Sometimes, you want something to work so badly you let it linger. You look at the positive side, you remain optimistic (even cautiously) and you keep going although you know better. We tell ourselves that it could be worse. Sometimes, we are just so tired and worn down that we can’t imagine going back out there and starting fresh. But the very last thing you should do is settle.

Any relationship is work and no person can be everything for someone; so you must decide what’s important and what’s worth giving up. A good friend of mine and I were talking years ago about his then girlfriend. She was beautiful and had a great career but we were a little concerned because she was jealous and seemed a bit controlling. When we brought it up to him he said, “She can be, but I decided that I can tolerate that. After a while you choose your battles. I can live with her jealously and her stubbornness and I’m totally ok with that because there are so many other great things about her.” They are now married and have two children. It was at this point he brought up that conversation out of the blue one day and said, “Her jealousy is still there, but her stubbornness has wained. It was worth putting up with in the beginning for what we have now.”

When dating and deciding who you want to live life beside; these are things you should consider. The good, the bad the ugly. To know what you want and can tolerate. Disclaimer: Obviously, within reason and not if abuse of any kind is going on.

Maybe the next person you meet isn’t the jealous type but maybe instead they just don’t ‘get you’. You have to know when it’s just plain wrong for you and when it’s a negotiable. Are you overreacting to something that’s not THAT big a deal in the end? Do you have a good time when you hang out? Do you look forward to the next time? Do they give you what YOU need in a relationship? If not, move forward. Don’t stick with something because it might be the “lesser of the two evils”; the other being putting yourself back out there. It’s worth it, SO worth it, to be with someone who lights up your world, sets it on fire and who you cannot imagine being without.

When it comes to knowing when it’s right, it’s not something anyone can explain to you. When you know, you know. And if you have to ask? It’s likely not it. Even if on paper they seem ideal, it’s your instinct you have to listen to. That guttural feeling, the pit in your stomach; love isn’t going to look the same for everyone, but the feeling is the same.

I’m not a professional at this, I’m a novice just like you. But, I know some things and have lived through some things and in the end, the lesson is always the same. Following my instinct has never led me astray and when I didn’t listen to it, it aways has.