According to a 2012 study conducted by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, men are more likely to settle in finding a lifetime partner than are women. Thirty-one percent of men surveyed stated that they would settle with a partner that they did not love, and 21 percent stated that they would settle with a partner to whom they were not sexually attracted, as long as the partner had the other important attributes they were looking for in a mate.
Although settling may seem like the wisest option for many people, especially with increasing pressure from friends and family with increasing age, extensive research on the subject suggests otherwise.
Juliana Breines, Ph.D. cites four primary reasons why it is inadvisable to settle. The first, a fear of being alone, skews a person's priorities, making poor decisions more likely. Many people who are afraid to be alone stay in bad relationships far longer than they should, even when letting go and moving on is clearly the best choice for all involved.
Being single has financial and psychological benefits that can trump a bad relationship. In addition, settling can negate the possibility of finding true love later on. Finding someone and accepting them as they are, flaws and all, doesn't necessarily constitute "settling," especially if love is present.
Lori Gottlieb, author of "Marry Him!: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough," clarifies that those seeking a mate should redefine what settling means, identify the deal breaker attributes they want in a mate and let go of the attributes that have no real bearing on long term happiness.