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Settling vs. Compromising: They're Not the Same

Settling vs. Compromising: They're Not the Same

Picky. Standards. The right one. Whatever you call it, they are all arguments women use to defend their single status. But after Lori Gottlieb blamed feminism for women's inability to find love in her new book Marry Him: The Case For Settling For Mr. Good Enough, writer Julie Baird says enough. Feminism is not responsible for women who are unhappy with the state of their love lives; they are.

Maybe we could start by not confusing "settling" with "compromising." Doing so has created this idea that we are caving in, accepting a less-than-perfect match when we're really just accepting that another person is human. And anyone interested in making a relationship last will have to do that at some point. Being rational does not have to mean passionless.

"Feminists," Baird writes in "The Case Against Settling" in Newsweek, "told us to be wary of fairy tales, and not to spend our lives waiting for them to come true. It doesn't mean you have to 'settle,' or give up on love. Some things are still worth dreaming about."

Join The Conversation
Camarogirl67 Camarogirl67 7 years
This a great discussion. I've often been told the same thing, that feminism is to blame for the rate of divorce, other statements along that line. I think it's the "When not if" mandate of eventual marriage that is the real issue behind all this. If (some) women were not focusing on "WHO am I going to marry" ("Because I will get married one day") instead of "What kind of person do I want to be with?" or not focusing at all, and letting themselves find someone (or not, whatever they want!) perhaps they would have an easier time of it.
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
Yes! Thank you! My boyfriend has flaws, doesn't make a lot of money yet, drives me crazy sometimes and I bet their are many men out there who are closer to being 'perfect' but I love him and I want to spend my life with him. In no way am I comprimising!
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I think a lot of people thought I was settleing when I met my fiance. But I never did. Sure he didn't have a college degree - but that alone shouldn't determine whether someone is worthy of you. He was the first person to love me for who am I, not criticize me, not judge me... Some people felt that Just because he couldn't take me to fancy restaurants, I shoud move on? My fiance is back in school and getting his degree. He loves children, and can't wait to have and take care of his own. He has so much love to give, I don't feel for one minute like I settled. I just hope that someday everyone else will see what I see - but if they don't, their loss...
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 7 years
the real definition of settling: getting married because you feel you have to, not because you want to. Love the Julie Baird quote
janneth janneth 7 years
This is a big issue right now with my friend. Happiness can come in all different kinds of packages. I think the main thing is to give someone a chance--even though he may not seem to be the perfect match for you at first.
Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
Omg! This is so great. I really agree that settling and compromising are two different things. I worry all the time about whether I should settle, b/c I'm just never happy, at least up to this point. And of course, people always tell me maybe my standards are to high and that I expect to much, and after a while, that really starts to get to you and you think, well, maybe I should settle, maybe I am expecting to much out of a relationship. I've never thought about it the way Julie Baird said it here, but it makes perfect sense to me. :)
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