Recently, one of my best friends and I were discussing relationships like we often do and she asked me how do we know when we’re settling (throughout this post, when I talk about settling I mean settling for less than what you deserve in a relationship). It can be difficult to be fully cognizant of when you’re settling but it’s a start if you know some reasons why anyone settles in the first place. Just like anything else in life, it’s not always black and white. But before you even get to a place where you’re trying to decide if you’re settling, have that strong relationship with YOURSELF. FIRST. Don’t settle for less within yourself. What are the expectations that you place on yourself? Are you placing those same expectations on your partner? If not, you are settling. Not just settling down, because there’s nothing wrong with that, but settling for less than what you deserve. So if you’re already in something questionable with someone else, what can you look out for?
We settle in relationships for many reasons and it’s not always the obvious reasons that we expect. Some people don’t want to be alone, that’s obvious. Some people don’t know their worth, a bit less obvious but it’s pretty high on the list of top reasons why people settle.
But what about, “I don’t want to start over.”? Thinking about taking the time to meditate on what you learned from the last relationship and recuperating for something better should excite you! Think back to high school: it was tough and took so much out of you and eventually it was time to move on, right? Maybe it wasn’t tough for you. It could have been a great experience that you didn’t want to end. But there was a point when the time had to come. Whether college was next or starting out in the real world, you had to keep going and in one way or another, start over. Because progress is key, right? Self-improvement is paramount, right? Therefore,
hanging out where you aren’t happy is self-destructive. Settling is self-destructive.
The time for it to end has come and you’re on to the next great thing in your life. Looking back, aren’t you happy that you’re not a 25 year old still in high school? Yes, because you’ve evolved passed that moment in your life. You’ll do the same after leaving a relationship that isn’t for you. Don’t focus on what you’ve lost, focus on what you’ve earned.
Next on our list is settling for less so that you’re “better” than the person that you’re with. THIS IS REAL. If you’re reading this, it’s not too late. As long as you recognize what you’re doing and why. A friend of mine spoke candidly with me about this very situation. She talked about the control that it gave her, being the desired one. Knowing that you are “better” than the person that you’re with. Not just appearance wise but perhaps you’re more successful than them and you thrive on that. You’re better in all of the areas that would intimidate you if someone else had those qualities. Did you get that? If you’re thriving on being more successful than your partner, you’re intimidated by success in others. If you have to be more attractive than your significant other, you’re intimidated by people who are considered to be attractive. It’s a flat out defense mechanism and form of settling. If they are not on your level you assume that they can’t hurt you. But anyone can hurt you, especially when they’re wrong for you. Dating down won’t protect you, but it will fuel your lack of confidence and self growth. This reason for settling can be a bit more difficult to sniff out because you say things like, “I don’t care what he/she looks like” or “they don’t need to make a lot of money or have a great career”. All the while you’re secretly wishing that they were better looking or had the same disposable income that you have. Now, I know I’m not talking to everyone here because not everyone can relate but again I say, THIS IS REAL.
When it’s all said and done, we settle out of fear. The fear of being alone, fear of what others will think of us, and fear of being hurt or outdone. Just keep in mind though, that
“God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror.”
There’s no need to settle. Get in a strong committed relationship with yourself and know yourself. After that it’ll be nearly impossible to settle for anything less than what you deserve. Be encouraged.
*as a bonus, don’t just apply this to relationships but what about life experiences and your career?
Lotts of Love,
// Dress: No longer at H&M but here’s a cute suggestion from Zara! / Shoes: Michael Kors but the black is gone and they aren’t on the site anymore 😦 working finding the best dupe! / Hair (highly recommend!) : Powder Room D //