If life is sneaking up on you too fast, you might become desperate to settle down. But don’t settle for anything less than love.
It’s been ingrained in our heads since we were young that you grow up, find love, get married, and live together as a single unit. Eventually, you have kids and teach them the same cycle.
But that’s just not how real life plays out most of the time nor is that what you might even want for your life.
All too often, people find themselves growing older without someone to call their partner and end up becoming desperate to start living the life they were always told they needed to.
So they pick someone they kind of get along with, proclaim it’s true love, get married, and settle for someone who doesn’t truly make them happy.
You don’t need to do this. It’s okay to grow old and wait until you truly have real love before settling down. If you’re worried you’re not really in love but instead are settling for someone less than you deserve, here’s how to tell. Here're top 10 signs you are not in love, you're just settling.
1) You keep wondering if there’s more out there
Basically, you just think there has to be more to love than what you have. And yes, there is. If you’re always thinking about how much you’re missing out on, you clearly are not happy where you are.
When you’re with someone you truly love, you’ll never be wondering what more you could have because you’ll always feel like you have it all.
2) You have to justify your relationship to people…who didn’t ask
This is a major sign you’re not in love, you’re just settling. When your friends don’t ask you to justify why you’re with someone, yet you still feel compelled to say things like, “well, he’s a really good cook,” or, “he’d be a great father!” there’s an issue.
You’re really just trying to convince yourself of why you should stay because you clearly want to leave. This is just proof you’re not truly happy.
3) You always compare them to exes
I think we all do this to a certain degree, but only early on in the relationship. If you’re in love with someone, the comparisons stop. The reason you could still be comparing them to your ex is that you’re not happy with them and you’re looking for reasons to justify your feelings.
If you always think about the fact that your ex-did something better or made you laugh more or supported you more, you’re just settling and not truly in love.
4) You always compare them to new people you meet
Whenever you go out with friends, do you run into attractive strangers who you immediately start to compare to your partner? If so, you’re probably not truly in love.
Sure, you can recognize that someone else may be more attractive than the person you’re with but you won’t sit and compare them to your significant other and even think about being with them. If you do this, you’re unhappy. You’re just settling for the person you’re with.
5) You keep trying to change them
If you were truly in love, you wouldn’t want to change the person you’re with. They might have annoying habits you’d like them to stop, but you’d never want to change their entire personalities or anything.
Chances are, you’re trying to change them so you can create the person you truly want to be with. Because it’s not the person you’re currently “in love” with.
6) You’re afraid of life if you were to leave them
Aka, you’re terrified of being single. This is especially true if you’ve been raised to believe you need to settle down, get married, and have a family. You just can’t even think about leaving them because then what would you do?
The thought of not having someone is too terrifying to think about and so you stay because you’d rather be unsatisfied than miserably single.
You might want to do some thinking about why it is you feel the need to be with someone. You can certainly have a fulfilling life without being in a relationship and you’ll have a much better life if you can find someone you’re truly in love with.
7) You always feel unsatisfied
You’re not sure why, but everything just feels off. It’s like you can’t be fully excited or happy with the person you’re with. And whenever you’re together having fun or being intimate, it’s just not all that great.
You always feel like something’s missing and you’re right to feel that way if you’re just settling. Love should leave you feeling whole and satisfied.
8) You’re jealous of your friends’ relationships
If you’re truly happy in your relationship, why would you be jealous of your friends? You should be happy they’ve found people who love and care about them. You shouldn’t look at their relationships and wish yours was like them.
If you are doing this, then you’re clearly not happy with your significant other. You can see the difference between happiness and your relationship and you’re even pointing it out. This is probably because you’re just settling, even if you say you’re in love.
9) You look forward to time apart
Yes, every couple should spend some time apart in order to maintain having their own lives. However, if you’re actively looking forward to and are excited about spending time away from your partner, that’s a problem.
You should be excited about doing your own thing but you should never want to be away from the person you claim to love. The fact that you’re settling is even more clear if you dread going back to them.
10) You don’t like thinking about the future
Being with someone you love should make you excited about what’s to come. When that’s really not the case, there’s a problem. You might be settling if you try to stop yourself from thinking about the future because you don’t like what it looks like.
You should want to think about building a life together. If you don’t want to think about those things, you could just be settling instead of being in love.
You don’t have to live life walking in the paths of everyone else. If you’re not truly happy and you’re not really in love, don’t settle. Wait until you find someone who makes you feel alive and loved in ways you’ve ever felt before.