Good morning! I hope you’re staying warm this week. Quick but important rant this morning: Tigers and their stripes. We’re all tigers, we all have our own unique stripes, and only we, as individuals can change them. I’ve seen WAY too often recently amazing young woman, some in long distance “relationships” some in very long-term local relationships, but all with someone that “will change” or will “grow into this relationship” or a various number of other excuses. To be honest, that’s bullshit, and it’s TOTALLY disheartening to even be witness to! You can’t change someone, and if you’re hoping to, or you’re hoping they do for you, you’re not with the right person. You HAVE to love someone for all their amazing qualities as WELL as their flaws. If you can’t do this, you’re not with the right person. Maybe this person doesn’t give you the time and energy you deserve… and in a long distance relationship that’s really all you have to give! If you’re hundreds of miles apart and you can’t get your “significant” other (term used loosely) to call you, or text you back, THEY’RE NOT THE RIGHT PERSON!!! Stop making excuses for them! You’re allowed to like them, even LOVE them and still not have them be the right person for you! Likewise, there are couples I’ve seen where one person wanted to settle down, get married and have kids while their significant other just didn’t want that. Don’t try and change them! That’s unfair! They are entitled to want what they want, as are you! You need to decide if that’s something you can live with or if it’s a deal-breaker. But that’s up to YOU! Stop trying to change that other person, waiting for that person to change or making excuses for them. You’re each entitled to want what you want out of a relationship. And if those desires don’t match up (which they never TOTALLY will) you need to figure out what is manageable and what is a deal-breaker. And if it’s a deal-breaker and you’re both unwilling to budge (which is okay btw…) then it’s time to move on! It’s not the end of the world! Be responsible, be open, be honest and be transparent. You will take away important lessons from each relationship you’re in, each time you love someone and each time you fail at it. Failure is okay! Accept it and view it as a chance to learn and grow. You are better than settling for someone not up to your standards, whatever they may be. That may sound snobby or pretentious, but you know what? Tough shit. That’s life. Each person has their own set of standards by which they hold themselves (ideally), their significant others, and love itself. And that’s the way it should be! Don’t’ be ashamed of that! You are worth someone loving you how you WANT to be loved, as well as how you deserve to be loved. And you are worth more than making excuses or trying to change someone who isn’t willing or wanting to change themselves. Be better than that. Look in the mirror and see who you are. You’re amazing. You deserve amazing in return. Settle for nothing less. And as always; Much Love, Smile On.