“Settling” When It Comes To Love And Marriage

“I’m not going to settle.”  It’s a phrase commonly used by people never married and a concept that has been preached far and wide for years. But…:

  • What if your expectations of love and the other in relationship were unrealistic from day one?
  • What if what you want and/or what you think you should have doesn’t exist on this plane / can simply not be had?
  • What if adjusting (lowering) your expectations does not equal “settling” but instead represents your entry into the real world of love and relating to others?

What do you think?


42 thoughts on ““Settling” When It Comes To Love And Marriage”

  1. Actually, I got as far as wondering about my ‘love script’ as you’ve called it in the past. Maybe I should get more of an understanding of what’s there, to help unpick the threads of my sometimes bizarre relationship to the opposite sex.

  2. thanks elsa. i wonder this very same thing, with or without saturn. some things my standard has been too low, others too high and some are just my own individual needs. total libra filter (ascendant)–i’ll spend all my life balancing and counter-balancing this.

    and thankfully, i have enough mutable energy to be flexible, but enough fixed energy to stick to my guns if need be

    i do wonder what i have missed out on by all this ‘not settling’ business and then i think of all the crap i’ve avoided, too

    blah–the eternal see-saw . . .

  3. I say “Amen” to all that! Is it really settling if you can get along with someone, be their friend, and feel secure in the relationship?

    If someone wants to be with you and stay with you and you can like & respect who they are – that used to be considered a “good catch” I think!

    On a side note, seems lot of what some people think is romance is really drama — and they get addicted to it and forgo the “boring” ins and outs of actually relating to someone.

  4. Very well put, Elsa. Too many people have bought into the “soul mate/twin flames” line of cr*p (IMHO)

    It is hard, hard work to sort through our own expectations of how to behave in a committed relationship. Mostly because if we aren’t as honest as possible with ourselves, we will get nowhere.

    And THEN, we have to deal with the other person’s BS!!!! 😀

  5. my answers are no, no and no. It’s not a matter of lowering your standards and expectations. it’s a matter of loving someone or not.
    People who are settling usually marry someone because they’re good on paper. or they just like each other, or it’s convenient, blah….
    of course there’s that ultimate motive, people don’t won’t to be alone for the rest of their lives. that’s all good, but not for me…

  6. I’ve grown too comfortable with living alone. Then I look at all of the marriages around me and the great turmoil there… sure there’s comfort in companionship, but it always seems like there’s so much lurking underneath the surface. Is there any relationship that doesn’t involve a power struggle? I just want peace. If I find that, bingo. Then again, I know having a peaceful relationship probably lies within me, but I’m still not there. How does one get to the point where you just say, ok, I’ll suck it up? That’s how I see relationships. Damn.

  7. Speaking as someone who has been in a relationship for a couple of decades — I could look at it as settling, or as avoiding aloneness, or any one of a number of things, but the truth is, I love this man. What a lot of people have said, plus: I think sometimes people say that they don’t want to “settle”, when they really mean, “I prefer being alone.” Which is fine, if that’s what you really want. Yes on the addiction to drama, because relationship is made up of longish stretches of boring non-drama: what to have for dinner, should we see that movie this weekend, and who gets to change the diaper or clean up the cat barf.

  8. The symbol for Libra is the scales, which is in balance. In order to balance there must be some give and take. If one is not willing to “settle” (in other words, take a more balanced position in regard to making a relationship work) then there can not be any hope for a long term committed relationship. The symbol for Venus, which rules Libra, looks like a mirror. We must look into the mirror to see ourselves through the other person’s eyes. If there is no willingness to see oneself through the eyes of another (or “settle” as the case may be!) again, there is no hope for the relationship working out. Of course, maybe the reality is, is that a person not willing to “settle” is, in fact, someone who needs to work through life’s issues alone in this lifetime.

  9. I agree! I also think our loss of community, extended family, and spiritual fellowship has created a vacuum that people try to fill with their romantic partners.

  10. I think you’re right Elsa- this thinking has also extended to other parts of my life, especially career. What a revelation.

