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Old 08-13-2008, 05:14 AM   #1
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Settling?

I just wanted some opinions on what people really think about settling? What exactly does that mean? As some of you know, my ex boyfriend has 3 kids and an ex wife. I am 29, no kids and never been married. I have a college degree, he does not. None of this has ever really bothered me. I met him at my old job. We became really good friends and somewhere along the way I fell madly in love with him. Things were complicated when we got together and after 6 months we broke up. That was a year ago. Hes now wanting to get back together. Hes on the road alot to make some good money to take care of some financial issues he faced after the divorce and once he gets that taken care of hes planning to settle back down near me, buy a house and wants to start over. I am still in love with him now, if not more than ever. He feels the same. SO, heres my question. I have many friends, including some friends from college I just reconnected with and some of them have felt that I'm settling. The recent friends of mine I just reconnected with are married to husbands that make good money, have the nice house, the 2 kids, lavish vacations, etc. I know that if they knew about my situation they would judge me. The thing is. I grew out of "judging people". I don't think anyone that lives in a nice big house versus someone living in a trailer is any different. I don't beleive in thinking or calling someone a loser. Its amazing the different types of people I have met in life due to the fact that I don't judge my friends on what they have, or where they came from, but rather the type of person they are. I know life with my ex boyfriend won't be easy; but I love him more than anyone I have ever loved. I love his children and they adore me back. I have dated men during our break up and although I have found some I connected with on some levels none of them compare to my ex. I have dated men with college degrees, no kids, no ex, but never have I felt what I feel with my ex. I'm tired of people thinking I'm settling. I think people like that are ignorant and snobby. We're all human. We all have our own battles. So what is this "settling" really mean? If I am in love and I feel I could not live my life without this person in my life why is that considered settling to people? I could easily date the perfect guy on "paper" which I have done before just to please everyone else, but if that does not work for me then isn't that the important thing? I'm bothered cause I wonder if maybe I am living in some kind of fantasy? I am happy with my ex/current boyfriend. He is my best friend. Whats wrong with that?

 
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:29 AM   #2
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Re: Settling?

There's nothing at all wrong with that, EG. I think one of the most dangerous things you can do is listen to other people when they trash talk someone you love. Even if they have your best interests at heart, and even if they are right, you can make a huge mistake if you go off half cocked and react in a knee jerk way because of what someone else said about your SO. Take their well intentioned advice into consideration, with a grain of salt, and then listen to your own heart, with your own best interests in mind.

As for settling, personally, I've always thought settling was being with someone you didn't really love for convenience's sake. The whole "well, I'm getting older and I really want kids, and he's the only one interested, and well, he's got most of his own hair, all his own teeth, no felony record, gainfully employed, I guess he won't drive me too crazy, ok, I'll marry him" and then 5 years down the road these women are like "I'm so bored in my marriage, I can't stand my husband, and I dont' want to have sex with him anymore, I just don't know why???" To me, THAT'S settling.

I think you would be settling if you married one of these guys with a nice big home and a nice car and a fancy job but who you had no real intimacy, emotional connection or real deep love for. And it's not like your guy is an unmotivated stoner/abusive cheating junkie who doesn't want to work. He's working hard, even going out of town to make more money to take care of his financial obligations, yes? If he's hard working, an upstanding citizen, and most importantly, is good to you, respectful, kind, giving and sensitive to your needs and feelings, etc., and is a good, responsible father, who cares how much he has in the bank? And who's to say that he could get a great job next month or next year? You just never know. But as long as he's not totally destroying his credit (because if you marry him, his credit becomes your credit) and being irresponsible and foolish with his money, and as long as you wouldn't be living in substandard, dangerous conditions being with him, no, I don't think you'd be settling at all to be with someone, the only one, you really truly love just because he can't buy you a big five bedroom house and a big SUV. How does he make you feel, and how does he care for you, how good are you for each other, those are the important things.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 07:05 AM   #3
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Re: Settling?

