Should You Ever Settle for a Partner?

by July 27, 2013
filed under Sex & Dating

Jennifer Nettles, the lead singer of the band Sugarland sings in her song Settlin’ that:

I “ain’t settling for just getting by

Had enough so so for the rest of my life

Tired of shooting too low so raise the bar high

Just enough, ain’t enough this time

I ain’t settling for anything less than everything (7-11).

Her lyrics are quite inspirational when we think about the idea of settling for a partner. However, there are 2 ways of looking at the ‘settling’ situation – you either settle for the right person or you settle for the person who is just good enough or not good enough at all. So, is it alright for a gurl to settle for less in a partner? Well it all depends…

You don’t want to be stuck with Mr. or Mrs. Wrong when the right person comes by. You also don’t want to look back on your life with regret and be left thinking that Mr. or Mrs. Right is no longer attainable. It really is a complicated issue.

And how do you know someone is the right person? All I can tell you is the advice my parents and friends have given me and it’s not very helpful but it’s true – when you know, you know. After that you just have to stick to intuition to stand by your partner in good or bad times because every relationship is flawed and a lot of work. In the end you’ve just got to know it’s more worth it to be with that person than to be without them.

Settling can be the wrong thing to do when you go for people who don’t treat you with manners, caring and understanding. You should never settle for someone who doesn’t make you feel loved. At this point, you need to raise your standards and your self-esteem. Tell yourself you are loveable enough to have someone that loves you completely and madly and wants you to be in their life  – not just a small detail of it or a passing fling.

Settling can be the right thing when you have really high standards. Say for example, you won’t go out with any man who is shorter than 6 feet and who isn’t blue eyed or you won’t go out with any gurl who’s not blond and in great shape. There is the saying that there is someone for everyone, but sometimes that someone isn’t who you think it is! It could be that 5’10” guy you see every day at school with brown eyes or that blond at work who is a little pudgy. You have to be realistic as you’re not perfect, so why should your partner be expected to be perfect?  Physical traits are important to begin with, but in the end I think most of us would rather have someone who really loves us and cares for us than looks like Adonis and ignores our existence outside of sex.

This isn’t to say that chemistry is not important. I genuinely think that it is important to have a partner you are attracted to because when there is no chemistry you feel it – and it doesn’t feel good. However, on the other hand, there has to be more to your relationship than chemistry or you’ll never make it. Great sex doesn’t make a relationship. It’s how you and your partner treat each other and the little things you do together that build a long lasting foundation for a good relationship. For instance, did you know that many woman who have husbands who do housework rate their partner as sexier than those who have husbands who do little housework?

In closing, I think settling is a poorly used word in relationships. If you’re with the right person you’ll know it and it won’t be settling. However, I think if you are with the wrong person and you’re not really attracted to them then you are settling for less and that’s wrong! Although you are never going to find a partner who will meet all your expectations, it is possible to find someone that is kind, loving and fun to be with. That someone is who you should settle for and stay with.

What’s your opinion on settling when it comes to not being able to find the one?

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