There’s a difference between working through the lull in a long term relationship, and settling for a relationship that’s less than what you deserve. Relationships all have their ups and downs, sure, but when it seems to be on a fast track downward all the time, there’s a large possibility that you are just settling in your relationship. If you’re not sure whether you’re actually happy–or you’re just telling yourself that you are–here are some signs that might reveal you are just settling in your relationship.
1. You’re staying with him because “it could be worse.”
Okay, so it could always be worse. Maybe he’s a good person, he doesn’t hit you or yell at you, and he pays his share of the bills. That’s not all it takes to have a loving relationship, though. If the only reason you’re still with him is because he doesn’t treat you as badly as some of your exes might have, you’re settling for less than you deserve.
2. You’re staying with him just because it’s comfortable.
I know from my own experience that the longer that you’ve been with someone, the harder it can be to leave. He’s been a part of your life for a long time, and seeing him is just a part of your routine by now. Maybe you aren’t exactly in love with him anymore, but you’re comfortable with being roommates for the long haul. If you feel the same way about your partner as you did about your college roommate, then, you’re settling.
3. You’ve had to let go of your dreams to make the relationship work.
While it’s true that relationships require a degree of compromise, you shouldn’t have to give up the things that make you who you are, like your dreams and goals for the future. An example would be if you want to have a large family someday, but it’s not what your man wants, so you end up not going for it as well. If being with your guy has meant drastically changing your plans for what you wanted to achieve out of life, you’re definitely settling for less than you deserve.
4. You’re giving him another chance.
Sometimes people deserve second chances, but rarely do they deserve third and fourth chances as well. Of course, it depends on the context, but for the most part, if their behavior hasn’t changed by now, it’s not going to. Consider a cheater, for example. Maybe it really just happened one time and he seemed genuinely sorry, so you decided to give him a second chance. If it happens a second time, though, he’s not treating you the way you deserve to be treated or giving you proper respect, and you shouldn’t settle for a relationship like that.
5. He doesn’t make you feel special.
Once upon a time, early on in your relationship, your guy made you feel as though you were the most beautiful, smart, funny, and perfect woman on earth–at least to him, which was all that mattered. But now, you can’t remember the last time he actually put forth a little bit of effort to make you happy. Okay, you can’t expect him to keep bringing flowers every time he comes by. But does he even try anymore? It only takes a few little gestures to remind you of why you fell in love with him, but if he can’t even bother to try anymore, why should you settle for a relationship like that?
Why you should stop settling:
Now that you’ve determined you just may be settling for less than you deserve out of your relationship, here’s why you should stop. Point blank, you deserve better. That’s not enough? So does he. No one should be stuck in a loveless relationship, a one-sided relationship, or a relationship of convenience. It’s unfair to sabotage your own chances of happiness by not being willing to take a risk and leave an unhappy relationship. It’s also unfair to your partner, who might truly love you more than you love him. Don’t you both deserve to be with someone who loves you as much as you love them?
Leaving a comfortable but less-than-happy relationship can be scary. Terrifying, even. What if there’s not something better out there? What if this is really the best that you can do? Well, just the fact that you’re already considering the idea of leaving your partner means something isn’t right, and chances are, someday you’ll be in a relationship that really makes you happy, with someone who deserves to be with you. You’ll never find that, though, unless you gather up the courage to stop settling, and go after what you really want and deserve out of life.