What does it mean to "settle", and have you done it??

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    Nov 01, 2010 7:21 PM GMT
    I was having an argument with a woman I'm friends with a few nights ago over what it means to be flexible in dating. I was complaining about how hard it is to meet someone, and I made the point that I have to be physically attracted to a guy before I really feel a spark and become intrigued by him. I don't remotely go for the hottest guy in the room (they tend to be dumb)... in fact, I like guys with a down-to-earth sort of look. In any case, physical attraction is complicated, since personality plays a part, and it certainly isn't everything. I think it has to be there, though, and I can tell fairly quickly when it isn't, and isn't gonna be there.

    She then scolded me by saying that physical attraction shouldn't play any part at all in the decision, that I should just date guys and see where things go.

    I immediately wrote this off as ridiculous. If I think a guy is physically unappealing, no amount of common interests or personal compatibility is going to get me over the fact that sex with him would be a chore, at best. (Her answer to this: sex with someone you love is never a chore. To which I replied: Bullshit.)

    But her answer is nagging me. If I settled for a guy that I didn't find physically attractive but who was compatible with me in other ways, I could find a boyfriend a lot more quickly than I am. On the other hand, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Or is it? Like it or not, we're all going to get old someday and lose our looks...
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 01, 2010 7:31 PM GMT
    I think it's kind of weird when I hear someone use absolutes when talking about seeing a stranger and whether or not they are attractive.

    If personality is a part of attraction, then you've got to be willing to give someone a shot. I think there is a difference between unappealing and not immediately attractive.
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    Nov 01, 2010 7:50 PM GMT
    Timberoo saidI think it's kind of weird when I hear someone use absolutes when talking about seeing a stranger and whether or not they are attractive.

    If personality is a part of attraction, then you've got to be willing to give someone a shot. I think there is a difference between unappealing and not immediately attractive.


    I totally hear you, and I agree. But her point was stronger--I should consider even guys I find unappealing, not just those I don't find immediately attractive. I call that settling. She doesn't.
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    Nov 01, 2010 8:28 PM GMT
    I totally agree with you OP, if that spark of attraction isn't there, and there is no chance that it would ever devlop, it at best can only really become a friendship/platonic-companionship.

    I never settle because I don't see the point of it as I'm not a lonely person despite being single. I am pretty content being single unless I fall for somebody and they are compatible. Bonus.

    So far, I have only really felt like I would want to be in a loving, and long relationship with 2/3 people in my life (I dated one, the other two, i never did). I've obviously been in a couple of relationships with others that didn't fall into this ideal catergory, mostly unwittingly and then hesitantly...They never lasted long because it gets to a point where you have to be completly honest with yourself and realise if you honeslty think it is going somewhere or if it was just good for what it was, not to complicate or grandiose that.

    The very few ppl I really fell for, without exception, where first just friends (good-looking, yes, but still just friends, I didn't look at them sexually) and then feelings developed over time, unbeknownst to me, until it became unmistakable that what I felt was more than just friendship, and that is when the chemical attraction/intoxicating spark happens for me. So I have learnt that getting into a relationship before that spark has happend (if it even will happen at all) is settling, I prefer to make friends first and if something develops organically, great.

    If people are willing to settle into a 'relationship' that is lacking something as important as basic physical attraction, I would suggest they really evaluate what makes them feel compelled to do so, and hopefullt break away from that kind of dependancy so that you choose to be with somebody you really want, if if that isn't on the cards for now, being happy/content with your life regardless.
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    Nov 01, 2010 10:36 PM GMT
    not with me...

    somebody i may not physically notice at first, can often have me head over heals with a few sentences..

    and somebody i may find physically breathtaking, can kill every trace of attraction if they just have nothing at all to say or to bring in
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    Nov 01, 2010 10:36 PM GMT
    nyc2sfo2010 saidIf I settled for a guy that I didn't find physically attractive but who was compatible with me in other ways, I could find a boyfriend a lot more quickly than I am. On the other hand, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Or is it? Like it or not, we're all going to get old someday and lose our looks...

    Yes, you would have a boyfriend. But you'd have a boyfriend that does absolutely nothing to spark your interest physically and get you turned on. How well do you think that's going to go?

    You're right. She's wrong.

