• Nichole White

What Does "Settling" Mean In Dating?

Updated: Feb 18

Many women have asked me to continue to clarify what I mean by "settling" when it comes to a romantic relationship. Settling means that either you're just accepting him even if he isn't remotely what you want, or worse -- you literally change yourself to fit him!

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Many clients have asked me to continue to clarify what I mean by "settling" when it comes to a romantic relationship.


Settling means that either you're just accepting him even if he isn't remotely what you want, or worse -- you literally change yourself to fit him!


Have you ever found yourself changing who you are to fit better with the man you’re dating?


In the past, I carved off so many pieces of myself trying to be compatible with my partner that I barely recognized the real me when the relationship was over.


I responded to his pressure by chipping away at my beliefs, my personality, and my interests--changing myself to be the woman I thought he wanted.


And having done all of that to please him, he did bad things to me anyway. My bending over backwards did nothing to cement him to me, and it wasn’t worth the hassle in the long run.


It started in my twenties. I’d gone out on a date with HIM.


The one. Or so I thought. I was in college and living at home. My parents had asked me to be back by a certain time, so they could sleep knowing I was home safely.


HE persuaded me that I was “grown” enough to stay out as long as I wanted, despite my upbringing that demanded I obey my parents. Not only that, it just would have been courteous to do as they asked because they were older parents and didn’t need the stress.


So I broke curfew for him. That was the first chip.


Then he influenced me that sex was natural and necessary for any good relationship and I capitulated despite my family’s beliefs in no pre-marital sex.


Chip.


Then he got me to let him move in--and basically live off of--me, leeching and mooching--while he played around all day and cheated on me with other women.


Crack!


I finally realized that I had molded myself into HIS idea of me and barely resembled my original self. Not only had I settled, I'd edited my real self out of existence


It was time to break it off, and I am so glad I did. My true self would have been demolished completely if the relationship had continued. That was years ago, but I learned my lesson well.


Please learn from my mistake. Don’t break off pieces of yourself just to fit with any man, but especially a man that has nothing to offer.


Don’t be that woman! To avoid this fate...


Recognize chipping.


If he asks you to do something against your beliefs, or you find yourself questioning if it is the right thing for you to do, then you are on your way to breaking down. You shouldn’t have to constantly question yourself to be with him.


If friends or family start noticing changes in you and bring them up, don’t get defensive.


Slow down, honestly examine yourself and see if you really are doing things that you normally wouldn’t do. Sometimes this is a tip-off that you are in a abusive relationship, and potentially in danger. Try not to brush it off just because it’s frustrating to hear. Remember, they know, love, and just want the best for you.


Cut it off at the pass.


If you see changes in YOURSELF that you don’t like, make an effort to stop them, including cutting ties with anyone who encourages you to be someone other than yourself.


Be the self YOU admire most.


True, it’s nice to be in a relationship with someone and to have companionship. But it’s more important to make sure what you’re doing is right for you! It can seem liberating to have someone show you the way, guide you, and tell you how to act, especially when you’re younger. When you lack self-confidence, you often seek answers from others.


However, if many of your changes come from outside yourself instead of adjustments made from your own growth, step back and figure out if you’re on the wrong path.


You have a right to your own existence, and if you find yourself changing just to be in or maintain a romantic relationship, it’s unhealthy and won’t be worth the pain and loss.

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