Why Do We Settle When We Know We Deserve Better?

Why Do We Settle When We Know We Deserve Better? ©iStock/vitapix

We know we deserve better than to settle for someone who doesn’t deserve us or who isn’t what we want, so why do so many of us do it? It doesn’t seem fair to us or our partners to invest time into something that probably isn’t worth it in the end, but to avoid doing it, first we have to admit why we settle.

  1. We’re good friends with them. They’re one of our best friends, and while we were hesitant to take things to the next level to begin with, we’re also aware that breaking up with them would mean costing the friendship as well. We don’t want to lose that bond, so we keep going well after we should have ended things.
  2. We have attachments to their family. Breaking up with them means breaking up with their family, too. We can’t fathom living life without them because they play such a meaningful role. We don’t want to lose people we care about and who care about us in return because what if we never find that again?
  3. We don’t know what we actually want. We aren’t really sure what it is or who it is we want. There are too many factors to consider and the thought of starting over with someone else is exhausting. We’d leave to look for something better, but what if that doesn’t exist?
  4. We’re comfortable. Being with them is incredibly comfortable and feels like coming home, even if it’s not for the right reasons. The longer we spend with them, the more they get to know us inside and out, and that’s not a bond that’s easy to recreate. Leaving would mean having to start all over and we’re just not sure we want to go there.
  5. We made promises we feel bad breaking. Dedicating our time to our partner for so long comes with promises and pacts. Even if things aren’t working out between us, we feel as if we’re giving up or failing the relationship. We don’t want to let them down, leave them alone or break their heart, so here we sit completely unhappy.
  6. We’re not interested in anyone else. No one else really comes to mind because we’re just used to being with our current partner. There are no opportunities to really see what else is out there when we’re so invested with someone else (and we know we shouldn’t anyway). If someone caught our interest, we might consider it, but for now, this will have to do.
  7. We like the company. The thought of ending the relationship gives us anxiety. We love knowing this person is always there for us, no matter what. It’s hard to accept that we would be on our own after the breakup. It’s not that we don’t enjoy our own company, but we know that some experiences are better when you have someone to share them with.
  8. We have history. Being with someone long-term makes it almost impossible to break it off when there’s just so much history between us. The thought of ending what we have makes us cringe because at one point, it was everything we wanted. We stay because it’s just been too long and we’re reluctant to admit it may have all been for nothing.
  9. We worked so hard to get where we are now. The effort it took to build a relationship from the ground up is what made it worth it for so long. It seems like such a waste to just throw it all away, even if we know it’s for the best.
  10. We still care about them. Simple as it is, even if we know we deserve better, we still care about them. At one point, things were exactly as we wanted them, and even if things aren’t so great now, we’re afraid of ending it altogether.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia