Of all the topics out there, settling when it comes to marriage has got to rank up there as one of the most â€śtangledâ€ť questions.
There seems to be no â€ślaser like, cut through, definitive answerâ€ť that separates all the various answers out there.
Some say donâ€™t ever settle.
Some say you should settle before itâ€™s too late.
Some say be â€śrealisticâ€ť.
Each answer has a loyal following extolling their respective answer as the best one.
Marriage is one of lifeâ€™s most important decisions so itâ€™s understandable that people want to make sure they get it â€śrightâ€ť when it comes to choosing who to marry, and by that, they mean not settling
Specifically, they donâ€™t want to settle for second best.
They want the VERY best.
Thatâ€™s part of the problem here though because when people use the word â€śsettleâ€ť, it sets them up for failure and it shows them the wrong paradigm.
You canâ€™t win when you use the word settle.
If you do settle, it implies thereâ€™s something better out there. It presupposes that youâ€™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. Itâ€™s like getting the best car, only to want the new model that comes out 2 years later with improved benefits and features.
Plus, thereâ€™s no such thing as â€śthe bestâ€ť.
That PERFECT individual doesnâ€™t exist.
You might be thinking your SO is the perfect person but youâ€™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 donâ€™t care if you think such and such celebrity is perfect â€“ that they have the whole package.
Nobody does. And this isnâ€™t me being cynical at all.
Itâ€™s a fact of life.
Settling also implies a â€śhierarchyâ€ť model is in play but thatâ€™s not really the case.
It appears to be from the media standpoint but in real life, hierarchy doesnâ€™t apply.
We have to topple the hierarchy and realize people are all on this same level called Earth â€“ just choosing to travel different journeys.
And itâ€™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 â€śsettlingâ€ť, 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, hereâ€™s how 99.9% of people do it.
They whip out the good old fashioned checklist.
He/sheâ€™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:
â€śWhat do women want?â€ť
Ask for anybodyâ€™s checklist and youâ€™ll see the same things popping up.
For women, it might be something like tall, dark, good looking, ambitious, â€śfinancially stableâ€ť, 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.
Itâ€™s almost as if weâ€™re â€śshoppingâ€ť 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.
Thatâ€™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.
Itâ€™s not important.
Hereâ€™s what it is.
WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF LIFE?
Whatâ€™s your VISION?
What are your VALUES?
This is what people mean when they say to focus on yourself.
Itâ€™s to figure this stuff out so when you feel like you can get back into the dating scene, you know what youâ€™re looking for.
You want somebody who shares the same vision as you do for life, who shares the same values.
Thatâ€™s the big chunk. This is the 20% that accounts for the 80% (Pareto principle). This is the â€ścoreâ€ť that you should be looking for. This will solve the â€śchecklist settlement syndromeâ€ť 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 itâ€™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 didnâ€™t have x,y,z on your checklist.
But some may say isnâ€™t looking for somebody who shares the same vision and values as you part of a checklist? Yes, but itâ€™s at most a couple of points. Itâ€™s not 100 bullet points that youâ€™re looking for. Itâ€™s the core. This is the meat. If you find somebody who has these core points, youâ€™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.
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. Theyâ€™ll carry each otherâ€™s loads. There wonâ€™t be any fights over values. Theyâ€™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.
Itâ€™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.
Itâ€™s the classic case of the old rich guy marrying the young pretty girl â€“ yeah she meets all the checkpoints and itâ€™s fun for a while but as time goes by, the vision and values donâ€™t match. Theyâ€™re not in the same place in life, they want and value separate things so they will inevitably drift apart.
Itâ€™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 thatâ€™s greater than the both of you that you want to pursue.
Thatâ€™s another thing thatâ€™s wrong with people who have the â€śsettlementâ€ť mentality.
They view their partner as the end all, be all.
Itâ€™s NOT all about the other partner.
Itâ€™s not about marrying the perfect person â€“ and then wiping your hands clean and saying â€śThatâ€™s it! Iâ€™ve done it!â€ť
Sure you care about them but at the end of the day, itâ€™s about something BIGGER than the both of you.
Itâ€™s an ideal, a vision you share that you work together on whether itâ€™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. Theyâ€™re not that important.
The checklist is the sugar and salt. Great, but you canâ€™t live on them for long.
You want the meat. The vision.
Thereâ€™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 thatâ€™s for another time.
So for now, for the topic of settling, realize itâ€™s not about settling.
Thatâ€™s such a crappy word.
Itâ€™s about finding the right partner FOR YOU in life.
The right â€śrelativeâ€ť partner for you, not a â€śuniversalâ€ť one because there is no such thing.
Itâ€™s an image the media portrays â€“ an image of the rich guy thatâ€™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.
Letâ€™s face it â€“ looks and money are great, but looks fade over time and thereâ€™s no such thing as security when it comes to money.
Itâ€™s about finding somebody you shares the same â€śbigâ€ť stuff as you â€“ 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 wonâ€™t feel like youâ€™ve settled at all if you take this approach because you wonâ€™t have wasted time looking for the PERFECT person â€“ just the right person for you that wants to travel the same journey with you.