Friday, July 2, 2010

Why Do People Settle...In Relationships?

" I mean I love him and all but I don't really love him like that. He ain't a marrying type of dude." Says one girl to her friend on the train. " Word! I feel you cuz my man please he don't be buying me shit. At least yours be buying you stuff you need. This fool ain't worth it. But at least he can pipe." Her friend replies. Omg!!!! Overhearing that conversation was funny and sad at the same time. These girls could not have been older than seventeen (I gathered that from their school uniforms) and they already were talking about their "men" in a way that implied they were settling and staying with them for all the wrong reasons. Of course I couldn't help but wonder where they adopted this pattern.

There was a woman I was acquainted with a while back who always had the same complaint about her relationship. She wasn't happy about where her relationship was going due to their financial constraints and she disliked the fact that he still lived with the mother of his children. That story always baffled me because I couldn't understand why you would be in a relationship with someone for a decade and he still lived with his childrens' mother. A year, okay, two years, is pushing it but TEN????? Anyone else head is spinning? Her justification was that he needed to stay in the home for his daughters and it didn't matter anyway because he slept on the couch. Yes my people, this will be settling.

I told that story because my concern has always been for her daughter. Not only are you dating a man who won't sleep over at your house for a decade but he comes late and leaves early and your daughter observes this pattern. My people this is not normal nor healthy. What that young girl is learning, is that relationships are about creeping. I guess to make up for his absenteeism he would adorn the mother and daughter with Coach, Gucci and Louis bags and shoes. You would think he was handing out love and affection by the way they acted. This young girl whose father was also absent would periodically show up, give her money here and there and because she has replaced money with love she loves her daddy a great deal...well as long as that cash flow continues. Guess what though? Since daddy isn't around that often and she needs to look fly always, she now seeks love/money from men who can provide it. We all know that no one gets anything for free and especially when you have it in your head that you need cash to stay fly which will therefore make you relevant and loved, you do what you need to do. In her case, risky, unprotected sex with grown men who said I love you girl, here's x amount of dollars and she sees those cartoon dollar signs in her eyes and she does whatever she needs to do for that cash. Wow!

Is this story shocking to anyone? Sadly probably not, right? With ridiculous shows like The Real Housewives of whatever messed up city and all these shows that idolize money and not love, what are these girls to think? These girls grow into women who get very confused about their wants in relationships. They claim they want men with six figure salaries, great jobs, pushing a nice Benz, education optional and mad sexy. I know depending on the girl the criteria changes. Some women do get this and they often end up unhappy. It's like they neglect to see the bigger picture. If he is working to make a six figure salary then chances are he will be working very late nights often. So they end up settling for a very tired man who spends a lot of time at work and who wants peace and quiet when he gets home. It doesn't have to be this extreme of a case for it to be considered settling.

 You can be in a relationship with a great guy but if he doesn't satisfy you in every way then why would you stay? I took a poll on my Facebook page and I gathered some interesting feedback to that question. The one answer that jumped out was a lack of something within themselves. Due to their consistent cycle of settling they know nothing else and because that's what they know it seems normal. The truth is whatever you do one place then you probably do it everywhere, right? Probably. My mind wanders to women who are involved in domestic violence situations. They know the cycle of violence is toxic but they stay. Another answer I got from my poll was fear. Due to the fact that these women are living in oppressively tough situations I can only imagine what kind of fear consumes them. What does get these warriors out of their fearful situations is when they stop settling for fear and take on self love and courage and embrace it fully.

So in conclusion I think it makes a lot of sense to check out the cycle of the parent and see how it has trickled down to the child. It is important to remember to set standards and boundaries for yourself when it comes to dating. You have to carefully watch your patterns to see if it brings you destruction or bliss. And if you see a pattern of destruction, ask yourself why do you keep repeating the same pattern? What is the pay off here? In other words what do you get to be right about in a destructive situation? Is it possible that you get to say, Men ain't shit? Or Women ain't shit? Or that you always get hurt because you are unworthy of love? That could be some answers to the pay off question. However, the more important question you want to ask is what is this costing you? The cost would be after the pay off has worn off and all you're left with is your sadness, loneliness, suffering, grief and self loathing. Imagine how that feels. So in the example I gave earlier about that young girl, her pay off is that she gets to be right about always looking fly, having money and men always wanting to be around her. However, when she observes relationships based on love, the cost is bound to be a void of that true love. A love where she has to do nothing but be herself. A love where she is accepted for her and not the amount of stuff she can do for nice things. The cost is her happiness, her innocence and her dignity. Just writing that made me hurt for her.

It all goes back to the love of self. Once your self love is magnified and really put on blast, settling will never be an option for you. Fear can also have you do crazy things. Fear and Love are polar opposites, so they cannot exist in the same place at the same time. Fear will create a need for a pay off and a cost. Love creates more love and more love and more love and more love. Who will you choose to be? What will be your aim? Fear or Love? Either way, only you are in your head at the end of the day. Take inventory.


  1. I have been with my husband for 12 years and married 5 out of those 12 years. Even though I have what myself and others would call a "good relationship" I still check in with myself to make sure he is still fulfilling me the way I want him to and not the way he thinks he should and I am sure he checks in with hisself as well. Even when you are in a long relationship you can never become complacent, because in the long run you will be settling. In my opinion one of the reasons people settle I feel is that they can't handle being by themselves and then they look at friends in relationships and they want what they have, so they tend to settle for anything that comes their way. Personally if you don't have self-love and you are not okay with being with you, you will not find the love you deserve and/or in turn receive the love your worth.
    For example the little girl in your blog, that could have been my daughter after I broke up with her father. Instead when I broke up with him I did not date for over a year (even when friends tried to get me to date), I realized I needed to be with me, love me, and okay with me and my own faults. When my husband and I bumped into each other I knew what I was looking for and what I wanted him to give me spirtually, emotionally and physically and what I could give him...twelve years later we still make each other happy and I hope I have taught my daughter that once you have self-love, loving everyone for the Right reasons is so easy, beacause to love them for the wrong ones is harder.

  2. You touched the core of the matter and I hope those that find themselves unhappy are awaken. You must love yourself completely, respect yourself fully and naturally you'll love someone else.

    When women think they "must" settle for less or are seeking love for all the wrong reasons they block the ability for true love to sip through. Thank you for this piece.

    <3 Sue