If you're wondering whether or not you're settling in a relationship, you most likely are. Though the standards for what "settling" means is different for everyone; if at the end of the day you feel like your partner is not measuring up and you still stick by them, then that is settling.
Both women and men experience this, and questions like, "What if I am missing out on something better?" or "Am I missing out on something better?" have plagued all relationships (even the healthy ones). The difference between the strong relationships and the ones that eventually end is if you are able to identify the problems and work them out. Read on for the warning signs that you're not getting what you deserve from your partner and see if you guys can fix the problems.
1. You're Not Happy in Your Relationship Anymore
The biggest indicator of how well your relationship is doing is your happiness (and your partner's too). It's understandable that you won't be happy all the time, but if you're constantly feeling down and looking outside of your relationship for that feeling of love and warmth, then there are problems. If you're not happy, chances are your SO will also take notice.
Try to pinpoint where your sadness is coming from. Have you guys been arguing a lot? Are you in an LDR and it's becoming too straining? Have you grown apart? Getting to the root of your feelings may shed light on the next steps you should take. Whether that means taking a break or breaking up completely, you and your partner should be making the decision together if possible.
2. Your SO Won't Commit to You (or to Anything, Really)
Your partner doesn't need to have everything figured out in life, because who does? But if he or she hasn't made that next big step in your relationship (finding a job, moving in, proposing, etc. . . .) and you have been patiently waiting, you'll need to address the situation. Sometimes a little nudge is enough to get them motivated to step up their game, but if the talk ends up in a big fight or nothing changes in the next couple of months, it's time to re-evaluate the relationship. You two may just be on different paths in life and it's completely OK to not want to wait for them to catch up.
3. You Have to Take Care of Yourself and Your SO
The best part of a relationship is having someone to lean on when times get rough. If you're the one constantly being the rock, however, you'll start to feel drained. After all, it does take two to make a relationship work. You should not have to be the sole provider financially or emotionally; your partner should also bear that responsibility. Like anyone who is dating or married, you want to feel taken care of and supported. And if you're not getting that from your SO, then that is really troubling.
4. You're in an Emotionally or Physically Abusive Relationship
This type of relationship is the hardest to break away from. We all probably know someone who has been in one, and as an outsider looking in, it's easy to judge and say, "well, just leave." But it's easier said than done. You know the relationship is not healthy when your partner is constantly putting you down, threatening you (and your friends), cheating on you, or getting violent with you. In these situations, until you break off all contact with that person, the vicious cycle will continue.
No one deserves to be treated with disrespect, so try to seek counseling (if you're too scared to leave) or speak to those you trust for advice. A clean break from this type of relationship is the best chance you have for feeling like yourself again.
5. You Changed Yourself For Your Partner
There's give and take in every relationship, but it is never OK to completely alter yourself for another person, whether that means giving up your hobbies, friends, family, religion, or other important aspects of your life that make you who you are. The point is to not feel forced into discarding a part of yourself for your partner. The person you are with should respect your choices, even if they may disagree. If at any point you find yourself slowly losing your own identity, take some measures to get that back.