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16 Signs You’re Settling in an Unhappy Relationship

settling in an unhappy relationship

Are you really happy in your relationship or are you just putting up with it? Use these 16 signs you’re settling in a relationship to know the truth.

You fall in love for the first time in your life.

You expect it to be everything like they say it is in the movies.

You want it to be passionate, romantic and full of joie de vivre!

But to your dismay, it ends up seeming less than perfect.

And along comes the next person you date, and the next, and they too don’t seem perfect for you.

So what do you do?

Should you just put up with a relationship that’s less than perfect because you start to believe that you can’t find anyone better anyway?

[Read: 16 common relationship tips you hear every day that will ruin your love life]

A relationship should make you feel better about yourself.

It should never weigh you down or make you feel miserable.

And if you find yourself in a relationship that leaves you unhappy and tired, you’re better off being alone!

Why do we settle in unhappy relationships?

The biggest reason why we settle in unhappy relationships is because we’re too scared of experiencing the rest of our lives alone. As humans, and as social creatures, we constantly crave for social, physical and sexual intimacy all the time.

And the thought of being lonely makes us feel terrible, especially when all our friends are hitched with a seemingly perfect somebody. [Read: 12 annoying lines singles have to hear and bear all the time!]

Many relationships painfully drag themselves well past their expiration date, only because it’s so much easier to just put up with something you know than venture out into unfamiliar territory. After all, we love familiarity and abhor new surroundings unless we’re on a whirlwind adventure or a vacation.

The hope and fear of finding the perfect one

Just because you’re living in a bad relationship doesn’t mean you’re banished into a loveless world of unhappiness. Perhaps, you’ve just not found the one yet because you’ve not been looking in the right places. [Read: How to find the one without appearing desperate!]

Or just maybe, you and your lover haven’t really tried to understand each other through effective communication and understanding. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship and make it better]

Remember, you’re unhappy in your relationship because you choose to remain unhappy. It’s because you choose to wipe your tears secretly and brush your misery under the carpet. You need to understand that you’re not a failure just because your relationship is ending or going nowhere. It just means both of you haven’t been able to understand each other, or are incompatible with each other.

And the best part here is that you have a choice, an option to seek happiness and live a happy life, or tie yourself down to a rock that you know will eventually sink to the bottom and drag you with it. [Read: 15 types of toxic relationships that’ll ruin your life]

16 signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship

It’s easy to know when you’re settling in a bad romance. All you need to do is ask yourself if you’re unhappy in your relationship, and you’ll have your answer. Use these 16 signs to truly find out if you’re settling in a relationship that feels more like a burden than a happy escape.

And once you have your answer, try to work around the negative issues with your partner, or gather your courage to confess to them that you’re just not happy in the relationship anymore! [Read: 12 reasons why so many couples drift apart over time]

Read these 16 excuses and signs, and if you find yourself using them often to console and convince yourself that you’re better off sticking around in an unhappy relationship, big chances are, you’re already unhappy and just too cowardly to confront your partner about it.

#1 My relationship isn’t the worst. You know you’re unhappy in the relationship, but you constantly convince yourself that your life isn’t so bad because there are so many others who are living through a relationship that’s much worse than yours.

#2 Not the best, but good enough for me. You’re with your partner because they’re with you. They’ve decided to stick around with you, and for you, that reason is good enough to endure the relationship, even if it means a lifetime of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. [Read: 10 simple steps to reignite the lost spark in any relationship]

#3 I think I can work it out. You know you’re unhappy, and yet, you don’t do anything to try and fix the relationship. You and your partner are drifting apart slowly, but you convince yourself saying that you’ve seen worse relationships working out *dragging on*, so why can’t yours work out… eventually?

#4 I’m sure my partner will change someday. If your partner can’t change for you today, what makes you think your partner will change for the better tomorrow? Why do you put up with someone who treats you disrespectfully and takes you for granted when you could have a much better life, without this person or with someone a lot better? [Read: How your self respect affects the way your partner sees you]

#5 My time will come. You stick around with your lover, in the constant hope that you may eventually run into someone better someday. And until then, you’ve decided to weather the storm and put up with your relationship.

