Would You Pass Up You?

cute couple at the beach

Let’s face it: we’re hypocrites. We’re not necessarily evil, but we have a remarkable capacity to compartmentalize our thinking. It’s what allows some of us, as liberals, to look for extra tax deductions when we know the government needs more money. It’s what allows us to post scathing commentary about strangers online without considering what it would feel like to be the recipient of such commentary. Basically, hypocrisy is what allows us to get out of bed every day – as it’s easier to focus on others’ flaws than it is to focus on our own.

Nowhere is this more apparent than the dating arena.

I meet single people every day who talk about their refusal to settle – without realizing that someone, in some capacity, has to settle on them.

For years, I coasted on the fact that I was   kind, intelligent, funny and ambitious. Focusing solely on my good traits – and sweeping my bad traits under the rug – allowed me to dissect each and every woman who crossed my path. I could pass her up because she’s a workaholic, because she’s a few years older, because she’s got a few extra pounds, because she’s sarcastic. Yet I rarely put any time into thinking how she put up with a guy who is moody, neurotic, high-maintenance, and somewhat negative.

This realization – this tearing down of ego – was the big step that opened me up to my relationship with my wife. I started to appreciate the idea that, despite my good qualities, there was a whole lot of forgiving one had to do to be my partner.

And I would intimate that if you consider what someone else is sacrificing to be with you – whether you’re asking them to concede on height, weight, age, income, health, temperament, personality, etc – you will be a lot more forgiving of others in the future.

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  1. 1

    Evan, what timely post….,I think God is dealing with me on that very issue right now, although I would consider mine to be pride. And it hurts. Because I don’t want to risk being made a fool of. It’s safer to keep someone at arm’s length, rather than being vulnerable and giving them a chance.

  2. 2

    I loved this post! Thank you for such a kind reminder.

  3. 3

    Aside from the attraction and love that brings two people together, successful relationships have at their core constant compromise, negotiation, acceptance, and yes, sacrifice….hopefully a healthy dose of laughter too.

    Both people can’t always get their way, win the argument, have their immediate needs met…..one or the other is sacrificing for the other, or for the relationship at whole over and over and over. Sometimes in very small ways, some large.

    I think Evan is challenging the Me, Me, Me attitude that is so pervasive but self-defeating…

  4. 4

    Why would I want someone who felt “they were sacrificing to be with me”? Good grief.

    When you find someone you really connect with, a few pounds, years, inches, income, temperment, etc. become irrelevant. You don’t think of those things in terms of “compromising” or “settling”. Not when you love the other person. If you don’t? What are you doing with them anyway?

    In order to find someone to love you are certainly better off without the idea of “sacrificing yourself”. And the more rigid you are, the more it shouldn’t surprise you that you keep running into people just as rigid. Expand your parameters. See what happens.

  5. 5

    I am more focused on my own flaws than those of others. I have always expected more of myself. I am a 24-hour self-analysis clinic. [LOL] I am also more forgiving and understanding of others. In part, I often think of people at different stages of their lives to try and better understand why they are as they are, and this brings compassion. I have to be careful to not be too hard on myself.

    Would I pass myself up? Sure. On any given day, I am easily passable. I can’t possibly be all things to all people, thank goodness. What a burden that would be. I am also someone to take notice of. I know the good qualities that I offer.

    It can be a fine line, though, between what you are willing to tolerate, overlook, accept, compromise on, and what isn’t right for you. I can be very understanding of a workaholic, but also know in my heart that their lifestyle may not be what I want to be a part of, if I’m a true part at all. And they may feel the same way about my being a single mom. I’m not sure it’s always an ego-driven issue where one can only see their greatness and not their own ilks, weaknesses, differences, intolerance, etc. Though no doubt this is often the case.

  6. 6
    Relationship Advice From Penny

    Evan, if I read this article in my early twenties I would have been like, “Are you crazy?? I’m the bomb! The only thing guys would be settling for when it comes to me is that he’d be settling in line to be with me.” lol.

    Needless to say, I’m not in my early twenties anymore (that was a long time ago).. Anyway, my point is I’ve come a long ways and am thankful for all my flaws. It was in recognizing that I’m not “the bomb” that I thought I was, and humbling myself enough to learn from the pain and the mistakes, only then was I truly happy with me. I guess we all have to grow up sometime (sooner better than later) 🙂

    Also, I’ve learned that humility never goes out of style. I hope I will always remain humble enough to be forgiving and work on bettering myself. I may not think I’m “the bomb” anymore, but I know I’m growing into a fine lady.. Your article reminded me that I’m not perfect and I know I can still improve in many areas…I guess I could say I’m the bomb for being this way! lol 🙂
    .-= Relationship Advice From Penny’s last blog ….Proven secrets for creating great relationships (Part 1 of 5) =-.

  7. 8

    Good post, Evan. It’s good to remember that we all have our own foibles and quirks.

    RE: Selena’s #3

    Love is not blind. You can love someone and still realize that they could be taller, or fitter, or wealthier, or whatever it is that prevents them from being People’s Sexiest Person Alive. Acknowledging their weaknesses doesn’t mean you love them any less. It means that despite those shortcomings you’d still rather be with them than anyone else. So these are compromises or “sacrifices” that you’re happy to make.

    It’s the same way many parents are happy to sacrifice some of their monetary wants so that their children can get a better education. They value the education more than their personal wants, but it doesn’t mean that they’ve totally forgotten about the things they’ve foregone. Sacrifice is not a bad word, it’s just been given an extremely negative connotation in today’s society.

