Settle down or wait for somebody?

Hang out, sip some ice tea, and shoot the breeze with TR regulars.

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Wait for someone special or settle down after a certain age?

Wait for somebody truly special no matter how long it takes!
20
45%
Wait for X amount of time to see if you find someone special, if it doesn't happen just settle down
4
9%
Settle down then move on if better opportunity presents itself
0
No votes
Settle down for the long haul and don't look back
1
2%
Cheese is my only true love in this world!
19
43%
 
Total votes : 44

Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Wed May 16, 2012 3:59 pm

So I was helping a guy I know putting his PC together yesterday and before he left we talked a bit and it got me thinking. Oh, and no, there won't be much PC-related stuff here aside from that. :D I could ask my question on several of the other forums I participate in but it's the fellow geekers' opinions that I'm really interested in.

I've known this guy (let's call him Steve) for about 7 years. We're just acquaintances who have met in various places on occasion. He dropped out of college a while ago (iirc) and worked for a mutual friend of ours who has a strong internet business. Basically Steve was working your regular slightly-higher-than-minimum-wage job for last several years. And I think he was relatively happy with it as it paid the bills and Steve aspired to not much more. Then he married a girl and they had a daughter a couple of years ago. So yesterday as we were talking I deduced from our conversation that he became a relatively responsible family man which is quite opposite of what I saw him as all these years. It appears that instead of just wasting time he spends most of his time working to support as well as caring for his family, etc. Basically he settled down and seems relatively happy despite having a low-end going-nowhere job because he now has something to live for.

My situation is exactly opposite - my current job pays relatively well but I'm single and not really dating right now for various reasons. Most of my friends, being in my age of early to mid 30s have gotten married and some have children already. So at this point I'm the last single d00d standing. I feel that some of my friends got married because they ended up in my situation and just got it over with while not exactly being head-over-heels in love with each other. As for me, the thought of settling down with somebody I don't love and adore has been repulsive but maybe it's not the right approach and I'm living in my own Fairy Tale (no pun intended :))?

So here is my question: do you guys think it's ok to settle with somebody you have average feelings for (but no strong dislike of course)? Or should you wait for the person you truly love and adore to settle down with despite clocks ticking and parents screaming even if it's late or never? Cast your votes!
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Wed May 16, 2012 4:26 pm

Has he tried installing a Linux distro on it?

Oh wait...

Erm... nothing wrong with going out with whoever takes your fancy and progressing those relationships wherever they go (holidays, living together, etc.), but I'd still be inclined to want to love somebody a lot. Though I often get confused between like and love and just call it loke-ing.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Wed May 16, 2012 4:29 pm

You'd have to be seriously misguided to settle for someone just because you don't want to be alone. It's not fair to you, it's not fair to the MOTAS, it's especially not fair to any kids you might have.

Being alone sucks, but being trapped is worse.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Wed May 16, 2012 5:52 pm

I didn't get married until I was 35 and we had our 2nd child when I was 41. I have to say that there are many times that I'm so glad to have waited. I'm a fine husband and father and sometimes I attribute that to being more mature and settled in my ways.

With that said, there are also many times that being 48 with a 7 yr old kid is not a lot of fun. I would kill or die for my kids, but I often wonder how much easier things would be without them.

Every person is different and every situation is different, but I'll offer this advice.
Write down a list (or make a mental list) of the qualities and characteristics you want in a spouse. ie never married before, non-smoker, certain age bracket, religious, etc. You get the point. Then decide if you're willing to compromise on any or some of these. Then you don't "settle" for anything less. I agree with Yogi, its really hard to distinguish between like and love sometimes. ymmv

Also make a list of accomplishments you want to achieve. Sort of a bucket list. Make a real effort at completing as many as possible prior to marriage, because they become exponentially more difficult afterwards.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Wed May 16, 2012 6:32 pm

Some of my own thoughts:

Marriage can really motivate people - once you start thinking about settling down with something, you can start to think about the future, and kids, and traveling, some people (myself included) start to take their careers a lot more seriously. I got by before, but now I'm fairly motivated to learn and advance myself. Some people are already that motivated, and some never will be, and I suppose the opposite can happen too. Everyone's different.

Being "head over heels" is a weird thing - I think that's the feeling you have when you're first growing close and getting to know each other. It's the relationships where the couple grows a much deeper fondness for each other that work out in the long run. Just because a couple doesn't act crazy about each other, doesn't mean they aren't - they can just already feel proven to each other and don't put on a lot of PDA.

