“Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.” -Sex & the City
I refuse to settle.
And to clarify, I don’t see settling as in getting married or having children, or buying a house even.. any of that. Because, believe it or not, I want some of those things.. I want to love and be loved, but I know enough to wait for what is right for me. I refuse to do anything because of my age, or what society thinks I should be doing. Settling down for me is doing something for the mere reason that people, or society, expect it of you, not because you actually want to do it.
I especially believe this in terms of love. I have read in several places that people are in relationships for many reasons but not necessarily because of love. How sad is that!? I mean, if you think about it, we aren’t even friends with people because we genuinely like them or have anything in common.. many times it is a feeling of sheer obligation. I’ve also read a breakdown of the differences between love and obsession, lust, and control even. And honestly, this is why the divorce rate is 50%.
Don’t hate people, its a statistic. Fact. (in case you feel the need to read up on it, here’s a link for you) statistics
And also, in the 50% who stay married, only a fraction of those are together because of love. Now that is really sad.
As much as I LOVE living in a fantasy of romance and undying love, rom coms, and fairytales, (which, as many of you know, my likeness for these things is absolutely rediculous) I still understand, and learn everyday that love is more than convenience, expectation, practicality, being comfortable, and the idea of “I don’t think I can find anything better.” When I hear this, I want to kick a puppy. Is that what you really think? Or are you just being impatient? Lazy? Are you just plain scared of being vulnerable? These are the chances I am willing to take. Love is not “Well we’ve been dating 2 years, it’s time to get married.” Is it?! We’re talking forever here people.. do you realize this? Oh right, you can just get divorced.. because that’s a whole lot of fun I tell you.
Maybe it’s because I am part of that previously stated statistic and I refuse to add to it again. Maybe because of my previous ‘failure’ I finally understand what marriage actually means. Forever. I am slowing beginning to see, after physically seeing with my own eyes, so many people after me who got married, or divorced, or both even.. that marriage is no longer being taken seriously. It just becomes another ‘step’. Especially for those who are in long relationships.. hate me all you want for saying this, but maybe you aren’t supposed to get married.. maybe your long relationship is just that – a relationship you’ve had for a long time. I have been there, I know others who have been there too.. leaving relationships after 4, 8 years even. Marriage was not meant to be a ‘step’ it was, and is, meant for love.. not taxes, not babies, love. With love, comes the rest.. Maybe I’m trying too hard to explain this. But, maybe.. out of sheer hope, people will read and view life a little differently and actually take the time to fall in love vs just taking what they can get.
And yes, I’ve heard you critics, life now is not what life was back then.. blah blah.. The Bible is dated.. Society has changed.. That’s great, well if society has changed so much, then why are women, on average, still getting paid less then men? Why is there still discrimination? Why do families automatically expect children the minute people get married? Are you now going to argue on the basis of tradition? Exactly.. this is an on-going argumentative cycle. People may have changed, but feelings have not.
Love is a feeling, it is understanding. It’s compromise. Not in compromising yourself, but in finding compromise together. It’s being true to yourself and seeing truth in each other. It’s living as individuals, and bringing home your separate ideas to collaborate, or at least agree to disagree. It’s ever-changing.. because our lives are ever-changing. It’s loving all of someone including their imperfections.. not despite them. It’s allowing each other to be vulnerable because we all need to expose ourselves sometimes so we don’t feel shame. It’s about accepting that vulnerability because we all are victim to it.. It’s about not expecting strength and perfection at all times.
Love is about finding that person or people even, including friends, who see you for everything your worth, down to the bones. Vulnerable. Shameful. To be able to stand by you when you are not strong. Through imperfections. Love is not about knowing what buttons to push, but knowing why there are buttons at all. Love is truly unconditional.
And don’t get me wrong, of all the people I know who are married, with children, etc.. I know a few who are truly in love, who are together because of each other, not out of circumstance.. But I can count those couples on one hand.
Call me crazy, but no, I won’t settle, I refuse to allow myself to just be ‘comfortable’. I refuse to allow time, and society, and even friends and family, to create my boundaries. I refuse to be part of anything other than that 2% or so of the population who are together because of love.
Will I have to wait till I’m 80? Maybe. Will I be lonely? At times.. Will it be worth it? Yes.