Let’s talk about the “S” word: settle!

I have been hearing for a long time some women talking about this word as if it is a bad thing. I have received emails from ladies who talk about this word as if it’s the most horrid thing they can do in life: settle. Last week, I spoke with a group of ladies and the common themes were: “don’t settle for just anybody,” “my friends are settling but I won’t,” and “I’m smart and capable; I don’t need to settle.” It was interesting to hear them say that because, previously, I had participated in three different Facebook threads where the “don’t settle” issue was also a common theme. So, I decided that it was time to write a post about this word that some women think is “oh, so bad.”

Well, I have got some news for you: if you’re smart and looking for a relationship, you WILL settle. Do you know why? Because most of the population happily settles. Even though they think they’re not settling, they are. Why do most of us settle? Because we’re humans, we’re fallible, and we’re not perfect.

Let me explain: when you start dating someone, that period is for you to get to know that person. Then, if you fall in love with that person, there will always be something about that person that annoys you; but you will be able to live with that minor annoyance without torturing the person, and that’s where you settle. On a scale of 1 to 10, your beloved may not be a 10 but he may be a close 8; and because he can’t fulfill all your dream-man qualities, you’re going to let him go? I think it would be foolish to do that because most of us are not a 10 either.

We have to be realistic on what we can get. My friend, Tammy, is a super successful attorney. She has got the brains, the body, the clothes, the car, and the clients and she thinks she is a 12 out of 10. She finds the guys to date but they don’t stick around because she has an attitude problem. She toots her own horn a little bit too much, and that is a huge turn off. If you are all that, you don’t have to publicly shout that all the time because people are not stupid and we can recognize when people are smart, or good, at something. Meanwhile, in private she’s complaining that she can’t find a guy and publicly says she’s always alone because she won’t settle. Hmmm …

For years, Mandy didn’t want to go out with men who had children because she wanted her own children only. Her famous words were, “I don’t want to settle for less if I can have more.” Finally, when she thought that finding this man wasn’t going to happen, she went to a clinic and had the “deed” done. Three years later, she is exhausted; and she found out that being a single mother is not easy when you have to work and then come back home to take care of a child alone. The weekends are worse because she’s with her son 24-7 and her ageing parents can’t babysit a boisterous boy for too long. Dating now is almost impossible because of the prohibitive cost of going out on a date. After adding the cost of primping herself a bit and then the baby sitter, she can’t justify going out because she needs the money for more important things. She told us that she wished she hadn’t been so arrogant initially. She said if she had made a different decision, she could have been married to the man she was in love with; both raising their kids together. However, she was too stubborn back then to settle with a man who had kids of his own.

Finally, there is Carl, a not so good-looking guy. But because he lives in Manhattan where there are more women than men and the ratio is in his favor, he thinks he’s entitled to a model that came right out of a Victoria’s Secret catalogue just because he makes six figures. Big deal; especially, if you live where the rent is pretty high, a six-figure salary doesn’t go very far. While is not uncommon to see a young leggy blonde going out with an ugly millionaire, he’s far from rich but thinks he deserves a women who’s a 10. He says, “If Donald can get a Melania-type, so can I. I won’t settle.” He’s no Donald, either.

Men settle too. I heard from different men who settled for women who were kind, sweet, no drama, or for whatever reason, and they were happy after all, with the choice they made. In the end, once we feel love and affection towards our beloved, we have to decide what qualities are very important to us that cannot be compromised (or settled on) – as morals, ethics, values, and honor. Basically, a person has to have character. After that, any minor annoyances be damned. Take your 8 or whatever number is acceptable to you and call it a day. Please understand that I’m not saying to settle for just anything, or just anybody, that comes your way, all I am saying is “be realistic” if you want to be in a real and loving relationship.

 

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