I'd like to think there are very few who just settle. Relationships are all unique, and you certainly won't understand every one of them, if any.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Wed May 16, 2012 10:28 pm

Evaluate these "various reasons" preventing your dating. If you (or whoever you trust with this sort of talk) think these "various reasons" are negatives in your life, then "fix" them as best you can and date some people. Don't worry about nuptial stuff (that will or won't come naturally). If the "various reasons" are positives, then screw dating (or just give it less priority in your life). It seems you've been convinced (as have many single people your age) that you have a marriage-shaped hole which needs filling. It's not clear whether that hole really exists. Wanting to take part in some convention just because the convention is popular isn't good reasoning, broadly speaking, and more specifically (when it comes to marriage) it's a terrible idea.

The idea that you should "settle" strikes me as really gross, but that's a can of worms if ever there was one. One the one hand, you could argue that such a sentiment depends on a highly naive conception of relationships (i.e. that there's a "perfect somebody" for you, or a "perfect possible relationship"). On the other hand, it could be said that all couples "settle" in some sense given the nature of compromise and strife in long-term cohabitation. On the gripping hand, it seems... inherently deceitful if taken literally. I mean, unless you're actually gonna tell your lover that you don't think they're really right for you but you'll have them anyway. "I'm not completely satisfied with you, but I'm mortal and you're close enough! Marry me?"
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 12:15 am

TLDR (my post below)???

I married just last June (1 year anniversary in a couple of weeks). We dated for 2.5 years before I proposed, then had a year engagement to plan a stupidly expensive wedding (seriously bro, jut get some coolers and brews, and rent a beach with your best friends and family - that's enough of a wedding - you won't care 6 months later if Joe Shmoe from work did or didn't come to your wedding - it's about the important people in your life sharing that day with you - save your money and sanity and go simple).

Anyway, geez I ramble, in general and throwing out the odd cases, long-term dating relationships are in fact LONG-TERM because the two people (monogomistic thinking) are compatible on enough levels to not drive each other away. Best case, marriage is just the exemplification of other "minor case" long-term relationships. You can normally tell in the first few weeks if a partner is worth pursuing further. Beyond that time frame, you're either lying/deceiving yourself, or are truly interested in getting to know the person more, because you like the initial qualities they've chosen to share with you. I'm an engineer, so much of the world to me is binary - either you like the person and you'll go a little further with the relationship, or you don't like them that special amount enough to continue the relationship and you move on. There should be no settling in relationships.

Which is a good segue to the next point. In the end, truly, dating (and YOUR life) comes down to YOUR happiness. If you're happy single now, fine, play that hand. If you want to try out some dating stuff, then do it in some form or another. You can "go out and meet people," or try the online dating sites. Not trying to plug anything here, but I would actually recommend on-line dating sites if the "go out and meet people" thing doesn't suit you. My sister met her husband on AmericanSingles.com. She must have turned away 5-10 "not the ones" over a year or so before she found her current husband. I think she was even on like 3-4 sites - she was serious about meeting a non-loser. They dated for 5 years, married 2 years ago, and have a little one on the way :)

Anyway (rambling again), dating. Dating can just be short-term stuff to find out what (and who) you do and don't like, or you can go in with a long-term mindset. From what I understand, those dating sites support identifying such goals upfront in your profile or "compatibility checklist" and will assist in steering compatible mates your way for consideration. If the people that are steered your way turn out to be incompatible, change your checklist. I'm 29 myself, and never dated a whole lot - but the ones I did date were all long-term relationships. The rest of the "candidates" just didn't interest me enough to pursue. Dating is pretty weird/scary/awkward activity, I know - meeting new people and asking about them and telling about yourself (or doing it with friend-of-a-friend acquaintances). With some people you date, that activity will be quite mechanical and you'll seemingly have to bludgen your way through conversations forcing yourself and them to talk - these people and their qualities are probably on your IN-compatible list. With other people, it will pretty fluid and effortless (a la "chemistry!"). You won't really know until you're exposed to enough people to make up your mind about what you want.

Another segue! Someone up in the thread mentioned making a list of what your ideal mate is. Go for it! Write that stuff down, get it down on paper, get it out of your head and straighten it all out. Maybe you don't know what you TRULY want because you've never done such an exercise (probably most people have not, even the ones that have been happily and faithfully married for many years). You can go through reams of checklist revisions trying to work it out on paper, or just get out there and date and revise the checklist as things go along. I vote for the latter (after at least scratching down a few what you consider to be "must haves" that first come to mind). The list will work itself out if you put yourself out there (which will be awkward and embarrassing at times, I assure you).

