The One Time It’s Okay to Settle When Looking for Love

July 30, 2014  |  

I can remember back in the day hearing mothers telling their single daughters that they needed to just find a man — any man — and settle. Ridiculous right? The thought of settling when it comes to love…. Or is it?

I’m not one to accept anything less than what I think I deserve. In my career or anything else, there was, is, and never will be any settling. But when it comes to my love life…settling is something that I apparently have been doing for years. After my divorce, I vowed that I’d never do it again. I knew what I wanted this time around, and I was very specific (verrrry specific) about my Mr. Right. He was a certain age, height, body type, race, and yes, I admit it– he had a certain salary, too. So the online dating thing seemed to be the most logical choice for me. A few dropdown menus and checkboxes and– there he is. My perfect match.

Of course with all of my specifics there weren’t as many men to choose from within a 250 mile radius of where I live (sad), but of the few who I actually found attractive fit the mold, there was still more that I was looking for. I read each of their profiles carefully to get a sense of who they really were and if their personalities would mesh with mine. I wanted to know: What was their profession? What degrees did they have, and from what universities? What books were they reading? How many places had they traveled to? What were their exercise habits?

I rushed to reach out to the ones who met my standards, expecting each of them to immediately email me, but with most of them I was met with only one thing. Rejection. I knew it wasn’t about my looks. (Not bragging, just making a point.) Every last one of them had at least “liked” my photos. I had a couple of phone conversations with two or three, but beyond my career, which they were impressed by, and my dedication to my children, which they respected, I had nothing else to add to the dialogue.

In the meantime, I was getting winks and likes and messages from many other men (Again, not bragging. Okay, maybe a little.). Yes, I was attracted to some of them, but none of them fully met my standards. And half of them couldn’t even put together a complete sentence.

Was this the best that I could do? Where was I going wrong?

After several days of disappointment, I finally took a look at my own profile. I looked at my degrees, the books that I was reading (none), how many places I had traveled to (again, none), my favorite hot spots (does Wegman’s count?), and my exercise habits (um….). There it was. There I was. I didn’t even pass my own litmus tests, so how was I ever going to be able to attract the kind of man I was looking for?

I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know what that something was. Different pics? A different dating site? Then it hit me….

For the first time, the one thing I needed to do was settle. Not settle on a man, but settle without one.  I needed to be satisfied with being single. I needed to take my time and  experience more of life; to make myself a reflection of what I wanted in the man I was looking for — with less facial hair. And I needed to make it about something more than creating a better dating profile. It had to be about creating a better me. Period.

So far settling has felt good. I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m watching a lot less reality TV.  At some point I’ll begin my search again. Hopefully I’ll have more success. But whether I find that Mr. Right or not, I’m okay, because no matter what,  I’ll still be left with a “me” that I’m proud to be.


Ladies, have you ever settled when it comes to looking for love?

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