- Do you see yourself with someone else in the long-run?
- Are you in an ‘open’ relationship, but you—and only you— want it to be exclusive?
- Even though you’re with someone, do you often wonder when you’ll meet someone else?
- Do you wish you could change a not-so-short list of things about your current mate?
- If you could be with anyone in the world (ahem…excluding star crushes), would you choose someone other than the person you’re with?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then yes, you are settling. In fact, if you even have to ask yourself, “Am I settling?” Then, in all likelihood, you probably are.
In theory, we understand that people are who they are and we can not change them. However, in practice, we are constantly trying to do just that. And, when we can’t change them, we start modifying our behaviors, wants and needs to be more accommodating, ultimately resulting in resentment and dissatisfaction in our relationships.
And, at some point down the line, we realize that we have settled.
If you take nothing else away from this article, remember the following affirmation. Say it daily. Write it on your bathroom mirror. Put a post-it on your refrigerator. "I am worthy of a great love! I will not settle for less. Not ever."
Don’t get me wrong. There is a big difference between being unsure / having doubt and settling. The plethora of choices that life presents means that doubt and uncertainty will certainly be a part of any big decision we make. You wouldn’t typically buy the first house that the realtor shows you. In fact, you will most likely view dozens of houses; find the perfect house that fits all of your criteria and you will still have doubt!
We doubt because there is some ambiguity in our criteria…because we are—erroneously—always looking for ‘better’ when what we need to realize is that once we’ve lain out our SHORT list of relationship criteria (5-7 must-haves), one person who meets the criteria is not better—only different—than the next person who also meets the criteria. Vagueness creates confusion.
Get some clarity by asking yourself this question: “If I were stranded on a deserted island…forever…what qualities would I need in a mate?” That should at least get you started on generating a more specific list of what you’re looking for in a partner. And, try not to rail off the obvious criteria, like “must be attractive.” What exactly does that mean? The person obviously wouldn’t need to be universally attractive, just attractive to you (which could be totally unattractive to me). My point is this: Be thoughtful and realistic in defining your specific criteria!