“Settling” Vs. Being Realistic

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‘Tis the season of break ups. Am I right? I don’t know about you, but everyone in my sorority and friend circle has been breaking up with their boyfriends. EVERYBODY. everybody. EVEEEERYYYYBODDYYYY.

okay. Maybe not everybody.

but a lot of people.

What is it about spring that makes people end their relationships? Is it the yearning for something new? Tired of the old? Do we throw out our old boyfriends like we do the dust on our rugs in spring cleaning? 

Do we just get restless?

I have been researching relationships of the modern woman and how things have changed from decades past. Our grandmother’s never had the same things we do- facebook to be “in a relationship with,” twitter to stalk our boyfriends, skype for when we are apart, and iphones to text every second of our lives. While many of us can’t imagine life or a relationship without these things- it obviously can be and once was done. What would it be like to not be in constant contact with our significant others? Would it drive us apart? Or make every time we were together more exciting?

Another thing our grandmothers didn’t have were these ridiculous, out of control, over the top EXPECTATIONS. We don’t even realize that we do it sometimes, but we do. 

Women before us needed to marry to be financially provided for, and to have a family. Today, a woman can be a top CEO, and can get in vitro fertilization. We no longer need a man…. but we still want one. We want someone to be our companion, to cuddle with every night, to tell us that we’re pretty, and to walk down the aisle with… even if just for the sake of walking down the aisle. We want the perfect man. We want someone who will match a long long long LONG list of requirements: “he must be over 6 foot tall, he has to like golden retrievers, he must be smart but not nerdy, he must dress well, have a good family, and want to live where I want to live.” We make these formulas in our head of these unrealistic men that we. will. never. find. You know you’re not perfect, so how do you expect to find a man that is? 

Everyone has flaws. You may not be able to wear heels around him, but he wants to take care of you and you share the same love of hiking. You need to learn to accept that no one, NO ONE on this green earth will be 100% what you want… the best people will be pretty darn close, but if you screw it up looking for someone that’s all the way there, it’s your loss. We’re the ones who mess it up- we let perfectly good (or even great) men out of our lives because we think someone better will come along, or he wasn’t the elusive “one,” or he cracked his knuckles and it drove you nuts. Well you know what? You will find a guy that doesn’t crack his knuckles, but maybe he snores and is a different religion than you. 

We’ve got to stop being so darn picky. Magazines tell us we’re too good, and that we deserve the best. But are we taking it too far? Have we such warped idealistic images of ourselves that we think we’re too good for anyone but orlando bloom? News flash: he has a baby with a fricken super model. 1) I’m sure he has his flaws. 2) Are you a super model? I think not. We often forget, in our search for a man that fulfills all of our standards, that we may not be filling all of theirs. Maybe they wish you were shorter, or hadn’t dated 5 million guys, or that you really like mexican food like he does. We all have to come down off our high horses when it comes to modern relationships. Men, from what I’ve read, are less guilty- if guilty at all, of doing this. They accept all of our crazy quirks because they love us. But us women? We pick them apart and skip away looking for the next “Mr. Perfect” to come along so we can dissect their personalities in search of flaw. Love is love. You have to love someone for all that they are and all that they are not. It’s about accepting that person fully and realizing that the “perfect match” you wrote up on paper will, in fact, never leave the paper. If you’re reading this and say “hey, my guy (or girl) is everything I want…” Then congratulations- this means you have escaped this and pulled ahead of the curve. Because believe me- there’s things about them that weren’t originally part of your list (if you’re one of the “list women”) but you fell in love with them anyway. And so, they became your ideal. Flaws and all. It’s about finding someone with enough of the good stuff- enough of the stuff that matters, that it balances out or overwhelms the bad. I read in “Marry Him- The Case of Settling for Mr. Good Enough” by Lori Gottlieb (read it, I recommend it. She’s not a psychologist, she’s a journalist. And her opinions are really interesting.. Don’t let the title fool you and do not judge it.. you have to read it to understand. She’s like an awesome jewish single mom Carrie Bradshaw.) that we should look for 80% of the things we want in a man. Forget about the 100%- it’s only going to make you lonely, sad, and full of regret when you wake up one day middle aged and all the good men your age are married or dating 25 year olds. 

Also, something else to throw out there- never ever ever ever let yourself be with a drug addict, alcoholic, or sexually/physically/mentally abusive partner. That is NOT settling. That is NOT being realistic. Those are things that will effect your partner, you, any children you have, and your relationship. It’s not worth it. Please walk away.

Okay? Okay. 

Cheers lovelies, hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!

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