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Has anyone who has ever been in a relationship settled for less than what they considered "best?" If so, what was the end result?

 

Has anyone ever considered settling for far less than what the deem "best" just because they are lonely? If so, did you eventually decide against it or for it? What was the end result of that?

 

I'm curious what people have to say on the topic of settling for a mate that does not meet their standards; whether it be due to personality differences, lack of common interests, opposing views on religion, family, life in general, or even simply due to appearance. I just want to know how people view the whole topic of settling. Or... is there even such a thing as settling in the first place? (After all, everyone has good qualities and bad, but when I refer to settling, I'm referring to going for someone who you are not attracted to - for whatever reason, be it physical, emotional, mental or spiritual.) Could pursuing someone like that be highly rewarding and a great experience? Or would it just inevitably lead to hurt feelings on both parts, as well as unhappiness on one's part?

 

I was thinking about why I am single, and I believe part of it may be because I refuse to settle. I'm picky. I expect a lot. I want "the best." For me, it's a matter of principle; as much as being single is unpleasant and can be painful at times, I'd rather never have another significant other again in my life if they are not who I want.

 

So, I'd love to hear everyone's opinions on this subject, whatever you may have to say, I'm sure it will be of value to the discussion.

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I often refuse to allow myself to be interested in or even reject the guy who's very attractive, smart, funny, and confident because I have a feeling I'll end up hurt.

 

So I go for the guy who's not so good looking, maybe not as smart as me. I don't have high expectations so I don't end up feeling disappointed when he lets me down.

 

The problem is, he could realize I'm not attracted to him and find him inferior to me, which leads to hurt feelings and resentment.

 

I think it's good that you know what you want and don't accept anything less.

 

I don't have any trouble finding a guy I find cute, intelligent. And some of these great guys areactually interested in me. But the thing is, these guys have plenty of other girls crazy for them and I have a SEVERE jealousy complex.

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I struggle with the idea of 'settling' constantly.... I have a very idealistic view of my perfect girlfriend... and i'm pretty sure she doesnt exist lol. And part of me realizes that i'm only hurting myself by creating unrealistic standards for someone to meet.. because quite honestly.. they never meet them... And i find myself so lonely that i do somewhat "settle" but than the minute i realize that i'm settling, and that this isnt my "ideal" girl... i get up and leave...... resulting in alot of loneliness.. and alot of broken hearts.....

Its kinda ironic because i was thinking of trying to see what i could do (in terms of relationship) with this one girl... and i feel so shallow because i've dated better looking girls, and i feel like i would be settling if i were to go for a relationship with her......

So ya, I don't know what to do!!! I feel that settling is inevitable if you have unrealistic standards....

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You just have to be careful that what you call being picky/not settling is not simply an excuse not to put in the effort it takes to be in a relationship.

 

for example - one very happily married man I know (married about 20 years) broke up with his now wife because she didn't like to camp and he loved to go camping. He realized he missed her terribly, that this was a compromise he could make and they have had a happy life together from what I understand.

 

It depends what you are picky about - if she has to have a certain color eyes or hair that might be too picky but if you won't settle for someone with an incompatible sense of humor, that is more of a core value. Hope that makes sense.

 

I know several people who have or are seriously contemplating settling. What is interesting is that before they get engaged they are very open about their doubts, etc and once the engagement is announced that talk stops completely and all talk is about the safe subjects of wedding planning, home buying, honeymoon, family planning.

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As long as you try to settle for an ideal, or a not-ideal, this will not really be ideal. What is really ideal is settling with what is actual; this makes the actual, ideal.

 

This does not mean to not have ideals, it means that one sees that _having_ ideals is not the same as _being_ ideal. Being ideal is about being ideal oneself. This is not difficult, as one is actually ideal. Being actually ideal is settling with how one is moment to moment, whether (with an) ideal or not.

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I don't think that you should settle, but figure out what's most important to you. If you feel that you're settling you might never be happy and it's not fair to you or your partner. Try not to be too picky, but figure out what you need in a partner, and weigh out what the partner has and what's missing, if you find it difficult to deal with, move on, and if you find that you will be happy even if your partner does not posses all of the qualities you wish for, but still makes you happy, then you should give it a try.

