Thursday, November 15, 2007

settling to settle down

i've been thinking a lot about settling lately. not in the sense that i'm thinking about doing it. just the concept.

i've found that the older i've gotten and the more i've gotten to know myself and determine the things in life that are important to me, my "deal breakers" have changed. or disappeared. something that was a deal breaker for me 5 years ago is something i don't even think about anymore.

but here's the thing....where is the line drawn between losing deal breakers and settling? if we are in a relationship with someone, and there are red flags and deal breakers, do we just tell ourselves that things aren't deal breakers because we are in love and it hurts too bad to think about things ending? maybe everyone who settles has just convinced themselves that they have matured, or become more open-minded or accepting and that their deal breakers have changed, when in reality they still care deeply about those things but assume that in the long run it will work itself out. and then i just think in the long run you discover that they didn't work themselves out and those things were important to you and now you are unhappy. or not necessarily unhappy but unfulfilled.

that's what i am starting to think anyway.


natali said...

maybe it isnt between no longer having deal breakers and settling. because if it was really a deal breaker you would break it. (ex: you find out someone is a pedaphile. they are out. no questions asked). so its not that you dont have deal breakers. if just that they change. but your old deal breakers haunt you and you feel like you might be settling when really you are just changing. maybe.

SummerChild said...

The way I see it, deal breakers could go two ways.

1) The older we get and the more single we are, the more of the deal breakers we toss out, until finally we end up with (I have at least), "I'd like it if he were male and went to church sometimes." But then, I've ended up dating a number of guys who barely fit this category, and not happy, and broken up. This leads me to believe that I should stick with the deal breakers and not accept anything less and not waste my time with guys who don't fit what I want. This way, at least I won't end up in dead end relationships. Or knocked up in a trailer park.

2) But then on the other hand, my deal breakers have changed drastically in the last 10 years. What seems huge to me now (say, good taste in music) may not matter at all in another 10 years when we are in completely different stages of life (and both listen to Elton John). Qualities that are potentially annoying could pass and become endearing traits. You just never know.

But I agree with Natali on one thing for sure-- no pedophiles. Keep that deal breaker.

Natali said...

the more and more i think about deal breakers the more i think they dont exist. but they are easy enough to start rattling off when you break up. i think there is a lot of safety in saying it could never work out because of X, Y and of course Z. especially Z. it takes a lot of responsibility out of the failed relationship. then again, what do i know. i am watching the princess diaries 2.

ck said...

yes i agree with nat. dealbreakers are what people use to explain their failed relationships so it looks like they're the stronger party. whether a break-up is your fault or not, you want it to look as though you weren't emotionally involved at all. it makes you look cooler.

for example you never want to say "yeah we broke up because even though we've only been dating for 2 weeks, i was already trying to picture him with our children and i couldn't, so that was that."

it's much easier (and less desperate-looking) to say, "yeah we broke up because he holds his pencil funny."

natali said...

i just wonder where i can find boys that go to church sometimes...

becky said...

i don't necessarily agree that deal breakers don't exist. what about "i cannot date someone who isn't emotionally available"? some people might be able to date someone like that, but i couldn't.

or what about, "i could never date someone who never seems to want to touch me?" some people are okay with hardly any physical contact, while others NEED it to feel loved.

or what about "i could never date someone who is interested in sex with small children"? i think that one's fair too.

ck said...

yeah that's a good point beck. i guess it's just my personal definitions. i think there's a difference between a deal-breaker and a list of qualifications. i think the list of qualifications is the list of important absolutely must haves or have nots. dealbreakers, to me, are the little petty things that shouldn't matter in a relationship but do because you're really just looking for something to break the deal. (chews with his mouth open, calls his mom "pooky" know, stuff like that)

natali said...

yeah. i think its just a way of catagorizing. i dont think a deal breaker is something you say you are against, date someone who has that quality, break up, then say oh yes its probably because of this. because a true deal breaker you can not really tolerate.

natali said...

that being said i think emotional unavailability is a deal breaker. because you dont find out about it usually until you are well into the relationship. but a person not going to church cant be a dealbreaker because you probably noticed that when every sunday during sacrament you texted them and they were at sizzler. and you are like you cant even bother to wait for me. you emotionally unavailable jerk.

brian said...

don't you think it's sometimes cool to look like you were the one who was emotionally involved in the failed relationship? maybe it's like you say you weren't that emotionally involved to look cool in front of your friends but you say you were emotionally involved when you talk about with people your interested in to look sensitive.

ck said...

i think maybe you're alone in this, brian. let's do a little study. notice how many times you hear the phrase "he/she dumped me" now compare it to how many times you hear "we broke up" (because "we broke up" pretty much means, he/she dumped me... otherwise they'd say, i dumped him/her)

El Jefe said...

Reading through these comments I thought of some things

1-One who chews with their mout open is asking to break a deal...SERIOUSLY. And calling mom pooky, or NOT flushing the toilet after, you know, whatever.

2-I proudly say I dumped people, I just have never dumped anyone, I just sort of fizzle out of their lives, like bad rootbeer (or beer beer) gone flat.

3-If your refering to difficulties in beliefs, that's a problem, but I believe you do what CK said and find something of less substance. For instance, people are always pissed when they "break up" (get dumped) for political or religious opinions, but are suprisingly understanding when you say something like "I could never be with someone who didn't find "This is Spinal Tap" absolutely hilarious.

4-I also think that deal breakers are fun to string up like a necklace (or anchor) to wrap around the neck of the person you are breaking up with (dumping) so they understand the weight of why things ended as they did...Here's a good example.

EXAMPLE A: I cannot be with someone who uses the word Hispanic to describe people who are descendants of Native South Americans. I can't be someone who says that.

EXAMPLE B: I cannot be with someone who thinks that Steve Carrell is a genius, where's Loose Fit American Eagle brand Jeans, rushes to Barnes and Noble whenever a new John Grishem or Dean Kootz book is published. Oh also, could never really, truly love someone who dislikes Morrissey, Ozzy and describes the descendants of inhabitants from Ancient South American Civilizations as "Hispanic".

When you use more than one example it's very damning and really sinks the self-esteem of the person you are trying to help understand that they are no longer good for you (loosers).

I know this didn't help much, I get all my love advice from Battle Star Galactica.