What are people's thought on settling?
Are you interested only in finding someone you have chemistry with?
Personally I want the chemistry because if I date someone and there's no chemistry I feel that I am being unfair to them (they could meet someone who finds them amazing).
I think settling is the ability to will yourself to see a future against the odds. There are no guarantees. Sometimes people are not able to continue a relationship by the nature of their circumstances.
In my experience, "Settling" means "accepting anyone who isn't perfect". And I meet a great many women who think that way. Which, of course, precisely explains why they are still single.
Similarly, "Chemistry" is a code word used by women to mean, "good looking". Given that most women (and probably men, too) judge people solely on their looks, "chemistry" only occurs with a tiny minority of the population. For most of whom the feeling isn't mutual.
Consequently, most who are single and over 30 are doomed to stay that way.
By chemistry I mean healthy looking and makes me laugh. Thus I can have chemistry with someone and they can be very average looking.
Having now spent several years immersed in the excruciating frustrations of online dating, my impression on "settling" has been colored by recent experience.
First, I need to soften my earlier stance (written now some 3 years ago!) disavowing optimization. True, there is no attainable optimal thing, for the moment that we arrive at a candidate best-solution, it's our nature to immediately seek an even better solution. There is however a feeling - and not a logical thought - that permeates our decision-making, when we decide, "alright, good enough". Until that feeling comes upon us, it is unlikely that we'll be able to fully accept our candidate partner, or commit to him/her wholeheartedly. And of course this feeling must be mutual.
Second, to find a worthy mate we must first develop a modicum of affinity for the underlying culture. If we revile the culture, we can not seriously and without prejudice accept a candidate mate, even if that person is in principle of excellent character and compatibility. So if for example for employment-reasons we find ourselves in a place where the prevailing culture is overwhelmingly irksome to us, it's hopeless to expect to find locally a life-partner. First we have to move.
Third, one can never be conscious about "settling". The moment that such rationalization obtrudes on one's psyche - however reasonable the thought happens to be - the relationship is doomed.
Now if I could only wrap-up my career and move somewhere where I find emotional kinship with a substantial slice of the populace!