Couples are exhilarated when they first meet each other. This excitement blinds them and they end up thinking they will have a successful relationship down the lane. However, fate has different plans for them. Wait a second! Is it actually destiny or is it your lethargy to keep the relationship exciting? One partner starts taking the other for and they eventually end up settling in a relationship. You may feel lonely at times. Dejected. And even décolletage. 

The moment you think of your bond with your partner, you should murmur words like “fulfilling”, “nothing short of a dream”, or “I am living my happily-ever-after”. On the contrary, if your relationship makes you taste the emotions of “could be better”, “not good enough”, or “miserable”, it clearly means you are with the wrong person who isn’t willing to do anything about the situation.

In this article, we’ll tell you all about the red flags and how you can avoid settling in an unhappy relationship.

What Is Settling In A Relationship?

Settling in your relationship typically refers to accepting a partner or a relationship that may not fully meet one’s desires or expectations. It often implies compromising on certain aspects of the relationship or overlooking certain shortcomings in order to maintain a partnership.

In plain words, it’s a problem you simply can’t overlook. However, due to your lowered expectations or any other personal situation, you tend to swiftly swipe these things under the rug. 

People may choose to settle in a relationship for various reasons, such as fear of being alone, societal pressures, the aftermath of a divorce, a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity, or a belief that finding a perfect partner is unrealistic.

Unfortunately, not a lot of people realize that settling for the wrong person can have consequences, as it may lead one of them to harbor dissatisfaction, resentment, hostility, and even hatred for their partner. 

7 Signs You Are Settling In Your Relationship

They say the moment you start settling for less than what you deserve is the moment you get less than what you deserve. So, before you get into a relationship, it’s crucial you learn the difference between settling and being realistic by finding out the signs you are settling in your relationship. We hope these relationship advice help you in making the right decision:

1. You are dissatisfied 

You know you are not in a happy relationship when you persistently get a feeling of discontentment, displeasure, and unhappiness. Research says that 40 percent of people in relationships feel unhappy at some point. While being unhappy in a relationship is not that bad, and everyone goes through it at some point, being dissatisfied can manifest itself in long-term as below-

  • You feel a lack in your relationship on sexual/intellectual/financial front
  • You have thought about cheating on your SO
  • You feel bored and look for excuses to not be home
  • You do not feel like investing yourself emotionally in the relationship
  • You feel unheard and uncared for, making you feel put down
  • You are emotionally detached
  • You often start to overshare your issues or make fun of your relationship with friends and family

And while you know there is a discord, you still ignore the above signs because you have accepted your situation.

2. You constantly compare your relationship 

So, how to know if you are settling in a relationship? When you find yourself consistently comparing your relationship to others’ lives and their relationships.Upward comparisons are more common and they tend to make you feel worse.

Comparison suggests that you are yearning for qualities or dynamics that you perceive that are missing from your current relationship. It is not a healthy relationship if you constantly find yourself comparing your partner to your ex or your friend’s partner.

Furthermore, comparisons often stem from a desire for something more or a belief that you deserve a relationship that aligns better with your needs and desires.

Let’s say you see your friend’s relationship and their happiness makes you wonder why you and your partner haven’t been able to experience this kind of euphoria. When such ugly truths come out in the form of comparisons, it is an indication that you are aware of potential alternatives that could provide a more fulfilling connection.  

Read This: 20 Signs Of A Weak Man In A Relationship And How To Deal With It

3. There is a lack of passion and excitement 

A lack of passion and connection in a relationship can be a significant sign that something may be amiss or that you are settling. You avoid spending time with each other and you don’t feel complete when you are with them.

In addition to that, the whole relationship feels like it has fallen m into a monotonous routine, where everything feels predictable and lacks excitement.

The absence of novelty and spontaneity can contribute to a sense of stagnation and reduced passion.

Yes, relationships go through this phase. It’s nothing unusual. However, when you are with the right person, they will make sure they don’t let this stagnancy drown your happiness and peace. They will move heaven and earth to bring back that spark by exploring ways in which you can stop settling and start loving your life. 

