The subject of “settling” has come up in quite a few of conversations I have had with friends lately. It was discussed as if it was a disease. Something you should avoid and take medication to defend yourself against. It was interesting to me how the tone of the conversation changed when I was talking to friends who were not single mothers. It was almost as if they decided years ago that if you are a single mother, you take what you can get. That your options are limited so why be ” so picky” about who you date. I had to give a single(mom) while dating tutorial to all of them. After they got over being offended by my decision to speak about something they clearly had no clue about, everything settled down into a deep understanding among us all.
In saying all of that, you would assume that I think settling is something that should be avoided at all cost. However, I think the term is overused and unnecessary. I believe in the 80-20 rule. Most potential dating partners you meet will only be 80% of what you want/need and the other 20% is a wash. The probability that your “special one” will give you 100% of what you are looking for is nearly impossible. So if we believe this to be true, tell me again what is wrong with “settling”? And wouldn’t you have to believe that you are very close to perfection and need little to no improvement to actually say that you will not settle.The problem is not believing that you are worthy of great things. But, the thought that no will ever measure up.
What happened to accepting a person, opposites attracting… compromise even? We have started dating with these long list of 200 things a person must have in order for their potential mate to even become a consideration. Now, do not get me wrong. We as single mothers, and everyone else for that matter should have standards. Standards are things a person should possess in their personalities. Manners, loyalty, trustworthy, etc. Those are standards to me. Almost like what comes standard on a car; things you expect that should always be there. However, the list of 200 things includes things like, must own a home, drive a certain type of car or a nice benefit package from his job. Those things come with the luxury model and you will pay extra for them. What exactly are you willing to pay for these items, that at the end of the day, will not add any value to your relationship?
What is the dilemma in embracing and trying with someone who has most of what you are looking for? That except for one or two luxury items, they are exactly what you need. As single mothers, who have been through difficult relationships and then the fallout from their demise, I know we can be gun-shy. Nonetheless, learn from the demise. Do not limit your perception on men because of it.This does not apply to just taking anyone who offers a smile. Please do not create, then live by an Excel spread sheet and ultimately end up alone.
So if a person makes you feel desired, cherished, loved or makes you forget life’s stresses for just a moment and elicits a soft smile by merely existing in your life, yet does not meet numbers 16, 28 and 47 on your list…I say to hell with calling it settling. Let’s call it living.