I have a confession. I, Courtney.. Am a very cutthroat person. I have a very difficult time tolerating anything outside of what I don’t want to deal with. I’ve accepted that regardless of who I choose to be with, I will have to deal with things I don’t like, things that annoy me and maybe even things I didn’t realize I would have to accept. My mom would always tell me “you’re going to have to deal with someones shit, you just choose whose shit it is” and that couldn’t ring any more true than it does now.
I checked in with a friend of mine the other day and asked her how her new romance had blossomed since they’d met a month ago and I should’ve known that it hadn’t. We’re scarily similar, meaning not easily impressed and have our minds set on what we’re looking for. After she names a couple of minuscule things she dislikes about him she ends it with “there’s nothing wrong with him, he just isn’t the one…” and my response? “Fair enough! Don’t settle”. But after that quick conversation I recognized we use the term “I don’t want to settle” often.
We meet someone, get to know them a little, then become hesitant when they show us anything we didn’t envision in our heads that our Prince Charming’s would contain because we “don’t want to settle”. It dawned on me that we may be neglecting things in partners that can be compromised because we consider anything outside of what we imagine for ourselves as settling. As much as I hate to say it, we may not be utilizing the differences between compromising and settling appropriately. In relationships new and old – when does the art of compromise become compromising?
Compromise: Both parties feel satisfied after the agreement or resolution
Settling: One party feels like they got the short end of the stick or there is something better to be presented to the table
When I was in love, it wasn’t because the man I loved was perfect or even everything that I was looking for. I loved him because he made it very easy to compromise on things I’d previously said I did and didn’t want. I never considered what he lacked as settling. In fact, things that would’ve drove me crazy had anyone else done them didn’t bother me nearly as much if even at all. I was willing to compromise those things because the good outweighed the bad by a landslide. I could deal with those few things because everything else was in sync so the compromises I was making were for the long-term benefits of our relationship. I’ve also dated other men that I wanted things to work with, so I willingly tried to bend where I could for the sake of compromise. Every time I felt myself get uncomfortable with that what happening between us, I instantly knew I was settling, because there’s a very unsettling feeling that comes with it.
I look at compromise as it relates to personal preferences and settling as it relates to values. Does the way that someone dresses, the car that they drive, or their lack of a college degree deem as something that’s nonnegotiable for you, or are they things that don’t hold as much weight when looking for a soulmate? We are obsessed with the idea of getting exactly what we want in a partner and while some of us will get that lucky, it’s not necessarily the most realistic expectation.
Settling is just that – something that doesn’t sit well with you once it settles. It’s the uneasiness that comes with you dealing with things you know don’t serve you. It’s uncomfortable and you won’t feel pleased with the outcome.
Every time you compromise, you take away something from yourself to pour into someone else. Is the bending, molding and compromising that you’re doing going to benefit you six days, months or years from now? I suggest looking for someone who you don’t need to change in order to love and vice versa, accepting whoever you choose to be with for who they are. If the person that you’re with today never changed a thing about themselves, good or bad, would you feel satisfied being with them? If the answer is no, you’re likely settling.
How do you ladies weigh the differences between compromise versus settling? Leave your thoughts below!