Most Common Reasons that Keep You from Settling Down

Keep You from Settling DownFor many of us, falling in love — and deciding that yes, this time it’s meant to last forever — is not as easy as it seems. So, what keeps so many seemingly smart men and women from deciding that the person they’re with is The One?

1. Your list of “must-haves” for a romantic partner is unattainable
One of the biggest sticking points for people, says counseling psychologist Dr. Linda Young, is having a long list of characteristics that are considered essential for both a partner and the relationship. This lengthy list of essentials can be self-defeating, since it’s unlikely you’ll meet anyone who meets every requirement on that list.

2. You’re unwilling to compromise in relationships
Many of us don’t focus hard enough (or long enough) on what makes a relationship truly satisfying and sustainable over a lifetime. Being more forgiving of a partner’s faults or more flexible about another person’s annoying habits may be difficult, but the ability to compromise matters. Instead, many of us are looking to wherever the grass appears to be greener.

3. You’re afraid of intimacy
The other challenge for many may be in letting another person in. After spending much of our 20s and early 30s building a career, honoring the idea that it’s important to be successful and dating with the knowledge that most relationships will end, we build up a defense mechanism. When we finally decide we do want to settle down, we have to take down the walls we’ve built up. “One of the ways we protect ourselves is to learn how to not go all in, and then when you want to get married you have to figure out how to go all in,” says Young.

4. You pick partners that share your interests, but not your values and goals
Young admits she’s fascinated by online dating profiles, where many people list “important traits” that are actually things they themselves prefer to do: “Must like hiking. Must enjoy ska music. Must love long walks on the beach at sunset.” Young points out that “those things are not very important when it comes down to a long-term, satisfying relationship. The really important stuff is how your basic character traits and personality features complement each other, and where you are similar on the things that matter most to you. You really need to know what your values are before you can know if someone else shares them.”

5. You believe there’s only one soul mate out there waiting for you
“I think some people still have this fantasy notion that there’s going to be just one Mr. or Ms. Right. So when they have someone they’ve been with who displays many of these characteristics and they get along just fine together, these daters still think, ‘well, it doesn’t feel magical, like having a soul mate is supposed to feel’,” says Young. “It’s not always going to feel that way.”

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