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Settling in a Relationship

Is He the Best Reflection of You? Guest Post by Sejginha Williams-Abaku, LMFT

Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma'aji from Pexels

On your journey to find "Mr. right for you," it can be easy to get discouraged. Although settling in relationships can feel safe, it's far from it. Yes, technically, you won't be alone, but you may feel quite lonely in that relationship. Before you move forward with him, take a moment to assess whether your partner is the one you want or the one you are settling with.

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Here are some telltale signs that you may be settling:

You Don't Miss Him When He's Gone. You realize that you feel lonely or miss having "someone" around, but you find that you don't miss the actual person. Out of sight, out of mind should not apply to your romantic partner. When your partner is not around, you should miss their presence because they bring so much value to your existence.

You Are in The Relationship Based on His Perceived Yet Unvalidated Potential. Potential is based on having the capacity to become or develop into something in the future. Just speaking about what he would like to do in the future without engaging in the hard work needed to get there is equivalent to selling you a dream. Your partner should be engaging in intentional actions and working towards a specific plan to have potential. Potential can be encouraged, reinforced, and supported, but it cannot be forced upon or created for someone else.

You Don't Feel Drawn to Introduce Him to Other People. Our partner is a reflection of who we are. You should feel proud of him and excited to introduce him to others when the time is right. Ask yourself, do you lean towards keeping the relationship secret? Do you worry that he may embarrass you, or do you feel embarrassed to be seen with him? In that case, it may be time for an in-depth re-evaluation of your feelings and relationship. When we find our ideal match, we are excited to share experiences with him and introduce him to others.


You Wonder If You Would Be That Hurt If He Broke Up with You and A Part of You Wishes He Would. When we are invested in a relationship, we cannot fathom the thought of it ending. We realize that we would be hurt and seek ways to strengthen the relationship. Are you still invested in the relationship, or are you fearful of being wrong or being the bad guy? Your avoidance doesn't serve you or him. It keeps you both stuck while your ideal partner is searching and waiting for you. It's time to find him.

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You Don't See Him in Your Future. Close your eyes for a moment and envision what you want your life to look like in five years and ten years. Are you finding it difficult to see him in that picture, or do you cringe at the very thought? If so, your relationship may not be able to stand the test of time.

You Feel Constantly Annoyed by Him. Are you are always complaining about him, or do you realize that you are frequently annoyed by him? Do you find that you spend most of your interactions with him frustrated or wondering when he will "grow" up? It does not take a lot of effort to interact with a person who is a compliment to you. Interactions should feel refreshing, and conversations should flow naturally.

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You Fantasize About Another Person or About Having Another Relationship. Do you have thoughts of having a better relationship with someone else? It is normal to think about people from our past who meant a lot to us. However, wishing that you were still with that person signals that you are not content in your current space. If you fear that you may be missing out on someone else, write a description of that person. What are their attributes, lifestyle, and how do they differ from your current partner?

You Don't Feel A Deep Connection. Are you continually trying to convince yourself that it's ok that you don't feel connected? The difference between a romantic partner and a friend is a deep romantic connection. For a relationship to be sustainable, a strong bond is needed. Ensuring that you have a genuine connection with your partner will help you remain devoted without the temptation to connect with someone outside the relationship.


You Are Not Physically Attracted to Him. Women can grow to be physically attracted to men that we are emotionally attracted to. Still, there has to be some level of physical attraction. Do you feel guilty because you are not physically attracted to him? No, you are not vain. Physical attraction is essential for the long-term success of a relationship. The thought of having sex with the person you are dating should not feel like a chore or a bullet you have to bite when the time comes for it. He should excite you physically, and you should look forward to connecting and reconnecting sexually.

Your Relationship with Him is Unhealthy. Do you have thoughts that he is the best you can do or that an unhealthy relationship is what you deserve? Disqualify those thoughts. The man in your life should be a beautiful complement to the amazing woman that you are. Your partner should bring out the best in you. If you had to go back in time and explain your relationship to that little girl who grew up to be you, would she be proud? Or would you be ashamed to tell her?


He Does Not Make an Effort to Meet Your Needs. Your partner should be looking for ways to meet your needs, make you happy, and strengthen the relationship. If you are always asking for attention, communication, affection, or reciprocity, you are settling. You deserve a relationship in which your partner makes a plan to shift such behavior so that your connection can grow. If you find yourself begging to be loved, you are with the wrong person.

You Find That You Hold Yourself Back in Terms of Personal or Professional Growth for Fear That You Will Outgrow Him. An ideal partner should complement your life and dreams. If your relationship cannot sustain your self-development or success, you are settling. As we age and have more life experiences, we should grow. Our relationship should be able to evolve and grow with us.

Your Core Group of People Express Concerns or Reservations About Your Relationship. Your core group, which includes family and friends that feel like family, have become your core group for a reason. You trust them, and you know that they have your best interests at heart. If they are raising concerns, usually, it's because there are concerns to be raised. Be quick to listen instead of being quick to respond. Ask questions to deepen your understanding of the facts and problems they present. Take deeps breaths and do your best not to become defensive.

Yes, change can be scary but missing out on true love is frightening. Settling in relationships is not safe. It is the act of contracting with yourself to be miserable for a while and someday start over. You deserve so much more.

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