    Maybe her way works for women (SOME women), but she has no idea what it's like to be a man.
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    Nov 02, 2010 12:16 AM GMT
    It's actually definitively proven that men's brains deal with sexual attraction in an entirely different way than woman's brains. Men's brains are almost entirely visual. Men can go from 0 to 100 sexually in a matter of seconds, and it's almost entirely based on visual cues. Women take much longer to get to a "horny" state (sometimes up to a day!) and it is really based on qualities like confidence, affection, sense of humor...not that they don't appreciate good looking guys, but that aspect of their sexuality is nowhere near as prevalent as it is in men. It's just the way the sexual components of the two gender's brains are set up. On a similar note, the part of the man's brain that focuses on sex is, on average, two and a half times as big as a woman's.

    So to answer you question haha, a person's physical looks is a dealbreaker 99.5% of the time with men, whereas women are inherently much more flexible in terms of dating somebody they find attractive...their brains are wired to become stimulated by other aspects of their mate, whereas ours really aren't.
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    Nov 02, 2010 4:19 AM GMT
    Maybe she can just "lay there"... but I doubt you can. I sure as hell can't. Never settle. Ever.

    "a guy that I didn't find physically attractive but who was compatible with me in other ways"

    ...that's called a friend.


    You're right. She's wrong.
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Nov 02, 2010 4:28 AM GMT
    I think it's along the lines of "going steady" it means that you've scoped the right person and you want to stick with him and possibly like totally start a life with him. Like, there totally isn't totally an age period I guess, most likely whenever you find the right person. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 02, 2010 4:36 AM GMT
    Maybe it's a more nuanced thing, like a shift from expecting instant fireworks to "Yeah, I could make that work!"
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    Nov 02, 2010 4:55 AM GMT
    I think your girlfriend is partially right. You CAN get it on with a not-so-special person, have a great time of it and have an enduring physical relationship.

    Lots of sexuality--for men--is visual. At least this is what I've picked up from the covers of Cosmo. Women may be different...whatever.

    Since there's no perfect guy, every guy is a compromise on some level, and yours is looks. I can understand that; sometimes if you're a looker and he's not (I'm sure you are, judging from your photo), jealousy creeps in. After all, everyone wants you for your looks and nobody notices him. As much as you love him he's your shadow. And that can doom your relationship as fast as your erectile dysfunction.
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    Nov 02, 2010 4:57 AM GMT
    What? Physical attraction is part of what makes it what it is. It's not about what everyone thinks is sexy, it's about what you think is sexy and turns you on. As the years have peeled by, Bill and I have gotten *gasp* wrinkled, for example, on our faces. He makes remarks about his, but you know I don't see them, I only see him as he was when we met. Lens of love.


    -Doug
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Nov 02, 2010 4:58 AM GMT
    meninlove said What? Physical attraction is part of what makes it what it is. It's not about what everyone thinks is sexy, it's about what you think is sexy and turns you on. As the years have peeled by, Bill and I have gotten *gasp* wrinkled, for example, on our faces. He makes remarks about his, but you know I don't see them, I only see him as he was when we met. Lens of love.


    -Doug



    The two of you are a tribute to true love :-)
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    Nov 02, 2010 5:41 AM GMT
    As an extremely visual person, I only date people I find physically attractive. I must admit that I even have a type. But I also know that my type has changed over time as a result of different experiences with different kinds of people. Of course, I didn't force anything. It just sort of happened. Life, I guess.
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    Nov 02, 2010 9:12 AM GMT
    True love knows no bounds. icon_biggrin.gif

    i <3 u
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    Nov 02, 2010 2:12 PM GMT
    To the OP, this, "If I settled for a guy that I didn't find physically attractive but who was compatible with me in other ways, I could find a boyfriend a lot more quickly than I am. On the other hand, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Or is it? Like it or not, we're all going to get old someday and lose our looks... "

    One of the biggest factors in a relationship is to feel desired. Yes, you'll loose your looks, but only to others. To your love you'll be the same.

    ...I have been the guy that was so compatible in other ways. It was awful. I wanted to make love; he was repelled by it, but would grit his teeth and endure it. Needless to say there was no way I could stay in such a situation for long.

    -Doug

    PS in heterosex the woman who is not really physically attracted to her man can take a very passive role and just be a receptacle for his demands, as it were.
    Now, if it's a woman with a man who likes her every way but not physically, then there's a big problem. I know many women who have been unable to stand not having any physical consummation of their feelings and left their BF over it.
  • ChilaxinJOCK0...

