7 worrying signs you’re settling for a love that’s less than you deserve

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Everyone deserves to be in a love that’s fulfilling, genuine, and deeply satisfying. But sometimes, the lines of what constitutes a healthy relationship become blurred.

You might look back on your past relationships, or even reflect on your current one, and question if the love you’re experiencing is truly what you deserve. You may be uncertain whether you’re settling for less or simply navigating the typical ebbs and flows every relationship endures.

How do you determine if you’re accepting less than what you truly deserve in love?

After engaging in extensive conversations with individuals from various walks of life, I have compiled a list of 7 worrying signs that could indicate you’re settling for a love that’s less than what you deserve. If these signs strike a chord, it might be time to re-evaluate and address some hidden insecurities.

1. You’re Consistently Making Sacrifices Without Reciprocation

In a truly balanced and healthy relationship, give and take is mutual. Love isn’t about keeping score, but it’s also not a one-way street. If you’re constantly finding yourself in scenarios where you’re the only one making sacrifices, adjusting your plans, or altering your life to accommodate your partner’s needs, then it’s time to pause and reflect.

Are these sacrifices being reciprocated? Does your partner show the same willingness to compromise for your happiness? If the answer is no, you may be settling for less than you deserve. Love should be about mutual respect and effort. If you’re constantly giving without receiving, it could be a sign that this isn’t the love you deserve. This doesn’t mean that every gesture should be repaid tit for tat, but there should always be a general sense of balance in the relationship.

Recognizing this pattern is the first step towards breaking free from a love that’s less than what you truly deserve. Remember, your worth isn’t determined by how much you can give to others, but by recognizing when it’s time to receive as well.

2. You Often Feel Lonely, Even When You’re Together

Love should feel like a companionable silence rather than an echoing loneliness. If you find yourself feeling alone, even in the presence of your partner, it’s a sign something isn’t quite right. This isn’t about spending every moment together – everyone needs personal space. Instead, it’s about feeling emotionally connected and supported by your partner.

If you’re often left feeling like you’re on your own or that your emotional needs are not being met, it could be an indication that you’re settling for less than you deserve. A healthy relationship fosters a deep sense of connection and companionship that goes beyond just being physically present.

Being alone is better than feeling lonely in a relationship. It’s important to remember that love should provide comfort and companionship, not leave you feeling isolated and alone. If this sign resonates with you, consider it a red flag that it’s time to reassess the love you’re accepting versus the love you truly deserve.

3. Your Self-Esteem Has Taken a Hit

Love should lift you up, not wear you down. It took me a while to recognize this in one of my past relationships. I found myself constantly second-guessing and doubting my worth, my decisions, and even my dreams. My partner’s words and actions had subtly eroded my self-esteem over time.

If you’re in a relationship where your confidence is frequently undermined, where you’re made to feel insignificant or like your opinions don’t matter, it’s a strong indicator that you’re settling for less than you deserve. Love should make you feel good about yourself, not the opposite.

In retrospect, I realized that the love I was receiving was far from what I deserved. It didn’t uplift me; instead, it made me question my worth. This realization was a turning point in my journey towards self-love and self-respect.

Remember, your partner should be your cheerleader, encouraging and supporting you in all your endeavors. If this isn’t the case, it might be time to re-evaluate your relationship and consider if it’s truly the love you deserve.

4. Your Relationship is Filled with More Downs than Ups

Every relationship has its share of highs and lows. However, a study by relationship experts suggests that the ratio of positive to negative interactions in a stable and happy relationship is 5:1. That is, for every negative interaction, there should be at least five positive ones.

If your relationship is filled with more downs than ups, more disagreements than harmonious moments, or more tears than laughter, it could be a sign that you’re settling for less than what you deserve in love. A healthy relationship should not leave you constantly feeling drained or unhappy.

It’s crucial to remember that nobody deserves a love filled with constant conflict and negativity. If this sign resonates with you, it might be time to reconsider the love you’re accepting and whether it matches up to the love you truly deserve.

5. You’re Always Walking on Eggshells

In my early twenties, I found myself in a relationship where I was always on edge. I was perpetually careful about what I said or did for fear of upsetting my partner. The constant tension and anxiety of this emotional tightrope were exhausting.

If you’re also in a relationship where you’re afraid to express your feelings or opinions, where you’re tip-toeing around issues and suppressing your true self to keep the peace, it’s a glaring sign that you’re settling for less than you deserve. Love should give you a sense of freedom and comfort, not anxiety and apprehension.

This personal experience taught me that love should never make you feel confined or scared. A healthy relationship encourages open communication and freedom of expression. If you’re constantly walking on eggshells, it’s time to question the love you’re accepting versus the love you truly deserve.

6. Your Dreams and Ambitions Take a Backseat

Love should inspire you to chase your dreams, not shelve them. If you find that your aspirations are constantly taking a backseat to accommodate your partner’s preferences or desires, it’s time for introspection. A relationship should never hinder you from realizing your potential or pushing your boundaries.

Healthy love encourages growth and supports aspirations. If your partner doesn’t support your dreams or makes you feel guilty for pursuing them, it’s a significant sign that you’re settling for less than what you deserve. Love shouldn’t require you to abandon your dreams but rather should be the wind beneath your wings that propels you towards them.

If this sign resonates with you, take a moment to reflect on whether the love you’re accepting is truly the love that you deserve. Remember, true love empowers and never discourages.

7. You’re Constantly Justifying Their Actions to Yourself and Others

If you find yourself constantly making excuses for your partner’s behavior to yourself or others, it’s a red flag that needs attention. Love doesn’t require justification or constant defense. It took me time to understand this in one of my relationships where I was constantly explaining away my partner’s inconsiderate actions.

If your partner’s actions often leave you feeling hurt or disrespected and you find yourself rationalizing these episodes, it could be an indication that you’re settling for less than what you deserve in love. A healthy relationship promotes respect, kindness, and consideration, not behaviors that require constant justification.

Reflecting on this personal experience, I realized that the love I deserved didn’t require defense or rationalization. If this sign resonates with you, it might be time to reassess the love you’re accepting versus the love you truly deserve.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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