Do you take whatever you can get when it comes to relationships? Think about it. Is what is available right now, even if it is less, a whole lot less, acceptable to you? Maybe later, it will grow into something more. No, later you will get used to it and settle for less. Why is that half-option a decent choice? Are you bored, are you lonely, are you hungry, are you needy, are you empty? Why is that half cup good enough for you?
If I see how little you settle for, why would I offer you more than that? If I know you will accept
half a wage, why in the world would I offer you the full amount? Some people command a
higher rate, I wouldn’t dare offer them less, but you, I already know can’t get more than that. You
already showed me, I see how little is enough for you.
A man approaches you and he wants to buy you lunch. Yippee, many women would act like they
won the lottery. Let’s say he bought you a really nice lunch, in a fancy restaurant with an
expensive bottle of wine. But, at lunch he explains that either his dick doesn’t work, or he is
committed to his work, or he is in a crazy relationship and is slowly crawling out. A lot of
women are so fascinated with that free lunch, they are impressed with his performance, they
swallow that half-offer because his intention was really good. Yep, you ate the entire lunch, but
you gave yourself away to an unavailable, uncommitted, half-man who can’t satisfy you. Now
comes the Chanel bag, the luxury vacation cut short, later you find out you are sharing him with
kids, alimony, child-support, a job, but hey, he’s really nice and he is bringing you gifts. Do you
take whatever you can get?
You are applying for a job and the salary offered is much less than expected. Do you negotiate
up? Do you persist and keep asking for more, or do you accept less than you are worth? We have
all been there when bills had to be paid, and we all accepted half-work until we find something
better. I understand. But how many times have you settled for that half-raise because you knew
they wouldn’t give you more, a half-assed promotion that isn’t really a promotion, more work
a.k.a. “greater responsibility” for the same amount of pay. Why?
You are dissatisfied with your friendships, you can’t stand the men you are meeting online but
are giving them your time and body anyway, you are underpaid but you keep your mouth shut,
you are taken advantage of by a family member, but you need them in your life anyway. All
these choices are made by you. Each and every one of them is the less you settled for, not the
less they gave you. Nobody has to give you more than you settle for.
A lot of women buy into this toxic attitude that compromise is okay, even admirable because
compromise is what relationships are all about. You can’t be greedy and demand what you want.
Then they compromise themselves away and get nothing in return. How is that a virtue?
And many more women buy into an even more toxic idea that it is okay to settle for less right
now, in exchange for an opportunity to build something greater later. He offers you a non-
committed opportunity to enjoy his body, and you think that’s great, I can work with that.
Eventually I will prove that I am good enough and he will only want me. Have you ever been
offered an opportunity to work for free, in exchange for exposure. Have you accepted an offer to
work for free, thinking you will prove yourself, then earned no paycheck and no additional
offers, and felt great about that? Yet, that’s exactly what you are getting when you are negotiating
with a male who isn’t sure what he wants, but he will take you and see where things go later?
This is good enough for most women. I am sure every woman has said yes to that pile of nothing
at least once in her life. But many women find this to be a worthy endeavor, so they commit
themselves to turning uncommitted, unqualified males into a steady relationship. That’s like
alchemy. You have a better chance of turning water into wine! Sure, go work on that
“relationship” girl. Accepting whatever is available now, in hope that eventually it will turn into
something viable later is like accepting to work for no paycheck. Who does that? People who
don’t value what they’ve got.
The third most toxic idea women buy into is this fear of losing out. They really see every offer as
an opportunity, and fear that rejecting the half-assed offer will be regretted later. What if I don’t
kiss that frog? If I don’t give a frog an opportunity, I will surely regret it when he turns into a
prince for another girl later. What a loss that would be! Who taught us that our common sense to
not kiss frogs is wrong, and that it will surely lead to a life-long regret later? Isn’t not having a
frog in your house preferable? If you don’t choose someone quickly, you’ll be alone later. If you
don’t give a nice loser an opportunity with you, you are not a good woman. If you don’t lower
your standards, you will be punished with spinsterhood forever. And then she lowers her
standards and gets what? A low, low, low situation that she pays for with her life.
