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Settling Down for Love: Does It Mean Giving up on True Love or Accepting Reality?

Updated on September 28, 2018
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Heather has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Moravian College and has been freelance writing for more than 14 years.

Think Like a Man Poster
Think Like a Man Poster
Midnight in Paris Poster
Midnight in Paris Poster
Like Crazy Poster
Like Crazy Poster
The Painted Veil Poster
The Painted Veil Poster
Memoirs of a Geisha Poster
Memoirs of a Geisha Poster
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Poster
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Poster
Vicky Cristina Barcelona Poster
Vicky Cristina Barcelona Poster

Is it considered true love to marry your best friend? Should it be a passion based relationship? Are all relationships supposed to go from one extreme to the next? According to the dictionary, the word settle means to make a decision based on the need to appease everyone. Basically, it means that someone made a choice that concerned the needs of others and not your own private desires. Did you marry your neighbor out of obligation or because you couldn't live without them? Think long and hard before you answer that question or any other personal ones, because the answers may shock you.

Let's be honest with ourselves. Reality is never as black and white as fairy tales; or as clean cut as romantic comedies. Nothing is ever completely resolved once the end credits start to roll. The problems that plagued the characters at the start of the film are still there when they walk off into the sunset together. In the movie Like Crazy, love birds Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones) are still a couple divided even though they're in the same country after years of being torn apart. Not every happy ending is as satisfying as fairy tales are meant to be. Instead of being William and Kate, your relationship might be more Mary and the Prince's best friend when the Prince moved on to another Princess. How can you tell if your relationship is true love or just settling for the next best thing? Here are three scenarios that displayed a few possibilities of both along with what you can do to accept it or hold out for something more.

Looks Good on Paper Doesn't Make It Right- On the surface, your future wife might be the picture of perfection, but she couldn't be hiding something beneath the surface. In the movie Midnight in Paris, aspiring novelist Gil (Owen Wilson) gave up his high paying career of writing Hollywood fluff, which his fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) preferred him to do. She had expensive tastes and wanted a wedding that matched those tastes. That wasn't the only difference between Gil and Inez. He was more of a romantic, while she focused on the more practical things. As their trip in Paris progressed, their relationship fell apart at the seams and revealed a shocking betrayal that threatened to destroy what remained. Both Gil and Inez had to choose between their duty and going their separate ways for better matches. Sometimes, it may be best to break up with someone who isn't right for you before the wedding than wait years later for the inevitable divorce. It will save you a lot of time and money.

Another similiar story was in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha that had young Geisha Sayuri (Ziyi Zhang) entering a relationship with the powerful and unavailable Chairman (Ken Watanabe). He could never fully be hers, because of time and circumstances. They ended up settling with a relationship that never allowed them to fully be with each other, which was all they could do. Ask yourself very carefully before entering a relationship with difficult circumstances. Is it better to be with someone half of the time or full time? Once you make the choice, there's no turning back the clock.

If Your Partner Doesn't Want to Change- What happens with your partner isn't willing to compromise? What if their flaws are what's keeping you from making a commitment or breaking up with them? In the movie Think Like a Man, Kristen (Gabrielle Union) is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara). The couple are happy together, but Kristen wants more of a commitment from him and he won't meet her halfway. Is Kristen's relationship a genuine one or just a stumbling block to let her avoid going back into the dating world? That's the dilemma that most couples have to ask themselves. Does love mean allowing change to happen naturally or by force? Unfortunately, you can't force someone to change overnight. If you do, they will end up resenting you in the long run and tainting the relationship for good. Stick with your partner as they are or move onto someone willing to evolve with you.

Love the One You're With- What if Prince Charming hasn't come your way? Can you marry someone you don't necessary love or even like? That's the premise of the movie The Painted Veil which followed Kitty (Naomi Watts) and Dr. Walter Fane (Edward Norton) who entered a loveless marriage for their convenience. Kitty chose to marry Walter to get away from her controlling family and Walter wanted the company. Much to his dismay, he didn't expect that Kitty would cheat on him with someone in their social circle. He punished his wife by taking her on a work trip in a Chinese village and gave her the cold shoulder, until she could earn his trust again. What started as a marriage of convenience turned into something more. Could that happen in real life? Nothing's impossible. Couples enter marriage for various reasons only known to them, but love can happen even if it's by accident. Learn to embrace the journey and not how it began.

In the end, love is a splendid thing to have in any form. You might believe that your friend isn't in a perfect relationship, but it's also hard to judge a relationship by how a couple interacts in public. You don't have to argue with your partner in public to have a passionate affair. In Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) may have sparked with the Queen, but he chose to be with her close friend Bess (Abbie Cornish) instead. True love is what each couple defines it to be wherever its considered settling or choosing your perfect match. That's for you to decide and no one else. If you want one partner or more, that's fine as well. Every relationship needs to function in its own way. It worked for a while in the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona, until it simply imploded. Just sit back and let your life evolve, even if it's a disaster waiting to happen. At least, you'll enjoy yourself in the meantime.


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