4 Problematic Things People Mean When They Say "You Can Do Better"

Of the infinite number of terrible ways we bully one another into second guessing what it is we should or shouldn't be doing with our lives, coming in at number one is probably the classic: "you could do better than [her/him]." I'm always confused by this, but even more confused by how, especially when we were a little younger, friends always felt it necessary to approve or disapprove of a relationship based on very surface level, immediately obvious things.

I know I'm not the only one, so I'm fine with admitting the fact that for a long time I struggled to identify my own (real) feelings when it came to relationships, or at least, I definitely questioned: do I really like this person or do I like them because other people would think they're "right" for me?

Needless to say, that didn't last long, and caused more problems than not. But it was the beginning of my realizing that over time, fewer people define what's "best" by how people appear and start defining what's "best" by how much you love one another. Or at least, the people worth your time will do that. Otherwise, anybody who wants to classify whether or not someone is "right" for you by whether or not you can "do better" — as in get someone higher on the human ranking: smarter, richer, more charming — are, ironically, not actually looking out for your best interests, but rather usually just trying to make themselves feel better by judging you.

When people say "you can do better" (and don't mean it in the context of an abusive or overtly unhappy partnership), it's usually a signal that their brains function on the "scale of how good humans are by how rich and pretty they are" continuum that leads to a lot of comparison issues and even more self-hate. They're not to be listened to, and that's because when they say "you can do better" what they really mean is this:

Good People Are Gauged By How Good They Appear To Be

(Again, this is assuming that they aren't speaking to an actual issue, but rather just your arbitrary, subjective choice of partner.) To say that you can "do better" is to almost pretend as though there's a scale of how "good" people are, and they are as proportionately "good" as they are attractive or wealthy or something immediately understandable by just seeing them or knowing the briefest bits about them.

You Will Love Someone In Proportion To How Attractive And Successful They Are

To say you can "do better" isn't to say "you can find someone with whom you share even more love and respect," it's to say that you'll be happier when you find someone who outwardly seems "better." It's a sad situation, when someone is at the point of really believing that this is how love and companionship works, and also pretty indicative of why the romantic landscape looks the way it does these days.

You're Not Proving Your Worth By Finding Someone Who Is Most Socially Ideal

To raise your nose to someone's choice of partner really isn't absent-minded ignorance as much as it is a projection of their own insecurity. A lot of people who aren't open to real love supplement it by seeking out a different kind of affection and desire: one that makes them "look" worthy of love to other people. Too many confuse this for the real thing, and end up empty and not knowing why, but the concept of "doing better" in terms of love isn't the cause, it's a symptom.

I'm Jealous That You Even Have Love At All, So Here's How I'm Going To Squander It

I can't imagine a scenario in which this doesn't play a role. The truth is that everybody wants love in some or many form(s) and sometimes it's hard to see or acknowledge someone you know or are close to finding it before you. "You can do better" doesn't usually come from the mouths of happily coupled people, so realize that it's more a way to dismiss or lessen what you have as opposed to truly give you advice about what you deserve.

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