13 Subtle Signs You’re Actually Settling In Your Relationship

Sometimes settling in a relationship isn’t something you consciously choose—yyou might be doing it without even realizing it. This is why it’s so important to stop and take stock of what’s going on. Look out for these 13 signs that you’re settling for less than you deserve.

  1. You feel jealous of your friends’ relationships. If you find yourself comparing your relationship to your friends’ relationships and feeling like yours is falling short, then it could be that you’re not getting what you want from your partner.
  2. You idealize love. You’re a romantic person who has this idea of the perfect love in your head. You daydream about it a lot and there’s nothing wrong with that… unless it’s getting in the way of your current relationship satisfaction. For example, if you’re always thinking about how much better your relationship could be, that’s a problem.
  3. You try to persuade your friends to like your partner. Deep down, you might know that your partner’s not your perfect match. Instead of admitting this, you try to sell him to your friends. For example, you might say that he’s not the type of guy you usually go for, but he’s really sweet/polite/nice. Why do you need to justify yourself?
  4. You’ve made peace with being bored. You find that sometimes you’re a little bored around your partner, but you’d rather choose that than having to deal with being single. The minute you start choosing less than satisfying characteristics in your relationship over being single, you know that you’re settling and trying to convince yourself that it’s better than nothing (even though it’s not).
  5. You’ve been thinking about your ex a lot lately. You can’t help thinking about your amazing ex and he pops into your mind more and more, especially when you’re thinking of what a perfect relationship would be like. Hmm, seems you’re comparing your partner to your ex, and your partner’s not meeting the same standard.
  6. You don’t feel excited. When he told you he loved you for the first time, it was good to hear but you didn’t really feel that excited. Same goes for when he showers you with affection and romance. You’ve become pretty “meh” about the whole thing, to be honest. Sometimes relationships feel less exciting than they used to and you imagine that’s normal. But not looking forward to things in your relationship is not healthy! Come on, where’s the fun?
  7. Your friends check in with you. When you chat to your friends about relationships, whether yours or relationships in general, they always check in to ask you if you’re 100% sure that you’re dating the right guy. Hmmm. Maybe they can sense that you’re just not happy.
  8. You tell yourself there’s worse out there. The relationship you’re in might not be perfect but it’s good enough. You might say (or think), “At least my boyfriend’s not an abuser/alcoholic/toxic.” But is that really something to feel good about? See, the danger of thinking in this way is that you prevent yourself from finding the amazing relationship that you deserve.
  9. You’ve invested so much in the relationship and don’t want to lose it. You’ve been dating for years. To end things now feels like it would be crazy, so you go ahead with the relationship milestones like moving in together or getting engaged… Whoa, wait! Isn’t it better to end things now if you don’t feel the relationship’s right for you instead of investing another five or more years into it?
  10. He’s broken small deal breakers and you’ve stayed with him. He hurt you by overstepping your boundaries and breaking one of your relationship deal breakers, but you overlooked it for the good of your relationship or because you weren’t sure how to react and you didn’t want to end things. Now he’s piling up his betrayals. Do you really deserve that? Hell no!
  11. You have low relationship confidence. You might have tons of confidence at work or in your social circle, but when it comes to your relationship, you have sub-zero confidence levels. Maybe your partner’s contributing to it, making you feel insecure or like you’re not worthy of a better relationship. Maybe you’re bringing yourself down. You might think that you won’t be able to find anyone better than your partner, so you stay in a relationship even though it doesn’t make you feel alive. Bad news.
  12. You have excuses for why your loved ones haven’t met your partner. Maybe you tell yourself you don’t want your loved ones to meet your partner because they’re so different from each other, but if it’s been months or years and they still haven’t crossed paths, you have to ask yourself why. Perhaps you’re embarrassed to let your folks meet your boyfriend because he’s… weird, or you don’t feel proud of the relationship. In other words, you’re settling for something that doesn’t fit into the rest of your life so you have to hide it away.
  13. You dream about having time alone. It’s normal to want to have time to yourself in your relationship—heck, it’s healthy. However, it’s a totally different story if you want to be alone all the time. Maybe when you’re with your partner, you fantasize about him leaving to go back home so you can be alone, or perhaps you’re tempted to cancel dates because you’d rather do other things. These are signs that you’re settling because the right relationship wouldn’t make you want to check out of it.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.