Not ecstatically happy, but still persevering with your boyfriend? Well, nothing’s perfect, but what are the signs you are settling in your relationship?

No-one wants to settle. You want to believe you have a great man, and that your relationship will last. But things aren’t quite how you thought they’d be; not how you imagined love would be when you dreamed about the future. Sometimes it feels as if you are trying to push a boulder uphill. Of course all relationships need work, but just how much work?

Are you settling in your relationship?

Maybe you suspect you might be, but you haven’t reached the point where you’re willing to think about leaving. He might not be perfect; but what if you never find anyone better? And do you really want to start again: dating, finding someone you like, getting to know them, creating a new relationship that might not be better than the one you have…wouldn’t it be better just to keep what you’ve already got?

After all, you don’t want to be alone.

And there’s the rub.

The fear of being alone is the most powerful motivator to keep what you’ve got, instead of admitting it falls far short of what you really want. You might believe in your heart of hearts that you deserve better but it’s hard to make yourself do something about it.

But if you are settling in your relationship, you’ll always be ambivalent about it: knowing it wasn’t what you really wanted; wondering if you could have done better.

So what IS the truth here?  ARE you settling in your relationship; or are you just making the compromises necessary to keep it functioning?

Here are five signs that things are a long way from ideal.

1. You See Your Boyfriend as a Work in Progress

Something about him will have to change before things will be great. And you are the one who will get him to make that change. After all, if you can just find a way to convince him how great it would be for HIM (as well as for you) if he would only change this one thing about himself…

He has no ambition
He’s overweight, and he doesn’t see why it matters
He’s not interested in the things that matter vitally to you

He has views on life, love, ethics, politics, religion, morality or something else which are diametrically opposite to yours; and these are views about which you feel you can’t compromise

Could he – can he – change these things about himself? Definitely.

Do you have the right to expect him to change? Absolutely not.

The person he was when you first met him is the person he is. Certainly he might change in the future, but unless the changes are ones he decided on for himself, they won’t last. And if he feels they were forced on him (e.g. you made them a condition for staying with him), then he won’t be truly committed to them – in fact, he will resent having them imposed on him.

If he never pretended to be something he wasn’t, you have no right to expect him to change. It’s just a sign that you are settling in your relationship.

2. You Keep Having to Justify Why You are With Him

He’s always letting you down, but you keep making excuses for him. There’s always some reason why, this time, he showed himself up as selfish, boorish or inconsiderate.

Everyone has bad days, but his bad days considerably outnumber the good ones. You are constantly having to make excuses for him to other people and find excuses for him disappointing you.

He embarrasses you in public
He doesn’t make much effort to get on with your friends and family, and they don’t like him much either
His behavior frequently falls below what you see as acceptable

If this has become a regular thing then you need to take stock of your situation because it is a clear sign that you are settling in your relationship. You know things can’t go on like this, but so far you have held your fire for fear of rocking the boat. If you call him out on his unacceptable behavior, it will probably lead to scenes which you would rather avoid. But are you ducking short term discomfort only to end up with long term disillusionment?

You must decide whether this is good enough for you. Do you deserve better, or not?

3. You Compare Your Boyfriend Unfavorably to Other Men

Of course you still notice other men, especially handsome and attractive ones. But do they make you wish you boyfriend was more like them?

If you look at other men and find yourself comparing them to your boyfriend to his disadvantage, then you must ask yourself why you are with him. He doesn’t have to be perfect, but when you see an attractive man you should be able to say to yourself: “But James is so kind and funny, I’d never want to be with anyone else”. If instead you are more inclined to dream of trading him in for a superior model, then the chances are that you are settling in your relationship.

He can annoy and frustrate you, but your boyfriend should still be the man you prefer over all the others. That’s why you’re with him. And if it’s not, then it’s probably a sign that you are settling in your relationship.

4. You Are Not With Him for the Right Reasons

Do you REALLY want him for himself?

Is he the man you would choose above all others; or is he the man who is merely going to save you from loneliness and eternal spinsterhood?

Yes, you are a modern woman. You have a career, and you don’t need a man to feel complete. But perhaps time is getting on. Perhaps you want children, and you are conscious that, unlike men, your chances of becoming a mother are diminishing with every year that passes.

Or perhaps you just don’t feel happy alone; and you are beginning to fear that you will never find anyone who comes close to the man of your dreams.

If you have some hidden agenda which is driving you towards finding a man to fulfil some cherished life plan, then you are in danger of cheating both your boyfriend and yourself. You will know in your heart of hearts if you are trying to force a square peg into a round hole, because you are trying to convince yourself that a man who doesn’t really suit you is nevertheless The One.

If you are more concerned about the role you want him to play in your life than just being with him because it makes you happy, it’s an ominous sign that you are settling in your relationship.

5. You Have Invested To Much Time and Effort to Want to Give Up Now

Things are reaching a critical point. You have been together too long to go on drifting, but you don’t know if he is serious enough to want to commit. But every day you are together makes you less willing to face the thought of having to start again with someone else.

Imagine having to start dating again.
Think about having to rekindle your ability to be a femme fatale, to meet a man you find attractive and discover that he wants to date you too.
What would it be like to have to start all over from scratch with someone else?

The thought sucks, doesn’t it?

But if you really are wasting your time with your boyfriend, then staying with him simply means throwing away even more of the best years of your life. Is that really what you want?

If you have reached the point where you are questioning the validity of the connection between you, then it is very likely that you are settling in your relationship.

The Two-Way Question That Reveals Whether You Are Settling in a Relationship

So what IS the best way to tell if you are settling in your relationship?

Well, how happy are you? Really happy?

That’s not as simple a question as it looks. You need to approach it from both directions: would you be more or less happy without him? Does he bring positive benefits to your life? Or if things were to end tomorrow, would you, somewhere deep down, have a sneaking feeling of relief?

If you were to feel relief (no matter how mixed your emotions overall), it is a very strong indicator that you are settling in your relationship. It would be an intuitive reaction reflecting what you really feel on a subconscious level. It would mean that you were not just a bit fed up or going through some temporary problems; but that what you have just isn’t good enough for you.

The grass on the other side of the fence will always be greener.

And that will make it impossible for you to give your relationship your full commitment. You will always be looking over your shoulder, wondering if there is someone else better out there; and whether you should bail out before it REALLY becomes too late.

But what if you feel your relationship still has a chance? What if it’s not just a case someone being better than no-one? If you truly believe that all is not lost, then you need to do something to make your relationship live and thrive again.

Most relationships get into a rut at some point, and if you think you still have something worth keeping, there’s no need to just go on hoping that things will get better. There’s something you can do about it, something that will bring the magic back into both your lives.

Go here to find out what it is.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Katie Hammond

    I’ve always been in relationships with men I wanted to change, but I didn’t see that as a negative for THEM, only for ME. I genuinely thought I was offering them something better than they already had, and an amazing relationship too. But you’re saying that I was wrong.
    I thought I was offering them the chance to realize their full potential. But I have to admit that none of the relationships lasted. You seem to be saying that was inevitable. Was it?

    1. Sarah

      People need to feel accepted by those that profess to love them, women as well as men. When you make it clear to a man that the person he is isn’t enough to make you happy, the relationship stops being fun and becomes work. And although nearly all relationships need work in order to last, they shouldn’t begin with it.

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