As far as settling goes, it's pretty much a bad idea for most everything in your life. Of course, there are many things you'll be "forced to be comfortable with," but you should be OK with every decision you make - if not, back track and correct it so you are OK with it. Jambe mentioned fixing the things about yourself that you're not OK with. Well, either fix them or be OK with them. Maybe it's your weight/health/physical condition, your career status, your jacked up haircut, or something else you're self-conscience about. Some things are easy to fix (haircut, etc.) while others require "long form" planning (changing careers, etc.). Either way, whatever you can identify that is holding you back from "getting out there," you pretty much just need to look in the mirror and say "I'm going to fix that!" and move on towards whatever goal you set. Can't let things continue in an unsatisfactory fashion if they've been identified as such - doing so is even more unsatisfactory.

"Settling" with a person for the rest of your life, to me, is a pretty major no-no that will only backfire on you later (and it'll be unpleasant althewhile until some catostrophic ending occurs, because all of those things you settled on will come to the surface as things you WON'T BE ABLE TO STAND about the other person and you'll be wishing they were someone else - see where settling is going?). Maybe I'm a softy, but I truly love my wife. To a person that's not married, that might not mean much to you. But loving your partner is different from being in love (that's the early-on puppy love stuff) in my eyes. I love her so much that I WANTED to marry her. I think it should be the same for everyone, otherwise you're settling on some level and increasing the probability that you'll be adding to the divorce statistics (not that divorcees are bad people - sometimes a courting period and marriage that start out great can turn sour because of outside influences that weren't present earlier on in the relationship). Am I perfect - no. Is my wife perfect - no. But I love her very much, so I don't believe I've settled on anything - I'm very pleased to be so blessed to have her.

If you're not happy with someone, you'll know it (or again, you're lying to yourself). You're gut will tell you (and your logical brain might vehemently assist with some doses of "LEAVE this psycho/selfish/inconsiderate/other-negative-things person!"). I would say try some more dating, maybe with a short-term "play the field" mindset at first. It'll be hard and probably require some courage at first, but like most things, it'll get easier and you'll be able to sort through the throw-aways pretty quickly. After the buffet has been sampled, try seeking out those qualities that stick out most in your head (see, you just revised your list!) and were most pleasing to your palette the first go-round. Then, start trying to seek out people with those qualities.

It'll all work out, if you come up with some goals and put some honest and caring work into the process. Gotta start somewhere, and at least saying that "I'm a point X, and am not sure if point Y is for me or not" is a great first step many people . . . overstep. It's good to sometimes remove yourself from your own life and look down on it and go "WTF? What am I doing? Where am I going? What is right FOR ME?" Good work in at least coming out of "the rut" and trying to move forward to a better you and a happier life.

Cheers, and goodluck!
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 1:04 am

The problem that you are facing is that if you met "your perfect woman" tomorrow, you would likely screw it up.
You need to make mistakes (and learn from them) so that when SHE shows up, you won't blow it.

Women are at their best in their mid-thirties, preferably with a kid or two (it brings out good things) and they are looking at men in their late thirties who are now wanting to settle down.

Be patient and keep in circulation.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 5:35 am

People get married for different reasons. I know people who got married variously because:

1. they both wanted the same things out of life and their roles complemented each other
2. they wanted to get married to someone and start that phase of life
3. of love
4. they wanted to have kids


The reason you get married, it seems, depends on the kind of person you are and the conditions of your life. There's no right or wrong, just what suits you. Follow your passion and the decision will be right.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 5:41 am

If you're compatible with someone and you have fun with her, if she is trustworthy, and if you can constructively argue with her, if she's good to have hang around with your other friends, and if you're attracted to her and the two of you have roughly the same sexual appetite and interests, then you've struck gold.

I don't know if there's anything from that list that you should "settle" on.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 5:48 am

Sounds like you haven't actually found proper love yet. It's weird when that bug bites, but you often don't know it until it's too late.
Settling down because you don't want to be alone is stupid. That's why there are so many divorces, broken homes and messed up kids these days.

Get dating more. If you're absolutely torn apart for someone, she's possibly the one, but you won't meet her if you "aren't dating at the moment for various reasons".
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 5:55 am

Being lonely is a driving force for a lot of people. You can say ideally that you'll wait for that perfect someone, but a lot of people simply choose to settle with those around them that are the best they can get. The majority of people I would say in fact. It's not that uncommon. If you don't have a drive in life, sprouting kids easily gives you one. It turns someone who is directionless into someone that lives and breathes to make their offspring move forward. It's innate and part of every human being in some capacity except for those mentally disabled.

