If there’s one thing the hit CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother has taught us, it’s that one show can come up with a lot of theories about dating/relationships. Most of these stem from Barney and are rather ridiculous. The Reacher and The Settler, however, comes from Ted and Robin. If you don’t know who these characters are as you’ve never watched the show…maybe you should start (like Barney himself, it’s pretty awesome). Ted and Robin explain to us that in every relationship there is one person who reaches for someone out of their league and the other person who settles for someone below theirs.
This is a rather interesting concept and one that most people I’ve spoken to seem to believe holds true. The role of Reacher and Settler can change throughout the course of the relationship and the couple themselves change, but there is always one person playing each role.
The question is, would you rather be the Reacher or the Settler? Would you rather reach for someone out of your league, someone your friends are jealous of and you can be proud to call yours and show off, someone out of your league who leaves everyone else wondering why they are with you and leaves you insecure that you might not be good enough, or they might leave you?
Or, would you rather settle for someone below your league, someone your friends look down on and you don’t want to invite to as many social gatherings as you worry whether people are questioning your own self-worth seeing as you’re dating them, someone below your league who knows they’re lucky to have you, is more appreciative and you never have to worry about whether they might leave you*?
It can be a tough call.
Of course, most cases aren’t that drastic. Mostly there is a fine line between Reacher and Settler and only a few small points give someone the upper hand. In cases like this, is can be hard to differentiate between the two. How do you decide who is The Reacher and The Settler? Well, I’m glad you asked because, would you believe, I was discussing this exact thing just the other night with a girlfriend and came up with an easy way to make sense of it all!
The trick is, you need to break down just what leads to one person being considered more attractive, more date-able, than the other. You need different categories to judge each person against. And so, below is a table of categories that can help with this. You decide whether you want to play it with a simple “one person wins, one person loses” for each category, or whether it’s a score out of 5 (or 10, or 23) for each and the person with the most points wins. It’s 1 part judgemental, 1 part guilty pleasure and always interesting to see who, out of all the couples you know, comes out on top. You just might need an outside objective party to determine your own relationship!
P.s. Feel free to add your own categories, or let me know so I can update the list!
* Please note that while it’s generally accepted that as the better person The Settler doesn’t have to worry about their partner leaving them, I’ve been informed by a girlfriend to let you all know that “it doesn’t matter because they leave you either way”.