OK, let’s get real. “Am I settling?” isn’t always a question that most people want to utter out loud, but I bet it’s one that’s crossed more than a few minds every now and then. If you’re wondering something similar in your current relationship, you’ve come to the right place. I come bearing some honest AF words of wisdom from women who’ve been there.
In a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, women were asked to share when they realized they were settling in their relationships. And the women who responded did not hold back. Each one got brutally honest about the aspects of their relationship that made them realize that they were settling, from keeping too many secrets from their friends to doing all of the emotional heavy lifting.
You may find yourself saying, “It me!” to every single one of their responses, or you might find yourself not relating to any at all. But what’s interesting here is that, while some of the women’s stories are similar, they’re pretty much all unique in their own way. Settling for you might mean something totally different than settling for someone else. Read along and, if nothing else, take their stories as a sign that you’re not alone.
If their relationship was a team, she’d be the MVP.
I realized I was settling when I noticed I was carrying the relationship both emotionally and financially. Whenever I thought about us together in the future, I noticed I wasn’t going to be able to count on him to help raise a family. He ended the relationship for his own reasons own but by doing that he did me a huge favor.
Their issues never went away.
When I was crying every day about the same issue that never changed.
An absence of cons was her only pro.
When the only positive about being with him was a large absence of negatives.
She went on a solo trip and didn’t miss them.
When I went on a trip alone and I didn’t miss him.
I should have clued in when I admitted to a friend that our sex life bored me and that I didn’t truly love him. But I wanted to want him. It took travelling solo for me to acknowledge I was happier on my own.
She couldn’t see them in her future.
She was constantly making excuses for them.
When I thought about him, I’d think, “At least he isn’t…” I realized I was having trouble coming up with anything both good and truthful to say about him. I was internally justifying getting less than the bare minimum out of the relationship.
She was no longer attracted to them.
When I found literally everyone else around me more attractive than him
They brought up divorce during the proposal.
When he proposed by saying, “let’s just try it and keep divorce as an option.” We divorced after seven miserable years.
She purposely spared her friends the details.
When I would talk to my friends about him I would omit details. You know, things that would make him look bad in their eyes? I would only talk about the good stuff….and if I talked about the bad….I’d leave things out so it didn’t seem AS bad.
She was doing all of the work in the relationship.
I realized I was doing most of the work in the relationship just to keep it afloat and when I asked him for more effort he would always make it seem like I was greedy for asking that. When the relationship ended, I realized most of my sadness was not having someone but I didn’t miss him. I was sad that I wouldn’t have that +1 to come with me to try a new restaurant or be there during Christmas but it was more about that than missing the actual person. The breakup gave me space to see just how unhealthy our relationship was.
They didn’t clean their house for months.
When I came home after a few months at college and he hadn’t cleaned once. With animals in the house!
She would get excited when they couldn’t hang out.
When I knew he wasn’t available to hangout and I got excited about my alone time.
They were using each other.
When I realized that I was using him as a space filler and he was using me as a trophy.
She was totally fine on her own.
When I realized I did everything alone. I had my fun life with friends, my work life and my bf life. Your fun life should include your bf but it didn’t. I went out without him, I went on vacation without him. I didn’t need him and I didn’t miss him. And slowly I stopped loving him.
She was jealous of her single friends.
When I started envying my single friends for being able to do whatever they wanted without having to think about how it will affect a partner.
They didn’t prioritize her.
When I realized I would never be a priority. Any plans I tried to make were met with a “maybe” at best, which was code for “if I don’t get any better offers”. Then what sealed the deal was that we lived together and I would get anxiety having to come home from work and be with him because he was just always so nasty to me about anything I said or did. When I realized I wasn’t allowing myself to be myself is when I knew I was settling and was unhappy.
Hanging with them felt like a chore.
Spending time with him began feeling like a chore.
The only thing keeping her in the relationship was money.
When I realized the only reason I was staying was because I couldn’t afford financially to leave. Best decision I ever made to risk it and go.
Everything her friends warned her about turned out to be true.
When I saw that he was matching up more to the things others who care about me were trying to say, that I refused to listen to, because I believed he was better than he was. He ended up dumping me but I realized how much of myself I gave to someone who didn’t deserve or appreciate it.
They had to be reminded to groom themselves.
When I had to tell him that he should shower and brush his teeth at some point in the 24 hours before I came over.
If you feel like you might be settling, these stories may remind you that you’re not alone and that there can be a light at the end of this tunnel.
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