I fully believe that a person should never, ever have to settle when it comes to finding a partner. However, if you love someone, and they happen to have certain traits that wouldn't normally attract you, is that still the same as settling? I'm leaning towards no. I don't think settling applies actually being as happy as you can be.
To me, real love is all about cherishing EVERY aspect of a person. This could be accepting or loving their flaws, or being so blinded by love you can't even notice the flaws. Obviously, the first option is preferred. Can you love someone and not be physically attracted? I've heard it said that you can, but I can't see it. If it is real love, then you won't even notice whatever the turnoff is and you'll be consumed by the sweet, sweet passion. I would say love without physical attraction is simply friendship.
I also hear all the time that your age should dictate when you fall in love. Excuse me? Yeah, I'm a big boy now. I also know exactly what love feels like to me. Why should I have to wait until I'm 25+ to start thinking about marriage? Kids, sure. I'd rather wait til 30+ or so for kids. Marriage though? Hell yeah I want to find that one woman I want to share my entire life with, and I'd love to find her right bloody now.
"Oh, just be patient. You'll find her." Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not usually a patient guy. This is no exception. Maybe the Army made me grow up faster or something, but I'm ready to "settle down" without the actual settling. So come on, Universe! Where the heck is she? You already missed my last birthday and Yule. You owe me. -.-