“There is NO passion to be found playing small – in SETTLING for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

At some point in our lives, we’ve all settled for something less than what we deserved-a grade, a product, a job, a meal, and maybe even a relationSHIP.  SETTLING is accepting “something” or “someone” that is not exactly what or who we want.  The decision to settle is choosing to accept things that don’t feel right to us but we allow it anyway. In relationSHIPS, SETTLING FOR LOVE occurs when we lose a sense of ourselves and change “who” we are, in an attempt to conform and to maintain a relationSHIP.   SETTLING FOR LOVE can be dangerous because it often leaves us with feelings of frustration, emptiness, and loneliness.  So, why settle?  Is SETTLING FOR LOVE wrong?  Have you ever settled in a relationSHIP?  I know I have!!!   For this week’s blog, let’s talk SHIP about SETTLING FOR LOVE !!

For most couples, the beginning of a new relationSHIP can be extremely euphoric.  The bliss of “getting to know” each other can be an exhilarating and exciting time.  However, it is inevitable that as the relationSHIP progresses, we’ll discover that some of our partner’s idiosyncrasies, habits, and tendencies don’t quite mesh well with ours.  That’s when we must decide IF those quirks are something we can accept and live with OR if accepting them means we’d be SETTLING FOR LOVE.  Although the fear of losing a relationSHIP is the primary reason why most people opt to settle, it may also be because of familiarity or convenience.   But, eventually SETTLING FOR LOVE will evoke feelings of discontentment, unhappiness, and resentment. In actuality, there are no real or logical reasons for SETTLING FOR LOVE because remaining in relationSHIPS that don’t serve our best interest leave us unfulfilled and are both- unwise and unhealthy.

Last week, I felt like I was coming down with something so on the way home from work, I stopped at Smart and Final to pick up a chicken pot pie and some ginger ale.  While in the freezer section grabbing my pot pie, I overheard a handsome gentleman on the phone asking “what type of fries do you want?”  He seemed so bothered during his conversation, I wondered who he was talking to.  He sounded so dry and frustrated, I figured it was either his wife or his girlfriend.  Whomever it was, I couldn’t help but notice how unhappy he seemed. I shrugged and grabbed the remainder of my items and proceeded to the checkout line, and ironically he got in line behind me.  As I made space for him to unload his groceries, we struck up a conversation.   While unloading his groceries, he lifted up the bag of fries and remarked “I don’t even eat this type of shit”.   As he continued griping I asked, what’s for dinner?  He said, lifting up each item, “Chilli Cheese dogs and I don’t eat this kind of crap.” 

As the cashier finished ringing up my items, we continued to talk during his transaction and as we walked to the parking lot.  He shared that he once lived in Chicago and had been married before and that after 4 years of marriage, he discovered that his ex-wife was still married to her first husband so they divorced and he moved to Arizona.   He stated that while visiting California, he met his current girlfriend, and after a year of long-distance dating, he decided to turn his home in Arizona into an Airbnb and move here.  As we approached his car, he said, that they’d been together 8 years and that his girlfriend wanted to get married but he wasn’t going to marry her.  I asked if she knew that’s how he felt, he said no.  He said he had 2 adult children, who both suggested that he leave her and move back to Arizona since he was so unhappy.  I inquired if he was considering that option?  He said that lately, he had been.  I inquired if his girlfriend knew that, he said no.  I then asked why he was SETTLING?  He had no response.  I could tell that he had been SETTLING FOR LOVE for so long, that he had forgotten what he wanted and what was important to him in a relationSHIP.  I knew that the years he spent SETTLING FOR LOVE, made him lose a sense of himself and that he had probably forgotten that relationSHIPS were actually supposed to bring happiness into our lives. 

As he and I wrapped up our parking lot discussion, I explained to him that he was in a relationSHIP where he wasn’t actually being true to himself. One where he was shopping for a dinner that he didn’t like. One where he couldn’t be honest and share his true feelings. I revealed that when I overheard him ask what type of fries to get, that I could hear and feel his unhappiness through his tone. He looked shocked. I reminded him that life was too short to be SETTLING FOR LOVE and told him that he deserved to be in a loving and happy relationSHIP. But that in order for him to attract a better relationSHIP, he needed to let go of his past hurts and believe that he was worthy of having and being in one. I ended our conversation by reminding him that although we try hard to trick ourselves into believing that our relationSHIPS are based on love, we needed to be mindful that there is a fundamental difference between being in love and SETTLING FOR LOVE and that he needed to decide which one he wanted!!

SHIP TALK: Are you in love or are you SETTLING FOR LOVE?

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