Have any of you settled for the person you're currently with?

ggurl, you think most people settle? That’s a very cynical view of the world.

Probably the worst attitude to have is “Well, a mediocre marriage is better than nothing”. It ain’t. I’m amazed how many people think like this. At 36 it’s gotten to the point where I can accept the idea of going solo the rest of my days. It’s not my first choice, but it’s far from my last. I’d rather die old and alone than to die now, which is how I’d feel if I settle for the wrong person.

There are times, sitting alone in my apartment with just my dog keeping me company, with not even a hint of a prospect looming on the horizon, when I wish I were able to settle.

Soapbox, listen dude, take it from a guy who, already, is in his mid 30’s.

Enjoy the ride while you’re young man. really. You got to learn how to craw before you can walk.

I’m getting the impression that you think “short term relationships” are immoral. Unless you have a very strong orthodox religious beliefs; they’re not.

Let me tell you something: If you get to your 30’s and women find out you have vitually NO dating experience? Trust me, they’re NOT going to come beating down your door. In fact, they just might go running the other way. Because in THEIR mind they’re going to wonder why the hell that is.

Further more, women in their 30’s are looking for a man who’s “emotionaly developed” (for lack of a better word). Which you WONT be if you don’t loosen up and get out there and start dating some people.

One last thing: I can’t tell you how many times when I’ve told some women that I’m divorced and have a son. (weekend dad) You should see these Ladies eyes brighten up. It’s like as soon as I tell them that; their intrest in me sky-rockets.

Now stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it. :slight_smile:

Again…what the fuck is a “short term relationship”?

“Hey, I really like you, but we can only date for a month, I hope that’s ok.”

If I meet a girl I like, who likes me, I plan to date her. And I plan to date her until it doesn’t work out. Whether that means 1 month, 6 months, 3 years, or til death do us part, is something that will be unknown. So what the fuck does it mean to be in a “short term relationship?” If I knew for a fact it wouldn’t last…I wouldn’t get in it in the first place. It would just seem extremely pointless to temporarily be with someone when I could be out continuing the search for that really special someone.

OH one more thing. When I say “learn to craw befor you can walk.”? Really look at what a goof I used to be: Link

Of course these days I’m a real “Neo-Fonzie”
(I especialy like Meek’s response to that thread.

Again, enjoy the ride dude. I think what we’re saying is: You don’t have to look at every woman you might date as your potential wife. Nothing wrong with dating a girl who seems like alot of fun yet you know your life and hers are going seprate directions. There is still a lot to learn and a LOT of fun to be had from these realationships. It called experiece.


What? WHAT??? The great lezlers, the Shining Star of the West[sup]TM[/sup] once settled? Oh, say it ain’t so! Don’t crush this image I’ve got…:wink:

No, Monkey, don’t settle for less. Just go out with girls on real dates. Sometimes you can tell after one or two times out that the deal is not worth continuing. Sometimes she may not seem so great at first, but the more time you spend with her, the more worth you find.
Keep trying until you find girl a that feels right to you, and for her part, she feels the same way. But do start asking girls out on dates. It’s kinda’ like fishing…You damn sure ain’t gonna’ catch the big one if your line isn’t in the water.

Good luck!

Misnomer, your comment is sad. Maybe I’ve just been out of the loop too long, but if you come across IRL with the zip-pop you’ve got on this message board, I don’t understand why some handsome brute of a man isn’t tossing logs in the fireplace for you. Don’t settle: It’s gotta’ happen!

I disagree. I have no experience with marriage or anything else, but a significant body of psychology and morbidity studies show that marriage has a major protective effect on health, particularly as people age. Let’s face it, passion will leave any relationship in 10 years, but having an automatic social support network, the financial stability, and just having someone in your corner is a benefit as you go off into the sunset of life.

Certainly, don’t put up with abuse or anything that you really don’t like, but Leaffan will probably outlive you staunch defenders of your unwillingness to, “settle.”

