Women, Yes, Please Settle!

In Dating, For the Ladies by Debra Fileta19 Comments

Q: I always like guys that are “out of my league” (or that don’t like me back) and I always get hit on by guys who are not “my type”.  Am I being too picky? Should I settle for one of them?

A: “Should I settle?”

Out of the hundreds of questions that were submitted for the Dating Q&A series, this one REALLY stuck out to me. It stuck out to me because it’s a question I get in many different forms, from different people, from all across the world. And it’s a question that confirms the confusion that’s out there regarding who you should or shouldn’t date, and what is and isn’t important in a relationship.

Let me clarify, before I get into this, that this question is NOT referring to someone who has been in a long term relationship. We’re NOT talking about engagement here, or even marriage. We’re talking about something that happens long before that.

We’re talking about a date.

We’re talking about going out with someone who is not typically your “type”.  

We’re talking about “settling” for someone who isn’t necessarily your norm.

We’re talking about taking a chance on someone a little outside of your expectations.

I recently wrote an article for the men out there entitled, Men, STOP Looking for a Super Model Wife, that made waves across the internet and got a whole lot of reaction. But you know what? I believe that the same principles from that article need to be preached to all the women out there as well.

I’m just going to go ahead and say it: Ladies, many of you have gotten completely confused as to what really matters in a relationship.

There is a generation of women who are creating their “husband must-have list” with qualities ranging from “godly”, to “musical” to “missions-minded” all the way to “6 foot 4”, “muscular”, “dark hair” and “blue eyes”. And oh yah, he has to be able to cook like a gourmet chef, plan extravagant romantic dates, open all my doors for me, and make a six-figure income.

We’ve confused our MAJORS with our MINORS, and exchanged our PREFERENCES for NEEDS.

And when every single thing on your list is a “must have”, than you’re likely going to be single for a very, very long time.

I seriously believe that the entertainment industry, namely chick-flicks, have had a serious impact on what we think is “settling” in a relationship. Hollywood has convinced us to believe in a kind of man that doesn’t actually exist.

Not because there aren’t GOOD men, even GREAT men out there – but because there is no such thing as a perfect man. Except Jesus, and I’m pretty sure he’s not up for grabs.

To be honest, to answer this question fairly, I think we really need to take the time to redefine our definition of “settling”. The question above really needs to be dissected and discussed because it reflects a pervasive view that is plaguing our generation. The question in and of itself reflects that guys who are typically this woman’s “type” are guys who typically “don’t like her back”.

Can we just pause for a moment here?!

If “settling” means going after a guy who likes you back, then my answer to that question is: YES! PLEASE SETTLE!!!

If “settling” means going on a date with a guy that you would typically see as a good and loyal friend, then YES! PLEASE SETTLE!!!

If “settling” means choosing to get to know a man who displays qualities of godliness, integrity, and character, but doesn’t necessarily have a body like Channin Tatum, then YES! PLEASE SETTLE!!!

If “settling” means getting to know a kind, true Jesus-loving man rather than the typical jerks you find yourself dating, then YES!! PLEASE SETTLE!!

If “settling” means saying yes to a man who treats you with love, honor, respect, and kindness but isn’t your typical height/weight/color/ethnicity requirements, then YES! PLEASE SETTLE!!

If “settling” means adjusting your preferences to hold on to the things that REALLY MATTER in a relationship, then YES! PLEASE SETTLE!!!

We’re not talking about settling on important qualities. We’re not talking about settling on respect, on love, on grace, on godliness, on loyalty, on honesty, and on forgiveness. You should never settle for someone that doesn’t treat you well, or give you the honor and respect you SO DESERVE.

That’s not what we’re talking about at all.

But what we are talking about is letting go of your typically “type” and your superficial preferences, to open your heart to the many good men out there that may not typically be “your type”.

In fact, ladies, I personally “settled” for a man who was way outside of my typical “preferences” – and in the end, gained the husband and man I so desperately needed (read more about that in this article!)

So my advice to you is to let go of your preconceived ideas of “your type” and be on the lookout for the qualities of a real man. They come in all different shapes, colors and sizes. Because ladies, those are the kind of men whose love will last a lifetime. And there is no greater gift than that.

So yes, ladies, please….go ahead and “settle” for those kind of good men. Nice guys are out there, and they typically “finish last”. Let’s work on changing that.  

