Photo by Jesús Gorriti on Flickr

How You Can Tell If Someone Really Loves You Or Is Just Settling

In the English language, the word settle has other, more positive meanings, too. To settle in is to find comfort; to settle a bill is to finalize business; and, to end two sides of a dispute is to settle a matter.

Like the fairytale endings where a dragon is slain and evil defeated, settling down in life, is to live a quieter, more level existence. It is to remain in familiar territory; a consistency with little surprise or spontaneity thereafter.

To be in loveto settle… they are just words. And like the words you choose, they inhabit the emotion you give them. So how can you tell if someone really loves you or is simply settling with you? Settling doesn’t happen, it’s a choice.

We all know the unstoppable rush that comes with falling in love. It’s an enigma pulling, overtaking and consuming us: mind, body and spirit. Falling in love is effortless.

When reciprocated, a new romance blooms. Like the petals on a rose, beauty opens and displays itself to us. We see beauty manifest in meaningful gestures; lingering touches; and soft whispers caressing us like a gentle wind.

Falling in love is easy; but as you’ve probably heard, staying in love, is work.

Time passes, receding like a rose as days grow short. The gestures, touches, whispers start to lose their power. They start to lose meaning while becoming fewer. When affection and romance come our way, we start to take them for granted.

Love’s enigmatic force becomes less mysterious. With realistic eyes, we see what settling truly is: choosing dissatisfaction or happiness.

Here you can choose dissatisfaction. You can decide you no longer love someone and they no longer serve you. They are not enough. You miss flirtation, physical attraction and you decide, without it, that you’re unfulfilled. Instead of the quick, uncontrollable heartbeats you once felt, you notice a slower, even beat. You take a deep breath, rest your eyes on your partner and decide upon revulsion over elation. Here, you can choose to walk away or remain miserable.

Now, let’s say you chose happiness instead. No. It’s not all going to be sparkles and sunshine.

Here’s where you choose to spend your fleeting few hours with the same person, over and over again. You decide to share your weekends, evenings and vacations as one. Once the lustful rush has gone, you decide it’s OK to embrace and say, I love you.

You decide their extra weight, thinning hair and battle scars are attractive. Each imperfection makes them absolute to you. You’ve chosen a happy future together. You’ve chosen to really, truly love someone.

Be happy or don’t. You can’t make the decision for anyone but yourself, but you can choose love. And is that really settling for someone?

Horrible at relationships, so I write about them on the internet. Come on baby, make it hurt so good. hello@stephjouppien.com

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