So, you’re at a stage in your relationship where you’ve suddenly found yourself at a crossroads. You’ve started googling things like ‘How do I know if this relationship is right for me?’, and wondering what it would be like to be single again.
You’ve no doubt read a thousand different blog posts which repeatedly tell you to never settle for anything less than what you deserve. And then you start to question yourself. And your life. And you start to think you might just be being plain silly.
You ask yourself, just what are the conclusive signs of settling? The signs which altogether result in one big, can’t-ignore-even-if-I-wanted-to, red flag that, actually, your partner isn’t the one for you? How do you know? In no particular order, here are 8 signs that could show that you’re settling:
01. YOU CAN’T DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT YOU STILL HAVE FEELINGS
It’s normal for feelings to be questioned on occasion. But if you’re always wondering whether you still love them or not, then that’s a pretty big red flag that something isn’t quite right. Maybe you’re going through a temporary rough patch. Or maybe this has been going on for months. Either way, constant questioning isn’t great.
02. LITTLE THINGS THEY DO REALLY ANNOY YOU
They always leave the bed unmade; they always put their dirty pots down next to the dishwasher instead of in it; they always breathe too loudly. If tiny little annoyances are becoming a big deal in your relationship, then you probably have some bigger problems to address. You don’t have to love every little thing about your significant other. But some things really shouldn’t get to you.
03. YOU DON’T FEEL GUILTY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT CHEATING ON YOUR PARTNER
Another thing that people in happy (monogamous) relationships don’t do is cheat on their partners. And hey, even monogamous couples slip up and recover. But you should make each other happy enough that the idea of sleeping with someone else isn’t your biggest turn-on.
04. YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO MESSAGE OR TALK TO THEM, AND THE THOUGHT OF DOING SO IS EFFORT
If you don’t feel excited to talk to them about random things you see or do throughout your day, then it’s safe to say this particular relationship is on the fast path to becoming burdensome.
05. YOU’D RATHER SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS, OR BY YOURSELF, INSTEAD OF YOUR PARTNER
If you’d rather be doing literally anything other than hanging out with your partner, then something is seriously wrong. You should want to spend time with them. And if this isn’t the case, then this relationship is definitely not for you.
06. YOU FEEL NOTICEABLY LESS INTERESTED IN SEX
People tend to say that sex isn’t the be-all and end-all in a relationship, but nevertheless, it’s still incredibly important and can serve as a good indicator for other problems you might be having. You should be sexually attracted to your partner, and when sex starts feeling like a burden, then something most definitely isn’t right.
07. YOU FANTASISE ABOUT SOMETHING BAD HAPPENING TO THEM
Now – this one may seem a little extreme – but hear me out! When you’re stuck in a relationship and don’t know whether to stay or go, it can often lead to you wishing that your significant other wasn’t around. And if you’re too scared to just up and leave, the next best thing in your head could be for something bad to happen that takes them away from you. Like a car accident, for example. Of course, you’d never really want anything bad to happen to them. You’re not a monster. But if you do find yourself fantasising about it because you can’t see another way out and are scared of hurting them, you’re most definitely settling. And it’s doing way more harm than good.
08. THE IDEA OF STARTING OVER WITH SOMEONE NEW, OR BEING ALONE IS JUST TOO SCARY
Finding someone you actually like, and then getting comfortable enough to just be yourself around them takes a long time, lots of trust and plenty of effort. But that’s no reason to give up just because you’re pretty comfortable and sort-of-like the person you’re currently with.
If you ever start to question whether a relationship or situation is right for you or not, that there might be better things out there for you, or even if you realise that you’re just not happy – be brave. Never accept ‘But what if there’s no one else out there for me?’ or ‘I don’t want to start all over again’ as the only reason to stay. Instead, make the terrifying and challenging decision to break away, because believe me, it’s so worth it in the end.
I believe we only get one life, and we owe it to ourselves to be happy. Don’t just settle because it feels comfortable or safe.
And there you have it – 8 signs that you could be settling.
Have you ever experienced any of them? Let me know in the comments below.