Are You Tempted To “Settle”?
Recently, I’ve heard the rumor that some people out there think maybe it’s a good idea to stop trying to meet the great mate. Some writers on the subject of dating have suggested that if you can’t find Mr. or Ms. Right, how about Mr. or Ms. Good-Enough. I have a problem with that attitude.
That perception could take you in a direction that would not serve you well. Here’s why: I see people every day who gave up searching for their great love and settled for the compromise. Now they are paying the price. Making the choice to “settle” for someone who represents less than who you want leads to:
If you “settle” you will be living with the fallout of that compromise for a long, long time. It shows up in: losing some of the dreams you had for yourself, giving up the hopes you held for a future of discovering and using your talents, and waking up every day to a person you may not admire, respect, or are not madly in love with.
This seemingly reasonable and simple compromise, but one that is ultimately unfulfilling, will emerge over and over in your life in discouraging ways. To put on a happy face and pretend everything is ducky can numb your soul and rob you of your authenticity. You will begin to wonder if you’ll ever achieve what you wanted for yourself. Settling can cause consequences bigger than you can imagine.
• Fears and Doubts – If you listen to the advice that it’s better to settle than to go through life alone, you sell yourself short. This type of thinking plays to your fears. Instead of listening to it, know that you have the courage to hang in with the challenge of growing, learning and persevering. Why believe that settling is better than being single? Being single can be fabulous! Don’t succumb to the traps of fear and doubt.
• Feelings of Worth – Compromised choices are a direct result of what you feel about yourself and what you think you deserve. Do the work it takes to examine your lack of worthiness and reframe your inner voice and self-perception. How well you take care of yourself and your needs must be confronted before you meet your mate. A serious self-growth plan can be devised that will bring you a realistic picture of who and where you are.
• Boundaries – A lack of protective inner and outer boundaries often feeds into the “settling-for-someone” tragedy. When you settle for someone you don’t truly deeply care about, you have just set in motion a string of unfortunate events. Those consequences will be much more trying than if you had chosen instead to learn how to live a full, rich single life. And if you don’t make the decision to settle, you will still have the chance to meet Mr. or Miss Perfect. Good boundaries will keep you from sabotaging yourself. They will help you say no to what you don’t want so you have time and room and energy to say yes to what you do want.
Can you stop yourself from making the mistake of settling? Absolutely.
• Become stronger emotionally and financially – Then you will be less vulnerable to looking for someone to take care of you.
• Reach out to people – If you don’t want to be alone, you don’t have to be. Until you find the great person for you, interact with good friends, favorite family members, and supportive working colleagues. You still might be alone sometimes, but you don’t have to be “lonely.” Settling for someone who is beneath what you really want gets in the way of your ability to sustain your friendships. Very soon, you could become isolated in your less than wonderful life.
• Resist the “I’m Tired of Looking Syndrome” – In most cases, people who say this may truly be wishing they could meet someone…but are they DOING anything about it? Do you have an action plan and are you enacting it? When you get deeply focused on what you want and take the steps to get it, it will come to you. But if you fill that spot before the real deal has a chance to meet you — you’ve given up. Just because you’re tired doesn’t mean you’re suppos