10 Things That Are Non-Negotiable Even When You’re Settling

Settling is not something that we decide we want to do. After all, we don’t grow up watching Disney movies and wanting all those happily-ever-afters for nothing. It’s a double-edged sword, though, because if you’re too picky, you’ll definitely end up alone. After all, there’s no guy out there that’s completely perfect. Guys that seem amazing on paper and have every trait you want can still be lackluster in person, or just not right for you. Many of us will end up settling in one way or another, and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But it’s possible to have a solid list of requirements even if you choose to settle for a little less than your dream man. Because some things just aren’t cool.

If you want kids, he needs to want to start a family, too.

It’s particularly painful to fall for someone, think you’re on the same page about starting a family and then learn he has no interest in kids. If you desperately want children, he needs to want that, too. You don’t want to spend your entire life pining for something you can’t have. Every time a friend announces she’s pregnant or you meet her new baby, you’ll feel it in your heart and it’ll hurt way too much. You may be settling in other areas, but at least you can follow your dreams of starting a family and you two have that going for you.

He can’t be even subtly racist, sexist or homophobic.

This may seem pretty obvious, but I know more than a few women who have partners with these negative and hurtful belief systems. The fact is, these beliefs matter. You don’t want your BF or future husband to offend you, your family and friends (and everyone else in society, basically) with his rude and offensive comments. Basically, if you’re with an jerk, that says something pretty horrible about who you are, too.

He has to make you a priority.

We all have busy lives, and many of us work way more hours than the traditional 9-5. But if your guy cancels on you all the time because of work or he forgets your plans because he wants to hang out with his friends, show him the door. He may be super hot and you may have fun together when you actually have the time, but that doesn’t matter if you can see your entire relationship playing out with him ignoring you the majority of the time.

You need to be attracted to him. Period.

He could be the nicest guy in the world, but without chemistry, you’re just asking for your relationship to fail. It’s basically doomed without physical attraction.

You can’t have totally opposite lifestyles.

Opposites attract, or so the saying goes. But is that really true when it comes to routines and how you spend your time? If you’re into a super healthy lifestyle and your dream Saturday means waking up at 7 a.m. to work out and then making some gluten-free waffles and a green smoothie for brunch, and your guy would rather sleep until 4 p.m. and then order a pizza, it’s not going to work out. You want to be able to enjoy life with your significant other, right? You don’t want to live while he sleeps through it all.

He needs to support you and all your crazy dreams.

Couples need to support each other. If your guy laughs at your goals and tells you not to go for something that you want, you might as well be single. You want to do the same for him, after all.

You can’t be the only one being romantic.

Some girls are hopeless romantics and others are anti-Valentine’s Day and anti-marriage. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, it’s just the way we’re wired. But we do need guys to be romantic every now and then, even if we are living in the age of Tinder. If you are spending tons of time doing special things for your beau and he could care less about returning the romance, it’s not the greatest basis for a partnership.

You need to 100 percent agree on the Big Stuff.

This includes whether you’re a total homebody or love to travel to adventurous places, whether you like spending lots of time with your big crazy family or would rather avoid them except for holidays, and whether you’re cool with staying home with a simple dinner and a movie or need exciting new dates all the time. Without being in total agreement about these things, neither of you will be happy. You’ll always be searching for what’s missing in your relationship and will start to blame each other. That’s a waste of time because you can’t change who you are.

If you ignore one of your deal breakers, you need to get something in return.

Love is a game, or so they say. So why not play it and get something that you want? If you want to get married and he doesn’t, but he’s willing to go on amazing, awe-inspiring yearly trips with you, maybe you can rethink your deal-breaker if he’s worth it. It’s all about give-and-take. But be careful because you don’t want to start resenting him.

He must be nice to your friends and fam.

If he’s not, then why would you ever want to be with him? These are the people that matter most to you, and they’re the ones who will pick you up if things fall apart with him. Don’t ignore any bad blood between your guy and the people that populate your life. It might be telling you something that you need to hear.

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