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I know several people who have or are seriously contemplating settling. What is interesting is that before they get engaged they are very open about their doubts, etc and once the engagement is announced that talk stops completely and all talk is about the safe subjects of wedding planning, home buying, honeymoon, family planning.

 

So very true! I know a lot of people who have settled because they didn't want to be alone or they wanted a certain lifestyle, or they wanted children, or they needed a man (or woman) to make them feel complete or to give a certain image. It is quite sad because they are not really happy. Sure, they are happy they have the image, the lifestyle or whatever, but they don't have the true connection with their partner and it is a very empty life.

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It’s not so much about settling for someone to be with… it’s about self-esteem. As we spend day after day without that perfect person we imagine in our minds, we begin to wonder what’s wrong with us. We start letting those negative feelings take over to the point where we feel worthless and will put up with just about anything. The problem with this is that eventually you realize that you settled and wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t. Maybe the next person is the right one? You need to be secure in who you are and not look for someone to “complete” you. If you can’t make yourself happy, then no one can.

 

There is an option to settling -- It’s called dating. For some reason in today’s society, we seem to skip the courtship altogether. Personally, I think it is the best time of all! You don’t have to have ONE girl/boyfriend and be committed so quickly. In a day and age of such liberation, it amazes me the emphasis on settling down and starting a family. Perhaps the advent of casual sex and its consequences (STDs) has inadvertently created a false need to commit??

 

By dating, you realize a lot about yourself and what is acceptable TO YOU. It doesn’t matter what other people think because there is only one YOU. And NO ONE can make this decision for you, BUT YOU.

 

I have just ended a marriage of 5 years (relationship of 10) because I settled. In the end, I realized I underestimated myself and my needs. I convinced myself that this was a good thing for me and the thing I settled on would somehow not matter (sexual compatibility). Turns out that I slowly killed me to the point where I felt trapped and beaten down... And I have no one to blame but myself.

 

In any case, you need to really evaluate what’s important to you and why. There are some things that really won’t bother you to settle on and others that will kill the relationship if you do settle.

 

Best of luck to all, it's not easy, but the end game is worth it. Keep your eye on the prize! He/She's out there... Hang in there!

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i tend to create such high expections so that the ppl i date will disappoint me and i will be able to stand back and say "Ha, Ha! See i knew it wasn't going to work". Self Fulfilling Prophcy...i say it won't work and it doesn't and it just proves, once again,that I am right, actually it proves I'm full of "insert word here". *smiles*

 

I'm 29 turning 30 feeling "crunch time", most of my long time friends have found their "love" or "match" and are on a future together, I can bearly figure out what i'm going to wear tomorrow...

 

I've choosen some partners because I felt all those around me were settling down and this is something i need to do..why? cuz i'm getting older and haven't been in a relationship for longer than 8 mths, cuz i wanna start a family at one point but i wanna know the person for a long time 1st...

 

I realized i have all these plans and i just want a person to fit just so into these plans...is this realistic? or is this a way for me to protect my heart? I've been able to rationalize things so well i really don't know...but i do know...

 

that I've dated ppl cuz i didn't want to be alone, i figured this person likes me and I find them okay so why not...for me my problem is the 'why not'.

 

There isn't an overwhleming feeling or a spark sometimes and that is when i've realized i'm doing something to compensate for something else..i'm lonely so i talk up an old friend of mine and we decide to date cuz HEY we got no one else in our lives...that is settling to me...

 

there are times when I feel like "Take what you can get" and there are other times when i feel like "when have you ever settled for anything less than what you need and want in your life, except when it comes to partnering"

 

It's in those moments I realized i was settling, got myself out of the relationship and realized the following quote...

 

Quote of the Daylink removed - Sri Swami Sivananda

 

and as they say..the rest will follow...