    Posts: 1513

    Nov 02, 2010 2:20 PM GMT
    I agree with this post for the most part and I usually have to have a physical attraction before I make a move.
    HOWEVER....
    A good friend of mine, who a year ago I found to be not my type at all and did not even find remotely attractive, has really grown on me just from his personality alone.
    Hes such a greeeeaaat guy and I now have a huge crush on him...never woulda thought possible, but he is such an incredible guy it makes him so much more attractive icon_biggrin.gif
  • jocksmooth

    Posts: 12

    Nov 02, 2010 2:32 PM GMT
    Im attracted to all types of guys so not having a "type" makes the concept of "settling" kind of moot.

    For me personality is more likely to be a deal breaker than looks.
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    Nov 02, 2010 2:37 PM GMT
    nyc2sfo2010 saidI was having an argument with a woman I'm friends with a few nights ago over what it means to be flexible in dating. I was complaining about how hard it is to meet someone, and I made the point that I have to be physically attracted to a guy before I really feel a spark and become intrigued by him. I don't remotely go for the hottest guy in the room (they tend to be dumb)... in fact, I like guys with a down-to-earth sort of look. In any case, physical attraction is complicated, since personality plays a part, and it certainly isn't everything. I think it has to be there, though, and I can tell fairly quickly when it isn't, and isn't gonna be there.

    She then scolded me by saying that physical attraction shouldn't play any part at all in the decision, that I should just date guys and see where things go.

    I immediately wrote this off as ridiculous. If I think a guy is physically unappealing, no amount of common interests or personal compatibility is going to get me over the fact that sex with him would be a chore, at best. (Her answer to this: sex with someone you love is never a chore. To which I replied: Bullshit.)

    But her answer is nagging me. If I settled for a guy that I didn't find physically attractive but who was compatible with me in other ways, I could find a boyfriend a lot more quickly than I am. On the other hand, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Or is it? Like it or not, we're all going to get old someday and lose our looks...


    Random thoughts:

    1. I think your friend is arguing that it ought not to be a black-and-white issue, that there's a grey area. Consider that there are guys you find insanely hot, guys you find mildly hot, and guys you find barely hot. Should you dismiss a guy because you find him only barely or mildly hot? Your friend would say no. And I would agree.

    2. Physical attraction is not static. A guy you initially found barely hot may become hotter to you if you spend time with him and get to know his finer qualities (e.g., his intellect; his kindness; his love for his family; his ability to write long, grammatically correct, thoughtful emails; his ability to bring out the best in you, etc.).

    3. Healthy relationships are not based solely on hotness and mindblowing sex. You can try to base a relationship on hotness and mindblowing sex. But it probably won't last long. Oh, and let's not forget that hotness doesn't guarantee mindblowing sex. You need to get out more if you think it does.

    4. In my opinion, it's always better to look beyond the physical. What substance does a perfect muscular body bring to a relationship? If your boyfriend does something wrong and offends you deeply, will his muscular body help resolve the issue? No. But his kind heart, his empathy, and his ability to apologize will do wonders.

    5. I really believe # 4. Too many of us--even here on REALJOCK--are extremely superficial. It's depressing, actually.
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    Nov 02, 2010 2:45 PM GMT
    BlkMuscleGent said
    nyc2sfo2010 saidI was having an argument with a woman I'm friends with a few nights ago over what it means to be flexible in dating. I was complaining about how hard it is to meet someone, and I made the point that I have to be physically attracted to a guy before I really feel a spark and become intrigued by him. I don't remotely go for the hottest guy in the room (they tend to be dumb)... in fact, I like guys with a down-to-earth sort of look. In any case, physical attraction is complicated, since personality plays a part, and it certainly isn't everything. I think it has to be there, though, and I can tell fairly quickly when it isn't, and isn't gonna be there.

    She then scolded me by saying that physical attraction shouldn't play any part at all in the decision, that I should just date guys and see where things go.

    I immediately wrote this off as ridiculous. If I think a guy is physically unappealing, no amount of common interests or personal compatibility is going to get me over the fact that sex with him would be a chore, at best. (Her answer to this: sex with someone you love is never a chore. To which I replied: Bullshit.)

