When we are in a relationship with a complete jerk, it’s often easier to walk away. Almost a no brainer. Almost. But, what if it’s not that cut and dry. What about those small nuances that trip us up and make us question our relationship? What about those things that you cannot quite put your finger on but something definitely feels ‘off’? Yep, I am speaking about those things. 

And when it feels off, you start to question your relationship – as you should. You think, ‘Am I getting what I need?’ Why do I feel this way? ‘Is he or she a good fit for me? Is it me? Am I being too demanding? Am I settling in this relationship? If you are asking yourself those questions, no doubt you recognize the need – in some way – to take a step back from your relationship and examine it from a different lens. Good for you. So, if you are feeling this way, there is a reason for that. Honor that and don’t dismiss your gut reaction. It is there for a reason.

Consider these 8 signs that you just might be settling.

1.) You relinquish your values. If you find yourself ‘rethinking’ your values and what’s important to you to maintain the relationship, that my friend is a problem. Your values are your bedrock of who you are and what you believe in. They create your foundation of your life. So, given that, why would you change? Are you conceding your values that you have lived by, just to keep this person in your life? Not good. Unfortunately, many people do this. And what is the end result? Bitterness and resentment. Not living your life the way you want to. Eventually that shit catches up with you.

2.) You justify his/her behaviors. Do you justify his/her behaviors by saying a lot of ‘yes, but’ to your friends and family? If so, that’s a sign that you are definitely settling. Our friends and family see many things that we simply don’t. The old cliché rings true – we are blinded by love. We make excuses for their aberrant behavior because if not, then we have to accept our decision to stay in the relationship. When your friends and family start chiming in, its too easy to ignore what they are saying. According to EHarmony, if you anticipate what your friends or family will say about your relationship, chances are you know deep down they are right because you feel the same way. So don’t shy away and ignore what you know to be true.  

3.) You hope they will change. Where there is hope there is love. We hope for many things. We hope our partner changes so we don’t have to. We hope they change so we can stay in the relationship. Bad idea. If they changed in ‘some’ way, then all would be well. No, not really. And no it won’t. This is just another way we settle in relationships.

4.) You ignore the red flags. The red flags are blatant and being waved in front of you – but you turn a blind eye to them. You don’t want to acknowledge them much less see them. We lose ourselves and forsake our happiness when we ignore what is often hiding in plain sight. And we all have red flags and deal breakers! Ultimately, ignoring them will only result in one thing – they will come back to haunt you and the “thing” (or things) that you find you are unable to work through. 

5.) You have a fear of being alone. Your fear of being alone trumps any slight or problem they have. Your fear of being alone keeps you feeling stuck in a relationship that deep down, you know you are settling. Being alone isn’t a bad thing unless you make it a bad thing. Ask yourself – why do I fear being alone? is this a reason to stay in the relationship? What thoughts and feelings come up when I am alone? Explore the reasons around being alone so that if you choose to stay you do so for the right reasons and not the wrong ones. This is key to prevent you from settling in the future. 

6.) You do the heavy lifting. You are doing most of the work in the relationship but justify your behaviors because of x,y, or z reasons. This goes back to your fear of being alone. When we fear being alone, we put up with WAY more than we should. And truth be told, we know it. We become the doormat. Don’t be the doormat! We are the ones working the relationship. We initiate. We plan. We do the organizing. Why? A partnership is simply that – a partnership. Sure partners work out if one person is better at something than the other. I am not speaking of that. BUT, if you are doing the heavy lifting – you know exactly what I am speaking about. 

7.) You feel moving on is exhausting. We would love to move on but the thought of moving on starting all over again – dating, finding someone new, introducing them to our friends and family blah blah blah feels completely exhausting. So why bother? If you have this attitude, you will not find someone who is a better fit for you because you have resigned yourself to the fact that you are just not worth it (But you ARE!!). You recognize your feelings of being exhausted and dating again are too much work and not worth the happiness you deserve of having a healthy relationship. So the bigger question is, why do you feel this way about yourself?

8.) You lack self-importance. You find that you ‘settle’ for someone because they are good enough even though in some porthole of your brain you know they are not the right person you for you. Self-respect and self-love starts at home. If you don’t feel good about yourself, then you will find yourself picking someone who is not good for you and often in the same emotional place as you are. Like attracts like. You settle. If you are not in a good place in your life and don’t feel good about yourself, you attract and end up with someone who is just like you. So, owning your truth and making the changes to feel better about yourself will ultimately attract a person of a like mind. Consider working on self-importance and finding someone who is healthy for you. 

The take home message? Settling is always a bad idea. So stop doing it. Maybe at first, it doesn’t seem all that bad, but eventually, it catches up with you. All the things you ignored and settled for becomes your nemesis in the end. You will not only be disappointed by your life, but with yourself. You will eventually question your judgment, your choices, and your direction. So, the short answer is don’t settle. The long answer to not settling is to absolutely take the time you need to reflect and understand what you need in a relationship and the person who is a good fit for you and in a healthy way. Ask yourself the important questions. Demand more from yourself. Take a set back and view your life and choices from a new lens that will ultimately put you in a healthier direction and relationship. 

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