“How do I stop settling for relationships when I feel like I can’t do any better?”
If you find yourself asking this question, perk up. Today’s article is going to show you how to stop settling. We’ll help you break out of that negative cycle once and for all and jump into a positive cycle instead.
We’ll talk about…
- improving your self-esteem and internalizing that you do deserve to stop settling,
- enforcing your boundaries and being honest about your needs in order to find and maintain a fulfilling relationship, and
- broadening your horizons in order to improve your dating options.
But before we dive into the how-to, let’s take a step back and figure out where the urge to settle comes from in the first place.
Why do we settle for relationships that don’t make us happy?
Most, if not all of the reasons people settle for underwhelming relationships come from a place of fear:
- “If this relationship ends, will I ever be able to find another one? What if I end up alone forever?”
- “Nobody’s perfect. Should I just try harder to make this one work and ignore the bad parts? Plus, maybe the weak link is me. Would finding another partner even help?”
- “I may not feel fulfilled, but I am at least comfortable. Will I regret leaving?”
Fear of winding up in the same place (or worse) tends to paralyze many people into inaction.
But when you feel trapped by your own fear, how are you supposed to learn, grow, and move forward?
This is exactly why Step 1 will be all about overcoming any fears so you can take the chance to find something better.
And you do deserve to strive for something better. Not only that, but your girlfriend deserves it too! If your relationship isn’t best for you, then by design it’s not best for her either.
Learning how to stop settling will improve your dating life and the dating lives of your partners as well.
So, how do you get started conquering your fears?
Let’s dive in.
First, work on improving your self-esteem.
To successfully enforce your boundaries and speak up for your needs in a relationship, you must first believe that you deserve better and that you can achieve something better.
The key to blasting through any normal fears you might have is to find your own self worth.
Because the awesome news is…
You will be okay if you choose not to settle anymore.
If you feel like your self-esteem could use some TLC, perfect! Everyone would do well to work on improving their self-care from time to time.
The point is that once you know you need to put in some work, you can take the necessary steps and make awesome, positive changes.
Are there areas of your life you feel are lacking? Would making some changes help you to feel stronger within yourself?
Address your feelings about yourself, and be compassionately honest. Sometimes it can help to journal about how you feel and write down ideas for how you can improve.
Pour yourself a cup of tea, and write down plans of action that you can take to fix issues you have control over.
This is so empowering!
These ideas can help you get started:
If you want to improve in your career, could you perhaps…
- make a habit to apply for a few job openings every week,
- start taking online classes in the evening to further your education, or
- ask for more responsibilities and pay at your current job?
If you want to feel more physically attractive, perhaps you’d like to put together a plan on…
- eating better foods,
- improving your hygiene routine,
- getting frequent haircuts,
- buying a few new outfits that fit you well, or
- developing the habit of standing up straight with your shoulders back and your chin up.
If you want to improve emotionally or psychologically, consider…
- taking up therapeutic journaling,
- talking to a therapist (you can absolutely find a therapist you click with!), or
- seeking help from an online therapist, which can be a lower-cost alternative to traditional therapy.
If you take some or all of these steps and devote real effort to them, you will improve your inner strength and confidence.
Accept responsibility for your dating outcomes.
Once you have a handle on your worth as a person and why you deserve to break the cycle of settling, it’s time to actually break that cycle.
So here comes the hard part. Once again, you will need to be compassionately honest with yourself.
Yes, your ex-girlfriends or previous dates may have treated you badly. But did you allow or excuse that behavior by sticking around and not enforcing your personal boundaries?
Yes, your previous relationships may not have fulfilled your needs exactly. But did you perpetuate that problem by not voicing your needs and communicating your desires effectively?
Yes, you may feel like your current options for dating are not ideal. But are you maybe reinforcing that worry by convincing yourself those are your only options?
By recognizing your personal choices in any situation, you will absolutely be able to break any patterns of settling because you can simply CHOOSE differently. You can!
Learning how to stop settling essentially boils down to two things:
- Communicating your needs effectively
- Enforcing your personal boundaries
It can be scary to enforce your boundaries and be honest when you’re not having your needs met.
After all, you may be tempted to excuse the behavior of others and keep quiet when something is wrong when there is an understandable fear of the other person leaving.
However, respecting your own boundaries and communicating openly even when it’s scary are essential skills for finding and maintaining a healthy relationship.
When it seems like speaking up would be detrimental to your current situation, the truth is that practicing this will be hugely beneficial to your relationships in the future.
What’s more, it will end up being beneficial to your current situation as well. Once you are open in a kind, compassionate way with yourself and the other person, you are both free to make choices from an honest, well-informed place.
By enforcing your boundaries and being honest, one of two things will happen:
- Either your current girlfriend will be receptive to your needs, the two of you will communicate, and things will improve, or
- She will not be receptive and the relationship will end, which is okay even if it feels scary and unknown!
Keep in mind that if you have been staying quiet when you feel something is wrong, she may have been doing the same thing. Opening up about how you’ve been feeling may give your girlfriend the green light to open up about her needs as well.
If you make the effort to be as receptive to her needs as you want her to be to yours, amazing communication can happen here! What a wonderful opportunity to grow and make progress together.
If not, then you can take that opportunity to separate and move on toward healthier things.
It might not feel like it right away, but this is a win-win scenario.
Improve your dating prospects.
In this article, we’ve addressed how to stop settling even if you don’t have a lot of options.
So far, we’ve talked about how to stop settling. But what about more options?
How can you improve your dating prospects so you don’t feel stuck in your current situation anymore?
First of all, you would be surprised how much your dating options tend to improve when you make a habit of following the self-care tips from Step 1.
If you make a true effort to keep your mental, physical, and financial worlds in balance, you’re likely to find that you have more dating options by default. This is both because you feel more attractive and because you really will be more attractive.
There’s no reason to stop there, though!
For most introverted guys, improving your dating prospects can be achieved by broadening your horizons a bit.
To begin with, you can amplify your own personal appeal to attract more (and more compatible) women.
The simplest way to do this is to try a few new strategies with online dating.
You might want to…
- revamp your profile to be more engaging and demonstrative of your personality,
- try a different dating site or app altogether,
- take and upload some flattering new profile pictures, or
- expand your search radius.
Once you’ve done that, if you’re still wanting more matches, you can widen your search criteria. You never know who you might unexpectedly click with!
Conclusion on how to stop settling even if you don’t have a lot of options:
Hopefully you now see not only how to stop settling but also why it’s so important for the health of your relationships.
Let’s recap what we talked about today:
- Boosting your self-esteem so you know you will be okay to move past the fear and onto better things,
- Being open about your needs and personal boundaries, and
- Broadening your personal attractiveness and your search criteria to improve your chances of meeting the right woman.
While these tips give you a gread head start, they are only the beginning steps on your journey to boosting your dating skills. For more helpful info crafted with love for introverted guys just like you, download our free ebook, “Why PUA Doesn’t Work for Introverts & What Works Instead.”
You can also always consider joining our awesome self-study program, Magnetic Confidence. In it, we go super deep into developing strong boundaries and an amazing sense of self that will serve you for the rest of your life. Learn more here.