Top 5 Reasons Not to Settle

You can’t make this stuff up: A few years ago, I met a guy named Mr. Wright (yes, seriously). He sold office furniture for a living and had a personality that matched his chosen profession (read: yawn). We dated for a bit, and he was into me and wanted to get serious.

For a moment, I considered it: he was stable, nice, and (relatively) funny.  I was no spring chicken, so the prospect of settng up a comfortable life with him was appealing. But there were no butterflies. Our conversations were mundane at best and that lack of passion meant things were ho-hum between the sheets too. After careful consideration, I ended it. I just couldn’t trade butterflies for stability.

But many women are settling for Mr. “He Will Do” instead of holding out for “Mr. Right.” I think they are selling themselves short (and screwing over their future happiness). It’s not fair to them or their guy. Here’s why:

1. Settling means you’ll resent him
You may not want to admit it, but if you settle for someone, chances are they are never going to live up to your ideals. If you keep expecting him to be something that he’s not, you’ll only be bitter and disappointed, and he’ll feel like a failure.

2. Your relationship is going to be routine
When you settle, your relationship is based on routine, not romance. Both partners have to want to impress and woo the other (making impromptu dinner plans, creating a new playlist for your partner’s iPod, planning a romantic getaway, etc). If you feel like you’ve settled, what’s the incentive to impress the other person? You’re always going to feel like that person owes you something, so the likelihood of you being spontaneous and ‘renewing the woo’ is almost nil.

3. Your sex life won’t be as satisfying
Sure, every couple experiences ups-and-downs in the bedroom. But if you settle, it’s likely that your sex life won’t be up to snuff, right from the get-go. It will most likely be a means to end (maybe you settled because you wanted to have kids?) than an exercise in bringing you closer together and a deeper sign of your love and commitment for each other. Sex should never feel like an obligation.

4. Don’t get married just because “everyone is doing it”
Don’t settle just because you don’t want to be the that “swinging single” gal when all of your friends are getting serious. Sure, it can be frustrating to see all of your friends walk down the aisle while you’re the girl knocking back Jé¤gerbombs at the singles’ table. But shacking up with someone to just keep up appearances is never a good idea. Truth is, many married people are far lonelier than many single people are. Getting married does not equal instant happiness.

5. Don’t settle just because you think you can learn to love someone
This is really a copout. Settling for a guy that you think you’ll eventually learn to love really never pans out. Chances are, if you’re not into him off the bat, you ain’t going to be into him 15 years down the road. Of course marriage isn’t sunshine and daisies all the time, but if that love isn’t there right away, it’s pretty tough to will yourself into it.

 

 

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Tags: being single, Dating, fear of settling down, Love, mr. right, passion, ready for marriage, Relationships, settle down, sex

