I know you’ve heard it before:
It’s such a truism even your average person, who probably settles for everything in life, will give you this golden piece of advice.
And it comes from a good place, no doubt.
Settling means you don’t get the best. And you deserve the best, right?
Well, maybe you do.
It certainly sucks to not get everything you hoped and dreamed for… to commit to someone or something just ok…
But this is a very surface, consumeristic look at relationships.
And people who think this way invariably don’t get what they want anyway.
Understand: settling is common, but the reasons for it are complicated.
Some are seduced into it, others are scared into it.
In every case though, the motivations run quite deep.
To avoid it, you can’t rely on platitudes… you need to get honest with yourself.
Why Men Settle
There are a couple of reasons men settle, though of course these reasons are interlinked.
The first is straightforward.
They don’t believe they deserve any better.
Men who settle invariably have low self-esteem. They commit to a girl that doesn’t make them happy, because they don’t believe they deserve to be happy.
Shacking up with someone who doesn’t really appeal to them is just another way of them telling themselves they aren’t a valuable person.
But there’s another layer to it as well.
Men who settle pick women who like them more than they do, because picking a woman beneath them allows them to feel secure in the relationship.
When you know a girl likes you more than you like her, you can feel pretty certain that she’s not going to leave you.
(Indeed, many of the Red Pill techniques that keep girls in this position are designed to fulfill this need — we’ll go into this in an article soon)
But there’s a problem with this dynamic.
It gives you control, it gives you safety… but not deep satisfaction.
You are in a relationship with someone who is pleasing you out of fear, who you constantly have to game… or someone who is likewise afraid to leave but refuses to really get intimate and trust you.
In either case, not a healthy or fulfilling relationship.
But there’s an even-still deeper reason men settle… and why they stay with these girls, even as their self-esteem improves… and fear of “being left” fades.
The Real “White Knights”
The manosphere rightly makes fun of “white knights — the “beta males” / “nice guys” who bend over backwards to do things for women they want to sleep with.
These guys are in it for sex, but are too afraid to admit it — so they act “helpful” but are really needy and sneaky. When frustrated enough these men turn into sexual predators. Women sense this immediately; it’s why “nice guys” don’t get laid.
But there is another form of “white knight” that equally wants to save a woman, but from a different position.
These are the guys who stay with girls out of guilt.
And they are overwhelmingly among the ranks of men who settle.
Understand, while there are many factors that come into play when a guy chooses a girl he’s not exactly enamored with… the one that tends to give guys (especially guys of good character) the hardest trouble is fear of hurting the girl he’s with.
These guys generally WANT to love this girl they settled for, but struggle to give her 100%.
And she senses this.
It creates a permanent level of mistrust in the relationship, because in the back of her mind she always wonders… why is he really with me?
Does he really love me for me, or is he in it because he feels sorry for me?
How can I give him my heart if he won’t give me his?
It’s the tragic irony of guys who find themselves in this position.
They stay with a girl out of guilt, to try to be the guy who gives her the love she wants. To try to save her from a life without love.
But in fact… he’s only making her feel worse about herself.
His lack of full devotion doesn’t make her feel special, it makes her feel small.
And guarantees in the end he only breaks her heart worse.
Why You Can’t Settle For A Woman
People hate on settling because they see it as a way to waste your own future.
But while this may be true, there’s another reason just as bad.
It’s cruel to the woman you are settling for.
It’s condescending and humiliating to her to “save her.”
You might think you’re doing her a favor — and she may even, on the surface, want you to stay.
But staying can never elevate her because staying is an act of pity. And when you pity someone you degrade them.
You prevent them from finding someone who might actually love them for who they are.
You waste their time, while lowering their self-esteem.
It’s an asshole move — a move based on ego (I’m a good guy, look at how loyal and dutiful I am) — that doesn’t have her best interests at heart.
She might fear losing you, but only by leaving her do you give her a chance to grow, and find who she really wants.
When she won’t act in her own best interests, you must do it for her.
Especially since her best interests align with your own.
Love her 100%, or don’t love her at all.
Loyalty and Lies
It’s an argument I’m sure many of the “trad” folks will hate, especially when it comes to marriage. You committed yourself, you made vows — now you must uphold them.
And perhaps there is a point to be made, that if you don’t give yourself “an out” from a girl, you have to make it work. You have to love her 100%, because you have to be with her.