I’m pretty certain that you misunderstand. He’s not thinking of settling himself, he’s wondering if he should be suspicious in the coming years of women looking to, “settle down” that might not be that into him but want someone to marry and be supported by. Soapbox is at no risk of settling.

I think I’m going in the direction of “settling”, but that it isn’t like the negative, second best thing that I see described at all. It’s just that, as I get older (I’m 28 but my birthday was last Sunday so I get to talk like an old biddie, okay) what is attractive in a guy genuinely changes.

You see, I used to go for the troubled rebel edgy type. You know the kind of thing. Extra points if I couldn’t have them for some reason, like they had a GF or weren’t too crazy about me. I think I found the danger attractive. I also think deep down I didn’t want to settle down so went for people I could not possibly settle down with.

In the end the troublesemness of it all got boring and I grew up a little. Now I find myself becoming more and more attractive to “useful” qualities like kindness or supportiveness rather than crazed genius. Right about now I have a crush on a guy because he baked a nice pie which illustrates the point nicely I would have thought.

What I want to make clear is that this does NOT in any way mean I find pie-baking guy any less hot. It is NOT a trade-off where I swap the hot sex and excitement with the rebel for the boring guy who can cook and help with cleaning. I think as you live and learn your priorities change. You start looking for different things in life you will find different qualities attractive and these will tend to be more domesticated qualities. I’m not there yet, but I’m hoping that’s how things will pan out and I do feel there’s anything “second best” about it.


Of course.


I’m in my 40s and never married. Like a lot of us Dopers, I’m pretty much a nerd and not very good at dating. I’ve also got a blown romance which took place back in my late 20s which took me out of the dating pool for a few years.

A few years ago when I was in my 30s, I found myself in a social circle in which I was considered attractive and pretty much had my pick of several men. They were witty, intelligent, and, well, I’d say “attractive enough” but they really weren’t attractive enough for me. I’d also done my share of flirting around this place and there are a few people around here who, if they’d been closer, I would have seriously tried to date (sends an affectionate wink to NoClueBoy). I actually even did meet one local Doper for a date. I was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with me because, despite all these lovely men, there wasn’t anyone I really liked well enough to move beyond mere friendship with, no one I felt I could fall in love with. Would I have had sex with them if I were into one night stands? The answers ranged from “No.” to “Hell, yes!!!” but I wanted more. They were somewhat attractive, intelligent, and fun, yet, to quote Christine Lavin’s “Roses from the Wrong Man”, “She’s not getting any younger/But she don’t want to settle for less.” I didn’t want to date a guy simply because he was the best I thought I could do.

Out of that melieu, a sweet, shy, guy emerged from the shadows. He’s not the sort of guy who everyone notices when he walks into the room, but he caight my eye and kept catching it. At first, I thought he was the kind of nerdy, somewhat wimpy guy who’s been attracted me a few times before and who I’ve wished I could have liked better. I was wrong. He may be nerdy, but so am I. He’s not a wimp, any more than I am. He may have thought I’m settling; I’m not. I was just waiting for the right one, the best one to come along. He’s far from perfect, but he may be perfect for me.

As my 40th birthday approached, I wondered if I was being too choosy and should just settle for whatever I could get at my age. I realized I didn’t want to. I’ve got very old-fashioned views about marriage and believe it should not be entered into lightly and I do not believe in divorce, although I acknowledge that it is the least bad choice at times. I wasn’t going to settle for someone just because it was time I did so. A cousin of mine did that and wound up making herself and her ex-husband who’s a genuinely good man miserable. I decided it was better to be single and enjoy myself rather than face myself in the morning knowing I’d compromised my dreams and my standards for something someone else said I should want.

Don’t settle, and don’t give up too soon. There are a couple of hopelessly besotted 40-somethings out here who’ll tell you it’s worth the wait!


The thing is, it is rare that a person likes everything about anyone. We have this pristine “love” image that we’re brought up believing. “Perfect” isn’t perfect in the sense that there’s nothing wrong with a person. Perfect can include all kinds of traits that independently wouldn’t look so hot, but when packaged in the “right” person, give you an overall feeling of “perfect.” If you get my drift.

