Sunday, February 21, 2016

Why Do People Settle?

Several years ago I became friends with a coworker that told me on the phone one evening that she believed, when it came to love, relationships, and marriage, that "everyone settles." She felt that it was particularly true for women, saying that as a single woman gets older the pool of available men shrinks and it becomes increasingly difficult to find someone that is dateable and desirable that checks all of your boxes to fall madly in love with. 

This was still a few years away from when I learned about the law of attraction, but I should point out that looking back on it now, her opinions on dating and men were rather pessimistic. She once tried the matchmaking company Lunchdates -- not from a place of inspired action, but from one of desperation, which is never a good place to take action from. She ended up spending thousands of dollars on the service only to get matched up with a guy that had the complete polar opposite of her political views, a doctor that refused to pay for their dinner bill, and a private school professor that lived in one of the student dorms. I lost touch with her after she moved to Chicago, but I should point out that she did meet someone out there and got married, so maybe she was able to change her thoughts of lack. Or, perhaps...she settled! 

But back to the phone conversation we had that night, when I heard her say that, I made a silent decision to myself. Come hell or high water, no way was I going to settle, especially when it came to being with the right man for me. I decided that until he came my way, at least I was going to enjoy being single and do some growing as an individual. 

She was incorrect that everyone settles, but it is true that when it comes to choosing a partner to spend a lifetime with, some people do settle. I remember a woman in my Meetup group that told us about a guy she knew that wasn't crazy about the girl he was dating...however, he didn't want to spend his life alone and was afraid he wouldn't do better, so he was going to propose to her anyway. It's sad to hear about situations like that, but it happens. One of my high school friends was involved with a guy from another country that got extremely jealous at her birthday party one year (of which I was one of the guests and slept over her place afterwards.) My friend invited a few platonic male friends to her party, and a group of us were dancing together. Just as we were falling asleep later that night, he awoke us with his call and started referring to her male guests as "gringos." He also regularly verbally abused her and my friend acted as his chauffeur because he didn't have a driver's license. Did I mention that she confessed to me that the sex wasn't that good?

Yet, she stayed with him for a few years too long...and admitted sadly to me one day that she believed she "wasn't going to do any better." 

So why do people settle? Is it because they really are powerless and at the whims of fate and the universe? No. 

Not long ago I was listening to a podcast on this very topic by a law of attraction guru I follow, Melody Fletcher. Melody was being interviewed by a radio station and she had the perfect answer as to why people settle. It isn't that they can't do any better. It's because they don't believe that they can do any better. They do not believe that they can attract what they really want. For whatever reason. It could come from a feeling of lack, fear, and/or unworthiness. 

During the two years I've been unemployed (which officially ends tomorrow -- yay!) I knew that I didn't want to settle for any available job just to have the paycheck. I knew exactly the type of work I wanted to do every day that would excite me, the type of company environment, and that the product or service they were selling was going to be one I could get excited about and see a lot of creative opportunity with. I'll admit that there were a couple of times I felt like throwing in the towel, and calling up a temp agency just so I could be doing anything to have money coming in. There was also one job I interviewed for that I really wanted at the time and was disappointed when I was turned down for it. In retrospect, though, I'm awfully glad it didn't work out. It was a copywriter job that entailed writing the same type of marketing promotions day in and day out, and I think I would have gotten awfully bored with it. Plus, the company has since received several negative reviews online from its employees. 

Last month, when I really started to believe that I wasn't going to settle and believed that what I wanted was out there was when everything just came together. And now that this new job presented itself with everything I've wanted, I believe that I can get what I want in the right guy, too. 

I won't settle...and best of all, I know I don't have to. 

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