Do we setttle?

The two strangers met under random circumstances. She had a steady bf and he didn’t. They were in different times of their lives but they had a great connection. They both knew it and they both knew nothing was going to happen. She was happy. At least as happy as she knew happiness to be. He wanted to ask her if she was settling.

She knew the answer inside. It takes a lot to give up what you currently have for something *potentially* greater. Even if she thought she could be better with him, it was a lot to risk. People aren’t wired to take such risks. We want safety and comfort and if it means sacrificing something better for it, then it’s the price to be paid. And we will do what we need to do, to rationalize it. We do it all the time in other aspects of our lives. It is no different when deciding our long-term relationships and love life. It’s only in movies where characters will often take bold risks for a chance of greater love.

Credit: The Notebook (c)
Life doesn’t really play out like The Notebook

“No of course not. I love him” She would have replied.

If we’re going to settle, there’s few who would like to admit it.

It reminded me of something else someone who had a steady boyfriend said to me once.

“I sometimes miss being single and then I see other single people and I realize I’d rather be where I am”.

She didn’t have to say it but she is wondering the same thing we all wonder, how do you know when you have really found the one? And how do you know you haven’t rationalized yourself into settling?  If I gave the option to most people, many of us  would say “I would rather be fairly happy than head into the unknown where I might not find what I seek”.

One of my friends said it the best. We don’t always marry the one we love the most. We marry the one we *think* we can build a successful   marriage with.

That’s not to say those aren’t the same people but I get what he meant.

The guy didn’t ask anyways. He knew he had to be happy for her. Because sometimes you have to give up something that you love. Perhaps they were actually soul mates, but it’s too risky to find out.

Do we settle?

Maybe. But sometimes it’s really hard to tell.

– C


13 thoughts on “Do we setttle?

  1. Agree, C. I know someone who is “settling” even though he knows he no longer is in love any more. His loyalty is crippling him, however misplaced that may be, he cant break free from it for fear he may be alone or cause irreparable hurt to all involved. Its sad really. I see it as living a less than authentic life. Settling is nothing more than living in eternal mediocrity, and in fear. How does that bring true happiness?

  2. Interesting…. I think most people are looking to ‘settle’ in the long term, whereas in your post’s context , when you use ‘settle’ it seems like ‘settling for less’.

    Relationships are complex things, and in long-term relationships you been through a lot together – invested time and energy, and shared memories and moments together. Generally, people tend to gravitate for security in the long-term (depending which part of they are in life), so I think it would be natural to hold onto a long-term relationship, and yes – avoid the risk. Its difficult to tell if it would have been a ‘better’ or ‘happier’ ending if the other path was taken.

    On another note – I was watching the movie, ‘A Beautiful Mind’ last night. I was touched at the wife’s loyalty to the her husband in the years/decades when he lost his mind. Perhaps a very different context, but I think a big part of the relationship are holding, even in the thin times. We ultimately all aiming for that amount of love, and we dont want to be the one to cop out and give up.

      • I was the lucky one to be watching ‘A beautiful mind’ with Samantha, poster of one of your earlier comments.

        When I was much younger, I used to see love as this constant, once you found somebody you loved, that was it. You just lived happily ever after. Time has proven me wrong, but a journey that I nonetheless have enjoyed making.

        I have not been married yet and cannot really comment on that phase of life though I do not believe that it is a construct invented by society as many of my narcissistic peers do. I see it as both a celebration of love and a commitment to each other.

        Relationship ebb and flow as we journey through life together, this is what makes it special. The longer your journey together the more you understand and appreciate each other. You overlook the small things that dont really matter in the bigger picture an you appreciate the smaller things in each other even more.

        I think we are in control of our relationships and we set the boundaries, we allow people in and we keep people out. Your relationships ability to grow is really influenced by how deep you let your partner into your life.

        I cannot imagine settling, and I find the concept strangely unsettling though I do know that people do settle. People are insecure by nature and very few of this planets population percentage wise are blessed with true confidence. Is “settling” perhaps another way of justifying an action that deep down you want to take?

        I’m interested to hear from more people who feel that they have settled?

        (I really hope my comment is shorter than the blog post)

      • Heh, I know exactly who you are B!
        I don`t think settling is a way of justifying an action you want to take… probably the opposite no? we choose a course of action, and to avoid calling it settling, we tell ourselves we are happy with it?
        Your post is a bit shy of the word count of my post 😉

    • In life there is no do-over. You only get one shot and if you break one relationship, you’re not getting it back. There is no “right move” but I just wanted to provoke some thought. I am a strong believer that many of us settle in a lot of areas in life rather than “going for it”. Not just in love…

  3. Complex “C”… beautifully written and of course you know “we” all love the notebook *sigh.
    I have “settled” quite a few times already in my life and for different reasons. *sigh.
    Maybe we are not meant to be with just one person indefinitely… maybe we grow and change (cycles of life).
    Everything else is cyclic why not LOVE???

    • well you know marriage is a society created beast. so is the idea of monogamy… just saying!

      if you can recognize your choices of settling, you can choose to still change other areas in your life as you grow!

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