How To Tell If You Settled In Your Relationship
Do you really love him?
Don’t settle for second best if you’re looking for lasting love. There’s a disturbing trend among women lowering their standards for the sake of finding a husband or a long-term partner. But this is a recipe for eventual divorce, because there comes a point where you will value happiness and freedom more than being married with kids, if you chose the wrong man.
So, before it’s too late, here’s how to tell if you’ve settled for your boyfriend, and what you need to do about it.
Why women settle
Los Angeles marriage and family therapist Allen Wagner said that many women settle for a range of reasons, and their biological clock is a big one.
“After the age of 27, single women tend to look more closely at their relationships, and tend to scrutinize them more as they watch their peer groups begin to settle down. While women tend to be smarter for the most part in their overall selection process, there is still a perception that there is time, and that having fun with some inappropriate matches is still okay. It's at age 33 that the numbers start to set in, and the logical woman realizes that she needs to make her move,” Wagner said.
To resolve this, women need to walk a fine line of creating a list of legitimate dealbreakers but also avoid ruling out perfectly good men. “Women who choose a man they are not attracted to, who doesn't challenge them, is not as ambitious as they are, or who is enmeshed to his family, have most likely settled. These things are unlikely to change over time. Time tends to breed resentment, which does not bode well for longevity,” Wagner said.
Questions to ask
Jennifer Rhodes, founder and CEO of Rapport Relationships, shared her top five questions to ask yourself if you fear you might have settled for a man.
- Do you feel as though he is the right person? If no, you may be ignoring your gut and intuition. Just because he is a great person does not mean he is the right long term fit.
- Are you excited to introduce him to everyone in your life? If the answer is no, you may be settling for Mr. Okay.
- When you think about your future, are you happy that he is in it? If you cannot see him in your life in five years or get scared, unhappy or depressed when thinking about the future with him, you are settling.
- Does he simply get you and let you be you? Happy couples are secure in the knowledge that they can be their true selves in a happy relationship. If you feel anything less, you may be settling.
- Are your friends and family confused about why you are dating him? Other people in our life may have excellent perspective on our life choices. If they think you are playing too safe, listen to them.
There are other warning signs to look out for that might mean you need to move on and find a new love, said Lori Bizzoco, relationship expert and executive editor and founder of CupidsPulse:
There’s no passion: If you treat your boyfriend as more of a best friend than a lover, chances are, you're settling. Although your partnership is very civilized, it lacks the spark that a healthy relationship needs.
You’re stuck in a routine: Love is supposed to be spontaneous and exciting, and great relationships consist of spur of the moment activities. A comfortable, boring routine doesn’t exist in a loving relationship. After all, you should want to experience new things with your sweetheart.
You see your relationship as “pleasant”: “Nice” is not a part of a person's vocabulary when talking about a happy relationship. When describing your relationship, you should be specific. It shows that you pay attention and appreciate your beau. Compliments that are general and vague — like “pleasant” and “nice” — don’t hold any value and can be said about anyone or anything.
You have negative views on love: If you’re with someone special and still view love as impossible and strong relationships as unrealistic, then you haven’t found Mr. Right yet. After you meet Prince Charming, you’ll have an optimistic outlook on romance and feel confident about your honey.
If you feel ambivalent about your boyfriend, and unsure if he's the right one for you to marry, then you need to stop and seriously assess your relationship and figure out what it is that you love about him, and whether you should stay or go. Far too many women in their early 30's choose staying, when they should have said goodbye. These women often end up divorced, with kids, in their 40's or 50's. It's far easier to find a new mate, if that's what you want, when you're 30, than when you're 50. So go ahead and follow your gut instinct if it's telling you something about your man.