Is He Really the BEST or Just Better?

Why do we confuse “better” with “the best”?

Just because Pizza Hut pizza is clearly superior to Dominos, in no universe does that make Pizza Hut pizza the BEST ever??? Right?

I see this in gymnastics classes at my gym all the time. (And, I’m fairly certain that there are similar cases in all group sports.)

You have a class of kids, say they are “Level 1.” In the class, you have 8 children. All Level 1 classes have a list of skills they work on each practice, along with a list of skills each child must master, before being allowed to “level up” to Level 2. Are you with me?

Even though the class has a list of things they are working on, each child is going to improve and learn at their own pace.

Most of the time, this leaves the class of 8, with a few children who are learning quickly, a few children who are right on track, and a few children who are slower to grasp the tasks at hand.

Sometimes, you get a class with 7 kids who are right on track, and 1 child who is REALLY SHINING!

Now, the one child, while “better” than the rest of her classmates, is still not passing the evaluation and therefore, is not quite ready to “level up.”

The coaches though, see this kid as “THE BEST” and automatically think that because in comparison to the rest of the class, they are superior, they must be ready to level up and join the Level 2 class.

When the coach goes to test the child, they find that when the superior child was given an evaluation, they were not ready to move up to Level 2, therefore moving them up before they are ready, despite the rest of the class who is learning at a slower pace, would only throw the superior child under the bus, and in to something that they weren’t quite ready for. 

When we’re comparing people, it’s hard to notice if someone is just truly the BEST, or if they’re simply just “better than everyone else so far.” (And when you’re right smack dab in the middle of it, like the coach of Level 1, it’s hard to tell if that child is really THE BEST (ready to move up), or just better than everyone else in the class. When one person truly shines it tricks your mind into thinking they’re at a passing level. However, when you give them the evaluation, it becomes very apparent which category they fall in to.

I find that women are often faced with the same question when it comes to the dating scene. In fact, not just women, I feel like EVERYONE is faced with the same question in the dating scene.

We all have our “checklist” of qualities and traits that we want to find in that special someone we want to spend the rest of our lives with.

One of my basics would be that this man needs to be a Christian, first and foremost. This one is a make or break. I’d love for the man I marry to be older than me, taller than me, great with finances, talkative, funny, creative, adventurous, outdoorsy, handy, and the list goes on.

We all have our own checklists, and they’re all going to be different.

Now, we may or may not, find the “special someone” that checks all the boxes, but i’m sure we all have some non-negotiables, right? I’m sure petty requirements like “how tall he is” or “how old he is” can be looked over for the right fellow, but there have got to be some things that are just NON-NEGOTIABLE!? The important things. Things that you truly just can’t see yourself living a happy and fulfilled life without.

Say, you’ve dated men off and on for a while. Some you liked, some not really. Some were serious relationships, some just a first date. Some guys though, were nice, they were sweet, they treated you OKAY, but eventually the relationship didn’t work out and you called it quits. Maybe they started out sweet, and later ended up being emotionally damaging, but still, you never really saw it as THAT BAD. Maybe you had some downright terrible experiences with overbearing, or controlling men.

Whatever the case may be, copy, paste, & repeat those situations a few more times as you are on your search to find “the one.”. I feel like that’s a pretty common pattern in the dating world? Correct me if I’m wrong. You have to go through a couple bad apples before you find the one that’s right.

THEN, oh but then, you meet Mr. Wonderful. You fall quickly head over heels. This man is handsome, smart, and intriguing in all the right ways. You’re happy.

You are really happy because this guy is way better than everyone who has come before him. He treats you well, he says all the right things, and he’s a huge step up from what you had in the past.

Sure, he may not check all your boxes, but he meets most, and hey, that’s okay! You accept him for who he is.

But oh no, you take a peek over your “evaluation” and you come to find out that some things you’ve seen as non-negotiables, he doesn’t check off. These very important things that you value, aren’t matching up with him.

Decision making time.

What do you do? 

Are you blinded by “love” and the fact that he’s so much better than all who have tried before him?

Do you negotiate your non-negotiables and lower your bar of expectations just to help him “hit the mark?”

Or, do you stick to your guns, and continue on the search for what you know you want and need in a life-partner? Do you put your long term goals, your overall happiness, and your future self first, and choose YOU?

I think, just like the Level 1 coach, when you’re right in the middle of the situation, it’s sometimes hard to see it clearly. 

In today’s world, dating is not always fun, or easy. The older we get, the harder it is to find a man that meets your non-negotiables, much less everything else on the list.

I can’t help but wonder if the divorce rate is so high because men and women are lowering their bar of expectations, and forcing their significant others to “pass the evaluation’, so that their relationship can move forward? When your happy, and comfortable, this is absolutely the easiest option. However, it’s an option that can totally jeopardize your future, waste your time, and encroach upon your self-worth.

Something to think about.
If you’re in a “good relationship” with someone who “treats you better than everyone in the past”, but he/she is still not “checking off” all of your non-negotiable items, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate them.

I encourage you to pray. Talk to God about what he wants for your life.
Make sure you’re not settling for your significant other.
Make sure you’re not lowering the bar to help someone else meet it.

If the Level 1 coach would have lowered the bar for the “superior child” to pass, just because she was the best in the class, all she would have been doing was setting that child up to fail.

Just because they are better than the rest, doesn’t mean they are ready to move up.


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