Weekender

Rants and Raves: Settling down not on my agenda

For the longest time, there has been a societal standard on settling — go to school, meet someone, get married, have babies, buy a house, get old and die. I probably could have left the last one out, but that’s life.

Anyway.

I haven’t settled down. As a matter of fact, I wince every time I type it. Settle down. Bleh.

The phrasal verb ‘settle down’ is defined by Merriam-Webster as: to begin to live a quiet and steady life by getting a regular job, getting married, etc.

I think my issue with that is … well, all of it. A quiet and steady life sounds boring to me. A regular job? No thanks. And marriage … yikes.

I don’t know about you, but convention makes me uncomfortable.

I was always a relationship person. I would get a sliver of attention from someone and fall in love (or maybe lust, I’m not totally sure if I know what love is anymore).

And that was my problem. I settled. I settled out of loneliness or boredom because I didn’t know myself well enough to know what I wanted.

I never had time to figure things out on my own because I was always putting others before myself. I spent most of my teens and twenties bouncing from relationship to relationship because I felt like I had to (the standard, remember?).

Deciding that I wasn’t ready to settle down was one of the big reasons why my last serious relationship ended, but it’s also one of the reasons why I am terrified to start anything new with someone.

Sometimes I feel like, because I’m pushing 30 and single, I’m supposed to feel bad because I’m not in a relationship. But I don’t. I couldn’t care less.

To be honest, the worst part about not being with anyone is getting asked by people I haven’t seen in a while: “What are you doing now? Are you married? Any kids? When are you going to settle down?”

It’s not awful because it makes me feel bad about myself; it’s awful because it is a boring conversation starter (have I mentioned that I hate small talk?).

Why are they always the default questions when you haven’t seen anyone in years?

I usually give a quick and salty response to them:

Oh, just working. Hanging out.

Nope, maybe someday.

No, but I love kids.

Settle down? Never.

I’m not trying to push my views, but why would you want to settle for something that isn’t the absolute best thing for you?

When I hear the word “settling” it reminds me of “stopping.” and I am not ready for that. I don’t know if and when I ever will be.

At the end of it all, you’re not here forever. Are you going to look back and say, “wow, my life was great, but I really wish I did a lot less?”

If settling down lights your fire, then go for it, but it’s going to be a hard pass from me.

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By Hartt Lang