No one likes to think that the person they love could be settling for them, but it happens every day. You don’t even realize they are settling for you until you review the relationship in hindsight and realize the signs he’s settling for you.
But if we’re honest with ourselves, most of us can say we’ve settled for a relationship we weren’t really that into at least once in our lives. I know I’ve looked back on a couple of my own relationships and, when doing so, saw clearly that I had just been settling for them.
People settle in relationships for several reasons, but most of the time these reasons are due to their insecurities.
We may not think we’ll find anyone better, or we may want to impress our friends with someone attractive, even if we don’t feel like we actually like the person’s personality ourselves.
And most of us have also been on the other side — as the person wondering how to tell if a guy likes you.
What does it mean when someone is settling?
When someone is settling, they are letting go of things like expectations and goals in life, choosing to stay with what they know, even though what they have now doesn’t make them happy or fulfilled. In some cases, people settle for someone who doesn’t treat or love them the right way.
According to psychic medium and relationship coach Elizabeth Hunter Diamond, settling comes from a fear of the heart, of not being able to create what you really want. “It’s a question of self-esteem and self-love. Someone who loves themselves does not settle. They are willing to let go of ‘good enough’ out of respect for themselves and the other person,” says Diamond. “They are OK with being alone while taking steps to create the kind of relationship their heart most longs for.”
In love, settling is to accept someone that’s not the kind of person you wanted to be in a relationship with, because you can’t have exactly what or who you originally were going after.
I’ve been dating for a while now, and looking back on one of my relationships, in particular, made me feel wickedly insecure because it was blatantly obvious throughout that he was settling for me. I don’t think he realized it at the time, but it was there nonetheless because there were signs he was just settling for me.
I wish I would have picked up on it and dumped him before I fell for him, but at least now I can avoid the pain in the future and maybe help some others along the way with some relationship advice and dating tips.
If you’re asking yourself, “Is he settling for me?” or “Does he love me?” here are 10 signs he’s settling for you.
1. He doesn’t introduce you as his girlfriend.
If a guy is introducing you to his friends, family, or colleagues as “Jane Doe” (or even worse, as “my friend, Jane Doe”) and not as “my girlfriend, Jane,” he is clearly second-guessing something in the relationship.
If he doesn’t introduce you as a girlfriend, that’s a major red flag that he’s either embarrassed by something about the way you look or behave, he’s a commitment-phobe, or he’s just not that into you.
How do you know if a man is serious about you? Well, if the two of you have been together for longer than two months and he still hasn’t asked you to be his girlfriend, that’s not a good sign that this relationship is serious to him.
According to Diamond, the real question you should be asking is: how much does he love and respect himself?
“His capacity to love and respect you is determined by the degree to which he loves and respects himself. This means that if he has a healthy sense of self-love and self-respect, he will not tolerate settling, game-playing, or any other form of being out of integrity with himself,” Diamond says. “He will be honest with himself (and you) about his feelings and intentions. You won’t be left wondering.”
2. He’s easily annoyed by your quirks.
If a guy likes you, in the early stages of a relationship your quirks should seem cute and endearing.
If you’ve only been dating someone a few months and they are already annoyed by some of the habits you have or some of your eccentricities, he’s probably not really that into you — and he most likely never really will be.
According to divorce coach Laura Miolla, the best relationships are those where both people truly cherish each other.
“When you get down to the nitty-gritty of what that means, they really listen to, appreciate, and respect each other, even and especially when they disagree. So, if you’re questioning how serious he is or if he loves you, you already have your answer,” Miolla states. “Your own self-doubt is a huge red flag that this relationship will never be what you want and if you stay in it, you will both settling for less than you deserve.”
3. He makes comments about how particular women — women who are not you — are ‘out of his league.’
If a guy does this, he’s a jerk. He’s basically implying that you are not out of his league, but that other women are, and that is why he has settled for you.
A man who is really into you is supposed to think that you’re the best thing there is, not that you’re “as good as it gets” for him.
Of course, we will all be attracted to other people at times, but to say that someone else is too good for him is essentially the same as saying that you’re not as good as she is.
4. He doesn’t invite you to family functions or to hang out with him and his friends.
If a guy is really into you, he’s going to want to show you off and share these parts of his life with you.
If you’ve been dating for several months (and it is even Facebook official!), yet he’s still going solo to family events such as weddings and birthday parties, there is a reason he’s choosing not to bring you along. Weddings are typically events where people will even bring someone they are newly dating.