#6 I can deal with this. The point here isn’t whether you can deal with an unhappy relationship. The big question you need to ask yourself is why are you choosing to deal with it if you’re certain that you’re not happy with it? Life is too short to fill it up with martyrdom and unhappiness for a lost cause, and you need to remember that.

#7 I feel sad for my partner. You feel guilty for even thinking of leaving your lover and walking away from them. You feel sad for your partner and don’t want to hurt their feelings. After all, you know your partner would crumble without having you in their life. And so you choose to ignore them, avoid having conversations with them and just stay by yourself when you get back home. So is that really your benevolent choice, ignoring them completely instead of walking away from them? [Read: 10 signs to recognize a selfish person and 5 steps to stop them from hurting you]

#8 Time will heal everything. And just how long have you been waiting for? Time covers a scar, but it is communication that heals, especially in relationships. If you want to fix something, you need to bring all of those feelings that drove both of you apart out in the open. And in a relationship, all this starts with communication. If you really want to heal a relationship, try talking to each other openly.

#9 I’m too used to my partner. Many of us use this excuse to endure a bad relationship. You’ve been living through a bad relationship for so long that a happy life just doesn’t seem to matter anymore. You believe you’re cursed into a bad relationship, and you have no choice but to endure it because you’re too used to it anyway. [Read: 12 subtle signs of a loveless unhappy marriage]

#10 I don’t want to be alone. You’re terrified of being alone. What if you break up and don’t find someone else? What if it turns into the proverbial case of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire? This is something you need to ask yourself. Just how unhappy are you right now in your relationship? And would you rather be alone and happy, or would you choose to live through a bad and unhappy relationship with your head full of “what if’s…”

#11 The sex is great. The sex is awesome, but the relationship sucks. If you’re experiencing this issue, the relationship is probably still new and fresh, which makes it easier to walk away from. Now you really need to ask yourself if you’re looking at the relationship keeping the long term in mind. Would you be happy with someone who’s emotionally incompatible with you? [Read: Signs to help you know if it’s love or lust that you’re experiencing]

#12 What about our children/commitments/dreams? You’re dealing with them right now, and you’ll learn to deal with them even if you decide to split with your partner. Remember, your kids aren’t as naïve as you may think, and big chances are, they’re already negatively affected by the way you and your spouse argue or treat each other.

#13 I’m already married/engaged/committed. So you’ve taken a plunge, and now you’ve got cold feet, or perhaps realization has hit you finally. You can’t delay the inevitable forever. And it’s better to confront the issue today than push it away for later. Talk about your differences and your thoughts with your partner, and fix the relationship or walk away. [Read: The right way to let go of a relationship that’s bad for you]

#14 A relationship is all about compromises. In a bad relationship, the word compromise is definitely a misnomer. A relationship does involve compromises, but it involves compromises that are done willingly for each other, by both lovers. If you find yourself giving all the time, and see that your partner does all the taking, it’s only a matter of time before you start feeling used in the relationship. [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship that’s heading towards a breakup]

#15 I’m financially dependent on my partner. This is tricky, because you may need your partner for your financial means. But it’s also unethical because you’re using your partner for your own selfish means. If you don’t love your partner, you need to tell them that the relationship isn’t working out and that you need to leave. Find a way to sort your financial issues, and in future always make sure you have some money saved up for an emergency like this one.

#16 You can’t see your partner with someone else if you break up. Then you need to learn to avoid your partner! If the only reason you’re still dating someone is because you can’t bear the thought of seeing them with someone else, it shows just how madly you’re in love with them, and yet, just how badly they’re treating you. [Read: Why you should never make your partner your priority when you’re only an option to them]

There’s nothing you can do to fix a relationship with someone who chooses to take you for granted. The best you can do is find ways to block them from your life when they turn into your ex. [Read: 16 reasons why people take you for granted so easily]

So are you settling in a relationship with any of these excuses?

The easiest way to know if you’re settling in a relationship is by asking yourself if you’re unhappy in your relationship. It may seem selfish, especially if your partner seems like the ideal partner everyone looks for. But at the end of the day, all that matters is whether both of you are compatible with each other.

