Should women settle “before it’s too late?”

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Found this article on the Jezebel site, talking about whether it’s good advice to tell women to “settle for a man who loves you more than you love him, even if he bores you”. It was a really good read (go, read it!) and the conclusion seems to be that no, it’s not good advice at all, for a variety of reasons.

I tend to agree (and have written about this issue in the blog before), though I would say, it very much depends on what the woman wants out of life at that point in time. For some women, making a home, having children and being a part of a relationship are more important than finding the perfect relationship. If a woman is in in her late 30s with seemingly no better prospects than a man who’s “good enough” who can give her most of what she want (i.e. a caring relationship, children, etc.) and make her happy enough in an every day sense, then I wouldn’t tell her to ignore him in favour of someone else she may or may not meet. Yes, if you stop looking you’re (probably) less likely to find the perfect man and I do resent the advice mentioned in the article that makes women doubt their own feelings, but a woman’s freedom to choose also sometimes involves realising that what’s in front of you can be better than what you could potentially have by virtue of being available. Also, some women get to the stage in their lives where they feel having and raising a baby is what they need to be happy, rather than a man who excites them every day of the week. You may disagree with it, it may not be the right choice for you, but the truth is, for many women, it is. The truth is, there is risk in giving up what you have (or what you can easily get a hold of) for something you may or may not one day get. And while I would encourage any woman who feels in her heart that she shouldn’t settle to follow her heart and go looking, I would also say that you shouldn’t feel that you are failing yourself and your dreams if you choose to settle for someone with whom you can have a comfortable life, raise children and generally be content. Dreams change. Priorities change. It’s OK to be happy with what you have without constantly striving for something better because pop culture and TV adverts tell you there’s more that can be had out of life.

What I do resent in this sort of “settle for less” advice is the dogmatic approach that assumes all women would prefer being with someone who bores them to being alone and trying to find someone more interesting. That and the incredibly derogatory underlying assumption that all women have to offer suitors are their looks so you should “act now, before it’s too late”.

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2 thoughts to “Should women settle “before it’s too late?””

  1. I think settling for someone before it is too late can possibly be a problem, not so much now but in the future, when the kids have grown up and moved on….Many women I have known feel redundant after children have moved out. Is it then so good to be left with someone who is boring? Thats how affairs start!

  2. Many people who didn’t feel they were settling at the time end up having that problem. Ultimately, a lot of people have children because they think having children will give them the personal fulfilment they’ve been missing, but then once the kids are gone they find themselves feeling empty again. I *think* it was Jung who said people get together in life for a purpose and then drift apart when that phase of your life is over. It is actually possible that the perfect person to have children with is not necessarily the person you have the most in common with to make you happy in other parts of your life.

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