Why You Shouldn’t Just Settle For Anyone
People give more thought to choosing their next Amazon purchase than to choosing their next relationship.
When it comes to romance, everyone is in such a hurry. You jump into a relationship with the first person who shows you interest. You commit to being exclusive before you’ve even gotten a chance to really know each other.
I think that’s insane! You’re playing Russian roulette and hoping that this person is going to be a good match for you.
I know you’re eager to find love, but being in an unhappy relationship is much worse than being alone. Especially if you’re trying to find someone you plan to be with forever, you shouldn’t just settle for anyone. Choosing the wrong person will affect your entire life.
The right partner can help you grow to the best version of yourself. The wrong partner can bring out the worst in you.
The right partner can support you. The wrong partner can use you and leave you more isolated than when you were single.
The right partner can make every experience more beautiful and satisfying than you could imagine. The wrong partner can strip out any shred of happiness from any moment.
So if the difference between a right partner and a wrong one is so obvious, why do we still find ourselves stuck in unfulfilling relationships?
The unhealthy, unrealistic pressure to settle
Much of society places unfair expectations on others to settle into a relationship. People make sweeping judgements that you’re an asshole player or a heartless bitch if you don’t stay with someone who likes you.
They’re speaking out of insecurity. They somehow believe dating around cheapens romantic connections or true love. But I’d argue the opposite. I’d argue that settling is a major factor in why the divorce rate is roughly 48–53% and 41% of marriages experience some form of infidelity.
We are individuals with our own values, needs, and expectations. Just because you like someone, doesn’t mean you’re compatible with them.
Being romantically selective doesn’t make you a jerk — it’s the only way you discover what you truly care about and need in a partner. It’s how you learn to be a better partner. And it’s how you create healthy, lasting relationships.
As I’ve written before, you are the only person who knows how to fulfill yourself. So those who might judge you don’t understand that settling hurts everyone in the long run.
Though it doesn’t always happen right away, settling causes resentment, unhappiness, and regret. Delaying the break-up by months or even years will only result in more pain and suffering – and you’ll wish you didn’t settle in the first place.
Why we settle
- Guilt. You don’t want to hurt a woman’s feelings by breaking things off. You’re not that attracted to her but like her personality. Or you know she’s not “the one” but you’ve already invested so much time in each other. So you stay in the relationship even though you know she’s not a good long-term match.
- Physical attraction. You stay with a girl you find extremely attractive because she’s the hottest you think you can get with. You ignore your lacking emotional connection.
- Jealousy and control. You can’t stand the thought of her with someone else and have to keep her to yourself.
- Fear of being alone. You’re afraid that you might never get another girlfriend like her. You don’t want to be alone. You’re terrified of having to go through the whole dating process again.
- Comfort and ease. You don’t dislike being with her but you don’t have that “spark”. Still, you get to have sex with her and always have someone to hang out with.
- Pressure from family or friends. Your friends constantly ask you for relationship updates. Your mother tells you that if he hasn’t committed yet, there must be something wrong. They remind you that if you don’t make it official, he’s going to stray.
- Biological pressure. You want to get married and have a child and feel like time is running out. You feel your value in the dating scene is decreasing.
- Societal pressure. Media, movies, music, and tradition tells you that being desired by men is what makes you valuable. Therefore, if you’re single, you must be unattractive and less worthy of love.
- Blinded by emotion. You have fun with a guy and are attracted to him. Because of this, you overlook all his negative qualities and red flags. You ignore his mistreatment, disrespect, and believe you can “change him”.
- Dependence. You believe you need him — whether that’s financially, emotionally, or because you have a history together (house, child, etc). You may even think that without him, you are nothing.
This way when you’re deciding to be exclusive with someone, you’ll know that it’s truly YOUR decision.
5 questions to answer to avoid settling
To help prevent yourself from settling, make an educated decision before you decide to become exclusive with someone. If you can answer yes to these five questions, you’re on the right path.
- Am I physically attracted? This is the starting point for everyone. I firmly believe it’s damn near impossible to maintain an intimate relationship with someone you don’t find attractive. Again, don’t measure beauty using society’s view, but from your own personal preference.
- Do they respect me? Healthy relationships are built on care, compassion, and emotional investment. Unless you enjoy being treated like shit, find someone who treats you as an equal. Not someone who you hope will change, but someone who respects you now.
- Do I WANT to be with this person or do I NEED to be with them? Staying with someone out of fear, approval, desperation, pressure, or control are never valid reasons. You should want to be that person because you’re excited to connect with them on a deeper level.
Have I dated enough? This is especially important if you’re inexperienced or trying to find a serious relationship partner. When you have limited experience, it’s hard to know what you truly value in a person. I had no idea what I actually cared about (more than a beautiful body) until I connected with a variety of women.
Before you commit, why not go on a couple of other dates? Explore your options and see the differences. You don’t have to hook up if you don’t want to, just meet more people. Keeping things casual for a couple weeks or months to date around will confirm whether or not you’ve found the right person for you.
Also, experience helps you understand how to be a better partner. You want the best odds possible for maintaining a healthy relationship for when you do find that special someone.
Do we have the same expectations? Or can we at least come to an understanding? If you’re looking to get into a serious relationship — you both need to answer some big questions and figure out what’s important to you.
Where do I plan on living? What are our financial goals? Can they accept my religious or non-religious beliefs? Do I want to get married soon? Do I want kids?
There are some major viewpoints in life you both need to agree on. Or at least be able to compromise. Having your expectations not met is a surefire way to be stuck in an unsatisfying relationship.
You should be with someone who makes every day better, not just palatable. When you find a great match there won’t even be a question of “settling”.