Settling is a word you do not want to hear if you are single. It is a depressing concept. No one wants to think about settling when it comes to love; nor would I ever suggest that you settle for less than you deserve in a relationship.
Settling implies a lowering of standards or not getting your needs met. People settle for a variety of reasons. They might fear being alone. Some people settle because they believe there are no good partners out there to choose from. Some people do not want to wait until they find the right one because waiting is a risk. What if they never find them?
Even though I do not want you to settle, there is more to consider. What is the difference between settling and settling in? Can the fear of settling keep you from having a great relationship?
No matter how long you hold out for Mr. /Ms. Right, eventually you will start seeing imperfections in anyone you date. Part of the normal cycle of relationships is for the rose-colored glasses to eventually come off. As you get to know each other more and become more comfortable with each other, imperfections start to surface. Do you settle at this point or decide to settle in with the relationship?
This is a very important question. This is the time to take a look at what the issues really are. Never settle or give up something you truly need in a relationship to keep a partner. Never settle when it comes to your non-negotiables or deal breakers. Never compromise on your core values or your idea of what a good relationship looks and feels like. You might need to take some time and get really clear on what these are for you. If they do not match with your potential partner, it is time to go your separate ways.
Now that you know when not to settle, let’s talk about when it is appropriate to settle in. You settle in to a relationship with someone who is not as perfect as you would like them to be. This is very different than settling. Settling in is not a bad thing. Settle in when you are clear that you have the same core values and relationship goals, but some of your wants are not met in this relationship. This potential partner might look a little different on the outside than you expected. Settling in means focusing on the good, looking at the big picture, and finding perfection in the imperfections of the other person. This does not feel like settling at all. Love develops in this relationship and deepens over time. This is what I call an Unstoppable Relationship. You choose to create a happy life together. By not settling in or understanding this idea, many people lose or never enter into potential quality relationships. They might reject good partners for superficial reasons. Are you too perfectionistic in looking for a partner? Never settle, but be careful of missing out because you are not willing to settle in.
If you are dating, you may want to give new, potential partners more time to learn if you might be settling or if you want to settle in with them. Just because they do not seem perfect on the outside, doesn’t mean they do not have potential to be a perfect partner for you.
Take the time to become clear on your core values in life and relationships. What do you really need to be happy in a relationship? Then settle in with someone who has similar values, lifestyle and life goals. Find someone who you share a sexual attraction with; chemistry is still an important part of a great relationship. Choose to respect each other and allow each other to be individuals; differences are ok. Then choose to appreciate this person and the relationship you have created. Enjoy settling in with a perfectly imperfect mate who is perfect for you.
If you would like more information about Unstoppable Relationships, I have written a book called Unmasking Secrets to Unstoppable Relationships: How to Find, Keep, and Renew Love and Passion in Your Life.
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Lori Ann Davis,MA, CRS
Certified Relationship Specialist, Author, Radio Host