The question of whether or not you should settle or wait for the perfect partner has been debated thousands of times. My personal opinions on the matter are complex, starting with my hatred for the word settle.
Love is hard work. Finding the perfect person is an impossible mission as far as I’m concerned because everyone these days have ridiculously high expectations thanks to TV/movies, music and other forms of media. The perfect person for you isn’t someone that can do a billion things and looks like a hollywood star, but someone who you’ve experiences a billion things with and who understands and connects with you.
That being said, settling is a horrible term, and my gut instinct is to say if you ever think “I’m settling” then you’re probably in the wrong relationship. The fundamental problem to me is the negativity in the word settle. As soon as you think it, you’ve already cast your relationship in a negative light, and your future thoughts will be tainted because of this.
The idea of settling already makes it sound like you’re taking something reluctantly, something that isn’t everything you were hoping for, something that’s second best. But thinking “is this the best I’ll ever get?” is extremely horrible and unfair on your partner. They don’t deserve to be with someone who feels they’re losing out by staying in the relationship.
So first of all, decide exactly what you’re feelings are. There are lots of signs that can show your relationship isn’t moving forward. A lot of people stay in stagnant relationships because they are dependent on the routine and safety, but they miss out on love and passion.
Signs you are in a stagnant relationship
- You no longer go out on dates, or go out much at all as a couple
- Your conversations are shallow and polite, but not personal
- You like the idea of having a family, but don’t necessarily connect that idea with your partner. You just think it’ll be easier and faster to start a family by staying with your partner than finding someone new and building up from scratch
- You describe your relationship as nice, but you’re unable to go into detail about which aspects of it you really like
- You feel that what you do is a routine, and there’s no emotion motivating your actions other than functionality.
In these cases, then I believe you should really consider moving on. It can be tough to leave a relationship that has built into something steady and dependable. There’s a nice feeling of safety of not being alone, and a familiarity of routine. But staying in a stagnant relationship, going as far as starting a family, can result in you being unhappy later in life and debating getting a divorce or staying together for the kids.
On the other hand, all relationships settle down when they become long term and steady, and it’s too easy to become bored without thinking. Your sex life isn’t as often as when you first met, you don’t make as much effort in your looks and nor does your partner, you both stop trying to impress the other ect ect.
These are all things that happen when you’ve been together with someone for a long time, and you end up missing the spontaneity and mystery that comes with a new relationship. You end up having wanderlust and you might leave your partner to chase those feelings with someone new, only to find that the feeling never stays long with anyone.
When you decide whether to stay or go, really try to evaluate your feelings and your relationship. A good relationship is one that, as the dust clears and things settle down, the feelings you got from spontaneity and mystery have grown into other feelings, of trust and love.
Are the feelings you feel towards your partner now enough for you? Do you feel like you can build something better with someone else? Because that’s what a relationship is, it’s something built between two people, and you Mr or Miss Right won’t fall into your lap pre-gift-wrapped.
Don’t be scared to leave someone because you’re afraid of being alone or being single. Don’t stay with someone because you think at least they’re nice and you can have a good family with someone.
Yet don’t leave someone because you’re chasing the feelings of first love you get at the start of a relationship. Don’t throw something away because of small, inconsequential things that hollywood has taught us expect and demand from a perfect partner.