The “honeymoon stage” of a relationship can be blissful, sensual, and filled with happy hormones. As time passes, couples inevitably will face challenges as they get to know more about one another. At some point, one person may feel unhappy and unfulfilled, desiring more from their partner, but they don’t want to end the relationship for fear that they may never find anyone else. To them, being alone seems worse than staying in a less-than-ideal relationship. Does this sound familiar? Are you “settling”? Here are some signs.
You Justify Your Partner’s Actions
Justification can happen in many forms. Ask yourself: Do you convince yourself or the people around you that you’re happy in your relationship? Do you have to look for reasons why you’re committed to your partner? Do you defend your partner’s actions when they’re negative? Defensive tactics are a sign that you’re trying to justify your partner’s actions. You shouldn’t have to convince yourself that this person is great with the kids, has a good job, or has a lot in common with you.
You’re Comfortable With Accepting Deal-Breakers
Have you ever experienced a relationship so bad that you swore you’d never be with someone with the same traits as your ex? But now, your current relationship is much like your last, and now you are dealing with the same situation. Here’s your sign: If you’re putting up with traits you promised yourself you would never tolerate again, you could be settling.
You Compromise Too Many of the Important Things
Compromise in relationships is important, but when it comes to hard decisions, like when to start a family, things get a little bit more complicated. Let’s put it this way: If your partner disagrees with you on your big priorities, and won’t compromise, you should think about trying not to settle. For example, giving up having children for a relationship can be a form of settling, and you should not have to compromise such life-altering decisions.
You’re Easily Bothered by the Little Things
You may get easily aggravated if your partner has a habit of leaving the kitchen light on before bed or kicking off their sneakers in the middle of the room. We get it. When you’re in a relationship, it’s inevitable that your partner is going to have some quirks or habits that annoy you. But pay attention to your actions and reactions. If you’re getting mad about the little things, you may have some pent-up anger or underlying issues. If things bother you too much, are you settling?
Your Clock Is “Ticking”
You may have heard the following: “You’ve been with your partner for years now; why aren’t you married?”, “Your clock is ticking; are you having kids soon?”, “You’re almost 30; isn’t it time to settle down?” External pressures to get married and have kids when you’re “supposed to” can resort to settling. If the people around you are pushing you to settle with the person you’re with, ask yourself if this relationship is right, and answer the question honestly. Don’t settle because it’s what everyone else wants, and don’t let external timelines have a say in your future.