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Friday, January 25, 2013

The 5 (Ugly) Truths About "Settling"

A few days ago while on one of my morning runs I ran into a woman who was visibly upset. She wasn't crying, but if she walked by a group of men they would probably tell her to smile. Anyway I have this thing where I attract strangers who tell me their problems even when I don't want to hear them. With the increase in the number of times I'm out in public due to work, it happens about once a week. 
Back to the story. 
We're standing at a crosswalk and we're doing that thing where you're standing next to someone and trying to pretend you're not watching them. 
You know the thing. 
I could sense that she was upset, but I was tryna focus on my run. She turns to me JUST as my iPod is between songs and says with a fierce tone "Don't EVER settle." I must have looked at her with the "wtf face" because my reaction gave her cause to tell me more. She continued, "Don't ever go for a guy because he's nice. Everyone can be nice. Don't tell yourself there are things you can get past like messed up teeth or the fact that he doesn't have a job, or a place to stay. Don't settle, ok?" 
It could be the fact that having a nice smile is on my list of things I desire in a man. It could be that the first word that comes to mind when describing the last 3 guys I went out with is "nice." It could be the fact that I've been dating pretty consistently and I'm not head over heels or whatever. Something she said struck a chord with me. name is Raine and I am afraid of settling. 
My friends call me picky and say I have crazy standards that are impossible for one man to meet. 
I (obviously) don't agree. 
Let's get my list out of the way, shall we? 
1. Must love God & have a relationship with Him.
2. Be honest.
3. Be loyal. 
4. Be adventurous/spontaneous.
5. Be funny.
6. Be a hard worker.
7. Have (at least) a mid-level credit score.
8. MUST have nice teeth. 
9. Either no kid OR one kid max. If he has a kid he MUST be an active father & no baby mama drama. 

That was my primary list. None of those things are deal breakers set in stone. If I like a guy enough, I'm willing to work around some thangs. I also have a secondary list that I don't normally share. That list includes things that are not quite deal breakers, but are likely to lead me to be more serious about getting to know a man who has things on the list. Things like he must be taller than me, enjoys traveling, has a least a bachelor's degree, impresses my friends and is a non-(cigarette) smoker. Ya know, the things that make ME look good for cuffing a great guy like him.

Although the dictionary defines "settle" as, "To put into order/ arrange or fix definitely as desired," that definition is outdated. To "settle" has become a terrible awful thing to do.  Socially, it has come to mean, "To affix oneself to another as available." In other words, you commit to the boo you have cuz that's the best thing available at the moment. To me, settling is ranges from accepting that your boo doesn't have that "one thing (word to Amerie)" you always dreamed they would have to accepting that no one is perfect.

But...what does settling LOOK like? 
Is it marrying a man who makes six figures, but can't be the beast you know you NEED in the bedroom? 
Is it marrying the guy who makes you laugh, but can't afford to take you out for a nice dinner if he wanted to?
Is it marrying the opposite of your dream guy/girl? 
Is it when a dentist falls in love with someone with jacked up teeth because they can be fixed?
Is it when an accountant falls for someone with bad credit?
Is it when a lawyer falls for a convicted felon? 
Is it when a Pastor falls for a prostitute? 
These are serious questions so don't you dare laugh.
This brings me to today's topic: 5 UGLY Truths About "Settling."
Here we go. . .
5. People Settle "Just Because." When people settle, they don't do it for true love. They do it for some reason other than true love. They were lonely. They were tired of being single. They were ready to get married and have kids. They turned 30. Soooo...they settle. That's all good until you end up on the wrong side of that 50% divorce statistic.
4. Father Time is a B*tchAss. The pressure to "settle down" increases as you get older. As time passes, our list of standards gets smaller (and perhaps more realistic). While it's easy to refuse to date men with kids at age 25, a man with a baby mama doesn't seem so bad when you're 35, childless and have never been married. 
3. Men Don't Worry As Much As Women. I'd like to say that men worry about settling as much as women, but they don't. That's not to say they don't worry at all, just that the pressure is different. The only thing that men my age truly worry about is getting the wrong woman pregnant (and possibly having an ugly daughter). At least that's what I've been told. 

2. You MUST take your "settle" to your grave. No real man or woman wants to be settled for. You can never tell the person you're with that they weren't your 1st choice. You can never use it as ammo in an argument and you can't use it as an excuse not to be your best self for them. 

1. Settling Doesn't Include "Fireworks." Settling is denying yourself the feeling of being truly in love. Love is supposed to be special and give you butterflies. You're supposed to enjoy spending time with the person you love. When you settle, you don't allow yourself to feel that about your boo thang. Disney sold us a dream of "Happily Ever Afters" and endings with a Prince Charming riding in on a white horse to save us. Disney didn't teach us about settling. 
s one of my married friends pointed out...people don't like it when you put standards on love. It's supposed to be organic and happen naturally. Or whatever. Still, the idea of settling for less than your dream guy/girl is the elephant in a room full of single chicks. 

So what do you think? Would you rather be single than settle? Have you ever settled? Will you ever settle? 

Twitter: @LegallyRatchet1


konde said...

eff settling

Raine Lali Gabrielle said...

LMAO!! You're right EFF Settling! Cheers to possibly living a life alone while knowing we never accepted anything less than our dream guy/girl! *slow blinks* Preciate the support.

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