{June 29, 2011}   Settling in a relationship

TP (TwinPisces) sent me an email with the following question(s):

Is there a thin line between settling and being flexible/realistic? What is settling?

My answer was:

I think that to a woman who’s unsure of what she wants there’s a thin line between the two. But to a woman like you or me, there’s a solid difference between settling and being flexible

to me, settling is being with someone just to say you have someone. It’s lowering your standards because you’re either tired of looking or you’re not sure how to change the results you’re getting in the dating pool and you feel that what you’ve found is all there is out there

being flexible is being with someone who may not have all the qualities you’re looking for but they have most of them. It’s learning to live with the little things (like he leaves his socks on the floor, something minor like that) because the big things are way more important. He may need a reminder to start the dishwasher but the trash is always taken out, he cooks on occasion, he’s working, providing for himself (and you) and a bunch of other stuff that REALLY matters.

A woman will take a man in, do everything for him just to be able to brag to her single friends that she’s with someone. the only time a man will take care of a woman in a similar manner is if that’s his wife.

I do believe that women settle more than men do though. Men grow on women, but if a man isn’t interested in you in the least bit, there’s pretty much nothing you can do to change that. Yeah, he may date you b/c the sex is good but everything else you’re NOT doing is going to outweigh the good sex and he’ll leave.

I asked a male friend of mine what his take on settling was and this is what he said: I think especially black women are forced to settle more than men simple because of the numbers game and the fact black men aren’t where we need to be mentally. We all should be flexible b/c nobody is perfect. 

TP also asked me to make a small list of what matters and what doesn’t. I did

Would you rather nag your man about leaving the toilet seat up (when you can spend less than 10 secs putting it back down) or be happy he cleans the entire bathroom every week?

Would you rather nag him because he constantly watches porn on the Internet or be happy his income (combined with yours) is able to pay the bills, one of which allows you Internet access?

Would you rather nag him because he forgot your birthday or appreciate the “just because it’s *insert any given day of the week* flowers on rare occasions?

Which is more important to you? His imprint on a church pew or the fact that he knows (trusts and believes) that whoever he prays to will be with him through ALL things, good and bad?

Which is more important? Him driving a fancy car or the fact that when you hear a funny noise in your own car he either knows what it is and how to fix it or takes it to the mechanic for you?

Like my friend said, nobody is perfect so figure out which of your “must haves” for a mate you can live with and the ones you can live without. Also, keep in mind that someone out there will be doing the same for you.

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