When you settle for less, you change. You change in a way that can’t really be explained.
You learn many lessons. Settling for less is like creating a false reality in which you accept treatments and behaviors that you never thought you would.
I can only tell you that you’re not the first one to fall into this trap. We are brought up to accept minimal effort. We are conditioned to believe that we should be thankful for every crumb of love we receive.
But it shouldn’t be like that. You have the right to set your standards high.
Be that as it may, there’s a truth you learn when you settle for less. These lessons are heartbreaking. They don’t come to you easily, and it’s packaged with a world of pain. But once you learn them, they will guide you through every other relationship.
1. We teach others how they can treat us
When you settle for less than you deserve in a relationship, you start to wonder where you went wrong. You do some digging through the history of your relationship and realize that it was truly your own fault.
You told him that it was fine if he didn’t pick you up for your first date, so he didn’t pick you up any of the other times you were supposed to go out.
You told him you didn’t mind his female best friend and now that they’re calling each other baby, you feel betrayed.
Usually, we’re the ones who teach people how to treat us. Everyone says that we accept the love we think we deserve and that’s true. You think that you deserve this, so you allow this.
Instead of talking these things through and actually working on it, you decided to just accept his behavior.
You were probably traumatized before you even met him and believed that your wants and needs aren’t important. That the things you wish for in a relationship are too much.
But you forget that we have standards for a reason. There’s no way things can work out with him in the long run if you have to lower your standards to stay with him.
The next time you meet someone, make sure to teach him how to treat you right.
2. You’ll learn to appreciate the people who truly care for you
When you settle for less than you deserve in a relationship, you start to remember the way your friends and family treat you.
At this point, you’re simply grateful that there are people out there who don’t take advantage of your kindness.
They show you that if someone wanted to treat you with kindness, they would. When someone loves you, they don’t treat you like a piece of garbage. They treat you with love and respect.
That’s when you realize that your support system always lay with those other than your partner. They were there for you when you cried, when you laughed, and even when you needed someone to spend silent moments with.
Your man never did any of that for you. You don’t learn this lesson until you settle for less in a relationship.
3. You should always trust your gut feeling
Ah, this is a lesson we all learn the hard way. You don’t learn to trust your gut until you’ve gone against it more times than you’ve actually listened to it.
They say that your gut will never disappoint you. You can probably think of a few times when your gut feeling got you out of some sticky situations.
But you didn’t listen to it when it told you that you did deserve better.
Your body’s always been trying to protect you. It found ways to help you even without you noticing it outright. So why would you ever again ignore your gut feeling?
The next time you find yourself in a situation when your gut is telling you to leave it and walk away from it, you’ll listen. You’ll listen because you’ve seen how heartbreaking it is when you don’t.
Your gut will keep you away from situations that can cause you pain. And it’ll announce when someone isn’t able to love you the way you deserve to be loved.
4. You can’t expect someone else to validate you
The sad truth is that we usually settle for less simply because we need someone to validate us.
You were mistreated before and simply didn’t know how to validate yourself from within. You thought that what you could offer others is what makes you worthy of love.
That’s a very bad mindset to have in a relationship.
A relationship is made out of two individuals. You both have to understand that it’s not one partner’s job to validate the other.
You can’t expect someone to spend endless amounts of time and effort complimenting you and recognizing every small success you’ve made.
Everyone has their own challenges and we’re all dealing with them in a different way. So we have to learn to celebrate ourselves and not wait for someone else to do it.
When you’re in a relationship for this specific reason, you will attach all of your worth to that person alone.
Who will you be when they leave you? Will you completely stop existing because someone else decided they didn’t want you anymore?
When you need that validation from an outer source, you’re settling for less. You will make yourself accept anything they do and say simply because their presence makes you feel good about yourself.
5. You’re the only one responsible for your current situation
This is another hard pill to swallow.
Settling for less is a decision you make as much as it is a choice that’s been enforced by your past experiences. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to you.
You’re the one who’s stuck in the relationship. Even if you believe that you simply can’t leave, there are still ways to strengthen yourself and walk away.
Sometimes, we believe that it’s easier to settle for less than we deserve than to go out and seek the things that we truly want and need.
It’s easier to stick around and choose blissful ignorance than to seek out something more – something better.
It hurts to walk away from someone. So you choose to stay. But if you do, you’re not allowed to blame anyone else for the things you’re going through.
Of course, you need to hold him accountable for his misdeeds, but you’re the one who’s choosing to stay. You can continue to say that it’s not that easy to leave, but you know well enough that even though it’d hurt, you’d heal from it.
So take responsibility for your choices. Either you learn this the hard way or the easy way.
It doesn’t matter which you choose, you’re still going to learn this lesson eventually, simply because you’ve already settled for less.