Ok, so maybe he’s a bit rude — thinks the word ‘foreplay‘ describes the number of competitors in a Dungeons and Dragons game, and the last time he opened a door for you, gas cost less than two dollars a gallon. But, he’s stable, has a good job, adores you, and puts the toilet seat down at least half of the time. Marry him already! Or at least that is what some women would say.
What Does it Mean to Settle?
The case for settling for Mr. ‘Good Enough’ is a hot topic these days and for good reason. Whichever side of the fence you are currently on, chances are things seem greener on the other, but are they really? If you are one who has ‘settled,’ or in other words, accepted the faults of a partner purely for the sake of getting married, building a home, and raising children, you might feel you could’ve been happier if you’d hung in there for your prince charming. If you’re been waiting for your cruise liner to come in, and all you’ve had is a few moderately nice tug boats, you might be noticing the sea is looking a little sparse these days, and have some regret over being too picky.
The New Book on Settling
In her upcoming book, Marry Him! (available February 2010), single mother Lori Gottlieb looks back over her life’s choices, discovering in the process that perhaps she should have settled, rather than remain single. The points she makes are:
• “We grew up idealizing marriage — and that if we’d had a more realistic understanding of its cold, hard benefits, we might have done things differently.”
ï “It’s not about who you want to go on vacation with, it’s about who you want to run a household with. Marriage isn’t a passion-fest — it’s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business.”
ï “Settling will probably make you happier in the long run, since many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year.”
ï “Having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all.”
ï “Wouldn’t it have been wiser to settle for a higher caliber of ‘good enough’ while my marital value was at its peak? Which is all the more reason to settle before settling is no longer an option.”
The Misleading Ideology of Love
As dismal as these quotes may seem, they contain an important message. True romance and intimacy take communication, mutual respect, compromise, and time. There is no lightning strike that brings couples together, but rather the nitty-gritty of tending to each others’ needs each and every day. We are responsible for our own happiness more than we realize. Often we put too much of this burden on our partner. This is why so many young couples who marry before their infatuation wears off end in divorce. They have no idea what love is, how to be happy, or what it takes to make a relationship work. By the same token, those who wait too long to marry ‘the perfect person’ are also living in a fantasy world.
Nobody wants to think of settling on somebody simply because their time clock is ticking, but an occasional reality check is necessary good thing. One ‘Mr. Good Enough’ in the hand, is worth two ‘Mr. Rights’ in a dream.