How do you know if a guy is trying to get rid of you? If you’ve been dating and he’s attending weddings, get-togethers and parties without you, it’s fair to assume that he doesn’t want you to meet his friends or family, which means that, for whatever reason, he is not madly in love.
According to Diamond, the best way to know is to directly ask him. “I recommend the most direct way of finding out, and that is to ask him what’s going on with him. Be sure to ask with genuine curiosity and without expectation or pressure,” Diamond suggests. “When you’re genuinely curious about what’s going on for him, you create an opening for a deeper connection between the two of you.”
5. He values other people’s opinions about your relationship — a lot.
If someone is into you, they are not going to care a whole lot about what other people think about you or the relationship you share. If he’s constantly seeking out the advice of other people before making decisions regarding your relationship, he may be trying to get confirmation that you’re not right for him.
You may not know he’s doing this right away, but consider how much time he typically needs before getting back to you on things where your relationship is concerned. If he always needs time to think about it, either he’s discussing it with someone else to get an outside opinion or he’s struggling with trying to decide if you are really worth the effort or time.
Either way, you deserve better! You shouldn’t have to be asking “did he settle for me?” and wracking your brain for an answer.
6. There is no mutual respect because he’s disrespectful to you.
If he’s settling for you, you’re going to realize after you find out he doesn’t even have any respect for you.
If you’re constantly disrespected by him and he belittles you, humiliates you, or gaslights you, that’s a sign he’s settling for you and you don’t deserve any of that terrible treatment from an insecure man.
You might be rationalizing his actions or making yourself think he doesn’t really mean the harsh and rude things he says, but in reality he actually does mean it.
According to spiritual coach Dona Murphy, realistic expectations in a relationship are based on knowing that no one is perfect — and that’s not settling.
“It’s a sign of maturity to accept and love a person as they are,” adds Murphy. “But if he’s criticizing and finding fault with you, or he’s apathetic toward you, it sends the message that you’re not OK.”
7. He doesn’t compromise with you.
This might be an easier sign he’s settling for you because he will not compromise on anything and everything, and you have a hard time, every time, when trying to have a civil conversation about how he can meet your needs.
When he’s settling for you, he just brushes your needs and wants to the side because everything is about him; he never takes on the team effort approach. He’s never flexible or willing to do things for you, and it’s basically his way or the high way.
8. You have a gut instinct.
Sometimes a woman’s intuition is all you need to know that something is wrong in your relationship. It will hit you when you’re questioning if the relationship is even real or means anything to him all along.
If you can’t find any reason why it wouldn’t mean a lot to him, or notice that he’s exhibiting these other signs, he’s letting you know he’s not as interested. Be the first to dump him.
9. Your social circle clues you in.
If you find yourself complaining to your social circles, like your friends or family, and asking them why he’s treating you like this, that’s yet another sign he’s settling for you.
The fact that you’re asking other people if what he’s doing is normal speaks volumes to his intentions. Deep down, you might know that his attitude and the way he’s treating you as second best isn’t acceptable.
If your social circle also knows enough about him and tells you that you can do better, it’s best to listen to them. When are they ever wrong about your well being and happiness?
10. You’re ignoring the red flags and dealbreakers.
You might like this guy a lot, maybe so much so that you’re ignoring all these clear red flags and dealbreakers. If you or your friends had to deal with a situation like this, most likely, you’d tell them to stop dating this person.
Notice every red flags and don’t let any one of them slide.
According to Murphy, pay attention to the obvious red flags, like if he’s not making you a priority in his life.
“If you find that you’re doing all the work to keep the relationship going; that he’s a much higher priority in your life than you are in his, that’s a red flag. You’re his ‘Ms. Right Now’ and not his ‘Ms. Right,'” Murphy mentions.
You have those set for a reason, so you won’t get treated poorly and have to settle for a man or notice that they are settling for you.
If you’re in a relationship wondering if he loves you, and your significant other is exhibiting one of a few of these behaviors, it’s time to sit down and have a talk.
If he’s doing all of these things, there’s a good chance he’s not in love with you, he just settling for you — for now.
At the very least, he’s not respecting you and there are behaviors you need to discuss.
Most people won’t admit to themselves that they are settling, let alone admit that to the person they are settling for. However, his reaction to you asking him about the idea that he’s settling could be quite helpful.
Use this conversation as an opportunity to find out why he’s really into you and where he sees the relationship going. If you’re not happy with the answers he gives you, it may be time to move on and find someone who thinks you’re amazing and that the sun shines in your smile (as it most certainly does).
Carrie Budd is a writer with a passion for helping others. She finds great joy in empowering women to find the strength to forge ahead when all hope seems lost.