Sometimes, two perfect people can’t come together and create a perfect relationship because there’s more to love than just perfection. In fact, both of you may be happier and better off with chipped edges as long as both of you fit together perfectly like two adjacent pieces of a jigsaw puzzle! [Read: The 20 kinds of lovers that exist in the world]

It’s scary to confront an issue like an unhappy relationship or marriage, especially when you can’t predict a happy ending as an outcome of your conversation.

But confronting the issue can at least give both of you a chance to seek happiness. The confrontation may help both of you understand each other better and love each other better. Or in the worst case scenario, it may end your relationship and force you to start a new life with new hopes and new dreams.

And really, just how bad can a second chance for a new happy life be?!

[Read: The last effort to try and fix a relationship that’s falling apart]

Settling in an unhappy relationship may seem like the easy thing to do. But unless you fix it or decide to walk out soon, you’ll always live in regret. And one day, it may be too late to turn back time however much you want to.

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Natalia Avdeeva
Natalia Avdeeva
Natalia Avdeeva sometimes feels like she’s an 80-year-old woman trapped in a 29-year-old body. She loves buying makeup and ends up not wearing them most of th...
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26 thoughts on “16 Signs You’re Settling in an Unhappy Relationship”

  1. Sara says:

    Forgive my mistakes! Writing from a mobile is not easy!

  2. Sam says:

    Sara, I think that you need to take some risks. Your surely setting up for a major disaster if you choose to settle. NEVER SETTLE for anything less. People change, yes its true. I myself have changed and continue to change, but this change is a conscious decision. it’s made from assessing my life, looking and considering the future, embracing my faults and short comings and make adjustment as needed for the benefit of my self first, and ultimately my children (when the time arrives).

    I can tell you that as a woman, you need to have a man who is knowledgeable and capable. Who is perceptive, demonstrates leadership, humility, gentleness, respect of self and others, desire to grow and increase, and ultimately able to be sacrificial for the sake of another.

    Such a man is out there if you are willing to work hard on your own self long enough to meet such a man. You attract what is inside of you, regardless of how a person looks. Quality attracts quality. This type of man will be demanding, which is expected but it will be in a loving way because he is keeping in mind having a life that is not satisfied with being comfortable.

    (I am married (8 months) and 26. I am not where i want to be, but i am working and taking advantage of the time and opportunities in front of me.)

    If you expect greatness, you must create it, first within yourself then expect it to show externally. That will draw/attract others who are also great.

  3. Darren says:

    Well I’m one of the lucky ones to say that I have a girlfriend (sarcasm intended). And we’ve been going out got the past 9 months.
    And well honestly even after all these months, I still am in love with hee, like mad man. But the sad part is I am never convinced when she says that she loves me, cause honestly at times (most of the time) i find it very difficult to believe her, cause she never acts like she cares for me and when she does oh! It looks so scripted! I’m ready to do anything for her, and even though she says the same I dont believe her. Cause she never shows any care of any sort.
    For example :
    I met with an accident recently, was in hospital for a week . I fractured my leg and broke my y thumbs , (nothing serious just cracks.) friends , family they came to meet me save my gf. I got so many txt msgs on my phone from all those guys who could not come. Yet again my gf does not even bother to call me or txt me. And when I was discharged she txs me asking “u okay now? And what’s up?”
    I know right? I’m seriously in love with her and am confused if I should call it off or not… Need ur opinion guys.
    Thanks a lot

  4. DC says:

    Darren, don’t settle man! You may be in love with her but it’s self-destructive to stay in a relationship like that. It’ll be a lot of giving, and eventually you’ll hope for something in return.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Hello i just felt like talking to someone about my problem’s, i have been with my husband for 5 years and we have a child together. Our relationship was wonderful the first 2 year’s then he did some things he knew would hurt me bad and now after a year and a half i still can’t trust him at all and im very unhappy with our relationship. He has no sex drive anymore and i basically have to beg him for it. Also im disabled at 25 years old and very dependent on him because i can barely walk anymore i have tried talking to him countless times about how i feel and he said he will change and it will never happen again and he will show he loves me more yet he never actually changes i think after 5 years of some very minor things…. i would like to think it would have gotten better if he loved me i have gained some weight i mean that comes with a baby and getting hurt…. i am still the same person i just dont know what to do anymore honestly I love him more then anything and i can’t seem to walk away no matter what he does to me 🙁