  11. I see several people around me who ARE settling–they are deeply unhappy and don’t know why they stay.

    One of my family members is nearing 40 and although she has gone on and on since childhood about wanting to be married and have children, she is unwilling to put herself out there. She thinks God will provide her with a husband, but–?? It makes me feel so sad for her:(

  12. Saturn moving into Libra is in my 7th house, so I’m being forced to look at this on many levels. Marley, I think you described me. I have NN in the 1st in Aries, and Saturn conj. Venus in Aries, plus Uranus in the 7th, and many other indicators. I once read that having your NN in the 1st (or was it Aries) meant you’d had many marriages in past lives and were ready to be alone. That one made me laugh, but then again, it might be true.

    I have deep connections to friends, family, some community, so I’m not a recluse or not able to form relationships, it’s just different.

  13. The word ‘settle’ used in this context is actually an insult to the people that we supposedly don’t want to ‘settle with’. Like they are below us therefore not worthy of our grandeur. And if this is a way a relationships starts, it leads to nothing good.
    People that cannot give up the idea of soul mates should not settle, because they won’t be happy and their partner will be humiliated when he’ll find out thta he is the guy she ‘settled for’. That’s just ugly!

  14. We are never alone and we are always settling because we live in community. The trick is being surrounded by people who love you and who you love so that the lessons and experiences enhance your life and theirs in a meaningful way. Then you stay or commit to riding the waves together to see what comes out of it.

    I see this in the people who married out of highschool instead of stayed single. They have some things that I do not – kids.. and maybe a few more headaches.. but their chart is their chart and it still plays out.

    My life is what it is – the reality – from not settling.. and it’s ok in general because the people I love and care for are still in my life (for now). But I would prefer to do this dance with someone who can feed off my energy and vice versa so that my life brings meaning and helps the next generation deal and get evolve. And that will take committment and staying plugged in. Staying true to myself for the good of the union and being there for the other as well. Idealistic? Maybe. But also very very real from my observations being back living in community with my family.

  15. I’ve heard the word settle used as an excuse to keep distance. I’ve also seen people partner out of fear of being alone when it seems they would be better off alone to me.

    I do stand by the idea that if you find the same issues with everyone you look at, it’s probably not everyone else. That realization saved me from a train wreck love life.

  16. Belle, SN in 7th house means partnerships have been your primary interest until now and it is about time to switch from parternships toward yourself.
    This way you can gradually balance the 1/7 axis. I have the same placement so I looked it up.
    I don’t think anyone is ‘ready to be alone’. Some may need being alone, some may be forced to be alone, but I don’t think anyone is ready to be alone.

  17. I think, by watching and talking to people, that the number of “settled” are more unhappy than those who did not settle. I also think more people “settle” then stand by the convictions. I also think that people who “adjust” their expections do so more on a physical level, than an emotional level.
    Lots of people think finding their mate, is part of their destiny, when using those thought patterns I think of the movie “The Men Who Stared at Goats” and the line “What if Ann Frank wanted to be a high school teacher” Well look what happened, she did not become a high school teacher and yet look how many high school students she did teach. To me this is about her relationship with high school students and her destiny. Did she lower her standard, nope, her expectations where redefined. I think if you approach relationships as fate, karma and destiny, then you get what you need, not what you want.

    This period before Saturn into Libra hopefully gave a lot of us time to think about exactly what we want in a relationship, and not a relationship for the sake of a relationship. Maybe all this Pluto, jupiter, uranus, saturn action has shocked us by transforming our expectations and to get out their and out our of ourselves to develop more expansive relationships, and to examine our expectations.

    Makes sense to me if the universe has our best interest at heart and wants us to evolve, learn, and grow. Lets all use these lessons wisely and use only the positive energy.

    OH, OH, OH and I also think that if anyone settles now, they will be revisiting this subject in about 7 years from now. The non astrologies will call it the 7 year itch, we will know better and say damn, I should have listened.

  18. I never wanted to settle, and the idea that nobody was good enough was “I’m not good enough” in disguise. When I was a girl, I had a main “type” of romantic fantasy. It was very simple; just scenarios where you and your guy are sitting at a table, having a cup of coffee, maybe. Comfortable, everyday images, and NOT the anger and intensity of my house. I also had fantasies that involved danger, such as being kidnapped! By bandits! and such-like.