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!

I’m kicking off my Dating Q&A 10-part series at TrueLoveDates.com, based on the popular portion of my speaking engagements, the “LIVE Q&A Sessions”. You ask me questions, and I answer them! If you’d like to host a LIVE SINGLES EVENT at your church, feel free to contact me regarding booking a TRUE LOVE DATES event for 2017 by clicking here or the photo below!20150606-JW-1093-2

Want more on this topic? Dig in to Chapter 5-6 of True Love Dates to find out the difference between MAJORS and MINORS; NEEDS and PREFERENCES….and to learn how to make your own “Red-Green-Yellow” list to find out what really matters to you!


  1. Excellent article! Love the clever way you explain the issue by saying to us Yes settle! It’s a big struggle for many of us even when we understand it logically. I say we need to hand it over to God and ask Him to help us with our thoughts and emotions… because it just is a lot harder for some of us to connect the dots and still be content with what is the wise choice.

  2. Oh wow!!! I sooo needed this right now ;)) Thank you for writing it 😀 I am guilty of this ‘not-my-type’ attitude to guys who don’t ‘measure up’ to my preferences or standards. But God has been teaching me that I should trust Him and to learn how to love people seeing them with His eyes and not mine 😉

    1. Author

      So beautifully said, Hannah. Thank you for sharing your sweet heart!!!

  3. I really needed to read this article because this is where I am struggling. I come from a family of tall people and am just not attracted to men who are shorter than me. And because I’m in good shape, I tend to be into men who are also in good shape and in my age group. So am I being a bad person for not liking men who don’t fit these? I’ve had men who weren’t exactly this type express interest in me but I just wasn’t having it.

  4. Love this article, thank you for sharing. Please keep them coming!
    God Bless you & your family Debra

  5. Very true points, for sure! The thing is, I also should want to wake up to him every morning. If he has all of the qualities of a Godly man, respectful, loving, honoring, kind gentleman, sweet, and selfless, but his looks make you cringe…how could one “settle”? It’s hard to know when to cross the line and when to let it go.

    1. Author

      Well that’s extreme, Natalie. I think physical attraction is an important part of a relationship, no one ever said it’s not. But the idea is, I think some women are passing over amazing men because they don’t have the “typical” qualities they go for.

  6. As a guy, I want to say thanks to Debra for writing this. One of my biggest gripes for years has been woman who are always looks for the perfect guy (ripped, have a high income, over dress, be “husband/father material”, pay for everything, be confident to the point of malignant narcissism, have perfect hair, and oh yeah, be ripped), and rejecting those of us who are good, Christian men, but for whatever reason, don’t measure up to their list. (Almost always it is because we don’t measure up to the extreme physical perfection required to even be considered worthy.) It is too late for me, I’m too old to be wanted by anyone and far too ugly, but maybe it will save at least one person some heartache.

    However, given some of the comments already, I don’t think it will change a thing. Either the advice goes right over heads, or it is taken as “you have to ‘settle’ for the ugliest guy out there.”

  7. Debra, this is so true for both men and women. I feel as if I have always been open to a great guy even if he doesn’t meet all of the ideas I have of him in my mind. The problem is, I haven’t really met any men that are still great guys aside from the “silly preferences.” They all expect you to be a certain way and if you don’t match their standards, they overlook you. I hate to say that I have seen a lot of this from guys who claim to be Christian and I have to admit it’s very discouraging sometimes. I know a lot of guys have said that women tend to pass them by or overlook them, and that they think women want the “badboy” types, but some of those same guys are overlooking great women because they have a “type” that they prefer. I wish there were more ways for singles to meet in my community, but at 33, I find most of all my friends around my age and are married & having children or in serious relationships. Or they are in their early twenties or significantly older and I find we don’t have similar perspectives and not much at all in common. But I am still praying for a great one. He doesn’t have to be perfect, but definitely have the godly qualities that matter most!

