By: Morgan Snyder

While talking about her dating relationship, someone once made the comment to me, “I mean, that’s just how it is.” She was describing the fact that her significant other consistently does something that she has asked him many times not to do. Over and over again she has made her boundaries known, and every time he gets the chance, he crosses them, totally ignoring her request that he stops. It leaves her feeling disrespected, unloved, ignored, and frustrated. And yet, she says that that’s just how it is.

All of us have a deep need to be in healthy relationships in order to thrive, so why would we not aim to be in the best relationships possible? I’m talking about friendships, dating relationships, interactions with coworkers, siblings, parents, and so on. We interact with people all the time, and if we don’t have respect given to us, and in turn give respect to others, then we are settling. Let me say it again for the people in the back: if you are not consistently respected in your relationships, you are settling. Better exists.

I often come across people who find their identity in their relationships; they feel lesser than if they are single, for example. Or they think they aren’t as cool because they happen to have fewer friends than they wish they had. Because they want to be in a relationship/ more friends so badly, they settle for what they can have NOW rather than waiting for something later that is so much better. If we waste our time in relationships in which we aren’t treated with respect, then when a better thing comes along, we might miss it because we are too busy putting up with unhealthy or toxic behavior in our current relationship. Don’t waste your time. If you see constant unhealthy behavior from your significant other or friends, especially if things get worse and worse, something needs to be done. We must set boundaries with those people because not having boundaries invites a lack of respect.

If someone doesn’t treat you well, or lies, if someone bails on you often, or manipulates you to get what they want, if they ignore you when you share your feelings, if they act like your parent (when they aren’t), if they laugh at you when you make a request, if you feel like you don’t have a voice in your relationship, or if someone makes you feel less than valuable, it is better to be single or have more time to yourself than to keep them in your life. That bronze medal doesn’t look as good when you realize you could have gotten the gold all along!