  6. Chill says:

    I’m living with my long time girlfriend of 5 years, we’ve been through a lot.
    During the first years of our relationship we always fight and their are times
    when she would hurt herself and threatened me to commit suicide. I am 10 years ahead
    of her and its quite difficult understanding her emotional and attention needs,
    would call me at work 5x or more, when I get home very tiredand wants to sleep
    she would rant like crazy, us end up fighting on a physical level. I am very desperate,
    and she always says crazy things during fight like she wishes me to die, live a miserable life,
    and threaten me to call my office, close friends to destroy my reputation. I don’t know
    what to do, I still feel love for her and I don’t think I am happy anymore. Advices are
    very much welcome.

  7. kerri says:

    I feel so lost at times. I love this man so much, I sometimes feel he loves me. Other times I feel nothing. I have been with him for three years now. Things should be getting better but they are not. He shows me very little attention, and when he does he gets a benefit from it. It is like he is the only one that matters. I would do anything and everything for him, but I know he don’t feel the same way. He tells me that we will never get married. We both have been through a nasty divorce. But I am willing to try it again, but the way he makes me feel, I am not sure I want to marry him. I don’t know what to do anymore. I moved seven hours away from everyone I have ever known to be with him. Now I will have no one.

  8. John says:

    Long distance relationship, we recently broke up due to me not helping enough… I kept arguing for no reason and I feel like I made all of these 16 signs prominent when I could’v Avoided them… Have no idea why I didn’t, I was blinded by stupidity and I wish I could take everything back and make things better for her. I suck.

    Guys, make sure to make your woman happy and do your best if you love her.
    Don’t be lazy and make sure you show her that you’re doing something with your life and not just sitting down doing nothing…

  9. sky says:

    I am currently in a relationship for 15 years, I have 2 kids with my partner.

    I was self sufficient (financially) from 2000 to 2009 where my career path just went down hill, we both decided that I leave the corporate environment and look after my kids and open my own business, which is not doing well.. So this forces me to become dependent on my partner..

    His never made an issue of supporting me, but I feel like I no longer am an equal partner in this relationship.

    All the years my partner has always done what he wanted to, I never really had a say in where he goes and what he does. Yet he knows exactly where I am and with who. I spent 90% of my time with my kids, he on the other hand.. Well he is a good dad but I’m always there.

    The biggest thing for me is.. I’ve given everything to my family and have nothing more to give.. I feel so worthless and useless..

    I love my kids n my partner but what can I do for me to feel less this way.. Can you help?

  10. magie says:

    i met my partner when i was 16 years old he’s my first love i was crazy about him but he wasn’t i wanted him to fall in love with me and everything and he did but when i turned 18 he told me to marry him and i did marry him but after a while i discovered that am not the same anymore and i dont want the same anymore sometimes i love him sometimes i don’t i cant imagine seeing him with someone else if we got divorced and i discovered that am not ready for commitment yet he’s a really good person and i seriously don’t know if i still love him or not how can i discover that i dont want to hurt anyone or regret my choices or ending up wanting him back and discover that am in love with him

  11. Roo says:

    I have been with my partner for two years. We now have a newborn together. He isn’t the greatest looking and everyone would tell me I can do so much better, sometimes I would feel the same but then again I would feel bad for that because hes always shown how much he cares for me and always says nice things to me but the downfall is he has always been in financial struggle, and doesnt show commitment to alot of things. Since we had a our new born he didnt make sacrifices when looking for work and found every excuse to why he couldnt do a certain job.
    Throughout our relationship I wasnt happy as I’d used to be and he would to see that too and i would always hope he would change but I feel like I am just kidding myself and that Im with him now because i dont want our baby growing up in a broken family.

    Please help with some advice!