  8. Natalie, I hope I don’t sound rude, but can you honestly say that if a man possessed great important godly characteristics (Christ believer, gives respect, loving, honest, reats you well, etc.) that you still might actually find him so unattractive that you could have no interest in him at all? I find that a little difficult to believe. I would think that a man who exhibited great godly character would be far better looking than a more physically handsome face who does not have such character. Maybe I feel this way because of my lack of encountering many single men who display great godly character, but what’s on the inside matters more than anything else. You may not think he is a perfect ten on your ideal list, but with true godly character I have a hard time seeing how he could drop lower than a seven. It should probably also be taken into consideration how a person’s perspective on “attractiveness and preferences” would change if you were unable to see them. And no, I’m not discounting being attracted to your future spouse, I just think the defininition of “attractive” should mean so much more than just “good looking.”

  9. Terri, I wouldn’t say you are a bad person just caught in a mindset like so many people in the world are. But the beauty is that you don’t have to stay there. By acknowledging that you weren’t giving guys who didn’t fit your ideals the time of day, you can change that behavior. Ask yourself if the man has the godly heart and character, and if he does, maybe giving him a chance isn’t a bad idea. You may find that you have more in common where it really counts. And even if it doesn’t work out, at least you won’t have based your decision simply on how tall or in shape he is. Odds are those two things will change as he ages (at least to some degree) anyway. God can help us see from His perspective if we really want to.

  10. Thank you Debra, Now this article is a confirmation i have been waiting for, for the past weeks. God Bless you Debra.

  11. Yes, women should “settle” for a good man, not hold out for an unrealistic ideal. But even better than “settling” is actively working to train ourselves to be attracted first and foremost to good character. If we passively allow the world to tell us what to value, it may seem like settling to marry a good man who doesn’t look like a movie star or who isn’t tremendously romantic. Instead, we should learn to value good character and be attracted to good men because of their character, and then it won’t seem like settling. Attraction isn’t just something that happens to us. We can control it to a large extent. And we should.

  12. Debra has said it plenty of times before, as a whole it’s better to take the risk than not to. Usually it takes the woman a lot longer to get emotionally involved than it does for the guy. I’ve heard of a lot of relationships that have from from one or both not interested initially, but they gave it a chance and it worked out.

    One needs to be able to balance the emotional aspects with the logical (and I say this to both men and women). Guys tend to interact logically while women interact emotionally. Not saying it’s a hard fast rule (far from it) but leaning too much on one clouds judgement.

    One last note, accepting more dates not only increases your chances of finding a spouse, but helps the guy too even if it doesn’t work out. Because getting rejected numerous times in a row is no fun (not that you should go on a pity date).

  13. I actually overlooked all those ‘preferences’ and dated a guy who was just not what I ever asked God for. Infact, I cringed at his looks and mannerism for a longtime but still carried on as a ‘good/focused Christian sister dating a kingdom minded brother’, afterall, it’s better than ending up with a non-believer right? Well, when it looked as if everything had taken shape and there was no way to go back, that was when his real character surfaced. Yellings, demeaning remarks and selfish attitude. So my point exactly? Marriage, a married woman told me is a package, you really don’t know what you’re going to open up till you open it. So in my opinion, if you’re trusting God for some physical attributes, I don’t think that’s a crime. He promises to grant the desires of our hearts. Unless may God clearly or miraculously tells you to go ahead with a particular person. Just be sure it’s God. Cause there are physical aspects of marriage. And I don’t think it’s a good idea to marry someone whose touch makes you cringe. That will be unfair. My thoughts though.

  14. For me, I have found that attraction seems to be the major attribute everyone is looking for, people judge you in the first few seconds they look at you. Unless your in School or possibly work and someone you find attractive it may help that you most likely will see that person often and get to talk to them but if it is in a bar/store where it is most likely seconds your chances are slim.
    Many people will say on this forum that your right, maybe settle for someone that normally you wouldn’t but in reality that will not happen. That’s why with so many people in the States and yet there are 100 dating sites out there (which by the way are all scams) are single.
    Finding true love is almost impossible when you think it would be a lot easier. Just a demanding and superficial World we live in.

  15. Hi Debra! I really appreciated this post, but it leaves me with a question. I recently met an incredible guy- on paper he’s perfect, we have a lot in common, and he has so many qualities that I’ve been hoping for. We’ve been on a few dates (and have had lots of communication before/after), and he’s good looking, sweet, generous, and very interested. The problem is – I’m not feeling anything. Is this still a case for “settling in” and seeing what can happen? I know that feelings aren’t everything, but there still should be something, right? How long do I let it go to see if things will change before I concede to him not being the right guy?

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