Monday, June 7, 2010

Compromising vs. Settling

So, I know it’s been a minute. So much has happened since we last chatted. I passed my comps, got an A- on my master’s project, graduated grad school, and was made faculty at work. Well those were the major happenings, but this entry isn’t about those things. A friend’s posting got me to thinking and reexamining “the list.” She asked (reposted from Baisden Live) what was the difference between settling and compromising? It’s funny because another friend and I have had this conversation several times. I always tell her that if she settles and it by chance doesn’t work out then I am not going to feel sorry for her and tell her I told her so, because God provides us with everything else, so why wouldn’t He supply our mate (I know, I don’t take my own advice very well). I know compromising usually takes two (it takes 2 to make a thing go right) and settling is normally a decision made by one, but my short answer to my friend’s posting was “Compromise: You want 5 kids-he wants 2 COMPROMISE at 3 and Settling: you think you are never going to find a good man, so you SETTLE for a man with 6 kids and tells you he doesn't want anymore.” This response was a little exaggerated, but sums up my thought on the matter.

So, here I decided would be a better place to elaborate. Although, I don’t have a physical list of what I want in a man (which may be why I haven’t found “him” but that’s another story), I do have qualities, characteristics, or what have you in my mind. As I have gotten older, some of what I have thought I needed, I realized not so much. I have over time deleted things off my list. Now you may be thinking then “aren’t you settling?” NO, I’m not. Some of the things I have on my list aren’t very important and definitely aren’t worth me giving up a good man for. For example, I would love to have man that knows where the hamper was and would every time he undressed placed his dirty clothes in the right place, but am I going to let that be a deal breaker….ummm, a No.

The important things I have left on the list. I still want and need a man who is loving, compassionate, driven, and respectful, is spiritual, believes in God, and goes to church. A man who I feel comfortable and at peace with, who I can laugh and cry with, that I feel safe with. A man that will not intentionally lie to me to in order to hide. A man that makes a home so that regardless of what the world does to me, I know his arms erases all doubt. A man I can talk to and can talk to me. A man who works hard and honest, believes in me and himself, doesn’t let what others think, say or do control what he thinks, says, or does. Now, this list is by no means a complete one (I think I will actually but it all down soon), but these are some of the things I feel are important and ARE NOT negotiable.

Now back to my example. I would be a fool, to say the least, to give up a man who has these JUST because of a hamper issue:). It’s one of those things that you realize and 20 years down the line, you aren’t mad because you knew it to begin with. A good friend is almost always late. She told me that her husband knew this about her before they got married, but he doesn’t scream and count the clock. This isn’t settling to me. It’s me coming to terms with the reality that if I want a man who has ALL I want, I’m going to have to make him…lol. I can let go of the little things to see the bigger picture. In my friend’s case her husband loves her and it was more important to be late with her than to be on time without her (or at least that’s the conclusion I drew).

So to me, compromising is giving up a little to gain so much more, realizing that we all have faults and quirks, but that they make up what, more times than not, could be the best part of us. On the other hand, settling is taking what is at hand just because what you really want is out of reach for the moment, but if you wait on it, it will be well worth it. Settling is one giving up all or A LOT just to have something anything now. After a compromise, you still feel like you win and are happier for it, but when you settle, the after taste lingers and soon builds into resentment.

My friend’s response to me was that she probably doesn’t compromise enough because she fears she is settling. Compromising takes careful thought and preparation, give and take. Settling is an act of desperation. When I have to decide between compromising and settling, I look at what I am giving up in order to gain what I want. If I am giving up a dream or a need, I’m settling. I also ask myself, “why is this so important?” Am I not compromising to prove a point or to be stubborn? If the answer to this is yes, then I have to reevaluate the importance.

I don’t really know the exact wording of or theory behind the 80/20 rule, but a friend of mine said that one of her teaches told her that 20% of what we have on our “list” we are not going to find. So, my thought is that I am only willing to compromise with that 20% that I probably shouldn’t have included anyway. I will SETTLE down with the guy who has the other 80%.

So until next time…, love, laugh and cry.

1 comment:

  1. Tiffany this is an excellent post. You gave me a lot to think about. I probably haven't compromised a lot in the past (in part) for fear of settling and a lot of it was probably just being stubborn.

    I do have deal breakers and these are things I will not compromise on. But I do need to learn to give a little sometimes and not be so rigid. Its hard trying to protect your heart and be giving @ the same time.

    I asked my dad the same question (he's my go to guy for wisdom). He breaks things down into simple terms. Compromise is you give some, I give some. Settling is I give up.