Healthy relationships enrich our lives and provide all the happiness and support that makes living on this planet a little bit more bearable. But, a lot of us are guilty of not actually taking stock in our partnerships. Is your partner really giving you what you want? Or, are you settling in a relationship that isn’t totally right for you? Unless someone has done something awful or toxic, it can be hard to determine whether you’re really in love, or just in the relationship because you’re comfortable. Listed below are seven signs that you’re settling in your relationship, and that it might be time for you to move on.
Signs That You’re Settling In Your Relationship
1. You’re Constantly Comparing – You always seem to size up your relationship against other couples, and usually, it’s not a very healthy comparison. Maybe you just can’t help but notice how much happier others are together, you’re envious of all the cool things they’re doing together, or that they’re just so compatible. If you were with someone you truly wanted to be with and cared about, these things wouldn’t matter. At least, you wouldn’t be noticing them on such a grand scale. It would be more of an observation rather than a comparison. Frequently comparing your partner unfavorably to other people, especially friends’ partners or spouses, is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship. No relationship is perfect, but tune in to when these comparisons are actually just a search for a way out.
2. You Don’t Want To Be Alone – Thanks to our society’s poor stigma of being single, we sometimes resort to just about anything for the sake of not being alone. In fact, very few people know how to be alone and do it well. The word alone sounds so harsh, doesn’t it? It’s important to learn how to embrace being alone without being lonely. Know your worth and your value, and don’t let someone else have to define that for you. Always remember – being with the wrong person for the wrong reasons is so much worse than just riding out the single wave.
3. You Justify – If it seems like you have to convince yourself and others that you’re happy, or even if you have to look for reasons you’re with this person, I’d say that’s one of the biggest red flags you’re in a sinking ship of settling. You shouldn’t have to explain to others, or yourself, why you’re dating someone. Making excuses for a partner or anything questionably negative in the relationship is a clear sign that you’re in something you probably shouldn’t be in. Simple things like “yeah, but he’s so great with kids” or “she has such and such degree” or “they’re amazing and I’d be crazy not to be with them” should not be the sole basis of being in a relationship.
4. The Little Things Bother You – It’s perfectly okay to get a little irked by people’s quirks and bad habits, especially when you’ve gotten to know someone well and you’ve become comfortable with each other enough for those walls to come down. But when it gets to a point of resentment, over some of the smallest things, that’s another glaring sign that you probably shouldn’t be with this person. Most of us assume the big issues are what drives a couple apart, when sometimes it’s actually those minor irritations that add up. If the fact that your partner does not squeeze the toothpaste tube correctly after using it is something that ruins your day and makes your skin crawl, you may be projecting a bigger issue at hand.
5. You Keep Thinking Your Partner Will Change – If you’re viewing any part of your relationship as a temporary thing that “will get better eventually,” there’s another indicator that you’ve settled yourself into some unhappiness. Overall, you should like your partner just the way they are right now. Fast forwarding to some future, “better” version of who you want them to be doesn’t exactly sound like a genuine, or healthy thing for that matter. The problem with dating someone because of their potential is that you’re not getting to know who they really are. While it’s normal for people in a relationship to grow, they have to do it on their own.
6. You Don’t Think You Can Do Better – Maybe you feel trapped in a situation that seems decent, but you’re pretty much only in it because you’re afraid to leave. You’re afraid to leave because you’re afraid you won’t find anyone “better.” Truthfully, we shouldn’t evaluate partners on whether they’re good enough, but on whether they’re right for us. Tallying up a partner’s good and bad traits in the first place sounds like one way you could be trying to convince yourself to stay in the relationship. I mean, if you’re really into it, you wouldn’t have to think about doing that. Never stay in a relationship because you don’t think you can do better!
7. You Feel Tied To Your Commitments – You’ve already invested the time and energy, you’ve made plans and memories together, and you’ve taken the time to get really comfortable with each other, so why break it off? The thing is, if you’ve already given it a chance, tried working through whatever issues there are, and you still don’t feel quite right about it, this could be a sign that you’re lying to yourself in the relationship. No one needs consent to leave a relationship, millions of people remain in unhappy relationships that range for many different reasons. The feeling of suffocation or of having no choice stems from unconscious fears that lead to guilt. People give many explanations for staying in bad relationships, ranging from caring for young children to caring for a sick partner. Remember that you don’t owe anyone anything other than honesty — for both your partner and yourself.