Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do Women Settle More Than Men In Relationships?

I wrote a post a few weeks ago regarding high expectations and how they can lead to the demise of a relationship. The recurring theme was that women tend to be too picky and set their expectations too high. This week I wanted to go the other extreme…settling in relationships. It’s something both sexes do. Whilst men do settle (they just don’t admit it as much) I feel women settle more.  Some would argue it’s a necessity if you hope to settle down and start a family.

I read an interesting piece by Lisa Merlo-Booth that said women that settle end up either over shooting or under shooting. When women overshoot, they yell, control, go on and on incessantly, or make repeated empty threats. All of these are ineffective. When women undershoot, they accommodate, say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no’, take whatever they’re given, and either shut down, and become resentful, or get depressed.

I’m pretty certain everyone can relate to the above statement at some stage in their life. Unfortunately when we settle in relationships we are never really happy because we’re not getting what we want and some people don’t know how to change that. I used to see a guy who was extremely busy. I would see him maybe once a week if I was lucky. He’d try and squeeze me in between meetings and his busy schedule. Whilst I wanted more and yes he knew this. I continued to settle which led to me being unhappy and frustrated with him and even more so myself.

So why do women settle more than men in relationships?

Fear/ Loneliness are big factors. You’ll be surprised what you’d consider doing when your lonely. The conversations you’ll entertain. The dates you wouldn't normally go on. The people you wouldn’t normally give the time of day too. I know someone who jumps from relationship to relationship. I believe the thought of not having somewhere there petrifies her. Some people fear being alone and the thought of Beyonce’s ‘Me, Myself and I’ would send them into hysteria.

Low self esteem some people don’t feel they can or deserve better. So when someone pays them the slightest bit of attention it may be all or nothing. Everything is riding on this relationship. It simply has to work or what have I got left? If I loose my partner I’ll be incomplete. It’s closely related to lack of confidence within ourselves. A lot of people get used to having someone around even if that person isn’t particularly good for them.

Peer Pressure Maybe because there’s more of a stigma around woman of a certain age that are single. Society dictates that you should be married with a family by a certain age. Men don’t face the same amount of pressure and don’t have to deal with a ticking body clock. I think women are more likely to cave in and settle with someone so that they can start a family.

Women are more emotional and unfortunately those feelings sometimes get in the way and cloud our better judgement. Our feelings may dictate the decisions we make resulting in us tolerating some bad choices and unhealthy relationships. Add intimacy to the equation and you mad find that you’re stuck in a relationship you’re not happy with a lot longer than you intended. We all secretly hope that the situation, relationship or the person your with will get better and patiently bade our time. Unfortunately some situations/ people don’t change and it just wasn’t meant to be.

Or maybe it’s simply because we don’t know what we want. You’d be surprised how many people get stumped when asked this question. I’m not sure if this is through lack of confidence, not knowing ourselves well or not believing we’re worthy of something good. Ask yourself what you want from a male/female and try not to reel off the generic kind, respectful, loyal. We all want that, what do ‘you’ really want from a relationship?

Of course everyone settles at some point in their life. I guess the key is to not compromise to the point of where it’s damaging to you.

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