Compromise But Don’t Settle

I have a couple of friends who’ve been on the dating merry-go-round recently and it’s not easy.  One is a woman and she really, really wanted to meet someone so she responded to the overwhelming number of e-mails she received and went on ten to twelve dates per week until she found one.  The other is a perfectly nice, decent guy and he kept sending out message after message after message trying to meet someone.

She didn’t give up when the sheer number of men she had to wade through was almost overwhelming.  (Because a lot of the guys just weren’t what she was looking for.)  And he didn’t give up when his first messages were met with radio silence.  (Because he’s a good guy, but he was pretty generic in his presentation and approach and that isn’t going to get you much of a response in the online dating world.)

They’re both now happily in relationships.  One is even engaged.


I wonder.

Are they really both in the relationships they should be?  Or did they just get to the point where what they had was better than anything else they saw and settle for “good enough?”

Where is the line between realizing that someone isn’t perfect and settling for less than you really should?

I can tell when someone is madly in love.  You probably can, too.  I have a friend on FB right now making the most adorable comments and posts about her current boyfriend.  Those posts just scream love.  This is a woman who will either marry that guy or be with him long-term and is happy for that to happen. I’ve been friends with her on there for six years so I can SEE that she feels differently about this guy than she has any other guy in the last six years.  Another friend of mine was acting similarly a few years back and, sure enough, she just married the guy she was so over the top about.

Now, I realize that personalities differ and one person may never be the over-sharing, effusive, “I LOVE THIS PERSON” type.  I get that.  But when someone really is head over heels, there are signs.  Even little ones.  Like a smile here or a shared touch there.  There’s a sort of insular affection between two people who feel really strongly for one another.

And, with at least one of my two friends, I’m just not seeing that.

Which may be okay.  Maybe when you get to a certain age you stop trying for that type of love.  You just want someone you can go out with on Friday night and have brunch with on Sunday.  (Although I will say both of the women who were head-over-heels?  One is probably 42 right now, the other was 38 when she met her now husband.)  Maybe companionship is enough.

And that’s fine.

One of my friends and I talked a bit about this idea that no one is perfect and you have to accept that the person you’re with isn’t going to be everything you want.  And I agree.  I’ve fallen for guys over the years that weren’t everything I wanted and I was happy to let a few things slide for what they did have that I wanted.

(Hell, one guy I really liked didn’t even know how to play pool!  Hard to comprehend, I know, but he had enough going for him otherwise that I was able to look past that…haha.)

But as much as I agree with the concept, I think that there’s a point where you’re no longer accepting that no one is perfect and are instead giving up because it’s just too hard to find a great relationship.

I always figure to each his own, right?  If my friends wake up happy with where they are and who they’re with who am I to tell them otherwise?  I just…I hate to see people taking less than they could have because I also think it has a domino effect.  Two people settle for one another that means that the two people they would’ve been much happier with are now out there without them and maybe those people settle for less and so on and so on and so on….

So I guess where I’m going with this is if you are in a relationship that isn’t everything you could possibly want (which is most of us), at least make sure that it isn’t because you’ve just kind of given up and settled.