Are You Settling in Dating?


“Those who settle in dating tend to place the importance of being with someone over the importance of being happy.”

A few years ago, settling became a popular term. It’s used to describe a scenario when you accept less than what you want and/or deserve. The irony behind this is the literal definition of settling doesn’t mean this at all, it actually means to come to a solution to something. But culture took this word and flipped its meaning, as it does with many other things.
Now that the definition is out the way, I want to discuss signs that you’re settling in dating. For quite a while, I settled in dating because I didn’t feel I was “good enough” to get the guy(s) really wanted. I had convinced myself that the type of men I desired only went for women who didn’t look like me, so I had to accept what I could get. So if I wanted a man with a college degree and a salaried job, I would settle for a man with a high school diploma and an hourly position. If I wanted a man with no kids and/or no baby momma drama, I’d settle for a guy with 2 kids by 2 different women but 1 had no drama. If I wanted a guy who had his own place, I’d settle for one who lived with his aunt and was saving money.
You see where I’m going here?
The scenarios I just mentioned are pretty obvious, but settling isn’t always this black & white. Most of the time when we’re settling, we feel it internally far more than people can see it externally. There’s something within us that’s telling us this situation isn’t right, but because of the following reasons, we tend to ignore that voice in our head telling us to abort mission.

Reasons People Settle

  • You don’t feel “good enough” to get what you truly want
  • You’re convinced that what you want doesn’t exist
  • You lack the discipline to grow and/or stick around long enough to receive what you want
  • Fear of rejection so you go for low hanging fruit
  • You don’t know yourself well enough to know what you want so you just settle for who wants you

There are several reasons people settle but I’ll save that for another post. In this post, I’d like to  discuss signs that you may be settling in dating.

Signs You’re Settling in Dating

Extreme Feelings of Uncertainty… Contrary to popular belief, dating isn’t all that complicated when you know exactly what you want and you go after it. I didn’t say it’s easy, but it’s not complicated. When you go for what you want, you can recognize what you don’t want and cut it off easily. But when you settle, you’re filled wth uncertainty. You’re constantly looking for signs. You’re asking friends for advice, Googling topics, and even looking for signs from random strangers and this is usually within the first few days and/or weeks. You feel uncertain because deep down, you know something isn’t right but you’re tired of being single so you refuse to just throw in the towel. Searching for a sign is a sign. Just let it go and find something that sits right with your spirit.
Anxious…I’ve suffered from anxiety my entire life but I finally put a name to it in my 30s. I think it has sadly gotten worse with more pressures in life. I get anxiety trying to workout regularly, run a blog, run my other business, and still maintain a social life. The last place I need anxiety in is my romantic relationship. That’s where peace and serenity should be; that’s supposed to be my escape. I realized when I settled, I had a crazy amount of anxiety. This came from me not getting the things I needed out of the relationship which then caused me to worry and worrying led to anxiety. An example is communication. If I don’t get a certain level of communication, I start to worry if the relationship is going to work. This then causes me to overthink which leads to anxiety. This isn’t everyone’s requirement, but yours could be stability. If you’re a hard working person with a stable life and income and you begin to date someone who seems unstable in their finances, it’ll cause you to worry. This will lead to anxiety and you’ll start questioning if you’re a bad person for wanting someone who can match your stability and that’ll just lead you to spiraling. Ain’t nobody got time for that. If you feel like this occurs often when you’re dating, it could be because you’re settling.
You don’t know if you’re happy…You’ve been single for a while and you finally meet someone. You guys talk pretty often and see each other quite bit. You’ve been wanting to meet someone for a while and you finally have but for some reason, you don’t feel happy. I’ve been there quite a few times. It usually occurs when I know I want and need more for the dating scenario to work, but I’m ignoring my needs for the sake of just having a guy around. Again, ain’t nobody got time for that. Once you heal past the false belief that you need to be in a relationship to be happy, then you’ll discover what happiness truly is and you won’t settle for anything that doesn’t feel like it. Those who settle in dating tend to place the importance of being with someone over the importance of being happy. When you’re dating, please stop to ask yourself 1 simple question…Am I happy?

Hiding Details From Friends…When you first meet someone, I do believe in keeping it under wraps a bit until you know that person is worth your time. You can indeed tell your friends you’re interested in someone and you’re seeing where it goes but I wouldn’t tell them the play by play because it’s unnecessary. Your focus should be on getting to know the person. But when it gets to the point where you’re purposely hiding major details out of fear of what your friends will say, that’s an issue. I remember dating this guy and he would throw temper tantrums and stop talking to me for hours over minor stuff. It could be as small as me not saying bless you after he sneezed. He’d do this at least once a week and it began week 3 of us dating. I would have to either kiss his butt to get back into his good graces or completely spazz on him just for him to show up at my apartment being nice. Can you say toxic? I would deliberately hide these details from my friends because I knew if I told them then they’d tell me to run expeditiously. Your friends see what you can’t so it is important to get their input when certain scenarios come up. But when you fear even asking those closest to you for input because you already know what their response will be, you may be settling in the dating process.

I get it, dating is already tough enough without adding boundaries to prevent yourself from settling. But boundaries teach people how to treat you and they also allow you to get what you want and need out of the relationships you seek to be in. What’s the point of dating if you’re not going to end up in a healthy and happy relationship? Isn’t that the goal? You can only accomplish that by NOT ignoring your wants and needs. Ignoring that only leads you to settling and nobody wants that. In the words of Viola Davis, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important” so act like it! If these signs sound like you, it’s time to create a new pattern of dating that’s settle free.
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