Love Living, Quit Hating, Everyone Relating

Settling for Psuedo-Love

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

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When a relationship first begins, the individuals involved are all shook up. Emotions mix and swirl like liquid in a blender. Soon, however, as time passes, the feelings and habits of each person settle down. During this process, many of us can’t help but wonder if we are actually “settling”. We may wonder who what else could be out there. Or we may long for that ‘all shook up’ feeling again, mistaking it for true love.

Settling for someone in a relationship can be a very unsettling idea to say the least. It means a man or woman is getting less than they feel they deserve and he or she has given up on finding what truly makes them happy. So, like sand at the bottom of a jar full of water, they settle. It takes too much energy to climb out of patterned behavior so nothing ever changes. Relationships always require us to ask the most difficult of questions. If we want to stay true to ourselves, stay true to our partners, and develop stronger, fuller love then these questions must be answered.

If you answer no to the majority of the following questions, then be honest with yourself. Inquire into why you feel the way you do.

Do I feel like my relationship is growing? – If they value their relationships, then couples must be dedicated to making them better.
Do I feel like my partner and I share the same values? – Some things are just not worth compromising, like your character.
Do I feel like my partner is growing? – Outgrowing our partners happens more frequently than some of us may like to admit.
Do I feel like this relationship inspires me to grow? – This speaks volumes to why you may be committed. What are your partner’s attractive qualities and are they sustainable? Can they in turn sustain your commitment level.
Do I feel like my partner desires growth for his or herself? – The desire to commit and grow must be mutual.
Do I feel like I am dedicated to the relationship? – We may convince ourselves otherwise when, in fact, we are not truly dedicated. We may just be comfortable.
Do I feel that, with my support, my partner will blossom into their potential? – Allowing your partner to grow on their own terms is a huge step towards true love. Providing support rather than asserting demands will give them the environment necessary to grow. Be wary, however, that your supportive nature doesn’t enable their current state.
Am I happy with my current relationship? – This question seems to be pretty straightforward. Happiness is relative and no one can really take it from you, but in a relationship, happiness refers to your level of satisfaction. 
If I am unsatisfied, have I communicated this to my partner? – You can’t be upset with someone and never effectively communicate why.
Do I feel like the relationship will get any better than it is right now? – Happy, satisfied couples usually have a positive long-term orientation where they feel the future is brighter than the present.

If you answer yes to a majority of the following questions, this may also be cause for alarm.

Am I scared of giving up what I have? – Fear should never drive a relationship.
Am I afraid of not finding something better? – Continuing a relationship based on a lack of perceived options will only create a dead resentful, relationship. Our relationships are of a higher quality when we have alternative choices but we consistently choose our partners regardless.
Do I frequently contemplate what it would be like to be with someone else? – This can be a sign of the Grass is Greener effect as well as the Settling effect. Be honest with yourself about what you truly require out of a relationship and decide if your current one is providing it for you.
Am I no longer emotionally invested in my current relationship? – When your relationship not only becomes routine but you just go through the motions, it’s very hard not to feel dissatisfied.

“Do I feel this is as good as it gets?” 

This questions sums it all up. It’s the conscious decision to stay in a relationship that doesn’t facilitate growth, happiness or satisfaction. Despite all this and the fact that the situation feels like it won’t get any better, an individual still decides to stay. That is settling. 

If the future of your relationship is that bleak, then you may also be settling for a psuedo-love. A love that isn’t reciprocal. A love born from tired familiarity and raised in muffled resentment. Don’t convince yourself this is real love and whether it can be fixed is a question for you and your partner. Making severe decisions that affect our loved ones without their input will only set us up for failure the next time we are feeling a little unsatisfied. It sets a nasty precedence. So if you feel like you may be settling, ask your partner how they feel and be honest with them about how you feel.

A word to the wise: Don’t fall for the “he/she doesn’t make me happy” myth. No one can make you happy, they can only facilitate your happiness by helping you become a better person. Growing up is the only way to stay happy in life because our childhood expectations can not withstand the test of time.



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