4. There is lack of growth and development 

Relationships need to grow to survive. When you feel like your personal goals, relationship goals, aspirations, or individual growth are not supported or encouraged within the relationship, it is certain you are settling and don’t have a sense of self-love. There will be a lack of sense of adventure or a willingness to explore new experiences together.

Further, there will be a resistance to stepping outside of comfort zones or trying new things, which can lead to a stagnant and unfulfilling dynamic. There is no need to settle for such a relationship where your personal growth feels stunted. After all, the entire point of being in a relationship is to grow and glow together.

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5. There is unequal effort 

Unequal effort and imbalance in a relationship can be a sign that you are settling in your relationship. It is a clear sign that the partnership is not mutually fulfilling. Your relationship is nothing more than a one-sided relationship.

In a balanced relationship, two people put in equal effort to keep each other happy. However, if you find that you are putting in significantly more effort, time, or energy into the relationship compared to your partner, it’s clear that you feel resentful of this companionship.

It is bad behavior when your partner doesn’t contribute their fair share in tasks like household chores, emotional support, planning activities, or making sacrifices for the relationship. This points to a noticeable absence of reciprocity in the efforts and sacrifices made within the relationship.

Your partner is either intentionally or unintentionally not matching your level of commitment or failing to contribute in meaningful ways, leaving you feeling unbalanced and unappreciated.

6. You feel unappreciated 

There is another word for settling in a relationship. It’s called compromise. When you keep compromising over and over again but your partner still doesn’t seem grateful, this can make you feel unappreciated and unacknowledged.

This will further create an emotional void in the center while causing a decline in emotional intimacy. If this persists, it can erode the overall satisfaction and happiness within the relationship. 

Additionally, the missing appreciation can contribute to a breakdown in open and effective communication. The partner who feels unappreciated may become less inclined to share their thoughts and feelings, which can further hinder the emotional connection in the relationship.

All this can negatively impact your self-esteem and you may begin to question your worth and feel undeserving of their love and acknowledgment. 

7. You feel trapped 

If you feel stuck, caged, or stifled in your relationship, it’s a sign that you have settled for a partnership that has not aligned with your values, goals, or overall happiness. Clinical psychologists suggest that in a healthy partnership, you stop putting your partner before your needs and desires if you want to have a harmonious relationship experience.

Start prioritizing yourself if you want your partner to prioritize you. You have downplayed your needs for a long time now. That’s why you feel confined and restricted in your relationship. If left unattended for a long time, it can take a toll on your mental health as well. 

Are you settled in a relationship
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What To Do When You Realize You Are Settling In A Relationship 

Not settling in a relationship means accepting that you deserve more and better. Instead of calling the relationship off, try to take a moment and introspection a little. Then, consider taking the below steps if you are truly in love with this person and want to make things work: 

1. Honest communication

Have an open and honest conversation with your partner about your feelings and concerns as it can significantly help you in the long run. Honest communication involves expressing your emotions and sharing how you genuinely feel about specific situations, experiences, or aspects of the relationship.

It requires being vulnerable and open in expressing both positive and negative emotions. Also, express your needs clearly. Keep them on the table. Whether or not they accept your demands is for them to evaluate and decide.

However, you can’t just talk and talk without giving your partner a chance to reciprocate. Even they deserve to be heard. So, be receptive to their feedback and be willing to take responsibility for your actions.

Furthermore, stop assuming things. You are not a mind-reader. You need to ask for clarification when something is unclear, rather than making assumptions or jumping to conclusions about your partner’s thoughts or intentions. 

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2. Seek professional help 

If you can’t seem to get out of this upsetting situation, try to contact relationship experts or a clinical psychologist. You can’t just brush it under the carpet comforting yourself saying, “Oh, it’s not a big deal. We are just going through a rough patch”. Rough patches don’t last for months and years.

So, discuss your feelings with them and gain a new perspective of the whole situation. They will be able to provide guidance and support as you navigate through this realization and the potential decisions that lie ahead.

You can also talk to your close friends and trusted family members and let them know what you are going through. Since they know you and your partner personally, they will be able to assess the scenario better. They will make sure you put your happiness before everything else as you are important to them. 

