There is no such thing as settling while we’re in a relationship. In retrospect, we can tell ourselves that we were settling, but as long as we stayed in the relationship, we were getting exactly what we bargained for. As hard as it can be to admit this to ourselves, the people we chose as partners were a direct reflection of how we felt about ourselves while we were with them. If we weren’t happy in a particular relationship and we truly believed we could have found someone better, we would have left. We would have gotten out of those relationships and gone for what we really wanted. No matter how many times we told ourselves we could do better, we stayed because the person we were with was the right partner for us in that moment.
The other day my client, Jenna, launched into an impassioned diatribe about how she had been settling all her life for inferior men who were financially unstable and emotionally incapable of ever giving her what she wanted. Her big green eyes welled up with tears of disappointment as she lamented, “It’s a shame I wasted all that time in the wrong relationships with the wrong people. What was I thinking? I still can’t believe I would settle for so little when I am such a good person and I deserve so much more.”