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!
Sadly, for the overwhelming majority of people, "chemistry" is simply a code word for "Are they hot?". Naturally, everyone denies this, but their actions contradict them. Women are just as guilty of this as men, if not more so.
So the question is largely meaningless. Most people pick others simply on appearance. This is why Tinder is successful. "Chemistry" is all about good looks.
I wish that wasn't the case. I wish people actually did bother to get to know someone before judging them. I wish that character and integrity and intelligence counted for something, But - they really don't. It's all just about what you look like.
And that's why we have a 50% divorce rate, and why relationships are so hard.
More a matter of smell and feel, in my case. Speaking for everyone, as you're doing, will miss most of the people that you're trying to group together ... in this case, trying to generalize everyone. Besides, lots of women are drawn more to confidence and presentation, rather than raw physical beauty.
Lots of people settle for someone more reasonable, because they eventually realize that they're not that hot, either. If you look like Steve Buscemi, only without the charisma, money, and fame, then Taylor Swift is a little out of reach. It usually takes several years, but most people grasp the fact eventually.
I think the divorce rate is more a matter of most people being unwilling to compromise. After the first few years of a relationship, the passion cools off a bit, no matter how insanely hot your significant other is, and incompatibilities become more of an issue.
Also, the statistic you're citing about divorce is misleading. 50% of marriages may end in divorce, but those divorces are had by nowhere near 50% of people. Many people have had 4 or 5 marriages, using up far more than their quota of divorces. The vast majority of people manage to make their first marriages work, thus making those their only marriage.
You walk up to people and sniff them? Really? OK.That's unusual, but so be it. Other humans are primarily visual, they react primarily to appearances.
Confidence and so on are fine things, but they are not what people screen on, to start with. Ever watched a woman using Tinder? She's not checking confidence, she's looking for pure physical attraction. Only if he passes that test, do other things come into play. Naturally, everyone denies this, because no one likes to admit to being shallow, but that doesn't change anything.
I agree about the unwillingness to compromise. You're exactly right on that. And that's precisely the point. Successful relationships absolutely require compromise. And that's the question that this thread is about: are you willing to settle or compromise? Too many people are NOT. And that's the problem. "Compromise" nowadays is considered a Bad Thing, and most are taught never to compromise. Instead they seek only good looks, AKA "chemistry".
You don't have to stick your nose in someone's armpit to get a sense of what she smells like, assuming you haven't destroyed your sense of smell with cigarettes or something along those lines. Besides, we're talking about chemistry, not initial, visual impressions. When you're around someone for a minute or two, within a few feet, you get a wide range of sensory impressions. I've encountered plenty of women who are absolutely stunning to look at, but I just don't feel anything for them, because there's something missing.
On the more extreme end of that, I've encountered women who manage to turn themselves from an 8 or 9 into a 3 or 4, about 30 seconds after they open their mouth. On the other end, I've met women who are just kind of so-so to look at, but after a bit of conversation and an exchange of kinks and ideas, they're far more appealing than one of those 8's or 9's who isn't into the same kind of stuff.
And, umm, you're talking about Tinder. I'm talking about actually meeting people, not just flipping through a bunch of pictures of men or women. You point to a hookup tool, and ... gee, surprise surprise, you end up with a bunch of shallow idiots. Color me shocked.
If you're just hanging out, talking to lots of people regardless of your initial visual impressions, you'll be more likely to find someone who you won't get bored with after 2 years.
'Good looks' is not AKA 'chemistry'. I think you're confused. Would you be more drawn to someone who looks like a model but who is crap in bed and isn't into anything beyond the most repetitive, vanilla sex ... or would you be more drawn to someone who is a 5 or 6 (I freaking hate the use of numbers like that, but they're useful for getting an idea across quickly), who shares most of your interests, whom you can talk with for hours, and who is also into the most fucked up, kinky shit that you've ever fantasized about but thought you would never get to do anything about in real life?
That's the difference. And if you'd rather be with the model who's boring and crap in bed, then I don't know what to tell you.