How Do You Know If You’re Settling Or Just Being Realistic?

How Do You Know If You’re Settling Or Just Being Realistic? ©iStock/Sami Sert

When you’re forever single, the idea of settling is more terrifying than yet another crappy date. The problem is, sometimes it’s completely impossible to tell if you’re being totally normal, crazy picky or just plain crazy. What if you don’t let someone into your world who could be the one you’ve been looking for? What if you’re making the wrong choices? If you struggle with knowing if you’re settling or being realistic, this one’s for you:

  1. Don’t ignore your dream. Not your career dream, although of course that’s super important. But your dream of falling in love, of meeting someone who you really connect with, of feeling like you can be yourself and you don’t have to give anything up. Even if this guy is super hot and funny and sweet, if you don’t actually feel anything for him, giving him up is 100 percent realistic.
  2. Don’t date according to a checklist. You know by now not to dismiss a guy if he’s got green eyes instead of blue (or at least you totally should). A checklist can take a bunch of different forms, though, and this is when you definitely know if you’re settling or not. If you’re a workaholic and want the same but start dating a lazy loser who won’t even find a job, that’s settling. If you love horror movies and meet someone who hates them, realizing that doesn’t matter is just being totally realistic, and of course you should give him a shot.
  3. Listen to your gut. This is going to be your greatest decision-maker in this type of tricky situation. Your gut will always tell you what to do, and this can be tough if you’re not used to trusting yourself or your instincts. If you’re ever on the fence about a new guy, ask yourself how you honestly feel and you’re going to find out.
  4. Make a snap decision. The thing about settling is that you end up staying in a relationship way past its expiration date. Go ahead and decide super quickly whether or not to keep seeing this guy. You may think you’re not giving him enough of a chance if you walk away at the beginning, but you’re doing what you need to do. If you really like him enough, you’ll stay and you’ll be happy about it.
  5. Talk to your BFFsSure, this is your big decision, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Your friends are your cheerleaders and sometimes they have pretty awesome insights. They can tell you if they think this guy is right for you or if you seem to glow when you talk about him. On the flip side, they’ll totally chime in if they think he’s the opposite of what you need and want.
  6. Picture dumping him. If you said goodbye today, would you be devastated and hiding in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, or would you feel nothing at all? This should tell you all you need to know about whether or not staying with him would be totally settling. If you’re upset, then you’re simply being a realist about the whole deal and you get that you won’t always have everything in common with your boyfriend but that’s no reason to end things.
  7. Forget the regret. When you protect yourself and what you want, you end up leaving some pretty awesome guys behind because you know that being with them would be settling. It sucks, but there’s zero point regretting this. As long as you keep your head held high and don’t ditch guys for stupid reasons like not having the same job as you or not liking the same TV shows, you’re always going to be a realist when it comes to love.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor from Toronto, Canada. In addition to writing about dating and relationships for Bolde, she also writes about movies, TV, and video games for ScreenRant and GameRant. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. You can find her on Twitter @ayatsintziras and on Instagram @aya.tsintziras.