stem from the same place. They kind of just happen. The two involved parties don’t necessarily choose one another, they just end up together and sometimes surrender to staying that way. Other times, someone wonders how they got there, realizes it’s not where they want to be and bolts at the first opportunity.
It’s convenient to remain attached to someone with whom we are comfortable and have history. Even if we’re unhappy, that connection feels safe. The other person takes care of us in some way. There is a need being met or a void being occupied. So, we remain in an unfulfilling relationship and call it compromise.
Then there are default relationships, where we spend time with someone and just start acting like a couple. We look at all that we’ve done together and see pairing up as the next rational step. Rarely is anyone asked if this is what they want. We just assume, because why else would we behave together in such a manner? There is no discussion about love languages, compatibility, or what a person wants and needs from the union before making it so. Naturally, astonishment abounds as things are revealed about each individual. We realize we never really knew them at all.
Neither of these options sound appealing to me, which is why I feel it is so important to consciously decide on romantic partners. Choice is powerful. Even just psychologically, knowing that you had a say in the matter is empowering compared to feeling as though you were trapped, tricked or pressured. I know, it sounds amazing to be swept off of your feet and rendered defenseless to the passion and attraction felt with another human being. You can still have that. So long as there comes a point where someone stops and thinks.
I wrote out an entire case for choosing instead of falling in love.
But the gist of it is my wanting to know that someone selected me despite viable alternatives, with both their heart and mind. I want to know that this is something you thought about, and arrived at the conclusion that I am the person with whom you want to be. Impulse control is a thing for a reason. Our hormones and emotions sometimes do what they want with little regard for logic or purpose. I want to know that you chose me, and that you choose me again every day. Leave no room for doubt or indifference.
We wonder why we always end up with the same kinds of undesirable people. It’s because we aren’t really choosing them. We think we are, but we’re actually just drawn to something about their type and neglect to stop the train. We ride the wave of sensation instead of taking a step back and seeing them for who they really are. We aren’t honest with ourselves. Next thing we know, we’ve defaulted into yet another relationship that seems exactly like the last.
We like who and what we like, often without cause. So, it can feel as though we don’t have any control. But this is an area where we actually do, if we’d only accept the responsibility. It’s easy to just let things happen and absolve ourselves of blame — probably a lot less lonely too. However, being open to possibility is different. It’s freeing to accept things as they come. But being a passenger in our own lives is its own kind of bondage.
There is always a greater appreciation for things that we have chosen, rather than those that fell into our laps or were forced upon us. In always choosing to be chosen no matter how good the situation feels, regardless of how afraid we are that someone will not elect to be with us if given the choice, we opt for being valued, respected and revered — instead of simply desired.