Necessarily I don't see anything wrong with settling. Whether you like it or not, settling is clearly linked to age (or maturity). The younger you are, the less you want to or are ready to settle. Like any other life project, settling requires a cost-benefit analysis, if you see what I mean. The problem here is that the parameters to be assessed are both material and emotional, and in most cases you can rely only on predictions. If you settle just for material or emotional benefits, your settlement is likely to become a failure. Both parameters must be present, but it's a personal choice as to which is more important for someone. Again, like any other life project, settling may need adjustments along the way. Because the future is highly invisible, the costs of settling can become higher than the benefits at a certain point. Mathematical models do not much help here, you know. In a way, settlement is paradoxically never totally settled, because one of the main features of life is change, whether it happens suddenly, quickly or subtly. In a word, we are taking risks when we decide to settle, as much as when we decide to do anything or not in our lives. That is life. And that is what makes it worth living.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 07:12 AM   #4
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Re: Settling?

Settling is sacrificing something you need to be happy for the sake of being comfortable. (A compromise is giving up something you want, but don't need.) It sounds like you don't need the standards of material success your friends do to be happy. If you love this guy like crazy and he makes you happy, then you aren't settling!

Last edited by Lysander; 08-13-2008 at 07:18 AM.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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Re: Settling?

you love this guy......you're not settling

agree with LLM.....settling is being with someone out of convenience, because you're comfortable, they don't beat you, etc......not because you love them

your friends that go for guys they don't have a connection with but they know the guy makes good money, has marketable skills, a degree, would be a good provider.......they're the ones that are settling, and they're the ones that will be involved in extra-marital affairs from one side or the other, and they're the ones that will end up divorced......
don't listen to them......I think they may be jealous that you have found the real thing.......

 
Old 08-13-2008, 08:05 AM   #6
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Re: Settling?

When I first met my husband, a friend of mine asked me where he went to college and I told him that he never went to college and then the friend said "then he is beneath you." I was so shocked that I couldn't say a word. Now, I wish that I had said something.

My husband and I have been happily married for 9 years now. Yes, I make more money than he does, but we are comfortable and I've never missed the big house or the nice cars.

You are not settling at all and you should just tell your friends that he makes you happy and that they should mind their own business.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 09:12 AM   #7
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Re: Settling?

Aw, thanks Guys. I feel much better. You know I don't know if this is the guy or not. I know I love him to death. I know I can't imagine him not in my life. I know he has a crazy ex. I know that I have dated other guys recently and just can't get him out of my mind. Its not even just being comfortable its just him. He has his faults, yes. But I don't mind his faults...and hes working really hard right now to correct his past mistakes with money, the divorce, etc. He pays child support and loves his children dearly. So many say its settling cause hes already been married, already has kids, will always be paying alot of his paycheck to his ex for child support--"don't i want someone that doesn't have that baggage?" "Don't I want to have a child and it be the guy's first child as well"? I always get. People think Wow, I've really set my standards low and if I think about it too much I start to question my relationship, but until everyone brought it to my attention...I have dated all types of guys from different levels of income and different places and hes the one I pick to right now. Honestly, I didn't even pick him cause hes not the "typical guy"...it just happened, and its deep. Weather we make it or not...he will always be someone special in my life; period. I do base my connections with people on an emotional level rather than financial. Thanks guys!!! Forget what everyone else thinks..I'm gonig to follow my heart. Logically I can somewhat see where people are coming from but I don't want to ignore my heart, break things off for good, and always wonder what if?

 
Old 08-13-2008, 09:19 AM   #8
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Re: Settling?

Good luck, and keep us informed about your "settlement".

 
Old 08-13-2008, 12:25 PM   #9
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Re: Settling?

It's not settling - unless it is you settling for less than you want, becuase it's all you think you can get.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 05:38 PM   #10
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Re: Settling?

Elated -

I agree with everyone here. But if you have dated people from all different
walks of life I would wonder what it is about this fellow that brings this
judgment out in your friends. Or is this typical? If it is, I find it very
immature of them. You're not 15. And you sound like you have good
judgment overall.

If it's really about the children and child support, shut them down and tell
them you see the children as a bonus to the relationship. In a perfect world it would be nice to have your child be the first for the dad too. But that doesn't happen much these days.

Good luck.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 06:21 PM   #11
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Re: Settling?

I think the main reason people think I'm settling is because since he has a previous marriage and kids that he will not be able to give me the attention and finacial contribution as much as someone without that baggage.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 11:37 PM   #12
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Re: Settling?

That's true, but on the other side you have 3 people that you say you adore and that adore you. That's worth something in my opinion. And if you decide to have children with your boyfriend, your child will have 3 great siblings and that's gold worth.

 
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