  12. Kay says:

    I’ve been with my bf for 9 yrs on and off. At first he had all the qualities that I look for in a man. Like hard working, determine, funny, goals, financially stable, independent and more. We had it all the good and the bad. But….3 yrs ago everything has changed hes unemployed, lazy, not trying to look for work, doesn’t want to further his education NOTHING. I always had a job or two at the same time. He gets a check once a month and that isn’t enough for me. Once hes out of money then rent, food, going out (movies, dinner etc…) is all on me. And times is hard financially for one person especially if your partner isn’t trying to help more than he should. Recently I got injured on my job and been out of work. So now its even harder, but he still doesn’t want to look for work or anything. The house stays a mess I clean up after him even while I’m in pain. I don’t want to deal with it anymore. We stopped talking to one another, I feel alone, depressed. Can someone enlighten me on my situation Thank you for taking the time out

  13. Tonette Johnson says:

    I been with my boyfriend off & on for 11 yrs & I love him with all my heart. I can’t imagine life without him but I ‘m so unhappy with him because I don’t trust him! He’s a sweet man & I know he loves me but some of the things he do make me think he’s being sneaky. For the past couple weeks I been miserable,unhappy & my gut tells me something isn’t right. I don’t want to leave him because I love him so much & don’t see a future without him. I’m insecure & have no proof he’s lyimg or cheating but My women intuition tells me different.

  14. Iamafather says:

    I’m married.I’m always ,at least everyday feel I need out of this marriage.My excuse is I dont know if I will ever meet anyone to be with me again.I sometime feel I theres a possibility and other time I just dont know.What I do know is,theres so many situations in this relationship where things should be different and I should be feeling happy as can be.I’m not though.I feel like I’m with a gay ass girl.I don’t how more rediculous I can put it.Its as if her dad only makes gay kids,boy or girl.She underestimates my intelligence constantly.To me she must be really stupid.Shes has a associates degree for a medical field position and her self centerness makes me be not impressed by it at all.Shes just so whack at times,never makes m
    e feel like we are truly together in this .It always just seems like its all about her only .Gosh I’m not even attracted to her ,shes so ugly inside and out.Yes she has done some good things but she does them with this attitude ,forget about her doing it with a smile”yeah right”,good luck with that.I told her months before the wedding that I felt like we needed more time being engaged but she threatened to break us up.I feel like now that we have a child I’m in this way too deep and that theres is no hope for me.I’m greatful I’m strong enough to not commit suicide.I have hope that one day I will be happy ,not with her but with someone else.How or when will I ever be with this person?I will never know.She has said so many fucked up things to me is degrading to the max.I completely feel we’re both in compatible in every way and both very unhappy.I mean who gets upset immediately after an orgasm from sex with one another?Two people that can’t stand eachother thats who.Couple hold eachother and express their love by being close to eachothers bodies as much as possible.Non of that shit ever happens here,fucking forget it.I feel like a trick to a prostitute.Theres just no love in it.Fuck being like Richad Gere,God help me get this bitch away from me and help me find somebody I deserve.Is this what I deserve?Some self centered,flat-pancake-ass,lazy on the couch 24/7,stanky ass,no douching,can’t never french kiss me or show me real affection,ugly with or without makeup,man-hands,no class having,immature style-having,ugly laughing,fake laughing,retarted question-asking,don’t give a shit about your feelings,materialistic,fucking stupid show watching,stupid fucking music listening,most-biggest hipercrit,fake gay ass bitch and I mean bitch.What the fuck did I do in my life that routed me to this ?What?All I can think of is,it was what I had to do to avoid being poor because I got fed up with struggling and I in a way have seen this as a way out.At least when I lived that way,I was surrounded by people who loved me and showed it consistently.Here I can never find that truly other than from my child who I love so much.If it is ever shown by her,its brief.Artificial if you ask me.I am a person who needs help and I believe someday I will get it.Either by God or by someone.Maybe I’ll just help myself but I don’t know when.”Wow,what a blog that was”.

  15. Ricky91737372910 says:

    This is the sort of SHITE!! that makes people think their in an unhappy relationship when they read it and therefore ends a perfectly good blissful relationship!!! The grass isn’t greener on most occasions as most intelligent people know. However, people still mistake being contempt for being bored and the relationship is over. They then meet someone fresh and convince themselves that it was a good move. This then soon fades as before, and eventually they start looking again for the buzz. Shame really that loyalty has died.

