You Might Not Think That You’re Settling, But If These 10 Things Are Happening In Your Relationship, You Actually Are

When you’re happily single, it seems totally ridiculous to think that you would settle. Why would you? You’ve living an amazing life and you don’t need a boyfriend to make you happy. But sometimes, you can end up settling without even realizing it. Here’s how you know it’s happening to you.

  1. You and your boyfriend live totally separate lives. It’s one thing to be strong and independent and keep doing the things that you love when you get into a relationship. There’s no reason to give up your friendships and yoga classes and love of cooking but it’s totally another thing if you and your partner are so independent that you barely even see each other. If you never spend time together and are both fine with that because you’ve made other things and people the priority, that’s a really bad sign.
  2. You don’t have anything in common. Maybe this was OK in the beginning when you were super hot and heavy and nothing but your raging hormones and crazy chemistry mattered, but now that you’ve been with your boyfriend for a few months or a year and all that has settled down, you realize that you don’t like the same things or have the same interests. It’s impossible to have everything in common with your significant other, but you do want to have a few things that you both love doing. Otherwise, what’s the point of being together?
  3. You don’t hang out with each other’s families on a regular basis. Part of being in a serious relationship is getting to know each other’s families. You deserve to have a boyfriend who wants to spend time with your parents and siblings, and you should feel the same way about his fam too. If the two of you rarely see each other’s families and that’s just not part of your routine, you just might be settling. It’s normal for everyone to hang out and get to know each other. If that’s not happening and you really wish it would, then you’re definitely settling.
  4. You’ve never met his friends. A guy who’s really into you will introduce you to his friends, period. Sure, it might take a bit if they live far away, but you should know the people that he’s been grabbing beers with since college or for the past five years. You can tell yourself anything that you want to rationalize this, like that it doesn’t matter because you might not like his friends anyway, but deep down you probably know that this is a bit weird.
  5. Your BFFs don’t want to be around him. The best way to find out if you should be with someone is to see how your best friends react to him. When you’ve found your person, they know it just as much as you do and they’re even happier than you are. When you’re totally settling, they also know it, whether or not they tell you straight-up. You can tell that your friends feel that way, though, if they never invite him to parties or if they cancel a lot when they know that you’re bringing him around. That kind of stuff honestly speaks volumes.
  6. You feel more like his mom than his girlfriend. This is especially true if you guys live together. Maybe you don’t mind cooking dinner every single night and doing his laundry and cleaning up after him, but chances are, you want things to be equal because, hey, 1950 called and wants its gender norms back. This is a super sweet deal for your boyfriend because he has a live-in maid but it’s not so great for you. This is a surefire way to kill the romance.
  7. You never say “I love you.” You might not be a hopeless romantic or touchy-feely kind of girl and texting your significant other heart emojis all day long might be too much for you. But if you’re in love with your partner, you should probably say that to each other at least on a regular basis. It’s just a good way to feel connected and like you’re both in this thing together. If you don’t say it, you might not really feel it, or maybe he’s the one who doesn’t want to… which proves that you’re both settling.
  8. Holidays and special occasions feel like any other day. Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with the person that you love is the best thing ever. If your boyfriend never puts any effort into those holidays and doesn’t even want to celebrate your birthday each year, that’s bad news. He might as well be saying that he doesn’t want to put any effort into the relationship.
  9. You’re not emotionally intimate. Yeah, sex is important, and so is emotional intimacy. You and your boyfriend should be sharing your feelings with each other on a regular basis. If that’s not happening, you should definitely ask yourself why.
  10. Your sex drives don’t match. Sex may not be everything in a relationship and of course you want to feel like your partner is a friend that will always be there for you and who you can always talk to. That doesn’t mean that sex doesn’t matter at all. You’re definitely settling if you want to have sex often and your boyfriend always rejects you or if you’re not enjoying your time in the bedroom with him (or, just as crucial, if you don’t feel comfortable). It might suck to realize that you’re settling and end things, but doesn’t it suck more to stay in a relationship that’s not as good as it could possibly be?
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.