You can’t have a faithful and fulfilling relationship with excellence while cheating with mediocrity. This is true in all areas of endeavor, from business to music and sports; it also applies to love and relationships.

You don’t always get what’s healthy for you in love and relationships; but you always get what you accept. Unfortunately, too many of us never experience Grown, loving relationships of H.E.R.—Honor, Esteem and Respect—because we have been taught to settle for what’s average, typical and common to most relationships, including dissatisfaction, infidelity, disrespect and abuse. It is critical that you understand that mediocre relationships exist not because they are inevitable, but because most people have been taught that it’s selfish, foolish, wrong or unrealistic to require anything more.

The truth: Anyone—including you—can have excellent relationships without suffering, compromise or the lowering of standards. In fact, that’s what you are created for! Better yet, finding and keeping the greatest love of your life is possible regardless of your current relationship status. Following are three actions you can take to reject unhealthy, disatisfying relationships so that you can have the love you were created to give and receive: The greatest the love of your life.

Break up with “not perfect”—also known as mediocrity.  Stop settling for less than what is healthy for you. You have to permanently reject beliefs that justify embracing mediocrity, such as “You have to sacrifice [actually, suffer] for love,” “Everybody has their issues” and “There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship.”

Perfection is not required to have excellent relationships, and the impossibility of it does not mean you should accept anything less than what is good and healthy for you. Whenever anyone tells you that your standards are too high, ask yourself: Does lowering them serve your agenda? Or theirs? Standards and boundaries have a purpose: to help you choose what is self-loving and healthy for you and reject what is not. It is your responsibility and right—no one else’s—to set and enforce both. Kick mediocrity to the curb, for good.

Court, woo and passionately pursue the love of your life—YOU. The love you seek from others can never exceed or substitute for the love you practice with yourself. We mean this literally. Proactively engage in a relationship with You. (We capitalize You so that you start relating to yourself as a person created to be loved, not just a pronoun.) Don’t just look at your reflection; see You. Don’t merely hear your words; listen to You. Don’t just tolerate; celebrate You. Practice saying “I love You” until you mean it.

And then, don’t just say it—show it! Focus on treating yourself with the love, affection, tenderness, respect, security and attention you’ve longed for and/or have been selflessly giving to others. (Almost a decade ago, early in his journey to self love, personal growth and healthy relationships, Alfred literally sang his favorite rhythm-and-blues love songs to himself in the mirror, until it stopped feeling awkward and he meant every word of it, and he gradually began treating himself accordingly.) Once you become convinced that you deserve nothing less than excellent treatment and healthy love, you will attract those who agree with you. Also, you will have little or no trouble bypassing those who don’t.

Begin a committed, faithful relationship with excellence. Great relationships don’t happen by chance, but by choice. Finding and keeping the love of your life does not happen by accident, but only with an intentional commitment to self love, personal growth and healthy relationships. And to keep that love going, you must resist the temptation to go back to your “ex”: mediocrity, and the common, average choices and relationships it promises, and that you were once comfortable with. Don’t let nostalgia trick you into believing that you were actually happy with your ex!


Trust us: The effort will be more than worth it. Once you find and make an unwavering commitment to the greatest love of your life, you’ll have it forever, regardless of your relationship status. You’ll never put up with mediocre relationships again.