Why is good enough for now, good enough for you?
So how do you get more? I used to have a coworker many years ago, who later became my
husband. This guy who got paid more than my boss the very first year we were on the job. How
did he get it? He asked for it, he was told No, so he asked for it again, he got another No, so he
asked, he asked, he asked, and by the end of the year he drove a nicer car and had a higher
paycheck than our boss. He asked and he never settled. Within a few years of getting that entry-
level job, he made VP. Was he smarter than any of us? Nope. But he kept asking, and always
looking for more. Never ever settled, until he got a C-level position and a seven figure salary. I
still laugh because he is no smarter than any of us, certainly not as capable, he just refused to
settle than he thought he was worth.
Most of us aren’t even asking. Many of us are not comfortable asking. I know that I am not. That
said, I learned to ask anyway, because even when I am not feeling so confident, I always get
more just by asking.
But, to me the most effective, self-respecting strategy is to say No thank you, quickly and easily
to whatever is less than my expectation. You all know I say No to men quickly and easily. I
reject offers without regret because I know what I want, and when I can objectively see he is not
who I want, why give him my time, or listen to whatever proposal a half-man I am not even
interested in can bore me with? One hour alone is a luxury, an hour with somebody I am not
interested in is disrespectful to me and I don’t choose that.
At work, saying No thank you to lesser projects does keep me on the bench longer, but by
accepting only the offers that pay a certain level, I have raised my average billing rate. That
means that I am automatically getting better offers without having to negotiate anything. I say
No Thank you for working with people who are half-performers. If I have the opportunity to
select a team, I choose the producers, the deliverers, because working with a nice excuse-maker
who smiles at everybody but delivers nothing makes me a loser too. That’s more work for me. I
found that as soon as I started choosing wisely, and expressing clearly what I want, I got a whole
lot more and it doesn’t cost me anything at all.
People respect people who respect themselves. I now openly say I won’t work with him, is there
somebody else for that project? The company that assigns our projects called me recently to ask
if an upcoming project is good enough for me? I laughed, I had not been asked that before. But
the guy said, You’re the only female who asks for better work and better people. Other women
don’t ask, so I give them whatever is available. Asking goes a long way. I am always okay when
I don’t get what I want, and honestly, I am not so ambitious that I am willing to fight for it. I used
to get matched up with mediocre performers, lazy teammates, and excuse-makers until one day
out of sheer frustration I said No, I won’t work with him. He doesn’t deliver on time. Somebody
got pissed, a few people said How dare she, she’s so unprofessional. But since then, I get
matched with people who take their work more seriously.
I admit, sometimes I take what I can get because I don’t feel like working for it. Sooner or later,
that situation will slap me in the face because it will never work out for me. Eventually, I have to
face my own choice to accept less and find a way out of the mess I created for myself.
But I think so many women are habitual settlers when there is no need to be. To me this is more
obvious in dating. How is some schmuck from Tinder worth your time, how is some unavailable
male with the attention span of a gnat worth giving your attention to? How is that half-
relationship with a male seeing 5 other women a worthy endeavor? How is that not the ultimate
example of lack of self-worth? Throwing your hat into that ring to see if you’re a good enough
contender for his time, when he is splitting his time among many others, how is that a self-
honoring endeavor? Are you okay with a quarter of a man? How much is missing inside you that
makes a quarter good enough for now?
I think that one situation where we are all failing is this toxic idea, we have bought into that
“good enough for now”, “it’s better than nothing” or “it’s better than being alone”, is better. A cup
that’s a quarter full looks a lot fuller than an empty cup, until you realize some cups are filled
with vinegar, some with tears, others with fine wine.
Chances are that if you are consistently getting less, it is because you are settling for less. Why
would anyone give you more when they see how little is good enough for you?