At 28 years old I’m developing an aversion to the idea of settling down. Don’t get me wrong; I want to find that ‘oh so special’ person that enables me to live my best life. My surroundings, however, paint a different picture of what most relationships become- a breeding ground for settling. Young and old I witness people settling in relationships that are unfulfilling and mediocre at best, and I want to understand why. I know that relationships are inherently meant to ebb and flow with intensity and excitement but does that mean that we have to stop our search for true love in the name of practicality?
Whether it be our life or relationships, there comes the point when one begins to assess risk differently. Perhaps when we’re young with ‘nothing’ to lose it’s easier to continue the search for the perfect love. When the years rack up, and our prospects lessen do we subconsciously perform a cost-benefit analysis for love?
Scenario 1: Live a life ‘alone’ in exchange for living an otherwise fulfilling life
Scenario 2: Be in an unfulfilling relationship in exchange for security.
The scenario you decide to live depends largely on how you weigh these factors and dictate your aptitude for settling.
Fear of dying alone
Most people are frightened by the idea of being alone. The thought of never finding love and living out the last days utterly alone can be daunting. Heck, there’s a part of me that fears dying alone too! But I refuse to let my fear of dying alone prohibit me from being in a relationship that enables me to live my best life.
For all you SATC fans there’s a scene that resonates with my core. Even though it’s about children, it still rings very true to this topic. Carrie grapples with the idea of never having children when she finds out it’s not in the stars for her new beau.
Samantha: They’re a lot of fabulous things in life that don’t include a baby… what would that be like?
Carrie: Him, sex, travel, comfort, love, and extraordinary adventures
Samantha: Not too shabby
I think there’s something magical and liberating when you stop looking for a partner for a sense of completion. Think about the life that you want to live and start living it instead of waiting for the right person to start living.
Vision of self-worth
As a formal people pleaser, I know firsthand how easily it can be to put your needs and happiness above the needs of others. I’ve found myself in toxic relationships yet at the time never thought “You deserve better than this!”
We all deserve to live a happy life and if you’re in a relationship that doesn’t make you happier, most of the time at least, then you deserve more! You shouldn’t feel guilty about it either. I like to think of it as our inalienable right. We only have one life to live so don’t waste it living an unhappy one!
It’s hard out there, trust me I know! Without dating apps, it’s damn near impossible to meet new people yet with dating apps you’re introduced to the dating woes that plague us in the digital age. When you find someone who’s ‘good enough’ I can see why some might dread even the idea of jumping into today’s dating world.
Perception of pressure
Hi, it’s me again, reformed people pleaser hence one of the main reasons I’ve stayed in toxic relationships. I felt guilt and pressure to make it work. But the truth is real love shouldn’t be that difficult. Don’t get me wrong, relationships require a lot of work, but it shouldn’t feel like squeezing a round peg into a square hole.
Hate to be depressing, but at the end of the day, you’re the only one who has to relive your life choices in your dying days. Which will you regret more- staying with someone you didn’t truly love or leaving someone for the chance at true happiness? Don’t stay in an unfulfilling relationship simply because it’s easier than leaving.
Lez be honest people, ignorance is bliss. Technically, life would be easier without introspection. Withing looking inward and analyzing our lives you keep the unfavorable truths at bay. Denial can easily trick you into thinking your seemingly mediocre relationship is everything you want. Mirror mirror on the wall- who’s the most introspective of them all? Are you ready to place your relationship in front of the truth mirror? Are you ready to ask the tough questions or would you rather be a pretty little fool, “that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world- a pretty little fool.” Said by F. Scott Fitzgerald anyways!
In my opinion, this is the truest indicator as to why people settle. We tend to rely on our surroundings and past as references for what good relationships look like. If they lived with ‘happy’ parents who value security over undying love then perhaps they don’t see their unloving rich husband as settling.
Don’t get too hung up on this though! This excuse can only take you so far my friends. We have the power to create the life you deeply want. Don’t use this as a ploy to diminish your involvement and role in your life!
You owe it to yourself to live your best life. You need to be an active player in your own life. Audit your life and remove the things that prohibit you from that life. Your relationship might be on that list so don’t be afraid to make the changes necessary. Don’t be a settler be an avid liver!