General Question

Sariperana's avatar

Do people actually find or fall in 'love' or do people just tend to settle with someone they consider to be suitable?

Asked by Sariperana (1442points) May 7th, 2009

Ive been worried about this one for a few years… the older i get, the more the fairytale disappears!

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35 Answers

seekingwolf's avatar

I think it depends from person to person.

The “fairytale” is supposed to disappear. When everything is new and shiny and wonderful in the beginning of a relationship, it’s called “infatuation”. It never lasts forever and it’s not supposed to.

It’s okay (and normal) for it to wear off and for you to become comfortable and settled with your partner. It’s a part of life.

nikipedia's avatar

Yes and yes.

Some people marry for love. Some people marry someone suitable. The lucky ones end up with someone suitable who they love.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Falling in love has confounded poets and scientists and ordinary people for centuries. Everyone has a theory, and everyone is right, in their own way. Having fairy tale expectations is bound to set you up to fail. One must be a realist when it comes to finding a mate and realizing the fairy tale dreams will fade over time. Once you know what you want in a partner, that helps to set the goal of discovery. Then again, sometimes a person comes along that knocks you head over heels. It just depends.

My wife and I met on a blind date. She thought I was an asshole. I didn’t think she was my type. By our second date, I knew she was the one, and she didn’t even meet any of the physical criteria I had set for finding a companion. We just clicked on an emotional level. We’ve been married twenty years and we still love one another, even more than we did at the start. The fact that we didn’t have kids might be part of it. If you are not ready to have kids, and you do so anyway, that will cause a strain on the relationship. Neither of us wanted children, and that was something to help cement our bond. Your results may vary.

seekingwolf hit it right on the head, listen to the wolf, the wolf speaks with wisdom.

elijah's avatar

I don’t believe in one soul mate. I think the person you become attracted to just happens to fit in to what you want or need at that moment. You could be married 50 years and think you could of never loved anyone as much, but had you of not met your spouse, you would of met someone else that you could equally love.

Likeradar's avatar

Yes, people fall in love. And yes, some people just settle. And I really like what @nikipedia said.

Don’t settle for someone who is just suitable. You might think it’s good enough, but you deserve to be in love. You will find him/her! I fell in love for the 1st time at 27, after being in many, many “suitable” relationships.

cwilbur's avatar

A friend of mine uses the metaphor of a fire. (He’s a fireman.) When you first build a fire, it’s very impressive and flashy, but you really have to pile the wood on to keep it that impressive and flashy. But if you let the flashiness go, it becomes glowing coals, and those will stay hot for hours. But they won’t be as pretty or as flashy as the flames.

The hardest part of a relationship is making the transition from the showy romantic love you have at the beginning to the companionate love that endures.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

So many great answers here. Lurve to you all.

tinyfaery's avatar

Love and suitability aren’t the only reasons people get married. Some marry because they are forced, others for money, others for citizenship. When I was in college, I knew a girl who got married so she could get financial aid without using the income of her parents.

Within about 1 hour of meeting my wife I knew I never wanted to be away from her. And that passion lasted for many years, and it still rears it head at times, but the chemicals have subsided, and now we have nestled into a loving, comfortable life.

I guess my point is that people marry for many reasons, and the reasons for staying together are just as varied.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Settling is a bad recipe if happiness is the goal.

ccbatx's avatar

t just depends on who your with. People seem to just give up after a few years and be with someone they really don’t like as much as they should. With that being said, there are a select few people who never give up on love, and who kepp searching until one day—it happens. They see someone they never thought they would’ve found. They meet someone that makes them happy everyday of their life and who makes them want to live forever and ever with them. I think that a lot of people give up easily, and just settle. yet those who don’t settle find someone that they are happy with, who make them overjoyed 24/7. I personally believe that there is someone like there out there for everyone. All you have to do is to keep looking.

aviona's avatar

I’ve always fallen madly in love—no settling.

This past month would be the first time I would say I was even close to settling. He and I were once in love—about 2 years ago. We found ourselves simultaneously relationshipless in need of some affection and well, let’s face it—horny. So, in a sense we were both settling since both of us are still in love with our exes. We love each, but are no longer in love with one another. I think we were using each other as human band-aids if that makes sense.

qualitycontrol's avatar

I agree with elijah on this one. The right place, right time theory sounds about right. I met the girl I wanted to marry who I felt I was in love with but she didn’t feel the same way so I guess I got screwed. Everyone else I’ve been with just kind of happened to be there when I was alone and they were alone. How come everyone else gets to be happy and in love?

Judi's avatar

I heard a theory from an old cowboy type once. he was the father of a guy who was wooing my oldest sister. He told her “When a man’s ready to get married, he’s gonna get married. It don’t really matter who he marries, it’s just who he happens to be with at the time.” My sister didn’t marry his son, but he was married within a year. I think this is probably true of a lot of people. Successful marriages are determined by how dedicated the couples are to making it work more than by the intensity of their affection when they get married.

KalWest's avatar

@Judi
“Successful marriages are determined by how dedicated the couples are to making it work more than by the intensity of their affection when they get married”

I like ;) Great answer!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

My personal take is once you’ve fallen in love and it’s been a good experience then you don’t want to settle for anything else than that recalled feeling/intensity until… you have a heartbreaking experience. A lot of times what some of us consider settling is more a patient way of acting on an attraction after checking it out well, going a bit slower and being rewarded by an intensity that builds later

GAMBIT's avatar

I fell in love and I am still in love. Yet it isn’t love that keeps my wife and me together it is a commitment to our relationship.

wundayatta's avatar

Love is made, not found. You don’t have to settle unless you want to see yourself as a settler (which doesn’t quite sound right). Settling sounds very passive, as if you have nothing to do with love. Love is some entity that either graces you, or it doesn’t.

