If you’ve ever been lucky enough to fall in love, you know that it’s an overwhelming but wonderful experience. But love doesn’t necessarily mean you and your one and only will be happily together forever. Ideally, we’d all meet our soul mates at the perfect time and never have to worry about settling down too soon and missing out on someone better. A lot of people are staying single for longer these days, and getting to know themselves better before settling down with someone. But for a lot of us, there comes a point where the comfort and stability of a serious relationship is a lot more important than finding the perfect significant other. Here’s why settling and settling down are two different things that should never be confused.
As you get older, you have different priorities.
Maybe when you were 20, you would never dream of getting serious with a guy who was anything less than six feet tall. Back then, dating a short guy would have been settling, but now you realize there are a million things more important than a guy’s height.
A relationship means compromise.
Just because you decide to accept certain not-quite-ideal qualities about someone, doesn’t mean you’re settling for less than you deserve. No one is perfect, and putting up with the fact that he snores really loud sometimes is just part of life.
But you should still be true to your non-negotiables.
While there may be some things you’re willing to be lenient on, there should also be a few that you aren’t. If you absolutely need a guy who makes you laugh and wants kids, then you shouldn’t compromise on those things. That way the things you are willing to let slide won’t seem like such a big deal, because you still held out for the important stuff.
Unfortunately you can’t create your ideal partner in a laboratory.
You might think you know exactly what you’re looking for, but chances are you aren’t going to find it. People are unpredictable and constantly changing, so you have to be flexible enough to adapt too.
It doesn’t necessarily mean forever.
Just because you pursue something serious with someone doesn’t mean you’re locked into being their significant other for life. Stuff happens and people grow apart, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t good for each other at some point. If you change your mind about whether they are right for you and start to feel like maybe you are settling, you’re always free to walk away.
Sometimes first impressions are wrong.
It takes time to really get to know someone. There may be things that you don’t like about them at first glance, but once you spend more and more time with them, you might see that your judgements were off. What at first might seem like “settling” could end up being the best decision you ever made.
The opinions of others shouldn’t matter so much.
When you think you’re settling, it often has a lot to do with how you think other people see you. You don’t want anyone to think you were so desperate for a boyfriend that you latched onto the first guy who showed some interest, so you end up thinking that what other people want for you is the same as what you want for yourself.
When you “settle down” you won’t feel like you’re giving anything up.
That means all the good things about the person will outweigh the bad, and committing to them will feel natural. All the things you’ll be missing out on by not being single won’t even cross your mind because you’d rather experience everything with them than with anyone else. Nothing about that sounds like “settling” to me.
You’re responsible for your own happiness.
You can’t blame your partner for not living up to your standards, because you knew who they were, and you chose to be with them anyway. If you want to be with them, flaws and all, you’ll find a way to make it work, and you won’t blame your problems on the fact that you chose to “settle”.
A relationship isn’t all about you.
It wasn’t purely your decision to begin the relationship, was it? Probably not. Which means your partner made the choice to be with you too. If you stay together, it will be because you both want to, not because you decided all on your own that he was good enough.
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