Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I have noticed a disturbing and highly pervasive trend that is spreading amongst my friends from Miami to New York and in between. This trend affects both males and females, but in general, I think it falls more squarely on women's shoulders. The issue? Settling in the romance department. I think we all have those friends whose husbands/spouses/significant others we don't care for. "They could have done sooo much better than him/her/it," we say when talking about them. "What is she thinking?" we ask.

It's really quite simple when you boil it down. Personally, I think that women settle due to low self-esteem and/or fear of being alone—esp if you are over 30—and men settle out of pure boredom and/or laziness. One thing characterizes both sexes' attitudes when it comes to settling though, and that, my friends, is a sense of resignation. "Eh, I may not be able to do any better, so why not take this schlub?" Or, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with?" Right?

Um, NOOOOO. I cannot imagine anything under our control more dreadful than settling. For a person, a job, a lifestyle, an apartment, but most especially a lover. Sure, we all must settle sometimes: Prada over Hermes, Bermuda instead of St. Bart's, Mercedes over Bentley. I'm kidding, but not to such a drastic degree. Personally, I can honestly say that I'm a person very reluctant to settle, and when I find myself tempted to do so, I tend to snap myself out of it and remind myself that you only live once, so you may as well give yourself everything that you truly deserve. Because you know what? Nobody else is going to. I don't know if my unwillingness to settle for a significant other is due to my unhealthy level of perfectionism, my parents' almost disgustingly perfect marriage or what. All I know is that if I had settled, like so many of my friends, I would most certainly be divorced by now.

And, I know, I know, breaking up is hard to do and being alone is hard too, but divorce, my friends, is exponentially harder. Trust me, daddy is a divorce attorney. And while I am sure he would be pleased to take referrals, I would not relish proffering them. I'm here to tell you all, esp the girls, that yes, sometimes it's a big, scary world out there and clutching onto someone sub-par feels better than being in the water without a life vest, but, actually that's a recipe for disaster. Do you really want to be 40 or 50 and look at the person next to you and think, "Gee, I'll bet I could've done better." I don't think so. At least I hope not.

This is precisely why I would rather be single than attached just for the sake of being attached. And why in answer to that uncouth question that most Jewish parents seem to think is appropriate, "Why aren't you married?" I can always confidently answer, "I just haven't me the right person." Single doesn't = leper. And on that note, I am pleased to report that after a six-month-long bad date/no date drought, I've had a rather lovely one, simply because I refused to settle for any more lousy ones.