Settling

I have mentioned this before in a few posts.  I believe other people have mentioned it in their interviews also.  I guess it’s something that’s always on our minds, although definitely more so those of us that are single.  I don’t have any answers, at least not right now, but I have discussion, and musings.

What I have basically gathered through the years is that, on the one hand, no one is perfect and no one is perfect for you, but on the other hand, you shouldn’t settle and be unhappy.  Some people will swing more toward one side than the other.  Some will say you can have anyone you want, don’t settle for someone that isn’t that great!  And some will say that it doesn’t really matter who you end up with, you just have to make it work.  Usually the ones that have a more idealist view are the ones that leave their spouses for someone more exciting.  Then you can get into all sorts of philosophical discussions on the first person that they married vs the second person, or maybe the third, and on and on.

As far as my thoughts on the matter, I am probably more on the idealistic side, but I believe that once you find someone, then you make it work.  My difficulty now, however, has been coming down off the 100% idealistic view that I grew up with, learned from fairy tales and Disney movies and the like, where there is only one person that is perfect for you.  So I still don’t believe in “settling”; I think that you deserve someone awesome and you can get someone awesome.  I think I deserve a guy that treats me amazingly, but at the same time, I want to be attracted to him.  I used to feel like that was shallow and bad, but then I realized that he probably wants me to want to do naughty things to him (no matter your views; at the very least, during marriage), and therefore it is perfectly acceptable to want a guy that I am attracted to.  I would also like a guy that is intelligent, funny, etc, so that I can enjoy his company.  There are other things on my “list” that I would also like, but are less important, and some can be sacrificed.  So I know what I want, and what I feel I should not have to sacrifice, and I don’t feel bad about wanting those things.

As a semi- side note, I feel like girls settle way too much.  I don’t know about guys, but it just seems that there are so many girls that are in relationships that are no good.  The most common issue is just that the guy doesn’t treat the girl right.  There might be a deeper, more fundamental problem here, and maybe guys don’t treat girls right because they know they don’t have to, because girls will still be with them even if they’re jerks.  And yes, I’m sure there are opposite situations, and if that is the case, guys, get out of there too.  But I’m pretty sure that it’s more common for girls to be in abusive situations.  This could be an entire post, although it’s a lot more psychology.  I do have a psychology book in line, so maybe I can address this more later.  But to simplify; Girls, you deserve better.  Don’t settle.

Back to the issue at hand…this brings me to my dilemma.  So, don’t settle, but no one is perfect, so obviously I do have to settle for less than perfection.  So at what point DO we settle?  This is one thing I don’t have answers on yet.  Maybe when you find the right person, you know, so maybe it’s a moot point.  But right now it seems like a serious issue.  If no one is perfect, how do you know what is “good enough”?

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2 thoughts on “Settling

  1. In my opinion–speaking as someone whose done a lot of observing, if not a lot of experiencing in my short little life–I wouldn’t settle when it comes to faith or character. Those are my number two top priorities, in that order. I want to be someone who is strong in faith and character, and who is dedicated to living a life spent on the Lord, and I want to attract that sort of a person. I would want to be attracted to my spouse and to feel “right” about the relationship, but I think the two most poignant lessons I have learned by observing my parents, other people and the culture around me are these: 1) most of the criteria that people have for choosing spouses has nothing to do with what will actually make for a good marriage. They’re not necessarily bad criteria (wanting to share certain interests, looking for certain personality traits, etc.), but they are things about a person or relationship that are likely to change in time and won’t prove to be strong, lasting hingepins for a good relationship. The cornerstone of a good relationship is trust, which is built on character, which is very tied up in faith. 2) Selfish approaches to interpersonal relationships spell doom for the relationships. We’re just not wired to work that way. People are people, other human beings who deserve our respect, admiration, attention, and service, not objects for our personal consumption. I think a lot of what I hear some people “desiring in a spouse” has less to do with that perfect person and more to do with “I have these certain passions/interests/freedoms that are very important to me, and I don’t want to have to give them up for another person, so my solution is to look for someone who shares that.” It’s certainly not bad to look for someone who shares your interests and values, but if you’re so in love with yourself that you can’t make any significant sacrifices, “yourself” is the only person you will ever end up with long-term.

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