It’s hard to finally admit to yourself that you’re settling. It took me years to finally see clearly what my gut feelings had been trying to tell me all along and I wasted a lot of time in the process. If you’ve been trying to convince yourself that everything’s fine, here are the signs they’re really not based on my experience.
You’re slowly but surely drifting apart. When I started noticing my boyfriend and I were drifting apart, I started longing for those moments at the beginning of our relationship when things were so good. Instead of the loving looks and sweet banter we used to be full of, our interactions turned lifeless. I craved the days when we used to make each other better, happier versions of ourselves instead of miserable. If you can relate, that’s not good news.
You’re less excited about making plans together. Date nights turned into something we felt like we should do to spice up our relationship rather than something we looked forward to. We weren’t surprising each other with fancy dates we had planned for the other; we’d just go out to dinner at the same old places without putting much effort into it. The excitement wasn’t there anymore. To be honest, I would have rather been going out with my friends.
You’re afraid of starting over. I would be lying if I said a majority of the reason I stayed in the relationship was the fear of starting over. The idea of starting fresh with a new guy, going on dates, and meeting his family seemed exhausting. I’d locked this guy down and even if I wasn’t as happy as I once was, it didn’t seem worth the trouble of breaking up. If this is your motivation for staying with a guy, you’re settling.
You have a hard time compromising. Compromising is easy at the beginning of the relationship because you want to make things work for the other person. A few years in, however, I was less willing to make things work for him and more inclined to do things for myself. I wasn’t willing to make sacrifices for his sake because it didn’t break my heart to see a future without him. It’s like I was just expecting some big event where we would need to break up.
You assume that every relationship gets this bad. I used to assume that lying and micro-cheating were just part of any long-term relationship and something I had to learn to deal with. It didn’t feel good to know my boyfriend might be talking to other girls or was being disrespectful to our relationship, but I thought that’s just the way it was. I learned I don’t have to put up with this crap, and any time I think I do, that’s how I know I’m settling.
Your gut is telling you it’s all wrong. You know that feeling when you start a relationship and you’re full of butterflies and happy thoughts of the future? It’s normal for it to fade over time but it’s not normal for it to disappear completely. I knew I was settling when my gut feeling about my boyfriend wasn’t positive anymore. He became just some neutral character in my life. While intense passion fades over time, some sort of spark should always remain in a loving relationship.
You never just hang out anymore. I knew I was settling because we never hung out together. I felt like I always needed a break and we’d go off separately with our own friends. Instead of having a mutual group, it was like we were each living our own separate lives. I felt freer and more myself during the time I was with my friends than I did with my own boyfriend.
He leaves you with an anxious feeling. I never felt secure in our relationship. I would wonder if what I was about to say that would piss him off or what fight we were going to get in a fight about next. I would lay next to him at night and just know things weren’t right but I didn’t know how to get the words out of my mouth. I was scared to let things stay the way they were and potentially feel this way forever but I was also scared to end the relationship and not know what came next. Talk about a bad sign.
You only love him at certain moments. Instead of loving my boyfriend unconditionally all the time, I found that I only really felt like I loved him sometimes. I hated myself for this and constantly felt guilty about not giving him all my love but the truth is, it just faded. I felt more annoyed with him than I did feelings of true love for him. When he would say sweet words to me or do something for me that I loved, I remembered I loved him. The rest of the time, I just didn’t feel it in my heart.
You know in your heart you deserve better. During most of our relationship, I had a gut-wrenching feeling that I knew I deserved a greater love than I was getting. I knew he did too. Both of us were holding on because we were just too scared to let go; the truth was we weren’t right for each other and both of us were settling. Don’t make the same mistake.
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