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Comments

  1. Avatar
    • reader
    • April 27, 2013
    Reply
    I think the posters who have replied against this article are people who either 1) are happy with “close enough is good enough” because they are too scared to leave a loveless relationship or 2) have never actually experienced loving someone with all their heart and having that all encompassing mutual love experience. Once you have experienced it once, it is very hard to be in a relationship with someone who, on paper, is everything you thought u wanted. If you dont love the person and theyu dont love you back in the same way, even if you get married it only gets worse. You fall into a semi-happy marriage where you wonder “shoulda coulda woulda” and then as time goes on you become numb, discontent and depressed that your life didnt turn out how u thought it would. and if everyone “settles” for someone who they dont love and who doesnt love them how they deserve, then you have screwed up not only your life, but the other person too by having impeded their opportunity to be wtih the “right person”. its a domino effect. I have seen several of my girl friends who have stuck to their guns and not settled and yes they may have found their “mr right” in their mid 30s or later, but they found exactly what they were after, the man who made them happy and the man they wanted to make happy always. All are still crazy in love even years later. its hard to see all your friends get married off one by one and been the only one left to be the “favourite aunt” to their kids, but i rather wait a bit longer and be with someone that i will be happy with and will be happy with to go through all of life’s ups and downs with with as much commitment as love can muster, than settle for someone who is good enough on paper.
  2. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    I agree wholeheartedly with everything said in this article! I was seeing someone for 1.5 years and broke up with her 9 months ago. I called it off because I realised I had settled down out of guilt and because she was nice; caring and supportive. She was a nice woman who made me want to protect her, but I never really felt any sparks with to start with!
    I got to know someone else – a very intricate story- who made my heart feel whole. I fell in love completely with her but unfortunately the timing for a relationship was not right. The short time we spent together was probably the most intense and meaningful relationship I have ever had in my life!
    My point is: Settling will always end in heartbreak and confusion. You know when you really feel butterflies for someone from the get go. Trust your instincts and follow you heart and your common sense and always love yourself first!
    Peace
  3. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    All this description of “sparks” and “butterflies” and the “best kiss you ever had” sounds to me like you are trying to justify to yourself dumping someone after eight years together because you were unhappy with yourself, and felt like the solution was “upgrading” your partner. The problem is that the unhappiness came from inside you, and you are still you. Ultimately, doing things like that to people too many times tears your soul to shreds.
    I’ll be surprised if you are happy with the new guy after eight years–I suspect that a woman who is discontent with a “an intelligent, honest, faithful, funny, charming man person” will remain discontent. People who are unhappy and discontent, in spite of having good things, stay that way. And by the way, it sounds to me like your ex was the one settling.
  4. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    I agree wholeheartedly with everything said in this article! I was seeing someone for 1.5 years and broke up with her 9 months ago. I called it off because I realised I had settled down out of guilt and because she was nice; caring and supportive. She was a nice woman who made me want to protect her, but I never really felt any sparks with to start with!
    I got to know someone else – a very intricate story- who made my heart feel whole. I fell in love completely with her but unfortunately the timing for a relationship was not right. The short time we spent together was probably the most intense and meaningful relationship I have ever had in my life!
    My point is: Settling will always end in heartbreak and confusion. You know when you really feel butterflies for someone from the get go. Trust your instincts and follow you heart and your common sense and always love yourself first!
    Peace
  5. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    All this description of “sparks” and “butterflies” and the “best kiss you ever had” sounds to me like you are trying to justify to yourself dumping someone after eight years together because you were unhappy with yourself, and felt like the solution was “upgrading” your partner. The problem is that the unhappiness came from inside you, and you are still you. Ultimately, doing things like that to people too many times tears your soul to shreds.
    I’ll be surprised if you are happy with the new guy after eight years–I suspect that a woman who is discontent with a “an intelligent, honest, faithful, funny, charming man person” will remain discontent. People who are unhappy and discontent, in spite of having good things, stay that way. And by the way, it sounds to me like your ex was the one settling.
  6. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Also agree with the article. I am currently in a settling relationship right now. Really makes me feel better reading this as I resonate with the a lot of the points. He is a great guy. Kind, hardworking, stable, faithful, honest, caring etc. Your typical NICE GUY attributes. Nothing bad to say about him and could recommend him to a friend as his character is alright. But the things that really turn me on like intelligence, humour, good conversation, passion and most importantly LOVE are sadly lacking. As a result I dont admire or respect him which cause problems of their own. We are breaking up. For all his niceness I refuse to settle for this because I will cheat on him at some point for starters. But this is just me .The same does not apply to all. Some people are married off by their parents and they find a way to make those forced relationships work because they accept they have no choice. I have a choice. I am not looking for a fairy tale prince. I am only looking for love. So to me my options are find it or settle to have a kid as a single mom if time really starts to run out.
  7. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    I totally agree with the author of this article! She totally gets it. thank you!
    Sadly, I think there are still alot of people out there (like one of the people who posted their response here), who totally DON’T get it. If you don’t have a spark/connection that is deep, it it just not really going to work out in the long term. It doesn’t matter how nice/decent/whatever a guy is, if he doesn’t float your boat, it is probably just not meant to be for a life time. It has NOTHING to do with believing in fairy tales, it is just the reality of wanting a DEEP, SOUL CONNECTION with someone. That is hard to find, and is also probably the reason for the high divorce rate. People just not marrying the right person for them.
    Remember, if you make a decision based on FEAR (i.e. this may be my last chance at love so I better marry him; I don’t want to be alone; everyone else is having a baby I better too; I am getting old…), it is usually the wrong thing to do.
  8. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    To Anonymous
