A quintessential example of this is a very attractive woman, with an extremely unattractive guy that likely happens to be a very sweet dude.Now, the good-looking girl is clearly the settler because she certainly, at least looks wise, could do much better than her current boyfriend.However, – and this is important – he already knows he is reaching with her, so he's constantly showering her with love through compliments, gifts, general lovey stuff, and attention.
Every relationship has what “How I Met Your Mother” has dubbed a settler and a reacher.
In other words, one person in the relationship settles for the other, who is involved in a relationship with someone out of his or her league, the settler.
The woman he started dating is very well off but even after his plea to not get attached, she got attached.
She is the reacher because she was trying hard to change his mind or impress him so that he would settle down with her. During my time dating, there was a long period where I had no interest in settling down or getting married.
Now, I'm sure you have all heard of this phenomenon before, but I'd like to elaborate a bit on my feelings about this dating pattern.
In every dating environment, whether it be casual, exclusive, or hell, even an engagement, one partner is the settler and the other is the reacher.
Men’s self-help (which The Passion Trap‘s limiting definitions falls under) often gravitates towards this overly black and white dichotomy of “this is exactly how things are, with no variation.” In chasing after certainty, subtlety and nuance gets lost. One of you might feel that the other is more physically attractive.
Maybe your partner brings more emotional durability to the table.
Put simply, the reacher is the one who’s dating up and out of his/her league, and the settler is the one who’s dating down, and who’s settled for less. I’ve had my fair share of failed relationships and looking back, it was probably precisely this toxic mentality that caused my relationships to end.
There’s always the one person who’s reaching, trying to be like or be better than the other and eventually, it comes to a point when both parties get sick of it; the constant comparisons permeate every interaction within the course of the relationship so that eventually, love becomes the casualty.
He has been adamant about not having a relationship.