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Relationships 101: Are You A Settler?

Whether we like it or not, when it comes to relationships, one is either a "reacher" or a "settler." Find out which type you are.

Whether we like it or not, when it comes to relationships, one is either a “reacher” or a “settler.” This may sound so insensitive but if you were to give it some careful thought, it’s so true.

Writer Priscilla Benfield shares, “Anyone can meet the wrong guy. If you are feeling low and not great about yourself you send out signals to all those kinds of guys who are just anxious to take advantage of you. If you enjoy being a doormat, you probably are not even reading this, but if you don't, and would like to change, read on.”

So the question is, which type of partner are you?

Let’s go through it step by step, and you’ll be surprised to find out underlying truths about yourself.

There are several reasons why women usually settle for Mr. Wrong or Mr. Pwede Na:

1. Low Self-Esteem

You may feel that you’re not just good enough for an amazing guy anyway, so you’ll take what you can get. Being inadequate may mean you think you’re not smart, pretty, thin, rich, or fun enough. Basically, qualities you feel would encapsulate the “perfect catch.”

NO ONE IS PERFECT. That is the point of having a TRUE relationship: room for acceptance of each other’s imperfections; growth from trying to bring out the best in each other; learning to compromise but not necessarily give up your identity or morals for the other.

2. Fear Of Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

It is only normal to fear the unknown especially if you’ve been in a long-term relationship. You fear starting all over again. You fear being rejected by potential dates or what-not. You fear having to re-learn new habits with a new person. You fear not being accepted by someone new. You fear your life might not be as financially comfortable without him, even if your partner was emotionally absent from your relationship. There are too many fears to mention!

Change is always a wonderful thing if you CHOOSE to see it that way. Rather than succumbing to fear, turn that fear into good anxiety of awaiting something new that you can grow from. Without change, you wouldn’t be able to discover a whole new side of yourself or all the excitement you’ve been missing out on! Change is life’s way of shedding your old skin to take in new experiences. It’s amazing because it’ll allow you to start over, should you have been living a miserable life filled with too much negative energy!

3. You Fear You Will Disappoint Your Family And/Or Others Whose Opinion Matters To You

Many of us are guilty of this but at the end of the day, when these people have died, moved to another continent, or forgotten your name, all you have is yourself and your partner that no one will probably care about anymore.

You should be with your partner for only reasons YOU feel matter to you. Yes, you may consider the insights of others important to you, but it must NOT be what determines your choice of partner/s.

4. You Fear You'll Look Like You’re Abandoning Your Partner

When you’ve outgrown your partner in maturity, you’ve obviously come to a point where you’re both headed in different paths in your life.

However, as much as your gut tells you to move on, you feel that this person has been devoted and been through everything with you! So you feel leaving this person is just wrong, as if to say you’re much better than him now, right? What kind of person ditches her partner just because she's become more mature than he is (supposedly)? There is so much guilt involved in having to “abandon” someone you care deeply for.

Guilt is life’s way of signaling us to check on our behavior toward others. However, even after several failed attempts at getting your partner to be on the same page as you to make your relationship’s journey more enjoyable, that guilt already serves as a hindrance to personal growth. Oftentimes, partners get stuck in a rut and use guilt on their partners to make them not leave them. Do NOT be sucked into this vicious cycle!

If this person truly cares about you, they would move heaven and earth to give you every reason to stay by growing up! But if their talk is cheap, move on, ladies! Move on!

5. Fear Of Being Alone

These people feel that it's better to be with someone than be alone. What’s the point of having success in life when there’s no one to share it with?

This is the most common reason why many settle in relationships that only reveal their expectations in life. Life will only give you what you expect of it.

Being independent means you are brave and comfortable enough to tread through life as an INDIVIDUAL--not as a person alone. The more you try to look for someone to be with, the more it’ll never happen--with a happy ending! Stop looking and start living life for YOURSELF and not to be with someone. That will happen when the time is right.

The common thread among all these points is that, enduring underlying unhappiness only brings about resentment, bitterness, frustration, and lack of hope. According to psychologist Darby Saxbe, research shows that relationships (including marriage) are good for a man’s health--regardless of the degree of marital satisfaction. This does not hold true, however, for women. Women benefit from relationships/marriage if and only if they are satisfied with them. When they are not satisfied, it is, in fact, harmful to their health.

It’s not difficult to see why. Men can easily detach physical needs from emotional ones. Women, on the other hand, primarily are driven by their emotions. They fully invest their entire beings into relationships, which may cost them their well-being if their relationship does not fulfill their emotional needs (which they rightfully deserve).

Settling in a partner is, bottom line, settling in life. Is this the kind of life you want for yourself?

So what does it take to heal from the “settler” disease? Read all about it next week right here, as I discuss the “settler’s” nemesis: The Reacher!

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