3. Find ways to tackle this situation 

Firstly, think whether your situation can be improved or not. Ask yourself if the issues you are facing are temporary or fundamental incompatibilities that cannot be resolved. If it’s the former, then here are some ways you can reignite the spark in your relationship:

  • Start dating each other again. Yes, you read that right. That’s the problem with most people these days. Once they are in a relationship with someone, they become too comfortable. That’s where things go south. Go on date nights again, be biologically smitten with them, and delve into each other’s souls all over again! 
  • Take some time out and write down all the good qualities of your partner. They can do the same about you. Then, when the two of you have time, read it out loud as a way of showing appreciation and love
  • Talk about the deal breakers. Tell them what will work and what won’t. Be firm in your statements and don’t be lenient on them  

4. Prioritize self-care

Make a conscious effort to prioritize your own needs and well-being. Understand that taking care of yourself is not selfish but necessary for your overall health and happiness. And more than anything, try to be kind and compassionate toward yourself.

Put an end to the relationship settling and treat yourself with the same care and understanding you would offer to a loved one. Loving yourself in a relationship can be learnt, and you must practice the same.

Avoid constantly staying worried. Instead, practice self-love by acknowledging your accomplishments, forgiving yourself for mistakes, and promoting positive self-talk.  

5. Set boundaries  

Boundaries are set for all the right reasons and you can never justify staying in an unhappy relationship that doesn’t have any boundaries. Establish clear boundaries for yourself and determine what you need to prioritize your well-being and it is a healthy practice in any long-term relationship.

It is essential for both partners to respect and honor each other’s boundaries. Moreover, effective boundary-setting promotes mutual respect, understanding, and a healthier relationship overall.

Determine the specific boundaries you want to set in the relationship. These can include emotional boundaries like needing personal space or privacy. It can also include physical boundaries such as setting limits on physical touch or even sexual intercourse. Also, the boundaries can also be regarding time like establishing personal or alone time for just for yourself. 

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6. Explore personal growth

If you have settled in a relationship, it is most likely you have given up on your dreams and goals. Maybe you are scared or feel you lack the confidence, but the fact is unless you do not try to find yourself, no one else will. Instead of spending your time and energy on fixing someone else, spend it on yourself.

Use this opportunity to encourage personal growth and self-discovery. Pursue your own interests, goals, and aspirations, even if they differ from your partner’s. Invest in your own personal development and rediscover what truly makes you happy. Also, try to challenge yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone. Embrace new experiences, take calculated risks, and try activities or pursuits that you haven’t explored before. This helps expand your horizons and develop resilience. 

7. Make a decision

This is our final thought. There may be the fear of being alone that is keeping you in the relationship. it could be the pressure from friends or family, or someone close to you may have shared a sob story and made you scared. Orr you may be logged in the eternal dilemma of being with some good enough.

At some point, it won’t make any sense at all. Ultimately, you will need to make a decision about the future of the relationship. It may involve working together with your partner to address the issues and rebuild the connection, or it could mean ending the relationship if you realize that settling is not the right path for you. Both of these decisions are going to require a lot of mental strength from you. 

Key Takeaways

  • Settling in your relationship means you are overlooking certain shortcomings to avoid conflicts and maintain a quarrel-free zone
  • Some of the signs you are settling in a relationship include unequal partnership, feeling lonely, sacrificing core values, and limited communication and intimacy 
  • You can deal with this situation by seeking professional help and prioritizing self-care


Any relationship in your life shouldn’t make you feel like you are compromising on your fundamental values, beliefs, or life goals to maintain the relationship. Stop overlooking these red flags as it may prevent you from having a richer relationship experience. Many people settle for many different reasons. But none of them can justify your pain and hatred that you will develop sooner or later. It’s best to address these issues head on rather than keeping them suppressed. 

FAQs

1. How to know if I really love him or am I settling? 

Notice if you are happy or you are just pretending to be happy. If your partner fails to fulfill your needs and desires, it’s obvious that you are just settling. Furthermore, if you feel like there is something lacking, then that also indicates your unhappiness in the relationship. 

2. Is settling in a relationship bad?

Over time, settling can result in feelings of resentment towards your partner and yourself. You may begin to regret not pursuing a relationship that aligns more closely with your needs, values, and aspirations.