Good Question: How can I tell if I am just “settling” in a relationship?

Dear Alex,

What are the signs and signals that let you know you’re just “settling” in a relationship?

As in, settling for less than what you really desire.


Dear M.,

I’m assuming, perhaps erroneously, that you’re talking about a romantic relationship.

If that’s the case, I have three questions for you:

1. Does this person make my life easier?

2. Does this person make my world bigger?

3. Does this person make my pussy wetter / dick harder?

If you answered “No” to any of those questions, then you’re probably settling for less than what you desire… and deserve.

If you still feel uncertain, one final question might be:

4. Do I feel like the best version of myself — or, like I am becoming the best version of myself — when I am with this person?

If you answered “No” to that final question, as well… then what is this relationship providing for you, exactly?

Probably not anything that will keep you satisfied for long. Especially if you are the kind of person who wants to keep growing and evolving into the best possible version of yourself. Which I’m guessing you are.

Those are my questions for you, M.

I hope that they guide you into clarity, connection and good lovin’.

With the person you’re currently with — or with somebody new.

“It’s not healthy to go into relationships as a needy person. Better to go in with a full deck.”
–Anjelica Huston

Love big, M.

Love with a full deck.

And try to find someone whose deck is just as full as yours.

For those of you reading… have you met the love of your life? How did you know that they were your soulmate, your true love, your anam cara? What were the signs and signals?

PS. Special thanks to my sweetheart, Brandon, for helping me to devise the questions in this post. And for feeding me homemade ice cream on the regular. You make my life so much sweeter.

Good Question is an advice column about writing, communication, creativity, and how to be a decent human being in a complicated world. Looking for past columns? Go here.