Accepting Vs. Settling

"Where do you draw the line between accepting and settling?" Omar asked.

A while back, I briefly dated someone I wasn't attracted to simply because he was a "good" guy who had a stable career and goals.  He was single, a little older, and a nice person.
But he lacked a certain degree of intelligence.  If I told him I had plans, he would ask me about 10 times if I still planned on going out and no matter how many times I would repeat myself, it wouldn't sink in.
It wasn't that he was forgetful.  It was simply that he was a blithering idiot.

And what's worse is that I felt no physical attraction to him.  There was no chemistry and he kind of disgusted me.  He wasn't ugly but... but yuck.  Just not the guy for me.

After a month of trying to make it work, I decided it wasn't going to.  That if I spent another minute talking to this man, I would simply be settling and I knew I was worth soooo much more.  The man was needy, annoying and plain old stupid.  I have no patience for any of the above.

I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me.  Did I like abuse and mistreatment?  Is that why I always fell for the wrong guys?  Is that why I couldn't get myself to like this dude? Because nice guys finish last, and girls never want nice guys?

Nope.
I simply knew I could do better.
That would've been settling.
Never mind the fact that there's a significant difference between a nice guy and a good guy (but that's a story for another blog).

Later on, observing a friend's situation in which she's in love, satisfied with the person she's with, but, of course, her partner is loaded with baggage...  I ask... are you content?  She says yes.  No hesitation.  No ifs, ands or buts.  He was exactly what she wished for but also quite flawed like everyone else.  And that's where I drew the invisible line.  That friend was "accepting."

And as time went on and I observed more and more couples, the line became clear.
We settle when we feel like we can't do any better.  When we lose hope that the person we're with is the last option we have.  When we look in the mirror unhappy with what we see and figure, "At least this person loves/wants me."  We accept when we say, "Wow this is exactly what I was looking for all this time, "  and look past all of the extra bullshit they drag along because we know in the end, we can handle that shit.  And that the baggage they're hauling is nothing compared to the emotionally abusive twat we were dealing with before hand.  Or the unfaithful nitwit who tried to blind us with their dentured smile.  Or even worse the con artist trying to juice us for everything we have.  We accept when we find someone who can compromise with us... who can put up with our extra bullshit all the same.  And who will love us regardless of what comes and vice versa.

The line of acceptance vs. the line of settling for less than what we're worth become crystal clear.
And when conflict arises, we have reminders of why we're still putting in all that hard work rather than that oh so familiar fleeting thought of, "Well, this is the best I can do anyway...."

It's not easy to work at a successful relationship.
But it's better than settling for something less than what's deserved.
Don't you think?

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