Settling vs. Expectations

Settling vs. Expectations A common conversation among singles in the church and the single population in general, especially when you hear about a breakup, is that person being consoled and told to “not settle”, the internet is overflowing with these memes, but what does that mean? Oftentimes people have a big laundry list of what they desire in someone else, and they consider settling to be not getting someone with that entire laundry list means they are settling. There are some things missing from this equation though.

What most people fail to do when they compose this laundry list is to consider what they bring to the party. WHY do they deserve this perfect person that they’ve described? Are you that perfect person to them? Usually not. So now we have to talk about managing expectations and realistic expectations.

Let’s consider a couple scenarios: We have a guy in his mid twenties, barely got out of high school, didn’t get any higher education, works as a greeter at Walmart, sits at home and plays video games and watches TV in his spare time and eats pizza. He weighs 300 pounds, doesn’t smell particularly good and doesn’t look healthy in any way. He watches TV and he is enamoured with the female side kicks on some of the superhero shows like Arrow and Flash. He has it in his head that he deserves this hot, nerd girl who will make a good living and be satisfied watching him play video games and be impressed by his prowess. If he goes out with someone that doesn’t match that profile, is he settling?

We have a young woman in her mid twenties, finished college and has a degree in art history, therefore she is working at Cafe Rio taking orders because there are no jobs in art history other than teaching it to other people who want the same useless degree. Since she works at Cafe Rio, she eats there all the time and is about 100 pounds overweight and not looking too healthy. Her hobbies are taking care of her expanding collection of cats and taking pictures of them and posting them on facebook and writing Twilight fan fiction. Since she is so enamoured of Twilight, she is wanting a guy that looks like Taylor Lautner, who will follow her around and praise everything she does. When she can’t find that situation, should she be told to stick with her dreams and not settle?

So when you sit down to make that list of things you want in another person, and you should, you need to look at yourself first. What do you bring to a relationship, what compliments you and how can you compliment someone else. Look to see if there are things that you can improve about yourself to help get to that point, like grooming, diet, exercise, spirituality, etc. We’re told our bodies are our temples, so let’s follow that doctrine and make them so. Make yourself worthy of that person you seek. Then pray fervently and clearly and listen to the promptings of the spirit when it talks to you. You’ll find that perfect person in your life if you make yourself perfect for them too. Above all, you have to be actively engaged in the process and realistic in your expectations.

2016-03-25 Shawn Gordon Dating, Healthy relationships, Communication

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About the author

I am a founder of this site and as of May 2015 I am happily married to a wonderful LDS woman. I spent my years in the singles system as a singles rep working to optimize events and maximize the effectiveness of people interacting and finding someone to love. I studied psychology for years and my years as a software and business consultant have made me very adept at understanding people and their motivations. I hope to help others find that same happiness that I have.