This question was posed by one of my tweeps the other night. It made me think of some conversations that I have had with women recently. One woman said to me, “Well, I don’t care what I look like. My husband married me; he’s stuck with me, whether he likes what he sees, or not.” Another said that she is happy to stay with her husband, even though she’s not happy, because “training” a new guy would be too much of a hassle.
Am I the only one who thinks this is a little sad?
I will admit that I was probably guilty of this at one point. The truth is, we all “settle” to a certain extent, if we really stop to think it through. No one is perfect; so the person you’re with very likely has some things you might not have chosen if you were designing your perfect mate.
It’s one thing to settle for a guy who doesn’t dress the way you might like, or for a woman who has hair that’s a little shorter than you prefer. It’s a much different thing to stay with someone who you don’t love, or who doesn’t make you happy or treat you well.
A lot of it is immaturity (which was the final answer that we arrived at on twitter). Let’s face it - we meet people when we’re in our early twenties, and we’re already on the “I gotta get married and settle down so I can start my family” track. But in your early twenties - you’re usually not “you” yet. If you don’t really know yourself, you can’t possibly be ready to pick your life-partner. It sounds cliché, but you really do need to know and love yourself first, before you can love anyone else. Not only are you not ready to really know someone else, but you’re not ready to show that other person who you really are - so how are they supposed to know if they really love you? It just doesn’t work.
Some of it is likely due to self-esteem, too. Let’s face it - if you don’t like who you are, you are likely to be drawn to others who you believe will like this version of you that is less than your best. The best thing you can do for yourself, and ultimately for others, is figure yourself out first. Make yourself the best you that you can be - and then find someone who compliments that person.
It makes me sad when I think of little girls growing up believing that they need to settle for the guy who likes them, rather than waiting for the guy they like. Little girls aren’t taught that they are worth waiting for; they put too much emphasis on what others think of them, and not nearly enough focus on what they think of themselves.
No girl should have to wait until she’s 35 to learn this lesson: The most important person to impress, look good for, be smart for, to dress up for - is yourself.