    I never really got that comfortable version. Instead, I have had all the intensity and drama, minus the marriage.

    I think the twist is that I thought somebody decent would have to “settle” for me. I read somewhere about a group wedding ceremony where about 300 people married themselves, all at the same time. That seems like a good start. For those of us who don’t come by it naturally. The ultimate non-rejection of one’s own self. Like, I promise to love and honor, treasure, and accept my own self ’till death do I go back from whence I came.

  19. Well, I think I’ve got the bucket of cold water falling over me. When Saturn first entered LIbra my boyfriend broke up with me ‘out of the blue’, and two weeks later he was officially dating his new girlfriend.
    Is that possible that Saturn in LIbra refers to our own relationship and love with ourselves? (for some of us?). It’s in my natal 8th house for half of it’s transit, then it moves to my 9th.

  20. I have recently come to believe that settling is accepting reality.
    Before, I had unrealistic expectations.
    I have realized that my expectations may very well be non-existant on this plane… I want unconditional romantic love, but I’m coming to believe it doesn’t exist.
    I do believe now that adjusting (lowering) my expectations would be realistic if I ever wanted to be with someone for a lifetime.
    Instead of wanting 100%, I can settle for 80%.
    Now, the trick is to find someone who feels the same. I thought I found one, but it turns out he had unrealistic expectations too. In fact, his very words were, “I put you on a pedestal, and there was no way you could possibly live up to that ideal that I had for you.” Saturn in Libra hit both of us on the head pretty hard.

  21. “Is that possible that Saturn in Libra refers to our own relationship and love with ourselves?”

    personally, I think this is possible, because Libra is ‘we’ which means–yes–you AND me, linked.

    Personally I think being a good partner involves looking at ourselves, and how we interact within the boundaries of a relationship.

  22. Thanks, C! I liked that. Personally, I’m going to start talking to myself more. That is, after all, a primary relationship. God knows, it’s time to personally take a good hard look at my boundaries. Interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Haha. By Jove, I think I’ve got it!! Thanks,

  23. AW chrispito, personally I think you are on to something. Especially if jupiter/uranus in aries is in your first, are we needing to get out of own way to accomplish this? Lest we forget that neptune/chiron has been tangled up in this too. Healing and disolving boundaries within ourself so we can have more to offer(expansion)

  24. “What if adjusting (lowering) your expectations does not equal “settling” but instead represents your entry into the real world of love and relating to others?”

    Yes, I think what was said here is exactly on point. The statement, “I don’t want to settle,” in my mind, is referring to the concept of not compromising something *essential* in relationship, like a certain level of communication that you require, common spiritual beliefs, or ideas on family life, etc. The statement is separate from “Okay, well, I can live and love this person and sustain a relationship even if he doesn’t share my penchant for stuffed birds.”


  25. “Healing and disolving boundaries within ourself so we can have more to offer(expansion)”

    soooooo true!!!! I have NN in Libra:)

  26. Adjusting (downward) expectations of myself, clan/ family and partner, while healing/dissolving the inner rigid structures I worked so hard to build. While growing real boundaries. Sounds like the day the grinch gets together with Susie lou who for Christmas dinner in whoville. I see it, I feel it, I’m doing it; feels like I have a million miles to go. I guess that’s what transits are for. To incline us in that direction ( sees vision of dog w/antlers and sled, and a very big hill).

