The 6 Main Reasons You Settle When You Really Want To Split


You find yourself wondering what happened to the once picture-perfect relationship you had, and why despite trying everything imaginable, the two of you can’t seem to get that loving feeling back. You and your partner have started to live more separate lives, and those cute little yellow sticky love notes they used to leave you on the bathroom counter, or on your car windshield, seem like a distant memory. You start to realize you’re settling and kidding yourself that there is any hope of a future for the two of you, at least not a happy one, but even when faced with the reality that your relationship is dying a slow death, you still stay.

You daydream about being single again and contemplate if you should just rip off the band-aid, and end the relationship.

You have even practiced the words, “(insert your partner’s name), I think we should break-up,” in your head, at least a dozen times, but you never find the nerve to say them aloud. You wonder if you had ended the relationship at an earlier point, perhaps you could have parted as friends…. just maybe? But now you aren’t so sure that would even be possible. Letting go of relationships, regardless of the circumstances, is never easy. Even when it’s inevitable. Why?

Here are the 6 main reasons:

1. Familiarity

You stay because you know what you have; the good, the bad and the ugly. It might not be great, but you know what to expect. It feels easier to hold on to what’s familiar, rather than reach for the unknown. You make rationalizations. You tell yourself, it’s not so bad, and that it’s natural for couples to go through ups and downs, which only results in you dropping your standards, and expectations so low, that it allows you to stay. Stay miserable, that is.

2. The Realities

You stay because life will be more difficult on your own financially. Not having someone to share expenses with would, of course, make your life a lot more stressful. Just consider this, when we choose a partner from a place of need, our standards plummet, and along with it, so does our joy.

3. You Are Scared To Be Alone

You stay because you fear you won’t find someone else. Time for a reality check. Think of all the people you know who have been through a necessary break-up. Okay, now out of those people, tally how many of them have NEVER gone on to meet someone else. Exactly! And out of all those people who found someone new, ask them if they’re actually thankful in retrospect, that the relationship ended. My bet is most, if not all of them, would answer with a big “hell yes!”

4. Emotional Investment

You stay because you have spent time with your partner, and invested precious emotional energy. You have shared memories, and some of them are darn good ones, too. Your heart wants to keep you in the game, and you don’t want to feel like a failure. After all, you’ve invested a fair amount of time in the relationship. But, as the old saying goes “it’s not wise to keep throwing good money after bad money” hoping for a return on your diminishing investment. In the business world, any financial planner would tell you to cut your losses or be prepared to go broke.

5. Love

You stay because you are still in love. If you stay because you still love your partner, then what you are saying is that your love for your partner is worth sacrificing your love for yourself, and your chance at having the relationship you truly want. If this is true, you might be suffering from low self-esteem, and realize that when you start to love yourself more, you will begin to feel less love for the people who don’t appreciate you, grow you, and fill your life with happiness. I don’t think anyone should ever choose between “love” and “happiness.” These two things should co-exist in all intimate relationships without question.

6. Break-ups Are Painful

You stay because you want to delay the inevitable pain of the break-up. So you procrastinate and tell yourself the timing is just not right at the moment. You convince yourself that breaking up after you get that job promotion, or when you finish school will be easier to deal with, and less painful. You make excuses to delay the pain. No one likes pain. But in time, your heart will eventually mend, and the pain will fade, but the discontent of settling for an unfulfilling relationship will last forever.

When you settle, you not only cheat yourself out of the potential rewarding opportunities that await you, you betray yourself, since your mind, and heart are not in alignment. As a result, your self-worth starts to plunge, because you end up feeling weak for not having the courage to listen to your inner wisdom, and put an end your despair. Life is too short to play it safe and settle for a life less than the one you dreamed of.

img_9351-1Bree Bonchay, LCSW, is a psychotherapist with over 18 years of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and psychopathy in her blog FreeFromToxic. Her articles have been featured in major online magazines and she has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a dedicated advocate, educator, and facilitates survivor support groups and workshops.

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6 thoughts on “The 6 Main Reasons You Settle When You Really Want To Split

  1. You forgot to add, some (or most) stay because of the kids, but that’s the biggest mistakes as the kids also suffer the same narcissistic abuse and most grow up to become like the narcissistic parent.

    1. Yes, I agree the children is probably the number one reason and that dilemma deserves an article to itself as there are so many factors to consider including the one you mentioned. Thank you for commenting 🙂

  2. Nice post. How can I get to the support forum in FB? The link comes up blank. I’ve tried typing it into the search function on FB. I don’t think I’ve found it though.

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