The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for. – Maureen Dowd.
What a wonderful and confusing thing!
Just when we think we have a grasp on understanding ourselves, the way we relate to others, how to be in relationship, things come along to turn it all upside down.
Especially when we have so many conflicting messages and advice coming in around how to navigate our love lives.
I am one of the first people that will say ‘do not settle’ when it comes to love, yet I realize even that is not super clear. I think we get it from a big picture mental level, but that is not the same as being in a relationship or dating and seeing the ways in which it may show up.
The scariest part is when we are doing things that seem to be ‘good habits’ yet really are undercover ways of staying stuck or being okay with the status quo when it comes to love.
Want to know the top 3 sneakiest ways you may be settling in love without even knowing it? Here they are.
1. There is a ‘lesson’ here for me to learn.
This is probably the sneakiest of them all. Especially for the enlightened person who believes every situation is a learning opportunity waiting to be experienced.
However sometimes when the going gets tough, we really should get going too!
Is there learning to be had in a challenging relationship? Sure thing! We learn a lot about ourselves and people in general.
The downside to this mentality is we may overlook things that are clearly not working for us. That guy that keeps stringing you along? Yeah, he probably is NOT going to change or commit.
Yet we tell ourselves there is something to ‘learn’ here because it is easier than having to admit this person does not feel the same way about us as we do about them.
We want to take all of the responsibility on our shoulders and bend over backwards in order to ‘make it work.’
More often than not there is a pattern around not expressing your needs, or more importantly not standing for your needs being met.
Ask yourself what exactly the lesson is that you think you need to learn? Often times, awareness is all that is required.
Once you acknowledge the lesson, and that you have learned it, you don’t necessarily need to be IN the relationship to ‘continue’ the process.
We have all heard the old adage that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results”.
Learning is about information and action based on that information. At a certain point, the lesson that needs to be learned is to WALK AWAY.
2. I am being too ‘picky’.
I know most of us have either heard this being said or have said it ourselves a gazillion times.
The other version of this statement is ‘My standards are too high. I need to lower them.’
First of all, would you think you were being ‘too picky’ when going after your dream job? What about when getting ready to buy your dream home?
Would you be too picky in regards to your car, your business, your friends, your beauty products?
Why is it any different for the person you plan to be in a relationship with? Especially when we are talking about your forever person, your long haul person?!
This is not a decision to buy brand name Q-tips versus store brand. It is a major decision that could potentially affect the rest of your life. You should be more picky than less picky!
Maybe it is that word that has a negative connotation, but being conscious of what you want, selective and determined on your needs and desires, and selective with the person that will be the recipient of your love, support and devotion is absolutely, unequivocally mandatory in my opinion!!
No ifs, ands or buts when it comes to you being clear of your standards and convinced of your deserving around it!
I am a huge pusher for people to make a detailed, extensive list of their dream love life. Know what you are looking for in an ideal partner and ideal relationship. I even suggest you envisioning what your ideal self looks like as well because this way you are not losing yourself in any given situation.
The point of a relationship is to help you become your best self, not the lost, confused, checked out version!
3. They have ‘potential’.
This one is another super tricky way because it has a feeling of graciousness and open-mindedness, however it is quite the opposite.
When we say ‘they have potential’ what it sounds like on the surface is, I see the great in them, I see their heart, their dreams, their soul. Deep down they are amazing human beings who have not come into their full self (potential) yet.
What we are really saying (a majority of the time) is they are not what I want AS IS. They are not where I want them to be and maybe, one day, maybe they will be.
This is code for ‘I expect you to change.’ Tricky right? And not cool.
Not only are you settling because they are not giving you what you want and need in this moment and possibly never will, but you are trying to control the situation by going in with the intention of them becoming someone else.
That is not love, that is manipulation.
Do these ring true for you at all? In what ways have you seen this in your own love life or with others? How have you been able to recognize and deal with settling in relationships?
Would love to hear your feedback or answer any questions you have! Share in the comments below!
Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way. Find her at http://nataliethecoach.com, get her free in-depth love wish list worksheet & sign up for her newsletter. Interested in working with her? Through the end of December 2013, she is offering hour-long coaching or tarot sessions for only $50 that can be redeemed at any time. Find out more here!
Main pic credit: Chrismatos, Flickr.com.