Subourbon Mom


Are You A Reacher or a Settler?

Daughter #1 recently informed our family that on the TV show How I Met Your Mother, they talked about how in every relationship there’s a Reacher and a Settler.
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Reachers are in a relationship with someone who is out of their league. Settlers are with someone they believe may be inferior to them, either intellectually or physically – think Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel, or for those of you under the age of 40, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde.

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Ok, ok, if you want to be intellectual about it, it could be anyone of normal intelligence who has married a genius of any kind.

 

So I started wondering:  If this is true, what relationships would work better and longer?

 

Reacher + Settler:  A lawyer once said, “You know 10’s don’t date 2’s, right?”  Well, in my opinion, if they do it’s most likely not going to work, for two reasons:

1.       There rarely are 10’s.  Some people may think they’re a 10, but chances are they’re not.  I’m not just talking about looks here – you can be  a 10 in the personality department, or a be a 2 (a total D-bag).  Either way, it probably won’t last.

2.       These relationships are doomed from the start, unless the Settler (the 10) is a narcissist and the Reacher (the 2) has absolutely no self-esteem whatsoever, and they stay that way.  In this type of relationship, Reachers will let their well-being be dictated by their desire to be needed by the Settler.

unknown-3Think of Bella, the character in the Twilight movies. She is the Reacher (a young girl who is completely attracted to the all-powerful vampire), and Edward, the vampire, is the Settler.  (Yes, I know what happened in the books at the end – more on that later).  If their relationship had stayed the same, she would eventually have become just a blood supply to him.

Settler + Settler:  This would appear on the surface to work, except that the relationship will become toxic. Eventually, both Settlers’ feelings of superiority allow them to convince themselves they are right, or at least that the other is wrong. In a relationship between two Settlers, each thinks the other must be a Reacher, and therefore must be inferior/wrong.  “Asshole”, “arrogant” and “egotistical” are a couple of favorite words for two Settlers to sling about when they fight.  Try to imagine what would happen if Kanye West or Taylor Swift got together, or even better, Hillary and The Donald.

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Toxic.

 

 

Reacher + Reacher:  This is the best combination.  Two Reachers will be convinced they don’t deserve the other person, and will treat each other well.  Back to Bella and Edward – by the end of the series, both become Reachers.  Once Bella is made into a vampire, their unique vampire abilities put them on equal footing. Plus, both are so screwed up emotionally (she’s horrifically repressed, and he’s got some bizarre emotional need to be with a girl one tenth his age) they will never consider themselves Settlers.  That said, most of the marriages I know that have lasted a long time have done so because both people are self-aware enough to know they are flawed, and that not many people in the world could put up with their shit the way their spouse has for the last decade or two.

But what if the dynamic changes?  What if one of the two Reachers turns into a Settler? It happens.  Think of the Couch Potato-turned-Gym Rat.  The Couch Potato, who is in a relationship with another Couch Potato, should be happy (according to my theory) – until the Couch Potato decides she no longer wants to be a Couch Potato (because she watched the Twilight series too many times), and begins working out in the gym.  Soon she’s rockin’ the six pack and has a whole new set of Gym Rat friends. She starts to look down on her Couch Potato, and becomes in her mind, a Settler.  So, we are back to the first scenario:  Reacher + Settler.

Does this mean people aren’t allowed to change and grow in their relationship?  Of course not.  It does, however, mean that both people have to communicate, and never stop growing and trying new things.  Children try new things every day and grow exponentially.  It’s one of the reasons they are so interesting to watch.  Adults have a harder time trying new things, out of fear of looking ridiculous of being uncomfortable.  But not trying anything new means not growing.

Trying something new doesn’t have to mean hiking the Appalachian Trail or learning to pole dance at age 50; it can be something as simple as taking an online class about underwater basket weaving, writing a blog, or starting a business from your home.  When one person in the relationship stops growing and trying new things, they automatically become a Reacher.  If both people stop trying new things, they become…Al Bundy.

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7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Good one, Libby!

Nanci

Comment by Nanci Heptinstall

Thanks Naci!

Comment by libbyhall

Love it – well said – this is coming from the 10 who married ….. Another 10! Lol

Comment by Sue snn

I knew you two were two Settlers! (I’ve heard you argue, but you might be the exception to the rule!)

Comment by libbyhall

A good lesson in a humorous format. Great job! sd

Comment by energywriter

Thanks Sharon!

Comment by libbyhall

Enjoyed!

Comment by lynchburggal70




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