How many people do you know who, from your perspective, “settled” in their relationship or marriage? I know that I can name quite a few. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence in our society.
Isn’t that strange? I mean, we all want to find that “ perfect consummate love,” but if that’s what we’re in search for, then why do so many people settle on someone who doesn’t fulfill their dreams?
There are many reasons, which I’ll go into a little bit later.
But first, let me talk about my experience, so I can make sure you don’t settle for less when dating or finding a long term girlfriend or wife.
When I began my 100-date experiment, I did it because I wanted to understand why I had previously settled for a toxic relationship. Why do we choose partners who aren’t right for us? And even more curiously, why do we stay?
I stayed in the wrong relationship for three years and when I became single, shortly before the experiment began, I had to really question the reasons for why I had stayed so long.
We fought a lot. There was more pain than pleasure. I became unhealthy, both physically and mentally. So why didn’t I leave sooner? And when exactly did I settle for less than I truly wanted?
Those were the questions going through my mind, and my 100-date MegaDating experiment helped me answer them.
So, let’s talk about some questions that are probably going through YOUR mind.
Why Do I Keep Going for Easy-to-Get Girls, Rather Than the Ones I Really Want?
There are two philosophies in life – aim high or aim low. Both have logic to it. If you aim high, you might have a chance of getting what you actually want. And I’m not even talking about just in relationships. This is true of anything in life.
However, many people have the “aim low” mindset. Why? That seems counter-intuitive, right? Why would people aim low?
Well, to be fair, they’re probably not doing it on purpose. It’s most likely happening on a subconscious level.
The easy answer is because the “easy-to-get” girls result in “winning.” You always get the girl if you aim a bit low. But if you aim too high, you might keep getting rejected over and over.
I’m sure you can see the dilemma here. If you aim low, you get the girl – just not the RIGHT girl or the RIGHT RELATIONSHIP. If you aim high, then fear creeps in and you start to doubt yourself.
Other Reasons Why People Settle for Less
There are many reasons why people settle for less in their relationships, and reasons vary from person to person. However, there are several common reasons.
Time of Life
I like asking people lots of questions about themselves and their previous relationships – and not just my clients. One of the questions I love to ask is, “Why did you marry your previous spouse?”
Sadly, 90% of the time they don’t have a good answer. I should be hearing things like “She/he was my soul mate” or “They were my best friend… I couldn’t imagine life without them!”
But the answer I usually receive is, “Well, it was time to get married. And I wanted kids.”
Uh oh. Really? Yes, really.
Many, many people settle down (or “settle for a subpar relationship”) because they are at a certain time of life when it’s expected to do so. They happen to be dating “Person X” during that time of life, so… okay, let’s get married.
Not a good reason, right?
They Don’t Know Any Better
Let’s face it – no one has a class in school called “Relationships 101 or Dating 101.” In fact, we are never taught any social skills.
But wouldn’t it be great if someone said, “Who are you? What are your values? What kind of person do you think you’d be most compatible with?”
Most people never think of these questions. Instead, we just blindly follow where life leads us, for better or for worse.
People usually repeat the patterns that their parents have exhibited for them. For example, if their parents were conflict-avoiders, they will most likely become conflict-avoiders as well. If their parents were abusive and toxic toward each other, then they are most likely to repeat that in their relationships as well.
We’re Not Used to Having a Good Relationship
Stemming from what I just talked about above, if we never had anyone in our life model what a good relationship looks like, then how do we know that we’re not in a good one?
We might think “bad” relationships are normal. And while they may be normal for some people, others will not tolerate anything less than great.
So, when you’re not used to having a good relationship, having a bad relationship is really all you know. And that means that you don’t know how to look for a better relationship – or even that you should.
Finding the right person takes some effort. It starts with knowing who you are, your value system, and exactly who you are looking for. And for some people, that is probably more effort and thought that they want to put into finding a relationship.
But as you know, we get back what we give out. If we put in minimal effort into anything, we’ll get minimal results.
And when you’re talking about spending the rest of your life with one person, don’t you think that’s one area in which you really need to exert some effort?
Let me ask you – how many hours did it take you to land your previous job? I’m guessing you went through dozens of interviews, spent hours updating your resume, and went to countless networking events. But when you finally landed a quality job, you know that you deserved it. Dating is the same. Put in the work, and you won’t have to settle for less than you deserve.
Dating is Hard
Well, at least that’s what most people think. But it doesn’t have to be hard! It’s all about your mindset.
If you think dating is hard, then it will be hard. However, if you think it’s fun and get excited about it, then it will be fun!
Don’t think about dating as a chore. Think about it as a great adventure! You are the one who is “interviewing” prospective women. Plus, you get to meet a lot of different people by dating and the actual opportunity of dating doesn’t come around all the time!
No one likes to be rejected. It usually hurts us all. But again, it really is all about your mindset.
Most people think that getting “rejected” means that there is something wrong with them. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Getting “rejected” simply means that you aren’t a good match with that specific person. And you should be grateful. I mean, why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?
