Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Unsettling Thoughts About Settling

Today at work I had the radio at full blast, as usual.
Talk radio.
At one point, an interesting segment was airing [on CBC]... about dating, getting engaged to be married, and the marital relationship in general.
When this one statistic was mentioned I quickly grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down the findings. Of course, I cannot cite sources -- but this one Ph.D author of such things, she said that a survey was taken, asking people the following:
Would you enter into a marriage relationship knowing [and feeling] ahead of time that the other person possessed 80% of what you consider essential requirements in an ideal partner?
I was surprised at the results that came blaring through the way-too-loud radio.
93% of women said that they would not do so.
[The cynic in me felt that the number would be lower.]
And here is the shocking thing -- 80% of men said that they would marry someone that was 80% of what they always wanted!
To a man, finding someone that was 80% of everything would be like snagging a real catch!
But women tend to think quite differently about this, regarding their men. I find that profoundly revelatory. Interesting.
Are there lower expectations among men?
Later, someone phoning in to the program [a man] said, "Settling inevitably leads to resentment, and resentment leads to relationship cancer."
I tended to agree.
After hearing these results I concluded that I am not a "typical" man, I guess. Because I am among that rare-ish 1/5th.
That 20 percentile grouping that would not settle for less than 100% [of whatever].

I just told this all to my cat. And the look he gave me [he was sleeping before I roused him] sort of reminded me of the price one pays for such.... such selectiveness in mates!
His look seemed to say -- "Umm. Do you even realize that I am a frigging CAT?"



Shark said...

I suppose if you agreed to marry someone who didn't have 100% of the essential requirements you were looking for in a mate, than those requirements weren't exactly essential.
It is also interesting to me that, even though it's 2010, it is still considered the MAN's duty to propose to a woman (or to the femme of a homo relationship...) but that it is the women with the higher standard--I would imagine the askee [woman (or femme)] answering with the mind frame of, "well since you asked, and I suck at saying no..."
Perhaps this will come off as a very un-PC, chauvinistic, 50's mentality comment; but I didn't mean it like that--honest.

Beth said...

Now I'm singing Tina Turner's "What's love got to do with it?"

Erin in Boston said...

The whole topic of expectations in a relationship are interesting. When you go into a date or a relationship with a set list of requirements it is almost like you are setting that person up for failure if they aren't exactly the type of person you pictured yourself with. Some of the best relationships I have seen are ones where the person says "I didn't even realize I needed that characteristic in a partner, but they really are perfect."

Anonymous said...

Wanting a guy who meets 100% of your expectations is wanting perfection. It's easy to love someone perfect, it's finding that person which is the challenge.
It's not so easy to love someone flawed, but it's the least you can do when that person loves you back, flaws and all.
What do these women think love is; perfection?!!
Did I settle for 80%? I don't think so. I've got my 100% guy and I love him, flaws and all. But wait, if he has flaws I know about, maybe that means I did settle for less than 100% but then again so did he. We've been together for 15+ years and we're still happy. What does that say to those ditzes who think some 100%perfect guy actually exists?