“I thought you weren’t feeling it, why’d you agree to get back together?”
“Well we’ve been together for so long, so it just makes sense.”
“So what you plan on marrying the girl?”
“So then why’d you get back together with her?”
The sad thing about that conversation is that it’s one that I’ve witnessed. For the sake of the blog we’ll call this guy Derek. Derek and his girlfriend had been together for a couple of years, and towards the end (not really the end anymore I guess) he began to get bored. Lucky for Derek she did the grunt work and ended the relationship… only later to ask to get back together. Derek, despite not really having feelings for her anymore still made the decision to comply with what she wanted, and his ONLY reason was because they’d been together for so long now that it just, made sense.
YES I KNOW I WAS CONFUSED TOO.
This folks is what I call the relationship settler.
What is the Relationship Settler?
- The person who stays in a relationship strictly because they’ve been together for a long period of time
- The person who stays in a relationship just because they’re comfortable and unsure or afraid of not finding anything, or anyone better
- The person who isn’t completely and utterly happy with the relationship they’re in, but decides to stay in it simply out of fear of ending up alone
In the Daily Beasts article, Why Men are Settling for Mrs. Good Enough, Jessica Bennet discusses this issue of relationship settling. And according to the biological anthropologist, Helen Fisher, her survey has shed a lot of light on this topic. Here’s what she says about it,
But most shocking was how many of the single men wanted to settle down—and how willing they were to lower their standards to make that happen. A whopping 31 percent of adult men said they’d commit to a person they were not in love with—as long as as she had all the other attributes they were looking for in a mate—and 21 percent said they’d commit under those same circumstances to somebody they weren’t sexually attracted to. The equivalent numbers for women were far lower.
This is NOT a foreign concept. At the end of the day no one wants to be with someone who’s simply settling. It means you don’t get loved the way you want to, there’s no passion in the relationship, and the nagging feeling that you deserve more seems to always linger. This is why, we need to be on the look out.
5 Ways to Identify the Relationship Settler
For starters ladies, the relationship settler is never subject to strictly being the guy, it can be either or. And for the sake of everyone in a loveless, or unpassionate relationship, I’ve come up with 5 simple ways that us girls can determine if we’re with the relationship settler. For the most part, it’ll be the best friend, or family member that will point out that you’re with the guy who isn’t fully in it. Once it’s been brought to your attention, these are some of the things you can look out for.
1)You guys no longer go out on meaningful dates
It seems like every time the two of you make plans, it’s not thoughtful and neither one of you is interested in trying new things. The two of you will more often than not resort to lazy hang outs that involve movies at one of your places, and minimal conversation. Now don’t take me wrong, we all love the classic stay inside date and cuddle, but when this is the only type of “date” you’re planning, it loses its appeal and begins looking like a chore rather than a date.
2) You no longer have engaging conversation
Talking to each other is like talking to a brick wall, it’s filled with how are you’s and meaningless chit chat. The once meaningful and deep conversations you were able to have seem non-existent, or when they do finally come to surface, they’re quickly glossed over. You suddenly begin to realize that you’re not really aware of what’s going on in the other persons life, you know the basics to get you by and seem interested, and that’s all.
3) The loving and awestruck gaze has either completely disappeared or was never there in the first place
When he looks at you, and you no longer see a gleam in his eyes, but instead and empty stare, this is a common factor. If you see this look is gone ladies, it can be an identifier he’s settling. Don’t expect to be looked at like Jack looks at Rose in the Titanic every day, but when we get dressed up, or say something incredibly funny, that gaze is a mirror of his love, and when it’s gone, it’s a tell-all to the relationship fading.
4) He’s hesitant and uninterested in hanging out
When you try to make plans with him at feels like pulling teeth. He’s not willing to make suggestions, he’s apathetic to whatever you suggest, and when the plan finally does fall through, he seems anxious to leave.
5) You begin to question and wonder what life would be like if you were with someone else
You fantasize and make up fake scenarios in your head with the cute guy from your work or class. You imagine what your life would be like without your current boyfriend. Not from a lack of feeling, but as a result of loneliness. You feel like he isn’t give you your all and so you need something to occupy your thoughts.
Food for Thought
Based off what I’ve witnessed, endured, or heard about, many guys, and even girls, will actually notice that they’re settling and do nothing about it. The reasons for this can vary, rather it be they’re afraid of hurting their significant other, they’re afraid of being alone, they’re too comfortable, or they’re staying in the relationship until something else comes along and if not, well at least they already have someone who by their standards is “good enough.”
Derek, the relationship settler I mentioned at the beginning of this post, was someone I was really interested in for a very long time. He had feelings for me, though he never acted upon them until he and his girlfriend broke up. He asked me out, and of course it never went anywhere because they got back together.
I was heartbroken for a long time, but honestly looking back now I couldn’t be more thankful. He and his girlfriend are miserable together, and I wouldn’t ever want to be with a guy who stayed in a relationship simply because of their “history.” Being with the relationship settler will alter your entire life. You’ll find yourself at a crossroads one day and not know what to do about it- you’ll feel unsatisfied. The relationship settler won’t ever find raw romance, and that’s something we all deserve.