The Perils Of Dating The One You Can Get Vs. The One You Actually Want

Settling is bad for your self-esteem, your psyche, and your future. However, you want someone to love you or at least want you so badly that sometimes you’re willing to take the first guy to step up to the plate, regardless of whether or not he’s what you envisioned. It should go without saying, but the consequences of settling for the one you can get rather than holding out for what you want aren’t pretty.

  1. Your relationship won’t be inspiring, let alone interesting. Settling for less than you want has far-reaching implications. It may start out tolerable, even enjoyable, but that won’t last. When you’re in a relationship where one person is more invested in the other, it takes its toll and eventually becomes worse than boring or uninteresting. You’ll end up utterly uninspired, unable to aspire to anything better.
  2. The small annoyances become deal-breaking issues. First, his loud, snorting guffaw is kind of cute. Gradually, it gets kind of annoying. Soon, the sound of it makes you cringe and it embarrasses you in public even though it never bothered you before. Little things, such as a failure to ever do laundry or an inability to remember details, grow more irritating over time, provoking small, snippy arguments and huge blow-up fights.
  3. You become the girl who only stays with her partner to stave off loneliness. There’s a look that someone gets in this situation, a certain demeanor that speaks not just of loneliness but of being alone, even in a crowd … or with a significant other. Even if you never tell friends, family, passersby on the street that you’re dating the one you can get, not the one you want, people can tell. More importantly, the weight of it will crush you.
  4. Justifying your relationship takes up more time than maintaining it. You should never have to justify why you’re in a relationship with someone, yet it’s something we’ve all probably done, especially when the people closest to us don’t like or approve of a partner. All the same, when you settle for someone you don’t really want, you end up justifying why you’re together – over and over and over. In time, it starts to seem like you’re trying to convince yourself more than anyone else.
  5. You frequently compare your partner to other people … and he always comes out the loser. Comparisons are dangerous for a relationship, anyway. They lead to sky-high expectations and it’s not really fair to anyone involved. Comparing your partner to other men (or women) is even worse, especially if s/he is always on the unfavorable side of the comparison. Who can live up to that?
  6. “It could be worse…” becomes your motto in life. “It could be worse. At least he’s not…” Ever heard yourself saying that? These phrases are common when you settle down with someone you don’t really want. It’s another form of unfavorable comparison, and the truth is that while things could certainly be worse, that doesn’t exactly make them great.
  7. You convince yourself that your partner will change. Surely, age and growth will eventually make things better, right? In time, certainly your partner will change enough to at least somewhat resemble your romantic ideal. Right? Right?!
  8. Or, worse, you actively try to change him. One person cannot change another — change comes from within. Don’t convince yourself that you can mold your partner into who and what you want. That’s not fair, point the first, and point the second, it’s impossible. You cannot change anyone else. People have to change by themselves, for themselves.
  9. You believe that you can’t get anything better. That’s simply not true. It may take a while, it may feel like it’s never going to happen, but there is always something better out there. The key is to live your best life in the meantime. Settling for something less is like a last-ditch effort.
  10. Or that you don’t deserve it. Settling for someone who wants you because you don’t think you deserve better is… well, that’s my jam, actually. I’ve been there. You deserve the best, though. You deserve someone who makes you happy, who makes you better, and who inspires you.
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.
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