  8. 9


    “Love is not blind. You can love someone and still realize that they could be taller, or fitter, or wealthier, or whatever it is that prevents them from being People’s Sexiest Person Alive. Acknowledging their weaknesses doesn’t mean you love them any less. It means that despite those shortcomings you’d still rather be with them than anyone else. ”

    Exactly. But I don’t believe such people go around thinking they “compromised” or ugh, “sacrificed”, or “forgone” the possibility of having something else. If you fall in love with someone you choose to be your husband and you going to go about feeling you “sacrificed” because you could have had Johnny Depp?

  9. 10


    I agree with you that people in love don’t go usually go around all of the time thinking that they’ve compromised or sacrificed in order to be with their partner. But if someone were to ask them what they chose to compromise on in order to have the rewarding relationship they’re in, they could probably identify the shortcomings. Though they’d also realize and acknowledge that the benefits far outweighed the disadvantages.

  10. 11

    Compromise is what you do when you alternate spending Christmases with your partner’s family instead of your own every year.

    Sacrifice is when you uproot yourself and your family for the sake of furthering your partner’s career when you wish you didn’t have to.

    Maintaining a relationship is full of compromises and sacrifices.

    It’s not wanting a fellow who’s 6’2″, but “settling” for Tom who happens to be 5’9″. Or wanting a woman who’s a size 2, but “settling” for Sherry who is a size 8. The words compromise and sacrifice are trivialized and demeaning when used in such context.

  11. 12

    To better clarify, it “is” ego driven, when one can only see their greatness – duh :). What I was trying to convey is that I’m not sure that when someone passes another over because they’re a workaholic that it’s definitely ego driven. Truthfully, everything we do is ego driven. 😉 How’s that for a conundrum.

    I like what Seductress said about the “Me Me Me” attitude. I think that society is becoming incredibly narcissistic, but that’s for another day.

  12. 13
    Mikko Kemppe - Relationship Coach

    I enjoyed the authenticity of this post. I agree, I think it is often very hard to see our own faults much less to honestly accept and love ourselves for who we are.
    .-= Mikko Kemppe – Relationship Coach’s last blog ….Why Some Guys Become Players And Why Women Are Often Attracted To Them =-.

  13. 14

    Sacrifice is all in the eye of the beholder, just like beauty. I take for instance my children; to give up something I might want so that they can have what they need is not a sacrifice to me. Their comfort and provision are my top priorities. Now, do they always get that new or best thing that they think they have to have? That’s not to say that they are handed everything they want and are spoiled, but what I mean is, it’s my good pleasure to see to their needs because I love them. I know that’s not exactly a romantic scenario, but I think it’s what is known as agape love. I think that we see very little of that type of love in romantic relationships anymore, when in truth, that’s the kind of love it takes for them to be truly successful. And I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard stories like Evan’s, where the person he decides to grow old with is nothing like he originally imagined or planned but he’s even happier than if he had stuck to what he really believed he wanted.

  14. 15


    I’ve noticed that women who post to Evan’s comment section seem to have a problem with taking words to extremes.

    Either it is a matter of being super perfectionistic to the point of being willfully alone for the rest of their lives -OR- it is a matter of “Settling” ( *plays dramatic music * ) for a total loser with no redeeming qualities who provides them with no inspiration for passion or happiness.


  15. 16

    The BF and I are each completely aware of the flaws we each bring to our relationship (it’s been over 3 years, after all).

    The BF says that he is the lucky one, and that I have fewer flaws then he. When I am angry with him, I agree – but I have certainly done my share of apologizing.

    Even when I didn’t think that I needed to. Sometimes, apologizing when you don’t think you should have to is what it takes for the other person to apologize, too – even when they didn’t think they had to. Once we can push past the dam of our pride, the floodgates of love can open!

    What a horrible metaphor 😉
    .-= Honey’s last blog ….Revelations, Part 1: The Weekend =-.

  16. 17

    One of my best friends and I hypothesized that all of someone’s character flaws could best be understood beneath a single umbrella – a fundamental misunderstanding about the world that was the direct cause of many other problems.

    Mine is that I think that I should be able to control everything. I don’t know what the BF’s would be, but it’s interesting to think about…
    .-= Honey’s last blog ….Revelations, Part 1: The Weekend =-.

  17. 18
    Karl R

    Selena said: (#9)
    “If you fall in love with someone you choose to be your husband and you going to go about feeling you sacrificed because you could have had Johnny Depp?”

    Let’s take a more real-life example. Less than two years ago I was in a relationship with a woman who had an STD (which she’d contracted through a blood transfusion).

    I thought she was an amazing person, and I wasn’t about to break things off just because she told me about the STD. But it did affect the amount and nature of the intimacy in the relationship, which I would say was a sacrifice. Was she worth it? Absolutely. (Even though the relationship ended for unrelated reasons.)

    I might not be able to “have” Halle Berry, but I am sure that I can find someone who doesn’t have an STD.

    Maybe your flaws are so insignificant that someone could reasonably be in a relationship with you without feeling they are making any sacrifices. That’s not the case for everyone.

  18. 19

    The thing is that the good out weights the bad. One boyfriend I had wasn’t the cutiest but was such a giving person and had a great bod. He didn’t handle money well but always was willing to help me with any of my home projects. If you have been in a good relationship for a period if rime, you realize and accept the bad traits because the good out weight them. For those who have not been in a longterm relationship, this may be hard and a foreign concept.

  19. 20

    AJ #19:
    “If you have been in a good relationship for a period of time, you realize and accept the bad traits because the good out weight them. For those who have not been in a longterm relationship, this may be hard and a foreign concept.”

    I suspect you are right.

    I’ve often wondered if these people who are seeking an “ideal” they keep in their head have actually ever had a long term relationship.

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