Settle down, or just settle?

gottliebI’ve never been one who believes in settling. My Slim Pickins post is proof of that. I’ve always believed in holding out for that person who will be your friend, your lover and your partner – someone you click with mentally, emotionally and physically. My friends and family would probably say I’m a helpless romantic actually. But I have to wonder where all of my hopeless romanticism comes from. I mean – let’s face it. From the time you’re old enough to understand images and words, you’re bombarded with fairytales and movies about nice pretty ladies and princesses finding their prince charming. Heck – this continues into your teen years! So how can single women NOT be hopeless romantics? We’re waiting for the ONE – the ONE that gives us butterflies, and leaves us speechless, and sweeps us off our feet, and wants to marry us, and….. isn’t a jerk. I believe in that – I truly do.


Is it realistic to think that it’s going to happen to all of us? Statistically, I mean. I believe (now, more than ever) that finding someone who will love you, and want to be with you for the rest of your life, is a gift. And you truly are lucky, if out of a universe of six billion people on this planet, you actually meet and connect with the person who fulfills you and will love you no matter what – and that those feelings are mutual between you. So yes – with those odds, I can’t truly say that I believe that kind of love (and I’m not even talking marriage) will happen for all of us.

So – what’s a single girl to do? It’s true that it could happen for me – but no one really knows. And at the end of the day, sometimes I DO think that I’d rather just settle than be single. Not now of course – I know I’m still young. But if push came to shove, and 10 years from now I was still alone, I’m not sure I could honestly say that I wouldn’t think about it. Although I’ve been a big advocate of not settling, I read a really interesting and intriguing article the other day that made me look at ‘settling’ in a different light. We all know that our lives aren’t fairytales. Maybe I’m never going to meet someone who has ALL of the things I’m looking for. So, if I have to sacrifice “the spark” to be with someone I care about, have fun with, and would be willing to have a partnership with – then is that really so bad? Or maybe we have great physical chemistry, but aren’t always on the same page emotionally. Having someone to share things with, enjoy life with and grow old with – whether we get married, or just agree to commit to each other? Passion, sparks, romance – over time, this diminishes anyway, and marriages and partnerships are never perfect all the time. There will always be rough patches where people want out. So, why is settling with someone who’s maybe just a friend, any different than having a less than perfect relationship (as most relationships are)? Maybe there’s a point where we have to make the decision to be alone or be happy – some of us can make the two mutually exclusive and some of us can’t. And although I’m truly undecided on this topic, I’m starting to think that there’s nothing wrong with either….

I encourage you to read Lisa Gottlieb’s article and let me know what you think.


3 Responses to “Settle down, or just settle?”

  1. 1 Mom
    June 5, 2009 at 10:01 am

    I read the article and have a few opinions on it and the subject. She mentions that men say women are “too picky” several times in the article. I think she’s right. My humble (married 31 years) opinion is that you don’t have to settle BUT you don’t have to be so picky so early in the “fact finding” process. Young women seem to think that this overrated “spark” needs to happen immediately. If you talk to anyone married any length of time they will tell you that: a) the spark lasts briefly in a marriage and it’s the respect, conversation, caring, etc. that holds it together. Most married couples will tell you that “you have to work at the relationship”, this includes the spark.
    b) the spark doesn’t always happen on the first, second or even third date. If it’s other things that hold the marriage together, then logically it would seem that those should be the things to look for first and then…. the so called “spark” will come.
    c) it takes time to form a relationship with someone. Ending a relationship because you don’t have the spark, don’t like how he looks, don’t think he’s smart enough, too smart, too nerdy, too trendy, etc.. means you are looking for “instant boyfriend” in my opinion, and only the lucky few find this immediately
    d) As I have said before, dating is a “fact finding mission”. You need to spend time with someone to find out who they really are. Your nervous on the first date …well so is he!! I don’t beleive men show their real personality until they are comfortable. You need to get to that place to find out who he really is before you give up.

    While I don’t believe settling is the way to go, I think young women today need to give the guys a break!! Don’t treat dating as an “instant” do or die. Love, friendship, respect all take time and love will come if he’s the right one and you will know! Try building the friendship and don’t discount loving your bestfriend. I didn’t!

    So, keep trying, it’s worth it in the end. It’s a life time commitment not an instant “spark” your looking for. I do think that many young women today form their opinion on the ideal relationship by comparing their lives to television shows (Sex in the City, Friends). Well, these are shows and not reality. So, keep that in mind.


  2. 2 Niecey C
    June 8, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I guess depending on who you ask, settling down and settling are one and the same. But from what you’re saying it’s probably the attitude behind either action that can make the world of difference. After all there’s a huge difference between “I’m really content in settling with this person” or “You know what, I can’t find anything else so I might as well just settle”, same action of being with one person but the approach toward it is different. I’ve never been a big proponent of either philosophy…much like you I have that fairy tale beginning, middle and end etched on the canvas of my mind, reality, however, every thing but what I envisioned. But at this point I’m starting to think that spending so much time “holding out” for Mr. Right to come along leaves you that much more vulnerable to settle for the first Mr. Reality who comes your way.

  3. June 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Some good points Niecey. Agreed that it’s really all in the attitude. If I ever did settle (again, really not sure I could ever do it), it would have to be with someone that I could at least be happy with. I guess I look at some of my guy friends and think: “Could I ever settle down with one of them?” – I probably could. That ‘je ne sais quois’ might be missing, but I’m sure I could live out a happy life having a partnership with one of them. I guess time will tell…

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