Girl, maybe you SHOULD settle.

Or maybe not! Because I have no idea what that term means. There’s an article on The Hairpin right now about “Never Settling” told from the perspective of a woman who chooses not to marry because she never wants to settle. That is totally, 100% okay. No one should ever feel pressured to get married if they don’t feel like it, and it probably ISN’T a great option for a lot of people. I think if it’s a choice between getting into a completely loveless marriage for the sake of companionship or because of societal pressures, versus being alone, then not settling is very admirable.

However, when I hear friends say things like ‘he wasn’t available three nights in a row, and I wasn’t going to settle for playing second fiddle to his career, because I. do. not. settle” I sometimes question whether we know the difference between “settling” and “irrationally expecting to get everything we’ve ever seen in a romantic comedy.” If you are with someone who does not look like Cary Grant and behave like the Dalai Llama, well, maybe, as The Smiths said, you just haven’t earned it yet, baby. Good relationships – among most normal human beings who are not spiritually and physically elevated above the masses – seem like they do involve settling for some annoying behavior from the other person in return for them settling for some annoying behavior from you. It’s a trade off. At least, that’s how it is in my head. But it really depends on how you define settling! How do you define it?

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