Every relationship is built on two things: standards and values.
Without knowing what you value most, or what your standards are, no matter how wonderful a relationship seems, it won’t last. Investing time, money, and energy into getting to know someone, only to have it fall apart makes many people feel like relationships are more work than they are worth.
This isn’t surprising considering how devastating divorce can be.
But marriage isn’t the only worthwhile goal in which to measure a good relationship by. When you want to find love but you don’t want to waste your time, the important factor is to be clear on your expectations. By knowing exactly what you want, you can accurately measure if your relationship will eventually be worthwhile.
Measure Your Investment.
Some relationships yield high reward yet take very little investment. Consider for example a casual friendship, or relationship with a co-worker. There isn’t much requirement of time or energy, because there is no expectation. You enjoy this persons company when you can, but you’re not obligated to maintain the relationship, so it seems easy.
You don’t have to put in hard work to have a successful relationship. In order to get the most of a relationship you should decide how much you are willing to invest. How much of your time, energy, money and attention are you willing to give to the other person before you determine it’s too much?
International dating expert, Matthew Hussey, often advises to women to invest at the same level that the person they are dated is investing in them. What does this look like? Are you the first to call, or text? Are you the person who always pays the tab, or splits the bill? Are you the one planning the dates, or making yourself more available than you need to be?
Investment isn’t just time or money. It can also be how much energy you’re putting into the other person. If they are the center of your thoughts most of the time, then you are investing a lot of focus which can be hard to recoup. You’re thinking about them, but how often are they thinking about you? To help manage how much you invest consider the following:
What You Are Willing To Do – What is it that you are willing to do because you want to show up authentically?
What Are You Willing To Give – What amount of time, money, or energy are you comfortable supplying in the relationship?
What Are You Willing To Spend – How much money will you invest overall. This might seem innocuous but most scams that occur online include some request for money, or a loan. Never give money to anyone that you’ve met online and not in person.
Does It Meet Your Needs?
When your needs go unmet you can find yourself easily exhausted. We all have needs. Even in romantic relationships there’s a job that the relationship does. It can make you feel desired, supported, attractive, and loved. When those ‘jobs’ aren’t being done in the relationship, it’s easy to feel like it’s not worth it.
A relationship has to meet your standards in order to feel fulfilling.
It’s easy to experience unmet standards if they’ve never been communicated. Standards as defined by The Healing Alphabet are a measurement of quality that matches one’s minimum level of expectation. If you minimum needs are not being met, you will never feel like your efforts are worth the return.
Do You Feel Better About Yourself?
Confidence is built over time by repeatedly finding success in an activity or behavior. Any relationship that costs you your self-esteem is not worth it. Your self-worth is too high a price to pay for anyone, and if you are repeatedly denied the attention, appreciation, and support you need, your confidence will inevitably go down.
In any relationship, you want to feel better about yourself.
Relationships should be a source of joy, but some people end up in ‘better than nothing’ relationships because they think being with someone is better than no one at all. A better than nothing relationship, according to Susan Page slowly wears at your self-esteem. The more you settle for less than you want, the more you begin to feel less than you are.
A relationship is truly worth it ONLY when you are growing together, and becoming who you were meant to be. It’s a learning opportunity that deepens your receptiveness to love. When you are neither growing, or feeling good about who you are in the relationship, you are likely paying too high a price. And then that relationship is not worth it, at all.