Too often, we get into relationships where we compromise our boundaries and settle for far less than we deserve. The problem is, we rarely recognize when we are doing this. We often settle for less than we deserve – usually because we’re afraid to be alone. But, surely
we can all agree that being alone and happy is far better than being with someone who makes you miserable. So, to help you make decisions about what’s best for your life, here are a few signs that you may be settling for less than you deserve.
- Overlooking red flags. Abusive behavior may not be obvious right away, but there are subtle signs that will start to develop. If your guy is controlling who you talk to, where you go, or what you do, you may mistakenly believe he is doing this because he cares, or because he is being protective. But, these behaviors are not loving – they are controlling. Extreme jealousy is a way to isolate you from your friends and family, so it will be easier to control and abuse you later. These actions will not change, they will likely escalate. And eventually, they may turn into physical violence. Pay attention to these red flags. And talk to a friend or advocate (800-799-SAFE) when you notice concerning behavior.
- Not focusing on you. Women tend to use our energy caring for others, and end up neglecting ourselves. In fact, we spend so much time focusing on others, we can often become codependent – believing it’s our responsibility to fix our partner, rather than focusing on our own health and well-being. It’s important to realize that another person can never fulfill you. If you are relying on someone else to make you feel important, needed, worthy, or loved, you will be left feeling resentful and hurt. Start focusing on what’s important to you and work on filling yourself up first. Those who truly love and deserve you will not only understand, they will encourage it.
- Confusing attention with love. Just because someone tells you that they love you or says nice things to you on occasion does not mean that they truly care. And it definitely does not mean that they respect or deserve you. Pay attention to your partner’s actions, not just his words. Does he treat you with respect? Is he loyal, trustworthy, and considerate? Does he tell you the truth and keep his promises? Does he encourage you to spend time with friends, pursue your career or interests, and have a full life? Someone who truly loves you will want what’s best for you. They will want to see you happy. Do not settle for just attention, when you truly want and deserve is respect and love.
The only way to know whether someone fits into your life is to know what you want. Create a vision for what you truly want your life to look like. Picture how you would want to be treated by your ideal partner. Then decide if the person you are with can fit into that picture. If he doesn’t, he is probably not the right person for you. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells, are constantly trying to fix problems in the relationship (often on your own), or you often feel resentful or exhausted, it’s time to assess your relationship and decide if it’s really what you want. Remember, you deserve more than just someone’s kind words – you deserve their respect. And you deserve to be happy.