Lesson #11: On Reacher/Settler Relationships [Bold Girls’ Bible]

Bold Girls' Bible

I used to work at a mini golf place in my hometown and I remember plenty of times when I would gather my coworkers to laugh at what we dubbed “extreme reacher/settler” relationships. You know what I’m talking about – where you see a couple so obviously mismatched that you’re left wondering how they even got together in the first place.

Even just last night I was watching old episodes of How I Met Your Mother and Lily and Marshall were discussing how Lily felt like she was the “settler” of their relationship. My sister has also come to me discussing relationships and she told me that every relationship has a “gardener and a flower.” I don’t know if I necessarily subscribe to either of these trains of thought, I mean I know I’ve seen relationships where it’s clear that there is one “reacher” and one “settler,” but I don’t think that mentality should be present in a relationship, and if it is? It’s probably a doomed relationship.

Let’s travel back to when I wasn’t making the best decisions regarding my love life. I started dating this boy that everyone told me was “bad news.” He had a reputation for cheating. At first, when we started dating, things were great. He was charming and I felt swept off my feet. I remember him constantly telling me how lucky I was to be dating him, and I felt like it was true. Out of all the girls in the world, I thought, he picked me. It was clear that he thought he was settling. The relationship ran it’s course and ended with him running off to other women because he thought he could do better. He’s an asshole, and emotionally manipulative and definitely the extreme in a reacher/settler situation, but once you draw that line you can’t un-draw it.

Why would you ever even want to think someone is above you or beneath you? I know it sounds cheesy, but isn’t a healthy relationship one where two people can complement each other? One of the best 20-something relationships I’ve ever seen is that of my best friend and her fiance. They totally complement each other. Where she is a little bit more free-spirited, he is analytical but she makes sure he’s having fun. They are the perfect yin and yang. Neither one is the reacher or the settler, they just make sense together. Isn’t that what we all should be striving for? I don’t ever want to feel like I’m settling, or achieving the impossible in my relationships. I just want to feel like we fit together, a perfect match.

To read more Bold Girls’ Bible, see all past entries here!

Molly is a senior journalism/English major at a school you haven’t heard of in a state you haven’t heard of. She’s obsessed with Chandler Bing, English bulldogs, and cheese. Follow her on twitter @mollymahannah, or check out her website accordingtomolly.com.

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