I love music, in spite of the fact that I can’t carry a tune, play an instrument, or dance (I say with regret!). I use music to affect my thoughts and emotions. Also, I use it for article inspiration. As those of you who read my articles with some regularity know I often quote lyrics to help make my point and, hopefully, make the writing more interesting. 

Presently I am inspired by Sugarland’s “Settlin.” First, some of the lyrics, then I’ll make my point of why I’m using this as a jumping off point. 

“Fifteen minutes left to throw me together

For mister right now, not mister forever. 

Don’t know why I even try when I know how it ends.

Looking like another “maybe we should be friends.”

I’ve been leaving it up to fate

It’s my life, so it’s mine to make.

I ain’t settling for just getting by

I’ve had enough so-so for the rest of my life. 

Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high

Just enough ain’t enough this time

I ain’t settling for anything less than everything, yeah!”

Part of my practice has to deal with romantic relationships. Over the years I have watched individuals “settle” with regard to a marriage partner. Thus, the relationship was doomed to be miserable, and often led to divorce. Settling is a mistake! So why do people do it?

There are a number of reasons why people “settle” — lower the bar. In my experience more women than men do it, but the core reasons are basically the same. Low self esteem, lack of self worth and appreciation of self is the biggest reason people settle. Too often I hear the words from clients saying “I’m not good enough,” “I don’t deserve,” “I don’t think I could get anybody better,” etc… . I could go on and on about where this feeling comes from. Another article will deal with that. If you don’t have high self-worth you “settle” for less than what you really want and deserve. I call it “bottom fishing.”

Another main reason people “settle” in a relationship is impatience. At certain points in life individuals feel it is “time to get married.” That understanding may come from age (“I’m getting old”) or perhaps the biological clock is ticking (“I’m ready to have a baby”). Thus, people don’t wait for the “right one,” the better fit, and they “settle” for someone who ultimately will not lead to marital bliss.

Even later in life, individuals “settle.” After divorce or death of a partner, some have difficulty in being alone. Thus, they choose a partner out of desperation rather than prudent “due diligence.” 

Personally, I am so grateful that I waited for the “right one” to come along and then did my due diligence vetting to be sure. Forty-nine years later I am still very much in love with my wife, Sherry. Grateful beyond measure to share life with her and have had the experience of raising two incredible kids! Did not “settle”!

Please, Respected Reader, don’t “settle”! And if you have done so, do whatever it takes to “raise the bar” and make it the best relationship that it can be. Life is too short to endure a life of “settlin”!

Dr. Stathas can be reached at 706-473-1780. Email: jstathas13@gmail.com. Website: drstathas.googlepages.com. Blog: drstathas.com

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