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Nearly 2 years ago, my best friend relocated to Lagos to take up a new job. I was a newlywed and she couldn’t move in with me, so she had to stay with a family we’d both known for a long time. If you’ve ever been in this position you know that no matter how nice the host family is, if you’re used to living on your own, you’ll still long for a place of your own. My friend is in particular the kind of person who doesn’t like to impose on others, so she wanted to be out of the way as soon as possible. She began searching for a new place almost immediately. She knew exactly what kind of house she wanted: well-finished, easily accessible, cute, and comfy- but as weeks turned into months and agent after agent told story after story, anxiety set in. She wanted a place. She needed a place. It didn’t have to be just what she wanted anymore- good enough would do. Ten months later, an agent called to say he had a place for her. It was bigger, and therefore more expensive than what she was looking for. The kitchen and bathroom were lacking tiles. The entire house needed painting. There was no running water, and the existing tenants were okay with it so if she wanted running water, she would have to pay for repairs of the pumping machine herself- never mind that all the tenants would enjoy the benefit. I said to her, “Girlfriend, it’s okay to lower your expectations to something more realistic, but this is below realistic. This is crap.” “But I need a place, Hon. I’ve been living with them for almost a year. I don’t want a new year to meet me there.” I suggested that a new place may come along next week, or next month; who knew? But she had had enough. She wanted to move into her own place. So she paid for it and arranged for the repairs to start. Then I got the inevitable phone call. Day 1- “I’m not even feeling the way I thought I would feel. I’ve been expecting that when I finally get my own place I’ll be delighted. I’m not happy.” Day 2- “I hate this house Joy. Every time I see it I’m just depressed.” On and on it went. Even after the painting was done and the tiles were fixed and all what not, the complaints continued. Day 15- “I feel terrible. Good thing I’m not stuck with this house, I’m moving out once my rent expires. Thank God this is not a husband I married, heeeeeey, Joy, I will just die! In short, I can’t. God would just have to kill him so I can be free.” I laughed! Yeah, right. We had fun talking about how God used this experience to imprint deeply in her soul, “DO NOT SETTLE FOR JUST ANY MAN.” The pressure is real, and many people enter a relationship they know is not an appropriate fit, just so they “have somebody.” Have you been there? After a while, you begin to think that no one better is going to come along. So you decide that you had better be satisfied with what you have rather than go looking for someone else… because they might not exist? The problem with compromised relationships is that when you put any two people together for very long, even if they are terribly unsuited for each other, they will bond. Add some physical intimacy, mutual friends, and eventually, some shared history, and you have a relationship with a shaky foundation… because it was probably never meant to be. Are you currently in a relationship that you doubt? Here are 5 signs you may be settling. 1. You are experiencing more anxiety than happiness You frequently need to talk to someone about the suitability of the relationship. You constantly question if you two should be together. One day you think things are okay, the next you’re not so sure. You are utterly preoccupied with doubts, and then you find yourself doubting your doubts. 2. You’re looking over your shoulder Part of you knows that you want someone better. You keep seeing other people that you think might be interesting and you wonder what they are like. If you met someone stunning and they wanted to go out with you, you would have a hard time deciding what to do. You would want to go but you would also feel guilty. 3. You’re talking yourself into it You find that you are often talking yourself into this relationship, saying things like, “No one has a perfect match,” or, “This is a really nice person and I just can’t walk out,” or, “I’m just lucky to have found someone to love me, I am too picky, and I should be satisfied.” 4. You’re yearning You miss the “falling in love” stage that you once felt for someone else, or that you have heard about for other people, or that you have seen in the movies. You wish you could feel that way for this person. 5. You’re counting on marriage to transform your relationship You realize there are significant flaws in your relationship, but you’re counting on marriage to correct them. You believe that getting married will change him (or you) for the better, and eliminate major problems between the two of you. Marriage is a serious lifetime commitment. If any of this resonates with you, perhaps it is time to have the hard conversation, tell yourself (and him) the truth, and make a decision from that place. Let this be your motivation: your soul mate is waiting for you!  

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This article was first published on 2nd August 2013 and updated on August 5th, 2015 at 11:17 am


Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at]

Comments (5)

5 thoughts on “About to Wed: 5 Signs You’re Making a Mistake”

  • Beautifully written and very true!

  • Nice article, somehow I think the intro was out of the topic. Could have been shorter and within the topic. 😉 // Overall awesome.

    • Lol. Interestingly I thought the anecdote in the beginning was well employed and drawn out just right. It was the end I found a tad abrupt.
      Goes to show Joy doesn‘t have to mirror our imaginations to be the fab writer she is!

  • I can so relate….beatifully written too.

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