    But her answer is nagging me. If I settled for a guy that I didn't find physically attractive but who was compatible with me in other ways, I could find a boyfriend a lot more quickly than I am. On the other hand, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Or is it? Like it or not, we're all going to get old someday and lose our looks...


    Random thoughts:

    1. I think your friend is arguing that it ought not to be a black-and-white issue, that there's a grey area. Consider that there are guys you find insanely hot, guys you find mildly hot, and guys you find barely hot. Should you dismiss a guy because you find him only barely or mildly hot? Your friend would say no. And I would agree.

    2. Physical attraction is not static. A guy you initially found barely hot may become hotter to you if you spend time with him and get to know his finer qualities (e.g., his intellect; his kindness; his love for his family; his ability to write long, grammatically correct, thoughtful emails; his ability to bring out the best in you, etc.).

    3. Healthy relationships are not based solely on hotness and mindblowing sex. You can try to base a relationship on hotness and mindblowing sex. But it probably won't last long. Oh, and let's not forget that hotness doesn't guarantee mindblowing sex. You need to get out more if you think it does.

    4. In my opinion, it's always better to look beyond the physical. What substance does a perfect muscular body bring to a relationship? If your boyfriend does something wrong and offends you deeply, will his muscular body help resolve the issue? No. But his kind heart, his empathy, and his ability to apologize will do wonders.

    5. I really believe # 4. Too many of us--even here on REALJOCK--are extremely superficial. It's depressing, actually.


    Very nicely stated. Two thumbs up!
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    Nov 02, 2010 3:58 PM GMT
    I entered into a relationship in which I did not find him sexually attractive. It was the biggest mistake that I made because it's what led to me telling him that I didn't want to be with him anymore. I know, it's a little f'ed up if you think that you could be with someone only for their personality, but I find that them being fit IS part of their personality; it shows me that they like to take care of themselves. Physical attraction must be there if I were to want to be with someone; I've learned a lesson about myself in who I would want to be with.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19128

    Nov 02, 2010 4:14 PM GMT
    Just the word "settle" to me has a negative connotation from the get-go --- as if to say "I want more, more than he is, but I guess he will have to do". This concept just doesn't work for me. I think we need to be open-minded in terms of dating and getting to know people, because often-times people you never initially thought you could fall for can strike a chord in you and you find that you have fallen under their spell. But, when it comes to entering into a relationship -- it's either there, or it isn't. I don't think anyone should have to settle.
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    Nov 02, 2010 4:25 PM GMT
    ChilaxinJOCK09 saidI agree with this post for the most part and I usually have to have a physical attraction before I make a move.
    HOWEVER....
    A good friend of mine, who a year ago I found to be not my type at all and did not even find remotely attractive, has really grown on me just from his personality alone.
    Hes such a greeeeaaat guy and I now have a huge crush on him...never woulda thought possible, but he is such an incredible guy it makes him so much more attractive icon_biggrin.gif


    I'm very happy for you ChilaxinJOCK09 !
    It's very encouraging.
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    Nov 02, 2010 4:39 PM GMT
    nyc2sfo2010 saidI immediately wrote this off as ridiculous. If I think a guy is physically unappealing, no amount of common interests or personal compatibility is going to get me over the fact that sex with him would be a chore, at best. (Her answer to this: sex with someone you love is never a chore. To which I replied: Bullshit.)

    Ignore her. She's an ignorant bitch, giving advice to a gay man about which she hasn't a clue. Women tend to do this. Our job is to know better.
  • ChilaxinJOCK0...

    Posts: 1513

    Nov 03, 2010 2:54 PM GMT
    BuddyinNYC said
    ChilaxinJOCK09 saidI agree with this post for the most part and I usually have to have a physical attraction before I make a move.
    HOWEVER....
    A good friend of mine, who a year ago I found to be not my type at all and did not even find remotely attractive, has really grown on me just from his personality alone.
    Hes such a greeeeaaat guy and I now have a huge crush on him...never woulda thought possible, but he is such an incredible guy it makes him so much more attractive icon_biggrin.gif


    I'm very happy for you ChilaxinJOCK09 !
    It's very encouraging.


    it IS encouraging...but hes a straight friend and im good friends with his g/f. DAMN THIS WORLD! LOL but having a crush on him is still fun