Sometimes people settle. Certainly there are people who aren't very attractive themselves but have very high standards in terms of physical attractiveness for their partners. The people they're attracted to would probably never give them the time of day, so it's either "settle" for someone less attractive or be single.
However, I think for a lot of people, being unattractive can change your outlook on physical attractiveness. Growing up, I was nerdy and chubby. The very attractive kids seemed like a**holes to me. They treated other people poorly, and they didn't seem to have much substance. It made them very unattractive to me. Personality seemed much more important to me than physical attractiveness, and further, I became more attracted to unconventional attractiveness. Many of the physical characteristics that other people find important became trivial to me. Now, even though I've "grown into" my looks a fair bit, I tend to not be attracted to people who are "stereotypically" attractive and I find a very wide range of people attractive. I find that I'm genuinely more attracted to people who fall into the "4" to "7" range of what other people would find attractive, and I'm typically not attracted to the "8" to "10"s.
I'm not settling, it's more that growing up "ugly" has had an effect on what I find attractive and the importance I put on physical characteristics.
You can't talk about settling if it's love, that's just wrong.
You might ask somebody "less attractive" out to have more chances of not being rejected or something like that, but when love starts... it's just love. Love between "attractive" people is just the same as love between "unattractive" people. You can't content yourself in these cases, if I love you, I find you attractive. And if I feel like I'm contenting myself I won't stay with you, it's not fair for anybody.
I think that different people will find different people attractive. I say this often, my friend thinks that jessica alba is gorgeous while I think she is okay. Everyone is into different tastes when it comes to men & women, I love pretty faces, while my friend loves big asses.
Some people like to think that everyone can be rated from 1-10, but in the end of the day, its about who finds who attractive or not.
It depends. When I want a girl, I want the most sexy and attractive one that I know I can get. But when it comes down to long lasting and successful relationships, I think the average girl will do for me. In my experience, dating girls that I could do so much better than, always where the ones that would do anything for me, to just get me to stay with them. They would go hungry, stay up late doing chores, and always show their soft sides when it comes to personal problems, that they wouldn't share with anyone in the world but me. Attractive girls for me are hard to keep satisfied. They are always wanting to go somewhere or do something and get bored really easily. And when this happens, I wine up spending more money than I really have to just get them to stay with me.
But, the best thing to do is follow your heart and believe in yourself, for when opportunities come, they come in bunches so be ready and follow your heart.