But it’s also worth asking yourself:
What good is a commitment when it’s based on a lie?
Love may appear to be unconscious and spontaneous, but true love is in many ways it is a choice. But it’s a choice both parties must make if that love is to flourish.
Even the best romances require both parties to give up some of themselves for the benefit of the whole. When you commit to someone, you merge with them in a certain way.
You must kill your pride and accept the other person as they are, and learn to manage their flaws. But if they do not accept you as you are, or accept your flaws… you are not becoming something greater together, you are simply sacrificing part of yourself. And for what?
A sacrifice reciprocated is a sacrifice honored. But when someone does not sacrifice in turn for you, or only pretends to sacrifice to get or maintain your commitment, you are not in a relationship based on love, but a relationship based on transactions.
And a relationship based on fear is a relationship based on a lie.
This is why, while I am circumspect about how vulnerable men should be in relationships, only emotionally stunted individuals do not believe it has an important role.
If you cannot give yourself to a woman, you cannot receive love from her.
And if a woman cannot give herself to you, she will receive the same.
You can only have a shadow of a romance; an illusion of intimacy.
Those who consider such a surrender to be “weakness” do understand how leadership works.
Leadership and Surrender
The modern world is filled with scared, atomized people. Everyone has become an “individualist,” even though man is at heart a social animal, and few can survive (let alone thrive) without a group.
Yet ego’s have been pumped up so there can be no surrender or trusting of others.
And no where has this been more true than in affairs of the heart.
Women get a bad rap these days for refusing to surrender, and it is well deserved. Your average modern woman has been indoctrinated to be a poor life partner.
But we must also ask ourselves if we are in glass houses throwing stones. How many men understand leadership enough to day to warrant this surrender?
If a man treats a woman as a burden, as unimportant, there is little to persuade her to submit beyond fear.
Which is why the man must lead even with the offering of his leadership.
The best personal dynamics always involve both parties dedicating themselves to the other.
Men might fight for a general out of fear. And make no mistake: there should always be some fear of loss if they do not play their part.
But corporal threats, while perhaps necessary to an extent in big groups (where there are always low consciousness individuals who reject the power of devotion), remain minor motivators in an army.
What truly makes soldiers motivated is the feeling of competence, and that their leader cares for them, and is willing to risk himself as much as any of them.
He is both above them, yet also among them.
It is fear of separation from this love – of displeasing their leader – that drives soldiers to great sacrifice.
And while this martial loyalty may be distinct to men, healthy women have their own form of loyalty to great men who love them with abandon… love them out of love, not out of need (a distillation of fear).
Which is why, while a woman must surrender and submit to a man, a man must also surrender himself to his woman.
Yes: this is a different form of surrender, as his role is different. But it is surrender nonetheless. He is there to lead and protect her, and this duty extends beyond him.
It is a submission to God or a higher ideal.
Unfortunately, men and women today do not understand this. “Red pill” men demand women serve them out of ego, while feminist women feel entitled to a man’s generosity without her surrender.
It is a prisoner’s dilemma.
A dilemma nearly inevitable when one of the parties settles.
More and more people today are single, and an easy 70% of relationships have one or both parties remaining in them with serious regrets.
Love is hard, and it has become harder.
But not because love itself has raised the bar, but because we have become more selfish.
We look at what we can take rather than give.
We operate with the opposite sex not through genuineness, but guilt.
Which is why in almost all relationships today, the dynamic is sad yet simple: one party settles, and the other remains because of fear.
Neither surrenders to the other.
Instead, each demands.
And each receives anxiety instead of acceptance as a result.
I hope you have gotten the lesson.
Never settle for a woman, especially a woman who does not understand intimacy or surrender, unless you want the same fate for yourself.
You must give yourself to a woman to have a great relationship with her, but she must be able to give herself to you.
And if neither one of you can do this, your romance is destined for mediocrity or disaster.
It’s counterintuitive, I know.
But being with someone 99% is a million times harder than being with them 100%.
Your puzzle pieces must fit.
And if you do not fit by nature, you must both commit to changing so the fit can occur.
If she will not do this, you can try to love and accept her into seeing the light.
Patience and love can sometimes wake people up before disaster occurs.
But if it doesn’t, remaining does neither of you any favors.
And if you need help working your way through this? Deciding whether or not it’s time?
Reach out to me, and I’ll show you the light: www.patstedman.com/application