Should You Settle?

how to know if you are settling for less“Should I hold out for something better?

Or should I settle for what I’ve got?”

I’ve heard that question so many times. Mostly from women who are just starting relationships, but sometimes I hear it from women who are about to walk down the aisle.

For those women, asking that question takes great courage. It opens up the possibility of disrupting their entire life. And yet they can’t live without knowing:

Is this guy the best I’m going to get? Or is there someone else out there for me?

It’s an honest question. You want to know you got the best deal possible, so to speak.

Maybe this guy isn’t your soulmate. Maybe, if you’d just waited another year or tried online dating one more time, you’d have found your real soulmate. The one who’s exactly like you in all the ways that matter. The one who doesn’t pick his nose or ignore you when the game is on. The one who sweeps you off your feet.

Other women have boyfriends like that. You can tell by their smile, like a cat that’s got the cream. You just know they get treated like a queen.

Why doesn’t your guy treat you like that?

Is it time to trade up?

Let’s find out. Here are the 4 questions I would ask.

  1. How committed is your relationship?

If you start to have second thoughts when you’re dating someone, then pay attention to what your intuition is telling you. When doubts are there from the beginning, they’re a sign that something isn’t quite right.

However, if you’re married or in a long-term committed relationship, then those second thoughts aren’t anything to be scared of. They’re bringing you a message. Your relationship needs more tender loving care.

It’s challenging to live with one person for the rest of your life. You see all his flaws and imperfections, and he sees yours. Of course you’re going to wonder if some mythical Prince Charming exists. It’s appealing to imagine a life where you waltz through every day in perfect harmony with the love of your life.

In real life, we’re flawed and imperfect. We hurt each other accidentally. We’re not always as careful with one another’s feelings as we could be.

Instead of fantasizing about Prince Charming, deal with those difficult feelings. Wade through the mud with him. What’s missing from your relationship? What aren’t you telling one another? What aren’t you admitting to yourself? How can you support each other better?

how to know if you are settling for lessIt’s better to have an imperfect relationship where you can talk, than a seemingly perfect relationship where you’re not allowed to mention the tough stuff.  

Here’s the next question you should be asking…

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The Power of Presence to Banish Nervous Habits

how to overcome nervous habitsUncontrollable giggling.

Babbling.

Nervous gestures.

You never do anything like that …. do you? 😉

Every one of us acts in a very specific way when we get nervous.

People who know us can tell. No matter how hard we try to come across as calm, cool, and collected, our unconscious habits give us away.

Maybe we talk too loud. Or too fast.

Maybe we pace. Tap one foot. Can’t stand still.

Or maybe we sweat. Not just a fresh sheen of perspiration, either. We’re talking visible drops of sweat.  

It would be nice if we could turn off our nervous habits at will. “Oops, I’m sweating! Okay, armpits, turn off the tap.”

But we can’t. Nervous habits don’t listen.

And we live in fear that someone will notice.

What if it happens with someone you really like? What if it happens on a date? What if it happens with the person you want most to impress in the entire world?

You can imagine the frown. The revulsion. The quick end to the conversation. The horrible feeling of let-down.

But that doesn’t have to happen.

You actually DO have control over your nervous responses.

Your heart doesn’t have to start racing. You don’t have to panic. You can stay relaxed and be yourself in any encounter, no matter how gorgeous he is.

The key is what experts call presence.

Presence is one of the foundations of charisma. It’s what makes a person stand out in a crowd.

how to overcome nervous habitsWhile everyone else is focusing on their phone or hurrying to get where they need to go, the present person strolls in complete confidence, taking in every nuance of his or her surroundings, open to synchronistic encounters.

When you’re present, you’re in the now. You’re not lost in your thoughts or your fears or your worries. You’re in your body. You’re grounded.

That’s important, because one of the things that happens when you get nervous is that your mind takes over. It goes into protection mode, blocking out everything but the urgent situation at hand.

Your sympathetic nervous system kicks in, preparing you to fight or flee. You become oblivious to everything but your performance … a performance that now feels like a disaster.

Here’s how to stop the cycle.

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The Mistake We All Make When Interpreting Other People’s Actions

Properly Interpreting People’s ActionsTell me if this sounds familiar.

You’re excited to see your guy. He walks in the door, gives you a quick peck on the cheek, and…

…hardly notices the fact that you’re absolutely beaming at the sight of him.

Immediately, you’re wondering what gives. Does he not like the new outfit? Geez, you were sure he’d be a fan. Or is he just being a jerk? I mean, how hard is it to give you an enthusiastic greeting?

But what if his lack of excitement has nothing to do with you?

I’m talking about a phenomenon called “Fundamental Attribution Error.” Fundamental Attribution Error is defined as our “tendency to give personality-based explanations for other peoples’ behavior more weight than situational factors.”

In other words, we tend to assume the way people treat us is a reflection of how they feel about us. But much of the time, that assumption is dead wrong.

In the example above, maybe your guy seems distracted because he’s distracted. After all, there’s a lot of other stuff going on in his life.

That doesn’t mean you’re not important to him. It just means you’re not always the center of his universe.

And even though that makes perfect sense, Fundamental Attribution Error is incredibly common. Practically everyone does it. Not only that, but it’s almost impossible to avoid.

So how do you deal with those moments when Fundamental Attribution Error kicks in?

You can outwit your own knee-jerk assumptions by doing just two things.

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When It’s Time for a Romantic Upgrade

When It’s Time for a Romantic UpgradeI don’t know about you, but the last month before I upgrade my phone is painful. By then, my old phone feels outdated and sluggish.

It doesn’t have enough storage, can’t really handle the apps I use daily, and, maybe worst of all, it’s just not exciting anymore. More than once, I’ve thought it would be really convenient if I happened to drop it in a lake or run over it with my car…just so I can go ahead and get a new one NOW.

I’m not the only one.

According to a recent study, people tend to embrace more reckless behavior with their phones when they’re looking for an excuse to buy the latest model.[i]

You won’t even risk putting a small scratch on your new phone. But your old phone? Eh, you’ll toss it across the pool so a friend can take your picture. Why not?

Which makes me think of something else. Sometimes we do the same thing with relationships.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this. You’re dating someone, things have gone from good, to stale, to not-that-great. But you’re not quite ready to break up.

So maybe you pick a fight or two. Maybe you’re not as supportive as you’d be otherwise. Maybe you get a little careless with the relationship itself because you’re ready for an upgrade.

While this behavior makes perfect sense, it’s not the best way to handle a dying relationship. It just makes the worst part of dating last longer.

If your relationship is in that not-so-great place, there’s a better way. First, you have to answer a critical question (that I’m about to show you). Then, based on your answer, you should take one of two actions.

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