You are reading

The Truth Behind Why Women Settle In Relationships

The Truth Behind Why Women Settle In Relationships


A while back, I was giving a friend of mine (who, for obvious reasons, shall remain nameless) the usual interrogation that every close girlfriend gets when she starts a new relationship. “I want to know every detail about him,” I demanded. To which she responded, “I mean, there’s not much to say. He’s nice.” I knew right there and then that I was dealing with a classic case of settling.

It only got worse a couple months later when I heard that he’d already dropped the “L bomb.” Her response when I asked her if she loved him was, “Well, I could.” and you’d think that would’ve been enough to stop her from saying it back… it wasn’t. I don’t know how it happens, but it seems like we constantly find ourselves stuck for lack of better words in these relationships with people who are just “good enough.”

What happened to passion, excitement and soul mates? Call me crazy, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be in love with the person your in a serious relationship with. I’m all for having fun and casual dating, but when it comes down to it, there needs to at least be an initial spark right off the bat. If not, then move on and start looking for the guy that makes you smile bigger than anyone else can. Here are my 5 hunches as to why women settle:

1. You think you can change him
There are a couple different forms of settling you can settle for the nice guy with no spark, or you can settle for the asshole who doesn’t treat you right. When you’re dealing with the latter, there’s usually a false belief that he’ll eventually change. You rationalize that if you invest enough time and energy in him, then he’ll become the man you need him to be. I don’t need to tell any of you that this type of rationale is wrong. The more likely scenario is you go through years of stress, only to get to an outcome that was innevitable from the beginning: a breakup.

2. You think you can change yourself
This applies to the first type of settling the guy who’s “nice,” but the relationship lacks passion. You think you can change yourself to become his type of girl. You think that if you change some of your interests to be closer in line with his, then the two of you could be a perfect fit. The fact of the matter is that if two people are right for each other, then no one needs to change. Think about it, there are lots of people who have nothing in common but are still madly in love.

3. You’re sick of being single
I get it no one wants to be the only single girl in her group of friends. While everyone else shows up to events with their significant other in hand, you’re constantly riding solo… and you’re sick of it. So you figure it’s better to have some sort of companion there with you, even if you don’t really care about him. Someone is better than no one right? Wrong! What’s the point of being with someone you have no fun with? I don’t know about you, but I find myself more entertaining than some lame guy.

4. We love the drama
I’ll admit it crazy people intrigue me. Half my friends are lunatics, and whenever I meet anyone who’s off their rocker, I immediately want to talk to them for hours. I don’t know why this is, but it’s probably the same reason women tend to go for the crazy guys. We love the drama. Even if you know the relationship isn’t right, you stay because the alternative seems so “boring.” But when you really think about it, maybe we’re the crazy ones for staying in toxic relationships…

5. Fear that we won’t find someone better suited for us
It’s a classic case of, “if I leave him, then he’ll find someone else and I’ll end up alone.” Your fear that this is as good as it gets will continue to throw you into one bad relationship after the other. You need to shake that anxiety and believe that there’s a “perfect” match out there for you. You may not find him tomorrow, but we don’t live in a fair world. So grow some patience and have a little optimism… he’s out there!

  • WendyB

    Hmmm….most of the time, I see women settling for bad guys, not the nice ones!

  • Robert Smith

    Do you honestly think that men don’t “settle” for women, as well? If the individual in question isn’t your absolute “dream man” (for the sake of discussion, say George Clooney) then you are “settling”. If he isn’t as handsome, as witty, as wealthy, as talented as your ideal, but he’s good enough, then you settled.

    Men do the same. The question is whether you are happy with the choice you made. If you aren’t happy, then you shouldn’t settle.

  • Megan Maar

    Wow. It’s been a long time since I read an article that’s this full of BS. “If two people are right for each other, then no one needs to change?” Uh-huh. Tell me another one. “You need to shake that anxiety and believe that there’s a ‘perfect’ match out there for you? Please. Don’t get me wrong; I understand the main gist of the article and don’t believe in settling, either. I am with someone with whom I am madly in love with, and I am firmly convinced that he’s the best man I know. But that doesn’t mean that our relationship isn’t a lot of work, or that he never simply annoys the #### out of me. Ladies, let’s not settle, bu please, let’s also live in the real world, where “soul mates” may or may not exist, and lack of that “instant spark” shouldn’t doom a relationship from the get-go, either.

  • Lia

    I’m kind of amazed that children weren’t brought up. If someone wants children, there’s a limited amount of time to have them in. (Both for men and women.) Not only does society frown on single-parenthood, but it really is a lot harder. I can totally see someone who’s found Mr. OK (or Ms. OK) deciding to settle for the possibility of having children.

  • Christi

    You are – you’re

  • sweetcheeks66

    You have mostly missed my truth for “settling”, and the fact that it can be a very good thing. Although #3 is close, it is also the opposite of #4! I completely agree with Megan Maar and Robert Smith. I also think a lot of people, mostly men, miss out on a lot of relationships that would have been very good, because they don’t allow them to develop beyond a first date for lack of a strong initial spark.

    My husband and I may have “settled” for each other — we agree to varying extents that each of us was desperate enough after failed long-term relationships that it lead to our continued dating, and eventual marriage. Over time, we did develop an attraction to each other, and found it was pleasant spending time together. We finally decided to work on seeing if we could fulfill our shared desires to build a home and family, together. Those that know us now could never imagine either of us with anyone different. I remember to be grateful for a good, committed husband, an affectionate companion who gave me the children I desired, provides for us, and assists in raising them.

    In contrast, my former relationship was with a man who was my soulmate. I have never been complemented by, and shared as many similar interests with, nor have I loved, anyone as much as him. Unfortunately, he was a dysfunctional soulmate. He would woo and romance, but in the end, when love was returned, he refused to commit. Over time, he left behind a string of broken-hearted young women, who had the strange tendency to marry the next boring man they came across. I thought I would outlast them, since he would always come back to me, but eventually I joined that pattern, too. After all, my biological clock was ticking. As you get older, more experienced, and more serious about your life’s goals, you find that drama, and the desire for romance and perfection, definitely lose their appeal in the face of dependability. Remember, dreams, and the ideals they imagine, are not based in reality. My current husband is “unideal” in several ways — as am I. Even if he is not the man I “dreamed” of, I knew I would one day (and can definitely now say I) love him, even if it’s not so much “in love”.

    It is not a shame to “settle”, if you are happy doing it. It does not have to be an ecstatic happiness to be worth choosing.

  • GringoChilango

    Wise analysis by sweekcheeks66. Steady, even-going men make good husbands and fathers. They’re (We’re) not so exciting, but we’re dependable. And dependable is good.

  • d

    I guess that’s why so many women end up ugly, wrinkled, bitter #######

  • huntster44

    I agree, I don’t think ANYone should settle, but I also think that sometimes women have more outrageous “must haves” and can end up shooting them in the foot. This is a good article talking about that:

blog comments powered by Disqus