 

~Namaste~

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I too have settled, unfortunately. I got married when I should not have, I put pressure on myself that I had to commit to someone or something and what a mistake that was. Because I commited for all the wrong reasons.

 

SHe was a nice person and good to me but not what I wanted.

 

I think I have things figured out pretty well now, it took a long time and alot of thinking to get here.

 

Sometimes what you want could be right under your nose and you would not know it because you never looked or we all have "lists" of what we want and miss out on someone great because they don't look how you want them to...

 

I have been with alot of wrong/ bad people for me and learned many hard lessons from this..

 

Now I know what I want and can spot what I don't want. No more just being with someone to be with them. I am finally comfortable being with me and don't need anyone. Wanting someone yes...

 

It takes a long time to figure things out but once you do it is like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders and life gets better...

 

Remember there are to many selfish, hurtful people out there, so protect yourself...We all deserve someone/something special....

 

 

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I think one of the most important issues is that each person be honest with themself during dating.

 

Don't portray yourself or convince yourself to be able to "settle" for something if you know it will get under your skin in the longrun.

 

Experience:

I dated a guy a couple years younger than me. He had no children; I had two. He wanted to be Mr. Knight in Shining Armor. I didn't believe him at first but eventually he convinced me and I fell for him. Months later - he decided he wasn't ready for a family. He had never dated anyone with kids b4. His on again off again pattern during our relationship was proof that he questioned it several times but would seem to convince himself he was really happy. Wasted alot of my time.....

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Alot of times people will try and justify to themselves the person they are with.. WHen deep down inside they know that it wont work and they are with someone that it is just not happening with.....

 

Not fair to you or the other person but like I said before there are alot of selfish and bad people out there who will just use you and throw you away ...

 

When you can learn to spot them then you are well on your way to a more happy life....

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Juha, I could not agree with you more!!! Your post is so accurate and so very much the way I am feeling right now.

 

It is sad that so so so many of us settle for someone to be depressed with instead of being on our own and being happy.

 

I was a fool for too long, thank God I have found a way out of it.

 

You mirror my thoughts, the thoughts I think every single day without failure mate

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Lil'Miss -- Sounds like you know what you want but are reluctant to allow someone to fill the shoes. Don't let the pressures of your friends finding their "perfect mates" rush you into a relationship. You are very young and have plenty of time to look, date and procreate as you wish!

 

I think you are smart for sticking to your guns! I wish I'd done that. You learn a lot by dating different people. You learn what you will compromise on and what you won't. How else will you know what you really want if you don't practice? Everyone deserves the spark! And you can and should hold out for it. Anything less will leave you wanting.

 

Even tho what you want may be right under your nose, until you are ready for it, you wont see it.

 

I too am seeking me... Just out of a divorce in which I married b/c "he was such a great guy" (which he really was) but there was not enough chemistry to sustain the relationship--no butterflies. It is hard to learn to trust your own instincts and intuition. Deep down, we know how things will turn out, if we just listen a little harder!

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Really interesting points, everyone. I see that the general consensus would say, then, that refusing to settle is a good thing.

 

I used to be so obsessed with finding a girlfriend, but at the same time, I was picky (and I still am). But after recently being set up with someone whom I met over the net, I've come to realize that it's okay to be single. I'm not single because I'm ugly, undesirable or so emotionally crippled that I couldn't carry on a meaningful relationship. Not at all. I'm single because I choose to be.

 

Sure, I may not like it, sure it may suck badly sometimes, but in the end, it is my choice. It's my choice because as much as I may dislike it, I am the one responsible for turning down certain people. I am well aware that I could find a girlfriend tomorrow - and she may even have some of the qualities I am looking for. But I know I wouldn't be happy if I were forced to settle for less than best. So I'm okay with being single now (although it can definitely be a negative thing at times), it's better than being stuck with someone who doesn't make me happy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kevin T

 

That's a great outlook! It IS a choice, for most. Sometimes, choosing to be lonely outside a relationship is healthier than lonely IN a relationship. At least when you're not partnered you have a little hope that there still is someone out there for you.

