Compromising In Your Relationship Doesn't Mean You're 'Settling'

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As world-renowned sex and love guru Dan Savage puts it: "If you have a list of deal-breakers that has more than five things on it, you do need to wait around to get a sex robot. There's no settling down without some settling for."

Savage calls this theory "the price of admission." It essentially means you have to give something up when it comes to love. In business, this is called opportunity cost, but for us regular folk, it's simply called compromise.

When my friends talk about the perfect man and how the guy they're dating needs check every box in their perfect man checklist or else he's not the one, I really can't comprehend. That's insane!

I mean, I understand where they're coming from. And of course, I think my friends are amazing and "nobody is good enough for them," but people aren't Barbie dolls. We don't come wrapped perfectly in the box others want us to be in.

People aren't Barbie dolls. We don't come wrapped perfectly in the box others want us to be in.

There have been so many times when I thought something was a deal-breaker, but I've overlooked it for a guy I really liked. I don't necessarily see this as settling or being desperate to be with just anybody. I see it as overlooking their "flaws" for their otherwise redeeming qualities.

What if someone didn't give YOU a chance because of some obscure reason, like you don't like their favorite vegetable? (This is a thing that happens.) I would say "fuck off" because I don't want to be with someone who puts that much weight on a silly excuse anyway.

These people we dream up in our heads who would fit every little criteria we can imagine aren't real... they're fantasy. And real people can't be fantasies.

You could be missing out on so many amazing people while waiting for a person who doesn't exist. You could be losing out on someone who fulfills the needs you don't even know you have over things you think you want.

You're missing out on so many amazing people while waiting for a person who doesn't exist.

Earlier this year, I dated a guy who dropped out of college and still lived with his mom. As someone who's been on my own since I was 18, I thought these were complete deal-breakers for me. But I saw how great he was and wanted to give him a chance.

Sure, it didn't work out in the end, but he made me realize having a post-secondary education or your own apartment doesn't matter as much as someone who puts in an effort to see you despite how tired they are.

Even after his early-morning shifts, this guy would stop by my work just to see me and talk for a little. And THAT was more than any other guy had ever done for me. The effort he put in to show he was committed was more valuable to me than anything else.

The effort he put in to show he was committed was more valuable to me than anything else.

It's kind of ridiculous to have such high expectations at our age. I don't think it's realistic for me to look for a 6 foot 4 inch billionaire philanthropist. I mean, I think I'm really great and all, but let's be real for a second, I'm no Gandhi.

I don't really need a list of 100 things a guy should have in order to be my boyfriend. I'm never going to build a meaningful relationship if I'm too busy seeing if he fills all of my criteria — I'll be too busy writing people off before I even give them a chance.

The best people I've met were the people I was least excited about because I didn't have these crazy high expectations upon meeting them. In fact, the most successful relationships I've been in were ones where we would both grow as people, as opposed to ones that looked perfect from the beginning.

That's all I used to want out of a long-term relationship: perfection from the start. But if our relationship can never get better because it's already ~perfect~, then what's the damn point?

Newsflash: The perfect relationship never has — and never will — exist.

So, give people a chance. Someone could be everything you need, even if they're not what you thought you wanted.