Settling For Less Than You Deserve Is Toxic — Don’t Do It

The single life can be lonely, so no one can blame you if you’ve had thoughts of settling for a guy just for the sake of being in a relationship. But be careful — acting on that temptation might make you happy for a little while, but it won’t be long until that bar you lowered ends up smacking you in the face and changing your life for the worse.

  1. You’ll always wonder “what if?” Few things hurt worse than knowing you wasted potential. You already know you’re awesome, so when you settle for someone who doesn’t deserve you, it’s a given that eventually, you’re going to start fantasizing about the kind of man you COULD’VE found. You’ll constantly be wondering if there’s someone out there who would be better for you, and the worst part is that you’ll probably be right.
  2. You’ll feel like you’re missing out. When you’re in a happy relationship, instances of missing the single life or wanting to hook up with other people will come and go, usually without incident. But when you’re in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship, all the stuff you loved about being a single lady is going to seem way more appealing way more often. Being with someone you truly deserve will make you glad you left behind the old days of Tinder dates and flirting with other hot people, but settling will make you miss them.
  3. Your sense of self-worth will decrease. Settling for someone doesn’t just impact your dating life — it impacts how you view yourself. If you continue to ignore that feeling in your gut that tells you that you could do so much better than this guy, you’ll eventually start to believe that this guy really IS all you deserve. When you allow yourself to stay with someone who makes you feel like trash or just doesn’t complement your life in the right way, it’s only a matter of time before you start to believe that YOU are the problem.
  4. You’ll second-guess all your decisions. Most of us know when we’re really settling in love, even if we don’t want to admit the truth to ourselves. After spending a while trying to silence the voice inside you telling you to get out and find someone better, it’s inevitable that you’re going to be at war with yourself. You’ll figure that, well, if you’re sticking with a guy who doesn’t deserve you, what other bad choices could you be making in your life? Are you in the right career field? Is your BFF really reliable? Never put yourself in a relationship that will make you lose trust in yourself.
  5. You’ll feel trapped. If the only reason you’re sticking around is because you’ve already invested a lot of time and effort into this relationship, don’t worry — you’re not the first person to do so. The problem is that the longer you stay with this guy, the more you’re going to feel like you can’t leave him. Starting over is going to feel pointless and even scary, and even though you won’t be happy in your current relationship, the familiarity of it is going to be enough to convince you to stay. A worthy long-term partner will make forever feel like a blessing; an unworthy one will make it feel like a cage.
  6. If you ever do leave, you’ll regret wasting your time. It’s obviously better to leave later rather than never, but it’s way better to leave sooner rather than later. Two months’ worth of settling for the wrong person isn’t a great loss, but if you spend two years with someone who just isn’t right for you, you’re going to look back and be seriously bummed that you could’ve spent that time either living it up as a single gal or with someone who would’ve made you happier.
  7. You’ll resent your partner. Sometimes, settling makes you end up with someone who isn’t a bad person, but still isn’t right for you. Still, that doesn’t make it right to stay with him anyway. Even a great guy is going to bring up feelings of resentment if you get the nagging sensation that you’re settling for him. It’s not healthy for either of you for you to be harboring such a negative emotion, so it’s better for both of you if you move on before it even starts to appear.
  8. You’ll forget what a good relationship will look like. After spending so much time with someone you settled for, mediocre becomes your new normal. Average, healthy relationships will start to seem like fairy-tale love stories — things that only the luckiest people manage to find. It’ll seem like the unhappiness you’re experiencing with your partner is just what happens once two people spend a while together in a relationship, but that’s only because you settled instead of waiting for someone better.
  9. You’ll settle in other areas of life, too. Once it gets into your head that it’s okay to aim a lot lower than you’d originally planned, complacency will start to seep into your friendships, your career, and your hobbies. You’ll be a lot more okay with putting up with things that don’t meet your standards because hey, you’ve done it before, and it isn’t so bad… right? Your entire life will get better if you stop going for the easiest option and hold out for the guy who’s worthy of all you have to give.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.