When you’re in a relationship, even one where you don’t feel that infatuation phase (which, as we all know, usually doesn’t last forever), you have to grow love, as if it were a flower in a garden. Yes, that infatuation can provide fertile soil, but it might not, also. It might have just a little bit of good earth on top of depths of clay.

Making love in a relationship means tending to the soil, building it up with compost, making it go deep, and attending to it’s fertility. There are many techniques to grow love. You can grow it from the most inhospitable of soils if you are committed to making that happen. However, if you expect it to grow itself, it’ll die.

You don’t need infatuation (in loveness) to start, but it is nice. Having an abiding belief that you are meant to be together is a great way to lay the groundwork for a loving relationship. It doesn’t guarantee anything, though. You need to attend to the relationship in order to make it grow and flower. You can do that with anyone you want, so long as you both decide to do that. It doesn’t require being “in love.”

So, it kind of depends on your goal. If you want the high of “falling” in love, then you can run around falling in love with many people. If you want a real relationship, you have to work hard, and have a partner who is willing to work just as hard.

Ria777's avatar

every time I have tried to settle, it just doesn’t work. but then I always want everything perfect and without flaw.

Judi's avatar

@daloon ; that sounds like a sermon. (that’s a compliment by the way :-) lurve.

wundayatta's avatar

@Judi—I think you’re telling me I’m preachy, and I don’t mean it that way. This is just based on my experience, and also my beliefs. I’m really not telling anyone what to do, just what they can do. Ack. I said “you need.” My apologies.

I also believe that people place too much faith in the flash of falling in love, and not enough faith in themselves and their ability to make a relationship be what they want it to be.

Judi's avatar

@daloon; No, not at all. It reminds me of a Biblical parable. (And I like Biblical parables. It is like a sermon I would like.)

wundayatta's avatar

@Judi—thanks! ;-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think no one should settle ever but I find that many do – and it’s only that relationships take work, it’s that you should expect great things from your relationship, year in and year out and if you’re not willing to be VERY open with your partner, you’ll always be responsible for all the screw ups afterwards, as will they…I never got any relationships of mine get to a point where I’d even think I was settling, I broke them off long before then…

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

The problem with “settling” is that settling is not satisfying.
People who settle might be more likely to cheat.

Likeradar's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Exactly. Whenever I’ve settled, I’ve always kept my eye open for the next one… I couldn’t imagine a marriage where one or both people were still keeping their eyes out for something else/better.

Judi's avatar

It’s all in how you look at it. Are you settling or seeing an opportunity for growth. Many people allow marriages to fail and say, “I was tired of steeling.” That can be an excuse for being to lazy to do the work to make a relationship work.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I Fell “In Love” and I still am in love with my husband. Of course love does change shape over time but it certainly is still love. It is definitely not a fairytale. :)

Darwin's avatar

I have fallen in love twice in my life. Either person would have been suitable for me, although if I had married the one I didn’t marry my life would have been very different than it is now. Since I have dated many more than just those two guys I don’t think I settled in any way. The one I didn’t marry has never wanted to be married at all so I moved on. I still think of him fondly but I am no longer “in love” with him.

I am still in love with my husband, the one I did marry. The fireworks are much farther between than when we were first dating, but they still show up every now and then even after twenty years. In the meantime, there is that warm glow from the coals that is there everyday. It isn’t a fairy tale (if it were he would still be active and healthy) but it is a good and strong relationship that will endure until death.

My brother’s second ex-wife did decide to settle, and even told her kids that was why she was planning to marry a particular person. Fortunately, he found out that she considered their upcoming marriage to be “settling for not being alone” and he wisely called things off.

I have friends who fell in love and eloped in their 80s. He was a widower who had loved his first wife very much and cared for her as she faded due to Alzheimer’s. She had been engaged to a young man who died in World War II and never found anyone else she felt that way about until she met the man she married on her 82nd birthday.

They decided to elope because they didn’t want his kids to feel they had to spend big bucks to see them get married. Besides, they liked to travel and New Orleans seemed to them to be a romantic choice.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Darwin what a great story about your friends

Jude's avatar

God, never settle. You will probably end up miserable and how fair is it to your partner? Maybe, there is someone out there that is better suited to them and vice versa. Hold out and find someone that you really want to be with.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

A lot of people do settle in my opinion, which is partly why I believe the divorce rate in America is so high.

Contrary to popular belief, the fairytale can and does last… for some people. It’s rare, but that doesn’t make it any less real…

Judi's avatar

The fairy tale only exists with couples who work really hard at it though. After 20 years I am still madly in love with my husband, but we both work hard and keep forgiving hearts.

bright_eyes00's avatar

some settle, some fall in love, some think they fall in love, others just shrug and go with it. it varies from person to person. in some you will find love in others you will find something that resembles love or is even close to love but not quite there. or there are times when you really do find love but the otehr doesnt find it in you. thats one of the great things of love it is a dynamic ever changing living organism that each of us have the ability to attempt to understand yet we will never grasp it fully. i hope i find one to love who loves me and have that storybook. i’m a realist but you have to believe in things for them to be real. i believe in true love, so to me its real.

Aster's avatar

I hope they don’t just settle with someone they consider to be suitable. at least, not the first time I think the media has had an unfortunate effect on making people want a person who makes them ecstatic and dizzy and feel like they’re walking on clouds!! I hope you’ll find this at least once.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

There are a lot of variables in this answer. Bad answer, I know… But it just depens.

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