The plusses and minuses in a person’s make-up are what makes them an individual. You will eventually sort out your priorities and decide which traits you must have, which you can live with, and which ones are deal-breakers.

Why can’t it be both? Love grows, you know.

Ten years back (has it really been that long?) my parents told me not to bother coming home because I a) wouldn’t marry the boy they had chosen and b) thought i was still dating the Protestant boy I had been but actually was not dating. They cut me off completely, locked my accounts (I was young and trusted them to have access) and I literally had maybe…$50 in my pocket. This wasn’t all one-sided, I did a lot of wrong things too, but they did some unforgiveable things.

Anyway. A friend loaned me money for the first month’s rent on a cheap little apartment, got me moved in, and drove me around to get a job. After he finished school, he moved in with me. Time passed, we got closer, and he definitely picked up the pieces. True, the people who broke my heart were my parents, but still.

Now recently someone asked me what I would do without him, and seriously thinking about it was very very hard. I am crazy about him after all these years, even though at the time it felt very much like 'settling". He’s my other half.

A lot depends what you mean by “Settling.”

Does it mean marrying someone you don’t much like just because you’re desperate to have someone, anyone? That’s extremely unhealthy.

On the other hand, it could mean marrying someone who’s wonderful, kind, funny, and attractive… but who just doesn’t make your heart soar, and doesn’t make you feel like a giddy 8th grader all over again.

That doesn’t strike me as unhealthy in the least.

I’m 44 and have been insanely, passionately, head-over-heels in love exactly twice in my life. In both cases, the objects of my affection regarded me as a nice guy to have lunch and an occasional interesting conversation with. There was never going to be a future for me with either of them.

So, was I supposed to hold out for another ideal woman who inspired insane passion and devotion forever? Some would say yes. As it is, I’ve been married 6+ years to a wonderful woman with whom I’m very happy. I can honestly say I love her and want/expect to spend the rest of my life with her. But I’m pretty sure I never inspired mad, passionate love in her, and she never has in me.

So, is that “settling”? Perhaps, just as I’ve “settled” for my current job, when I really want to be centerfielder of the Yankees. That doesn’t mean I don’t like my job or that I’m not good at it or that I spend my days at the office wishing I were Bernie Williams. It just means most of us don’t get to live our dreams.

I’m very happy with reality.

Aww, you say the nicest things. :slight_smile:

Don’t worry, I’d never settle: my “amen” was to soulmurk’s expression of sometimes wishing he could settle. I know exactly how he feels.

But I’m willing to bet that those are relatively happy marriages, not marriages where one of the partners spends every day wishing the vows had never been taken. It’s like saying “children benefit from households with two parents” without counting the alcoholics and child abusers. I’m with Harvey The Heavy (and whoever said this first): I’d rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong reasons.

And I’m pretty certain that you misread/misquote. :wink:

I’m finding this discussion fascinating, and pertinent to my own life.

As per my previous post, I’m all divorced now for 7 years, empty nest and finally free as a bird to find my ideal partner at long last. I go to monthly singles mixers ::shudder:: and have tried dating sites online. I’m a young 50, feeling sexy and full of life, but completely alone. Every rare date forces me to decide “how desperate am I?”, and my dates are pretty much bottom-feeders to begin with. In some ways choosing the noble course is tougher at 50 than it is at 30. While I advise “don’t settle” to those considering marriage and family, I’m not so sure it’s advice I’d take at 50.

Well first of all, I imagine you are going to start dating the first girl that is nice, attractive, and interested in you. So you date her and then figure out that you are not compatable, and after a few months it’s obvious and you part ways.

When people start dating for the first time, they have no frame of reference and have certain expectations that may change as they figure out what being in a relationship is all about. This means that the likelihood of your first relationship being your last is low. It will probably take a few tries before you find one that lasts a while, hence your “short-term” relationships.