We were 20 years old. She came to me. We were good friends, best friends even, but I still hadn't really regained my confidence in her from the time we had tried dating about a year prior, and she had broken up with me.
I remember writing in my journal that as our friendship healed from that breakup, I was beginning to see again why I had allowed myself to have feelings for her before, but also that I considered myself sufficiently wizened against going down that path again.
I even wrote that I suspected that what had made the relationship attractive in the first place had less to do with her particular traits and more to do with her interest in me. No, I reasoned. It was good that we were friends again, but a romantic relationship with her was out of the question.
But then she came to me, probing me about getting back together. And I didn't turn her down. My reasons at the time were couched in all sorts of religious gobbledygook, but if I'm really honest with myself, I think I just didn't have the balls to turn down someone who there, who was available, and who was willing to commit to me. And as I said, we were good friends. She wasn't hard to love (most of the time), and when we committed to each other, I gave my heart to her fully. I loved her without reservation or regret.
So here's my dilemma. While there is a very real sense in which I think I settled, I'm having trouble seeing any connections between that and why the marriage failed. I had reasons that I might have turned her down, but I don't know that any of them had anything to do with why she cheated on me and left me, and even if they did, I don't think they were connected in any predictable way. As far as my own emotional investment in her, I've always believed that love is a choice, and I think that if she had the same attitude (among other attitudes that probably needed changing), we could have had a long and happy life together.
So why is this in "new beginnings?" Because I'm wondering how this should affect my choices going forward. I'm coming to the point where I feel able to contemplate new relationships, and I don't want to settle, but I also don't want to be so afraid of settling that I can't commit.
So what are all your thoughts? What are some of the pitfalls associated with settling. How do you know you're doing it? How do you avoid it? Is it always a bad thing? Discuss.
I'll never settle again. Not even for a dating relationship.
I think I just didn't have the balls to turn down someone who there, who was available, and who was willing to commit to me.
What are some of the pitfalls associated with settling. How do you know you're doing it? How do you avoid it? Is it always a bad thing?
I would not want to be with someone that settled for me. How embarrassing and humiliating that would be! I want someone that feels I am their top choice, that the moon and the sun revolve around me, and that they know in their heart that they have done well. When you are with someone you consider an equal, you will bring out the best in each other.
LIfe is too short to settle. I am not sure why anyone would want to do that.
IN my mind, people who "settle" with a partner generally know that the partner is not what they want or perhaps not what they deserve but they are "safe". If you truly loved her and she was what you thought you wanted and deserved st that time, then you did not settle.
I'm having trouble seeing any connections between that and why the marriage failed.
Well, me too. I think they are not connected - her cheating was about her later in your marriage, not you before your marriage.
I think you might consider that there is also finding contentment and satisfaction with what you have and recognizing nobody is perfect. You can love an imperfect person, as you proved in your first marriage. That's not a bad thing.
Going forward I think you need to recognize that there is ALWAYS "settling" for the very reason that none of us are perfect. We have to accept flaws in our mates or we will forever remain single.
The question to ask yourself is if you can see whether your are choosing someone whose flaws are in the realm of integrity, or just minor quirks of personality, or other "harmless" - to you - areas. If you settle for someone who lies... well... then there is something wrong with you both.
I didn't settle, at all. I waited until I found exactly who I wanted. I married for the first time at age 49. I had always had a near-phobia of making a commitment as huge as marriage. But, not with her. I was not scared of committing to her. I was truly happy to marry her. During our wedding ceremony I had a few tears of joy that rolled down my cheeks. We then had two beautiful children. I was always proud to have her as my wife. I knew, deep down, that I could trust her and that sense of commitment and trust always gave me a feeling of stability in our marriage, knowing that we were in it for the long run.
And here I am.
To me it means being with a person for the wrong reasons, because I am lonely, afraid of loneliness, want sex, want financial security, because I feel nobody better would be available to me, because I feel I am not worthy of somebody better and so on. Ask yourself if you were to choose that person as your partner if you were in happy, healthy state of mind? If the answer is no, I know, I am settling.
To me, settling does NOT mean lack of acceptance, so factors such as age or looks or little quirks etc that we all have are accepted but that does not mean you are settling for less than you should.
Settling is not so much about the other person, but about how you value yourself and how you stand by your principles and absolute must-haves in a partner.
I hope I am making sense.
[This message edited by fraeuken at 11:09 AM, January 9th (Thursday)]