The beginning of a new relationship feels like nothing else. You may think you’ve met The One, and your budding romance is the stuff of movies and unlike any other relationship that has gone before…
However, the reality is that your relationship probably isn’t that different from anybody else’s. Eventually, there will come a time where you question the relationship. These doubts are perfectly normal. However, it’s what you do after these doubts that will determine whether your relationship is destined for success or going down another path. Perhaps you are settling, rather than striving for happiness?
Have you settled for your partner?
In a recent study, 73% of people admitted that they had settled for their current partner. Similarly, one in seven people say that their current partner isn’t the love of their life. So why are people with a partner they’re not entirely sure about?
The poll also found that 37% stay in a relationship for the sake of their partner, while others may remain for children or perhaps hope that things will get better. In many cases, people settle because they don’t want to be alone. Some people may not want to deal with the fall out of a break-up or don’t want to rock the boat by talking about their feelings.
However, settling for ‘good enough’ isn’t enough. It is not fair for you or your partner. That said, it is essential to differentiate between settling and merely being in a comfortable period of the relationship.
Settling is not simply putting up with their messy habits or loud snoring; settling is where you begin to let go of the things that are important to you and what you believe in. To settle is when you compromise yourself and your happiness for the sake of the relationship.
However, more often than not, when you are settling, the other person is too. If you are settling, your partner doesn’t get to see the real you and everything that makes you special. They may also be denying themselves happiness for the sake of your relationship as well.
Bad habits or harmful beliefs?
In a relationship, every partner will have their own flaws and bugbears. However, a healthy relationship will mean to love that person, flaws and all. In a positive relationship, both partners will make it easy for the other person to be their full self. So, when an irritation arises, such as the way they stack the dishwasher or their forgetful nature, you are not settling, but actually creating a comfortable environment where both partners have the freedom and creativity to be themselves. Yes, their habits might be annoying, but you still love that person for who they are.
Where people settle is when beliefs about themselves begin to be a factor in the relationship. This could be that you don’t believe you deserve any better or perhaps you’re compromising your dreams and aspirations for your relationship. If a relationship stifles your growth, or worse, makes you question your abilities, then you are settling in your relationships.
In summary, if you feel like you are sacrificing something, then you are settling. If you are encouraged to be your full self, then you have a healthy relationship. Sometimes the lines between comfortable and settling can be blurred, especially during periods of stagnation. When this happens, I provide my clients with five questions to ask themselves.
Five questions to check whether you are settling
- Commitment – Do you need anything else to be 100% sure about committing to them?
- Development – What attachment do you have to your partner, which inhibits your personal growth?
- Investment -Do you feel like your with your partner because you are invested or because you’re too well integrated into their life?
- Fear of being alone – Are you choosing your partner because you don’t want to be alone, or feel judged for being alone?
- Consequences – If you knew there’d be no consequences and breaking up would be easy, would you leave?
When you ask yourself these questions, it is crucial to really listen to yourself. If something doesn’t feel right in your relationship, then it usually best to leave. Otherwise, there will be a nagging doubt that lingers throughout your relationship. If you leave it too late, then it becomes harder and harder to break away.
If you’re struggling with a difficult relationship, or perhaps struggling with a break-up, then I specialise in relationship therapy. Working with you, together we can alter your self-belief systems so that you know you do deserve more and do not have to settle. If you’d like to discuss how I can help in further detail, please call 0207 971 7677 to book your free consultation.