Can someone answer this question for me? Okay - not that one. The one I'm about to ask.
I don't know if this is generational and if this notion is on its way out (God, I do hope so), but I've been thinking a lot about the concept of "settling down" lately.
And by that I mean marriage. Yes...not just a stable relationship. MARRIAGE.
Now, I come from a southern family that is fairly traditional in their views and I know that's not the way everyone's family operates. But to give you an idea - I was married at 20, much to the delight of my parents, and when my sister was 22 and not engaged yet, my grandfather joked that she was an Old Maid.
So, we both married and "settled down." My "settle" only lasted 11 years until the death of my husband and then I tried to "settle" again, but realized that I would truly be "settling."
And I've been single ever since.
So here's my problem: When we think of a friend who is single and - let's be honest - FEMALE, it seems to certain people that they haven't "settled down."
What a bunch of bullshit.
Again, it seems like this is pushed upon women more than men and promotes the idea of the helpless female who can't operate without a man to depend on. I mean, I truly hear "I wish SHE would settle down" way more than "HE" - although I know there are some men out there who will dispute this.
Okay, so I wasn't originally single by choice, but I certainly am now. In fact, I'm possibly as "settled down" as I have ever been. I love my life. I've figured it out. I know how to get things done, who to ask for for help, and how to live my life on my terms.
Think about this.
Let's see a show of hands: How many of you out there have friends who are unsettled in their marriages? Who knows couples who are so unstable in relationships that they actually don't depend on that person at all?
Why does it seem like the goal is to "settle down" and get married...so that we can then sometimes move on to the next phase of being in a relationship that shouldn't have happened in the first place? I mean, really. I do think that settling down is pushed on us so much that it almost doesn't matter if it's right. It only matters that it happened.
Why can't we think of "settling down" as being comfortable and happy in one's own life...rather than strapping it into the notion of marriage? I'm settled. REALLY. I am. And let me tell you - there were definitely moments in my "settled" years of marriage when I wondered what in the world I was doing. And that was very unsettling.
Yikes. I just read this over and realized that it sounds like I'm marriage-bashing. I'm really not. But as I watch my children grow, I think about what's coming. Is it marriage? Maybe. Children? That would be great.
But don't think for one second that I'm going to encourage my kids to "settle down" unless it's into their own idea of happiness and comfort...whatever form that might take.