Music, Relationships

You’re not bad at love; you just have high standards. And that’s okay! #badatlove

With Valentine’s Day (aka Singles Awareness Day) coming up, love will be on the minds of many. How can you avoid thinking about such a commercialized holiday that the retailers and advertisers won’t let you escape? Unfortunately, many will also be beating themselves up over their inability to find love. Bad at Love, by Halsey, might just be this year’s single’s awareness anthem. But as I listen to the words to this song on the radio at least twice a day, I keep thinking: Are you really bad at love, or do you just have high standards?

Each verse of this song analyzes a situation in which the song writer is purportedly bad at love. In the first, Halsey laments over a boy back home who, “tastes like Jack when I’m kissing him; So I told him that I never really liked his friends; Now he’s gone and he’s calling me a bitch again.”

He tastes like Jack when I’m kissing him; So I told him that I never really liked his friends; Now he’s gone and he’s calling me a bitch again.

Hmmm. He sure sounds like a winner. I mean, if you can’t make it work with a guy who always tastes like hard liquor and thinks it’s okay to call you a bitch, who CAN you make it work with, right? Wrong. This guy sounds to me like he might grow up to be a mean drunk. Do you want to be his punching bag someday? No. You don’t. You’re not bad at love. You just dodged a bullet on that one. Let’s move on.

Halsey tells guy #2 that her music career will be worth him waiting for her. She’s pretty famous now, so that sounds legit to me. Even if things hadn’t worked out with her music, she should have followed her dreams. A guy worth having would encourage her to be her own person and know that their love will survive the time apart. He would pursue his own interests in the meantime. The two would work to develop into whole people outside their relationship. Once those whole people are fully developed, then they can take the time to determine whether they are still compatible. In a perfect world, that’s how a healthy relationship would work. But, no. This guy wants her “in the kitchen with a dinner plate.” He’s not looking for a relationship. He’s looking for someone to replace his mother as his caretaker. Bullet number two: dodged!

So I told him the music would be worth the wait; But he wants me in the kitchen with a dinner plate.

Guy #3 is a girl, and that’s cool. The problem with her is that, “I never got the chance to make her mine; Because she fell in love with little thin white lines.” Basically, the girl who thinks she’s so “bad at love” chose not to put her own well-being at risk by continuing a relationship with a drug addict. I don’t know about you, but that sounds to me like yet another bullet dodged!

I never got the chance to make her mine; Because she fell in love with little thin white lines.

The bottom line is, none of these situations sound to me like someone who is bad at love. Instead, I think she has high standards. She makes good choices that keep her from saddling herself with a bad relationship that will just make her miserable. Why is that a bad thing? I can tell you from experience that being single is far better than wasting time in a relationship with someone who hurts you.

If you’re opting out of relationships because you think you deserve better, you’re not bad at love. You just have high standards. High standards are a good thing. So, stop listening to a society that demands that you give every potential partner “the benefit of the doubt.”

If you have doubts, that’s probably your instincts telling you the person isn’t right for you. Listen to your instincts. They’re almost always right. You deserve better. This Valentine’s Day, love yourself first and don’t be afraid to be single rather than lowering your standards for someone who doesn’t really love you or respect you.

2 thoughts on “You’re not bad at love; you just have high standards. And that’s okay! #badatlove”

  1. It’s extremely unusual for a well-integrated person to have major relationship problems. In fact, they’re almost inevitably an indicator of unmet or badly met emotional needs that won’t get straightened out without first accepting their presence, and then seeking clarity through therapy.

    Sometimes “high standards” can be a catchall phrase: fear of commitment, social and/or sexual anorexia, inability to relate to partners as equals, and so forth. Label personal characteristics only after deep and prolonged examination of what’s inside our own heads. It usually requires outside help, because we’re far too good at lying to ourselves about our motives and stuffing the undesirable stuff under the carpet.

    To repeat something a sponsor once told me when I asked for his definition of denial…
    Sponsor: Ever have an abscessed tooth?
    Me: Yes.
    Sponsor: Did you immediately go to the dentist?
    Me: Yes.
    Sponsor: Did you have an abscess after that?
    Me: Yes.
    Sponsor: That’s denial.

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