I would only worry about 'settling down' if you're at a point in your life where you see yourself no longer moving forward and you would rather push your offspring forward to give them the chances and choices you didn't have. I believe this is the only time you should start to consider having kids or settling down. Dating, finding the perfect women is one thing, getting ready to have kids is a completely different topic and that's part of what I consider settling down. A lot of people just assume that's what happens at the end of a long term relationship unless you've talked about it too. If things last long enough kids are the next logical step and the more basic desires start to crave it.

If you can go further in life, I would suggest not worrying about a relationship even if you're lonely. If you're so lonely you'd rather settle down, then maybe it's time to do so. Really it's all subjective. I've experienced similar things. My friends are all going into long term relationships, even not ideal ones just so they can be with someone. I'm still single and looking for that someone while working on my life dreams and goals... hopefully I'll have some capacity to succeed in those.

Personally relationships haven't actually worked out that well for me and if they did... I'm pretty sure, if they did I wouldn't be working towards a grander goal. I would've been content with spitting out some kids and/or methodically working a typical job for the man. It took quite a few relationships that didn't work out before I figured that out sometimes it's alright to be a bit lonely. That really depends on where you're going in life though.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 6:16 am

No approach that involves the word "settle" is a good one, whether it be "settling" for someone or "settling down". Both imply dissatisfaction at some level. Do what YOU want to do, not what society expects you to do. If you're happy living on your own but still want to spend some time with someone, continue living alone and spend as little or as much time with them as you want to.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 8:14 am

Internet porn is free and it doesn't cost money to take your hand to dinner or the movies... nuf said
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 8:21 am

Synchromesh wrote:So I was helping a guy I know putting his PC together yesterday and before he left we talked a bit and it got me thinking. Oh, and no, there won't be much PC-related stuff here aside from that. :D I could ask my question on several of the other forums I participate in but it's the fellow geekers' opinions that I'm really interested in.

I've known this guy (let's call him Steve) for about 7 years. We're just acquaintances who have met in various places on occasion. He dropped out of college a while ago (iirc) and worked for a mutual friend of ours who has a strong internet business. Basically Steve was working your regular slightly-higher-than-minimum-wage job for last several years. And I think he was relatively happy with it as it paid the bills and Steve aspired to not much more. Then he married a girl and they had a daughter a couple of years ago. So yesterday as we were talking I deduced from our conversation that he became a relatively responsible family man which is quite opposite of what I saw him as all these years. It appears that instead of just wasting time he spends most of his time working to support as well as caring for his family, etc. Basically he settled down and seems relatively happy despite having a low-end going-nowhere job because he now has something to live for.

My situation is exactly opposite - my current job pays relatively well but I'm single and not really dating right now for various reasons. Most of my friends, being in my age of early to mid 30s have gotten married and some have children already. So at this point I'm the last single d00d standing. I feel that some of my friends got married because they ended up in my situation and just got it over with while not exactly being head-over-heels in love with each other. As for me, the thought of settling down with somebody I don't love and adore has been repulsive but maybe it's not the right approach and I'm living in my own Fairy Tale (no pun intended :))?

So here is my question: do you guys think it's ok to settle with somebody you have average feelings for (but no strong dislike of course)? Or should you wait for the person you truly love and adore to settle down with despite clocks ticking and parents screaming even if it's late or never? Cast your votes!



What a thoughtful post friend and so very true, for myself I always wanted to settle down with someone that wanted the same, to me thats one of the biggest things, so if your only going to do it because you think thats what you should do, don't bother.

Why do I say that, well, marriage takes an awful lot of work and for that matter maturity as well, I could go into something really long winded, but fact is people give up on marriages way to soon nowadays, the long winded part would be about those people and society in general.

The awful lot of work also applies to raising your children, if you care about doing it well, its an awful lot of work, again, something that the masses miss nowadays.

I am not a big believer in THE ONE, I have no doubt it does happen but to sit around and watch your life go by then realize you just have to settle, well, I'm glad I did not, though I was 25.

I did not clamor to the prettiest girl or the most popular or the best body, I looked for one who I could talk to and who had a sense of humor, don't worry about the sex aspect, way to much is put into that, I mean I like it of course, lol, but I have never let a woman hold that over my head and to break it down even further, the only reason humans enjoy sex and because they enjoy it they have it, is to reproduce, otherwise, humans being what we are, if it were not enjoyable, I would probably not be here typing this,lol.

