When it comes to dating, “settling” is as scary a word as “cheesecake” is to a SIS on her third day of a week-long diet. You’re warned by girlfriends and love experts that nothing good can come from settling. “Hold out,” they suggest, for the guy who makes your heart melt. Don’t marry a guy just because he makes himself available or because your biological clock is ticking as quickly as water transforms a press-and-curl into an afro.
I looked up the definition of the term, and admittedly, it does not sound attractive: “to move downward, to sink slowly to another level.” That’s not exactly the mental picture you want in your head when you’re standing at the altar with your future husband. No one wants to think, “I’ve settled.”
In most instances when people think of settling, they’re judging potential suitors based on a desired list of traits. We compare guys to our ideal. Does he have swag like Denzel, abs like Boris, intelligence like Barack, humor like a Wayans brother, sex appeal like Lenny Kravitz and drive like Diddy? OK. So, maybe that’s just my unrealistic list, but you get my drift. If the guy chatting us up at the Borders doesn’t have all these characteristics, he may be quickly dismissed. After all, settling is not an option.
However, I want to challenge the common concept of settling and submit that maybe settling is less about selecting whom we want and more about who wants us.
What the Fig Newton am I talking about? I’ll explain.
When a girl does meet that guy whose character and aesthetic traits are what she desires, it’s a rare instance that he feels the same about her. Let’s be honest. How many times has a SIS asked you, “Why can’t the guy I like, like me back?” That’s an age-old question I won’t even attempt to address.
So, what happens? Often times, a woman spends months or years trying to persuade that ideal man that she’s the right woman for him. When she’s done everything in her power and is completely tapped of the energy to continue on with a guy who’s doing more taking than giving, she finally bounces, and he’s married in less than a year to the next chick – the one he chose.
In this scenario, she hasn’t settled when it comes to her ideal man, but I think maybe she has settled when it comes to what she deserves as a woman. Instead of being treated like a queen by a man who’d “drink her bath water,” as Kwame so eloquently put it, she’s settling for a dude who wouldn’t even draw her bath. That’s not to suggest that the guy you’re longing for won’t treat you well, but if he’s not longing after you, is he treating you like you deserve? Does he make you feel priceless, or do you feel like you constantly have to prove your worth?
So, that begs the question: Is it settling to date the guy who doesn’t quite fit into that perfect mold, but who treats you like you fell from Heaven just so he could love you?
Isn’t that what you deserve? Surely, you can get with that program even if he’s a little shorter, older or less educated than your ideal man. For clarity, I’m not referring to the toothless, morbidly obese dude who may be sightly learning disabled, just the guy who’s cute, but maybe not your normal type.
I’m thinking it’s never settling to allow yourself to be loved the right way, but that’s my unsolicited two cents. What do you think?