  27. I think this is an excellent topic and also some excellent suggestions for reality-checking, because, yeah, pretty much no couple ever fights about garbage night/who paid the electric bill/whose turn to walk the dog in the Hollywood version (aka Pisces vision, LOL! And I’m Saturn and Juno in Pisces so yes, at times guilty!), much less tackles the big stuff. Well, sometimes infidelity but still, there’s way grittier stuff than that to be had in the real-life version. Like a marriage slowly cracking apart because of one spouse’s non-stop tax problems, for instance. That’s real. Real and ugly. And as such I would say, adjust your expectations as need be but DO NOT go into something as “firm” as marriage with NO expectations, with a sort of, oh well, this will be an interesting adventure and we’ll just see what happens unless you KNOW you have a very high tolerance for just about everything – which, come on, is as unrealistic as having the “I won’t settle” mindset. (Because hey, I love adventure and all that but getting hounded by the IRS – not the kind of adventure I had in mind when I sealed the deal!) Everyone has values, limits, natural boundaries. DO know your values and your limits and DO do all you can to discover how close a match the other person’s are. Obviously, there are no guarantees and sometimes, you just have to go through it to know and get it, but I really, really believe and literally have learned the hard way that if you expect nothing or next to nothing from the other person in a relationship, that’s entirely what you’ll get!

  28. My brilliant, talented, hard-working daughter lives with her boyfriend who collects about $500.00 a month in disability benefits; and has the gall to bitch at her about not being able to pay her bills.

    The girl works 60-hour weeks and asks for nothing from this guy. He’s in her house because she can’t bear to be alone. That’s settling, in my mind; and no Saturn in Libra transit — or any other one for that matter — will make it right. In fact, I’m hoping that Saturn in Libra will bring about the breakdown of that so-called relationship; and she’ll get real about relating as an equal instead.

  29. Daisy – Your post at #20 speaks volumes to lots of my friends that I see..makes me stop short and wonder about myself too…

    Hats off to your observations and intuition lady!

  30. So I just had this conversation with my soon-to-be cousin in law as we sat on the beach this afternoon. He said “You know, when you’re young you think everyone and everything is going to be perfect and if someone is not then you tend to discard them. But as you grow up, you realize that people are not perfect and that you have had to work out some kinks in the relationships you have with your friends and family, so why wouldn’t you expect to have to work out kinks in love?” I loved what he said and I believe it’s what you are saying too. I have made the comment of “not settling” so many times in my life. Now I see the distinction. (Saturn in Libra eh?)

  31. Mooseman, the next thing you realize is the other is settling with you! How people think they are flawless is beyond me. Show me someone who is not a PITA at least some of the time. Show me ONE person like that.

  32. I’ll be honest here. I’m not a spring chicken (41) (although I feel like one). I went through a long period in my life where I didn’t think anyone COULD love me (even when I was in a relationship). There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m attractive (or so I’ve been told), educated, generally kind, etc. It’s all psychological, but things happen.

    I was recently in a relationship for a year and a half (my last one) where he really did love me. I felt that for the first time ever. I am very grateful because that changes you. He was beyond wrong for me, though. We had no chemistry, no spriritual link, nothing in common, and in the end he would not bend, even on the minor things I asked for compromise on. He shut me down. I believe relationships should have a certain amount of joy and love. I don’t call this settling. There are basics.

    I understand making it on the day-to-day stuff, too. I tried really hard to ‘make’ this work. There’s so much you do overlook in the name of peace. Believe me, I know. But you also can’t make yourself love someone. I tried.

    It did open me up, though, and I’m not discounting the future entirely. I’ve done everything for myself because I had to, though, and been happy about it. It’s okay to be alone. There are so many wonderful things in life!

    I guess I don’t understand the thinking that one is somehow flawed if not in a relationship, which is what I’m getting here.

  33. Perhaps it’s about having a more balanced view of oneself, that is based in reality rather than fantasy. Then we can withdraw the projections that are the cause of so much trouble and have a relationship that is true. Other people’s foibles are only a problem when you want them to be a prince or princess from a storybook.

  34. Maybe it’s about learning what’s really important and necessary and what’s not ideal but something you can live with. I have a Libra North Node and I know how much easier it is to be alone (Aries SN), but that’s never been satisfying to me. My Venus in Virgo is picky picky, conjoined Pluto and sextile Neptune. It’s taken a very long time to sort out the deeply important and satisfying from the unrealistic fantasy.

  35. would never had got engaged if i hadn’t sat down and figured out what i actually wanted, and looked for that… everything else is… not important.
    and, well, it requires a lot of work. but i couldn’t stand someone who washed out easy anyway.

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