The way I look at it, for your instance, first I'm a tad confused, if you truly are waiting for that one, then perhaps dating is the best thing to avoid, then in theory they should just pop into your life, on the other hand though, if you know for sure that you do want kids, then perhaps just look for the 2 things that I mentioned and be done with it, as the looks and everything else associated with that aspect disappear, sometimes life has a way of doing it even quicker to some ladies:)

Anyhow, good luck to you friend, hope it all works out for you and again, nice post.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 8:26 am

Bensam123 wrote:Personally relationships haven't actually worked out that well for me


In your case that's probably because you don't respect women in general. You have said some truly appalling things on this site about them.
Think for yourself, schmuck!
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 8:30 am

xtalentx wrote:Internet porn is free and it doesn't cost money to take your hand to dinner or the movies... nuf said


That's not as good as the real thing, unfortunately. When Neal Stephenson had Lawrence Waterhouse say in Cryptonomicon (paraphrasing) that a "manual override" was good for a few days at most but some quality time lasted longer, he knew that of which he spoke.

Other benefits too, of course; emotional intimacy &c.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 12:34 pm

You can do what my neighbor did: get a dog. Seriously, he spent so much time with that dog that we knew when he met the 'right' girl because he started neglecting the dog and spending more time with the girl. :D
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 12:58 pm

I'm also against the notion of "settling" because of the attitude it implies: that there is a "perfect" person you haven't met yet, and that you're taking less than you deserve in order to get something now. Usually, neither of these is strictly true, yet the attitude will poison the relationships you try to establish. Total lose. Suggest just working on deepening the friendships you have now and establishing some new ones when opportunities arise, and if one of them feels right for something more, you'll know it when you get there.

Someone mentioned getting a dog as a companion for the time being, which is a decent idea. Suggest something fun yet not excessively neurotic or slobbery...maybe a mixed black lab? If the dog works out, then you've got a potential common interest to share when the right SigO comes along. If the dog doesn't work out (too much expense, too much effort, too much responsibility, too many personal effects destroyed, whatever) then you definitely don't want to start a family.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Thu May 17, 2012 2:52 pm

BiffStroganoffsky wrote:You can do what my neighbor did: get a dog. Seriously, he spent so much time with that dog that we knew when he met the 'right' girl because he started neglecting the dog and spending more time with the girl. :D


That's about right. A lot of couples now get a dog instead of having a kid or for the sake of companionship. A pet is actually a good idea if you're looking for something to love.

bthylafh wrote:
Bensam123 wrote:Personally relationships haven't actually worked out that well for me


In your case that's probably because you don't respect women in general. You have said some truly appalling things on this site about them.


I think in the case you're talking about, you chose to view what I said as offensive even though that wasn't the intent and the context in which it was used. Please don't resort to insulting my personal life based on superficial inferences you made about me in one news post and an accompanying statement in the forums. This topic is a sensitive matter and if you go being a douchebag it breaks down any line of open communication.

...and for the sake of rational and truth. No, respect has nothing to do with why relationships haven't worked out for me. If you knew one iota about me, you would know I treat people exactly the same regardless of race, gender, intelligence (for the most parts), and age. Maturity level is one of the few things I can't tolerate... like when someone does something like this or someone stomps all over someone elses intent and feelings on the news page, then laughs at them.
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Fri May 18, 2012 2:19 pm

Marry the person you can't live without.

If you find there's no one that you can't live without, then you probably shouldn't marry. Or you should think about how you think about other people.
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sluggo
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Fri May 18, 2012 2:26 pm

I know some guys that can't seem to make it through life without their mothers which makes that thought very disturbing. :o
BiffStroganoffsky
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Re: Settle down or wait for somebody?

Postposted on Fri May 18, 2012 3:37 pm

sluggo wrote:Marry the person you can't live without.

If you find there's no one that you can't live without, then you probably shouldn't marry. Or you should think about how you think about other people.


I dunno; plenty of folks have been married for decades without buying into the "you're the only one for me, I'd die for you, etc" fluff. People can have lasting, meaningful, loving marriages without being mega-devoted togetherness-bugs. The short of it, I think, is that you should do what seems fulfilling. "Advice" often takes the form of saying crap like "don't rush into it" but seriously, who ever listens to advice like that? If you're adventurous and fairly unrooted, perhaps you should date a lot and/or travel a lot. If not, perhaps you should be more methodical or reserved about it — maybe try a dating service or join some recreational clubs or something.
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