  16. Missy says:

    Please I need a help with my relationship

  17. Missy says:

    I’m with my boyfriend/ my men, he called me I’m his lady, we together 7years during the pass seven years we have ups and downs, long store short he was with me when I was my 20s now I’m 38 his retired 48yrs old he is finically very well drive nice car, has a house, take expansive vacation, some times we go together, super close to his mother, any way we have a broken engage back 2012, first I was in love we spend time each other, so, but year after year I see a different side of him, he come home late night, going a way for weeks, with out tell me, so much problems, he doesn’t want commuted to me, no children, I’ m really worry that this men is going to make me unchild-less women!

  18. Ryan says:

    I love my girlfriend but I am extremely unhappy atm with her. She tells me she loves me and how great I am but she always thinks im cheating and that I don’t love her. She also doesn’t seem to want to have sex with me she says it has nothing to do with me but im calling bull on that one she also tells me in her head im way too good for her and always seems to ask me if I really want to be with her. I’m so stressed out from her I don’t know what to do I want to spend time with her but she either cancels or says she’s too awkward like she doesn’t want to be alone with me I just feel like shit because I try to understand but I guess I cant.

  19. Warren says:

    Your time only comes at the beginning of a relationship. When time goes on, things only become better or worse. I used to think that about a relationship I was in, but my time never did end up coming and things never really did get back to how they were in the early days. Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time on this girl until I grew enough of a spine to get out.

  20. just leave says:

    The telltale sign is you’re always unhappy. Just consistently unhappy with your partner. If your partner doesn’t make the effort to make you happy with him, why bother staying in the first place?

  21. Tanya says:

    I always say that you shouldn’t settle for less than what you really deserve because you deserve more than a guy that would just treat you like trash. You deserve more than to always stay up late at night contemplating if you really made the right decision of staying with a guy that doesn’t do shit. These niggas need to reevaluate their lives. It’s like they are all the same. All them niggas the same, man. I just wish they would be more like morgan freeman because that nigga knows his shit. He is a guy that has accomplished so much and all them niggas should take note of that. Learn from successful niggas, don’t be black trash because it will just complicate things and you won’t really enjoy your life. I’m not being racist or anything, I’m just expressing what I feel and what I feel is that most of them are all the same, they leave a girl pregnant and a child without a father because most of them are all dead beats. Why do they have to be so rude? Why do they have to be like that? They have the same privileges in life here as any other human being why do they have to feel like they have a sense of entitlement. Stop being a fucking prick to society. I’m saying all of this because I had to settle for my relationship of 4 years that never really did good to me. I left because I was the independent woman and I had a dependent guy depending on me. I didn’t want to take care of a grown ass man. I’m not his mother. I don’t like being treated that way any longer. As much as I loved him, It was just wasn’t worth it to stay with his ugly ass.

  22. D says:

    You sound so ignorant…..and I’m a black.

  23. Minerva N. says:

    I stumbled upon this article by pure coincidence – my friend liked it on Facebook and I was curious to click it. Apparently some part of my mind was thinking and thinking about this and I am positive that that part clicked this article. I am still amazed at how every sentence I read was something I had thought of in the past. I feel like the author went inside my head and just wrote down my struggles and questions tormenting me before going to sleep. I find myself hoping that the situation will change, that people are facing tougher problems, that everything will be great one day and all of this will be something to laugh at one morning. Well, I am weary and exhausted of all of that. I just want to wake up one day and realize that it’s that day and that I am the person I wanted to be in first grade.

  24. wickedest says:

    Classic example of a 29 year old probably single girl thinking that she is the know-all of relationships.
    She is the kind of person that ends up being the 38 year old “party girl” who has to convince herself every single day that “this is great, I’m not too late, I’ll find love, everything is fine” and fills up the void in her life left by not having a family by doing all sorts of “cool” things with strangers that she calls “friends” and who are replaced every month.
    But all her friends think she is miserable, and she knows it too when she is sobbing in her rented spare room with wine and chocolate.

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