    I think you’re missing the point of Ms. Goodwin’s article if you think she wants women to forgo shy, kind, average-looking guys in favour of hot, sexy a$$holes. The point is not to settle, period. Other than the description of the furniture salesman, there is no mention of appearances. I agree with your points that initial hormone buzzes wear off and relationships require effort and compromise, but those are indirectly addressed. It doesn’t mean that Ms. Goodwin’s points aren’t also correct.
    I spent 8 years with an intelligent, honest, faithful, funny, charming man (not a hot, sexy jerk), but I settled. Everyone thought he was perfect for me. On paper, we should have worked. He was my best friend and I loved him, but it was companionate love. There was no passion and I eventually became very unhappy and depressed. Sometimes, even the nicest guy is wrong for you.
    I am now in love with a man whose traits are comparable to the first. However, sparks from the start, the best first kiss I’ve ever had, and I still have butterflies after 2 years, even with the usual ups and downs.
    For the record, I was never a fairy tale princess. I was, am, and always will be a practical tomboy.
  9. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Also agree with the article. I am currently in a settling relationship right now. Really makes me feel better reading this as I resonate with the a lot of the points. He is a great guy. Kind, hardworking, stable, faithful, honest, caring etc. Your typical NICE GUY attributes. Nothing bad to say about him and could recommend him to a friend as his character is alright. But the things that really turn me on like intelligence, humour, good conversation, passion and most importantly LOVE are sadly lacking. As a result I dont admire or respect him which cause problems of their own. We are breaking up. For all his niceness I refuse to settle for this because I will cheat on him at some point for starters. But this is just me .The same does not apply to all. Some people are married off by their parents and they find a way to make those forced relationships work because they accept they have no choice. I have a choice. I am not looking for a fairy tale prince. I am only looking for love. So to me my options are find it or settle to have a kid as a single mom if time really starts to run out.
  10. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    I totally agree with the author of this article! She totally gets it. thank you!
    Sadly, I think there are still alot of people out there (like one of the people who posted their response here), who totally DON’T get it. If you don’t have a spark/connection that is deep, it it just not really going to work out in the long term. It doesn’t matter how nice/decent/whatever a guy is, if he doesn’t float your boat, it is probably just not meant to be for a life time. It has NOTHING to do with believing in fairy tales, it is just the reality of wanting a DEEP, SOUL CONNECTION with someone. That is hard to find, and is also probably the reason for the high divorce rate. People just not marrying the right person for them.
    Remember, if you make a decision based on FEAR (i.e. this may be my last chance at love so I better marry him; I don’t want to be alone; everyone else is having a baby I better too; I am getting old…), it is usually the wrong thing to do.
  11. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    To Anonymous
    I think you’re missing the point of Ms. Goodwin’s article if you think she wants women to forgo shy, kind, average-looking guys in favour of hot, sexy a$$holes. The point is not to settle, period. Other than the description of the furniture salesman, there is no mention of appearances. I agree with your points that initial hormone buzzes wear off and relationships require effort and compromise, but those are indirectly addressed. It doesn’t mean that Ms. Goodwin’s points aren’t also correct.
    I spent 8 years with an intelligent, honest, faithful, funny, charming man (not a hot, sexy jerk), but I settled. Everyone thought he was perfect for me. On paper, we should have worked. He was my best friend and I loved him, but it was companionate love. There was no passion and I eventually became very unhappy and depressed. Sometimes, even the nicest guy is wrong for you.
    I am now in love with a man whose traits are comparable to the first. However, sparks from the start, the best first kiss I’ve ever had, and I still have butterflies after 2 years, even with the usual ups and downs.
    For the record, I was never a fairy tale princess. I was, am, and always will be a practical tomboy.
  12. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Thank so much to the woman who wrote the “Ms. Goodwin” post… thank you! You make much more sense than Ms. Goodwin.
  13. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Ms. Goodwin,
    You have thoroughly bought the hallmark, hollywood, fairy tale GARBAGE that little girls are spoon fed these days. That you are all princesses that will find “true love” and live “happily ever after”. Get a dose of reality.
    Most relationships that start with “butterflies” or a “spark” are based on a very shaky foundation. It is just hormones. It is just that “new car feeling”. Sure it is exciting but it FADES. That’s why – in our instant gratification, me-first world – the divorce rate is so damn high. We expect that exhilaration to last forever. When it goes, we go.
    You suggest that “learning to love someone” is improbable or signifies “settling”. That is sad. Relationships are hard work. Part of that work involves learning to see past a person’s outward appearance, to get to know them beyond the stage where they are simply trying to impress you. Sure a spectacular start is nice. A good story. People need to be more focussed on the long-term, not the honeymoon period.
    What do you think is easier? Teaching a smoking hot, sexy, philandering a#@hole to be respectful, kind, unselfish and monogamous or teaching a shy, average looking guy who is already kind, respectful and unselfish and faithful to be sexy? Ask a woman who gave her man a second look and is happily married. They are probably best friends. You may expect her to be bitter and resentful, longing – what you’ll probably find is someone who found happiness.
  14. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Thank so much to the woman who wrote the “Ms. Goodwin” post… thank you! You make much more sense than Ms. Goodwin.
  15. Avatar
    • Anonymous
    • January 1, 1970
    Reply
    Ms. Goodwin,
    You have thoroughly bought the hallmark, hollywood, fairy tale GARBAGE that little girls are spoon fed these days. That you are all princesses that will find “true love” and live “happily ever after”. Get a dose of reality.
    Most relationships that start with “butterflies” or a “spark” are based on a very shaky foundation. It is just hormones. It is just that “new car feeling”. Sure it is exciting but it FADES. That’s why – in our instant gratification, me-first world – the divorce rate is so damn high. We expect that exhilaration to last forever. When it goes, we go.
    You suggest that “learning to love someone” is improbable or signifies “settling”. That is sad. Relationships are hard work. Part of that work involves learning to see past a person’s outward appearance, to get to know them beyond the stage where they are simply trying to impress you. Sure a spectacular start is nice. A good story. People need to be more focussed on the long-term, not the honeymoon period.
    What do you think is easier? Teaching a smoking hot, sexy, philandering a#@hole to be respectful, kind, unselfish and monogamous or teaching a shy, average looking guy who is already kind, respectful and unselfish and faithful to be sexy? Ask a woman who gave her man a second look and is happily married. They are probably best friends. You may expect her to be bitter and resentful, longing – what you’ll probably find is someone who found happiness.

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