How to Know When to Settle When It Comes to Marriage - Think Deep

How to Know When to Settle When It Comes to Marriage

Of all the topics out there, settling when it comes to marriage has got to rank up there as one of the most “tangled” questions.

There seems to be no “laser like, cut through, definitive answer” that separates all the various answers out there.

Some say don’t ever settle.
Some say you should settle before it’s too late.
Some say be “realistic”.

Each answer has a loyal following extolling their respective answer as the best one.

Marriage is one of life’s most important decisions so it’s understandable that people want to make sure they get it “right” when it comes to choosing who to marry, and by that, they mean not settling

Specifically, they don’t want to settle for second best.

They want the VERY best.

That’s part of the problem here though because when people use the word “settle”, it sets them up for failure and it shows them the wrong paradigm.

You can’t win when you use the word settle.

If you do settle, it implies there’s something better out there. It presupposes that you’ve given up in some sort of way.

But what if someone says I settled for the best?

Well, a part of you deep down inside might not feel that way later on when you meet other people. It’s like getting the best car, only to want the new model that comes out 2 years later with improved benefits and features.

Plus, there’s no such thing as “the best”.

That PERFECT individual doesn’t exist.

You might be thinking your SO is the perfect person but you’re probably in the honeymoon stage of the relationship when you say it. As time goes by, the flaws will appear. Nobody on this earth is perfect.


We are all imperfect.

I don’t care if you think such and such celebrity is perfect – that they have the whole package.

They don’t.

Nobody does. And this isn’t me being cynical at all.

It’s a fact of life.

Settling also implies a “hierarchy” model is in play but that’s not really the case.

It appears to be from the media standpoint but in real life, hierarchy doesn’t apply.

We have to topple the hierarchy and realize people are all on this same level called Earth – just choosing to travel different journeys.

And it’s up to you to find the person who wants to travel the same journey as you.

Everything else is secondary.

Instead of focusing on “settling”, we want to focus on how to know when a potential marriage partner is right FOR YOU.

That takes a lot of angst out of the whole situation.

Now when it comes to selecting a marriage partner, here’s how 99.9% of people do it.

They whip out the good old fashioned checklist.

He/she’s gotta have a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z,a1,b1,c1,d1, etc.

(On a brief side note, I remember a famous comedian asking the universal question:

“What do women want?”

His answer?


Ask for anybody’s checklist and you’ll see the same things popping up.

For women, it might be something like tall, dark, good looking, ambitious, “financially stable”, drives a nice car, has a good education, comes from a good family, has manners, is attentive to my needs, has a nice personality, is a great listener, kind, gentle, strong, masculine, and on and on and on.

For men, young, pretty, skinny, big breasts, nice legs, nice butt, great fit body, pretty smile, great personality, well educated, and on and on and on.

It’s almost as if we’re “shopping” for the right mate.

They have to have such and such features like we want on cell phones, cars, computers, etc.

But what happens when we buy the things we shop for?

We get buyers remorse.

Another better cell phone, car, computer comes along and we want to buy that instead.

That’s the inherent danger in using this checklist approach because it sets you up for failure as it narrows your vision to focus on the wrong things.

Throw the checklist approach out.

It’s not important.

Here’s what it is.


What’s your VISION?

What are your VALUES?

Clarify THAT.

This is what people mean when they say to focus on yourself.

It’s to figure this stuff out so when you feel like you can get back into the dating scene, you know what you’re looking for.

You want somebody who shares the same vision as you do for life, who shares the same values.

That’s the big chunk. This is the 20% that accounts for the 80% (Pareto principle). This is the “core” that you should be looking for. This will solve the “checklist settlement syndrome” that plagues most people because once you find this, every little item on the checklist decreases in significance. Sure the additional stuff is nice, but it’s not that important anymore.

It helps you cast a wide net and find the right partner so you can get on with your life, rather than wasting time choosing not to settle because Amy, Stacy, and Jenny didn’t have x,y,z on your checklist.

But some may say isn’t looking for somebody who shares the same vision and values as you part of a checklist? Yes, but it’s at most a couple of points. It’s not 100 bullet points that you’re looking for. It’s the core. This is the meat. If you find somebody who has these core points, you’re almost there.

Once you have that nailed down, the rest is gravy. You can choose to have a few more checkpoints that are important to you but the hard part is pretty much over with.


Think about.

Couples who share the same vision for their future life together and have the same values instilled deep within will most likely have a successful marriage. They will push one another along. They’ll carry each other’s loads. There won’t be any fights over values. They’ll mostly be on the same page on the decisions they make which will be in harmony with their vision and values.

Compare that with a person who disregards all that and goes by the 100 quality checklist of the perfect man/woman instead and by some miracle, find somebody who meets 100% of the requirements.

It’s fine and all but check back a couple months later, you can see the cracks of divorce forming.


Both want different lives.

Both have different visions and values.

It’s the classic case of the old rich guy marrying the young pretty girl – yeah she meets all the checkpoints and it’s fun for a while but as time goes by, the vision and values don’t match. They’re not in the same place in life, they want and value separate things so they will inevitably drift apart.

It’s a disaster waiting to happen if you go into marriage without thinking what your vision is of married life, what you two want to accomplish together, what kind of ideal that’s greater than the both of you that you want to pursue.

That’s another thing that’s wrong with people who have the “settlement” mentality.

They view their partner as the end all, be all.

It’s NOT all about the other partner.

It’s not about marrying the perfect person – and then wiping your hands clean and saying “That’s it! I’ve done it!”

Sure you care about them but at the end of the day, it’s about something BIGGER than the both of you.

It’s an ideal, a vision you share that you work together on whether it’s just starting your own family, feeding the starving children of Africa, serving your religion the best way you both can, healing the planet, brining change to the government of the country you live in, etc.

When you step back and see that big picture, the nick nacks of the checklist get put in their place. They’re not that important.

The checklist is the sugar and salt. Great, but you can’t live on them for long.

You want the meat. The vision.

There’s a lot more to this such as how you should hold the standard of qualities you put on others to yourself as well but that’s for another time.

So for now, for the topic of settling, realize it’s not about settling.

That’s such a crappy word.

It’s about finding the right partner FOR YOU in life.

The right “relative” partner for you, not a “universal” one because there is no such thing.

It’s an image the media portrays – an image of the rich guy that’s tall dark and handsome with six pack abs and drives a Ferrari or the skinny 20 year old blonde girl with a nice chest and butt and tan and silky smooth legs with a pretty smile.

Let’s face it – looks and money are great, but looks fade over time and there’s no such thing as security when it comes to money.

It’s about finding somebody you shares the same “big” stuff as you – the values the vision. The rest is optional save for a few characteristics that are a must for the individual but for the most part, if you agree on the big stuff, the little stuff will work out too and be put in its place.

And you won’t feel like you’ve settled at all if you take this approach because you won’t have wasted time looking for the PERFECT person – just the right person for you that wants to travel the same journey with you.

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