“Rejection” just gets you one step closer to the person who really DOES want to be with you. And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s what you want.
We Believe That’s All We Deserve
Some people grow up with parents who told them negative things about themselves. And if that’s true, then guess what? They’re going to believe it.
We’re all born with a brain that is basically like a blank computer. Everything everyone says to us – and every experience we have – “programs” our mind. And that includes our self-esteem.
Your parents’ voice becomes your voice later in life. So, if you were born into a particularly negative family who made you feel bad about yourself, then you are not going to think that you deserve a good relationship… or even love.
Problems That Arise from Settling for the Wrong Woman
There are many people in the world that think that being with anyone is better than being alone. They have such a fear of living in this world alone that they settle for anyone – usually the wrong person.
But really, what is so wrong with being alone? I think being alone and happy is better than being in a toxic relationship. Wouldn’t you agree?
Here’s a few problems that will arise if you decide settle for the next woman who happens to show an ounce of interest in you:
No one walks down the aisle and thinks, “Gee, I can’t wait to get divorced!” That’s ludicrous.
But sadly, the divorce rate is very high. And one of the big reasons? You guessed it. Settling for the wrong person.
Ask anyone who has gotten divorced and they will tell you to try to avoid it. It causes emotional and financial strain on everyone involved.
Unhealthy Environment for Children
Some people “stay married for the children.” While their intentions are good, in the long run, it might not be for the best.
If you are in a toxic relationship/marriage, then you are modeling very bad behavior for your children, and then they will repeat your mistakes in their own relationships.
Instead, it’s better to part ways and try to find other partners with which you are more compatible. And then you can show your children healthier relationships instead of toxic ones.
Pain That Extends to Friends and Family
You might think that no one knows about your toxic relationship, but you’re wrong. People can always sense the tension when two people are not getting along.
And that makes it uncomfortable for everyone. Do you really want that for your family and friends?
Infidelity is ridiculously common these days. Technology, social media, and dating apps make it so easy to be unfaithful. With just a swipe right on Tinder or Bumble, you can meet a new person to have an affair with.
But if you’re with the right person, you won’t want to cheat (and she won’t want to cheat on you)! So, in order to make your relationship free of cheating, doesn’t it make sense to just choose the right person to begin with?
Domestic Abuse (Verbal and/or Physical)
As I mentioned many times above, if you are exposed to a toxic relationship environment when you are a child, you will most likely repeat that in your relationship. And that includes verbal, mental, and/or physical abuse.
Another component associated with abuse besides modeling bad behavior is someone’s level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is basically a person’s ability to be aware of – and control – their own emotions. So, abusers, don’t have much control over themselves. But perhaps if they were with a more compatible person, they wouldn’t have to deal with such extreme feelings.
How To Make Sure You Don’t Settle For Less While Dating
As you can see by now, finding the right person while dating is important, even though it’s easier to settle. So how can you protect yourself against settling?
Set a goal for the exact number of dates you’re going to go on in a set period of time before you commit to a relationship. My number was 100, and my timeframe was one year. What’s yours? 10 in 90 days? 25 in 6 months?
Be sure to manage your expectations with the people you date when you do this. They should know you’re conducting an experiment to ensure that you’ve truly found the right partner when you decide to commit. If you decide to Megadate, and you don’t want my one-on-one help via Skype, check out these articles to help you get started:
Focus on How the Women You Date Make You Feel, Rather Than How Impressive They Sound on Paper
Many men have been taught to find a “trophy wife.” And many women have been programmed to find a “successful man.”
While this is fine, they may just look good “on paper.”
Think of it like a resume for a relationship. When you read the resume, they sound perfect. But when you meet them, it’s a whole different story.
So instead, look for the one special woman that makes you feel good. You need to be able to feel like you can be yourself. It should feel like you’ve known them forever. And remember, you don’t want to settle for less, so be true to yourself.
How to Avoid Settling in Your Next Relationship
It all starts with self-awareness. You need to get clear on who you are and who you want to be with. This includes your must-haves and your deal-breakers.
You will also want to look back and analyze your past relationships. What was good about them? Do you know what went wrong? Could you have done something better? What did the other person do wrong? How were the two of you incompatible? In what ways did you settle for less?
Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to set some standards. And that includes raising your standards to the level of the kind of person you’re looking for.
Am I Settling if I’m Dating a Woman Who Has Kids?
This is a common question that I get asked. And there is no clear-cut answer.
Some men love kids. Some don’t. Maybe you already have kids too and you like the idea of becoming the next “Brady Bunch.” But maybe you don’t want that. Either way, it’s okay.
A lot of it depends on your age. But ultimately, you just need to decide what is right for you, since everyone is different.
It’s way too easy to settle for less when dating. That’s why most people do it! But as easy as it sounds, it really isn’t a wise choice in the long run.
Anyone who has had to end a relationship knows that it’s not fun – whether it’s an early dating relationship or a full on divorce. So, who wants to go through that again?
Instead, get it right the first time. MegaDate. Go out with as many women as you have to in order to find the right match for you. It might take a while, but trust me, she will be worth the wait.