 

Just be careful the things you refuse to settle on aren't so unachievable that you will never meet anyone. I think it's great to figure out your values and stick to them, but be reasonable, of course... There will always be something you will have to accept that you may not like...

 

Best of luck to you!

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For me, it's a matter of principle. If I can't have it my way, I'll have it not at all.

 

May be selfish and self-centred, but isn't that the main message our society teaches everyone anyway? "Whatever makes ME happy," right?

 

I expect a lot, but I also offer a lot. So whomever is smart enough to acknowledge all the great things I have to offer her will be quite happy. And to those who do not, it's truly their loss.

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isn't that the main message our society teaches everyone anyway? "Whatever makes ME happy," right?

 

Wow, I hope you're half joking... Love is about making the one you love happy... It's selfless--Giving without expecting anything back in return. BUT, one needs to find a way to do it without sacrificing themselves. It's a delicate balance. You can't have EVERYTHING your way all the time. It takes SOME compromise.

 

Our society clearly has lost some of the values our predecessors once had. I believe it's this "me first" attitude that is really screwing things up. We could all stand to have a little more consideration for others. Just because society as a whole teaches this doesn't make it right...

 

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I was being somewhat sarcastic, of course.

 

But I do have to insist on not settling for less than what is best. That's a given.

 

However, I do agree that being self-centered and not putting the other person first will spell disaster for any relationship. (Of course I know that.) I was more referring to not settling for less than best; it had nothing to do with being "me first" when actually within a relationship. Don't misunderstand.

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When the guy I was in love with didn't want me, I was forced to go have other relationships. It was either that, or the convent. So, from that point on, it was all "settling," because I wasn't in love with them. Since he didn't want me, I was hoping that I could learn to love someone else, and the only way to do that was to go on. Sometimes we "settle" hopefully. We see where we have to be and go there, hoping our hearts will catch up one day.

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Hey Kev, I'll be totally honest with this. I used to tend to settle. I did it several times. But not anymore, I learnt the lesson, and I gotta say I admire your position on this. I don't think being picky is selfish, I found out is the best way probably.

 

In my case I was not attracted at a physical level (I posted this in another thread actually).

 

I used to convince myself "it was not that bad", "is not ok to be superficial", "i should give it a try" , "why not", and crap like that. But I'm fed up, there's nothing wrong with having standards, or with dismissing someone because he/she doesn't fulfill your expectations.

 

After a long time of settling, I'm single now, and I'm learning not to settle, I'm learning to be picky and expecting the best, according to my own expectations. And it feels damn good.

 

Of course, it'd be nice to find that special "someone" have someone to cuddle with, to spend time with, blah blah blah. But I'm not gonna end up with the first guy that pays attention to me just because is "better than nothing" and because "there's no problem with giving him a chance".

 

Good for you! Do not settle! I wish I had discovered this years ago.

 

Like a popular saying says... "Mas vale solo, que mal acompañado¨

(Which means something like "Better alone than with a bad company sing" or something like that, u get the idea) Is so true!

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I was more referring to not settling for less than best; it had nothing to do with being "me first" when actually within a relationship.

 

I was thinking the same thing recently: When you are choosing a partner, you can put your own needs first. Once you are in a relationship, you can't. Is it that simple?

 

I settled. I don't mean she wasn't good enough, but she was not the kind of person I really wanted, and I knew it at the time. That difference gradually pushed us apart, and over ten years later it ended the relationship.

 

For me, the difficulty is how to know if you are settling, as opposed to being realistic about the kind of partner you want, and who would want actually want you.

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*nods*

 

My last boyfriend was Catholic, and I'm Protestant. So there was a lot of settling. He was kinda controlling, though, so there was more at work, but I kept thinking "He's so nice, what if there's never anyone else like him? ...maybe raising my kids to be Catholic isn't so bad... maybe being treated like servant of the house isn't so bad..." Then I finally was brought to my senses by my family and other circumstances and dropped contact with him. But I sometimes feel guilty about how many of my standards I was willing to drop just because I was afraid nothing better would come along.

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