12 warning signs you’re settling for less than you deserve in a relationship

No one wants to end up in a boring, love-less, unhappy relationship, and yet so many people do without even realizing it.

Instead of finding your perfect match, you settle for whoever you’re with – maybe you just don’t want to look anymore or maybe you’re just too tired or comfortable to do anything else.

But you deserve a relationship that actually makes you happy. So what are the signs that you’re settling?

Here are 12 signs that you’re settling for much less than you deserve in your relationship:

1) You Feel Isolated From Your Loved Ones

When I was in a bad relationship where I knew that I was settling but I just couldn’t admit it to myself, one of the worst signs of the situation was that I had unintentionally isolated myself from my closest friends and family. 

The reason is that I couldn’t bear to let anyone else see the full reality of my relationship situation, so instead of socializing with my partner, I hid them from my loved ones and avoided things like parties and reunions, which in turn left me isolated and even more alone.

2) You’ve Stopped Trying to Enforce Your Boundaries

There comes a time in any failing relationship where one person has to ask him or herself: am I going to keep letting myself be disappointed, or am I just going to lower my standards?

And unfortunately, many of us choose the latter.

At the start of your relationship with this person, perhaps you had strong boundaries and lines that you’d always enforced with previous relationships – behaviors, words, and actions that you wouldn’t accept at all, no matter what.

But these days, you accept it far too often that you don’t even think about correcting your partner anymore.

This is a major sign that you’ve decided to settle.

3) You Don’t Feel Fulfilled Anymore

A relationship is supposed to fulfill you, but all this relationship does is drain you.

You don’t feel happy, excited, and optimistic anymore. Instead, you just feel a kind of dullness associated with the relationship, as if you’re just waiting for it to end but you don’t see any end in sight.

And the worst part?

You know all this, and yet you’re doing nothing to fix it.

You’ve descended into some state of learned helplessness, where all you can do is watch as the relationship continues to sap away at your days, everyday.

4) You Feel Relief When They Leave the Room

When I was in a relationship that just wasn’t doing it for me, I remember one distinct experience that happened again and again: every time she would leave the room, I automatically breathed a giant sigh of relief.

And this wasn’t something I was doing on purpose.

It was just my body’s natural reaction to finally being alone again after spending too much time with her.

It was when I finally realized I was doing it that I understood – I wasn’t happy and I was definitely just settling.

5) Your Life Feels Like It’s On Hold

Do you remember a little something called… your life plan? Where you see yourself five years or ten years down the line? No? That’s probably because of this draining relationship that you’re in.

When you’re in a relationship where you’ve drastically settled, a part of you knows that you’ve settled while a part of you refuses to acknowledge it.

But that first part of you is just disappointed, so disappointed that it doesn’t even want to think about the future anymore. 

So instead of planning out your future, you’re just waiting for the relationship to end.

Unfortunately, some people never experience the end of those bad relationships.

6) You Don’t Feel Like You Can Really Be Yourself When They’re Around

There’s always a kind of artificial tension when you’re around this person, which is weird, isn’t it?

They’re supposed to be the love of your life, and yet, you feel like you have to hold yourself a certain way when they’re around as if you have to run all your thoughts and words through a filter before you can let them leave you.

If you’re feeling this way, it means you’re with a person who isn’t really on the same wavelength as you, and all you’re doing is settling for them by forcing the relationship instead of acknowledging it. 

7) You Make Excuses For the Way They Act

I once took an ex-partner on a two week trip to another country with my family, and unfortunately for me, her negative and explosive behavior didn’t hold itself in during that trip, even when we were in full view of my family.

But even with their knowing looks and glares, all I could do was make excuses for her immature and negative behavior.

I made excuse after excuse for her, trying to justify why she was acting the terrible way she was acting, but at the end of the day we all knew that I didn’t deserve to be treated that way – that no one does.

8) You Constantly Have To Convince Yourself That This is What You Want

When you’re in love, you’re in love.

You don’t have to have conversations with yourself in your head about whether or not you should stay in this relationship.

But ask yourself honestly – do you find yourself trying to convince yourself to stay in this relationship?

If the answer is yes, then you are probably just settling.

Remember: when real love happens, you’ll know it.

You don’t have to force it or try to find the logic in it; it’s love, and it’s something you will want to hold onto regardless of the logic behind it.

You won’t need to convince yourself when you find the right person.

9) You Don’t Prioritize You Anymore

The problem with settling in your relationship is that you end up convincing yourself that you don’t really deserve what you think you deserve.

If you lower your standards for what you want in a partner too much, then you end up lowering your standards for everything else, and that rubs off on the way you treat yourself.

So you end up no longer prioritizing your own needs, because a small part of you now thinks you don’t deserve that kind of self-care and self-love.

You forget your own standards for life and just end up settling in all aspects.

10) Your Relationship Feels Like It’s on Autopilot

Whenever I’ve been in a dead-end relationship that just wouldn’t end for whatever reason, I couldn’t get over the routine of feeling like everything was just on autopilot.

We would have our dates, do our routines, talk with each other, sleep and wake up next to each other – and that was it.

No more excitement, no more happiness; just a monotonous routine on autopilot.

And if I never had the initiative to actually ask for more – to want more out of my life and my relationship – I knew that I could’ve stayed in those relationships all my life, regardless of how unhappy I may have been, simply because of how easy it was for me to just accept the status quo of it.

11) You Don’t Confide In Them Anymore

There was a time in this relationship that you told this person, your loving partner, everything that was on your mind.

But when was the last time you actually did that? Or if so, when was the last time your partner showed serious interest in what you were saying?

Without realizing it, you may have slowly stopped confiding in your partner.

Not out of spite, but simply because you learned over time that it was just a waste of time; talking to them was getting nowhere.

But that’s not what you deserve, is it?

You, like everyone else, deserve someone who listens to what you have to say and cares about what’s on your mind. It’s time to move on rather than keep settling.

12) You’re Naturally a Passive Person

And if you’re still not sure whether or not you’re settling for the person you’re with? Ask yourself one question – are you a passive person or someone who takes life into his or her own hands? 

The reason many people end up in dead end relationships that they don’t like but just can’t get out of is because they don’t know how to take control of their lives, after spending a lifetime being a passive individual.

The more passive you are, the more likely you’re going to end up with a spouse you don’t really care for, because the act of upending a relationship that isn’t toxic but also isn’t ideal is too much to do, and the alternative for an easy break up never presented itself.

Stop being passive. Listen to what the signs are saying and to what your heart wants. It’s time to move on.

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Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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