Why I’m Not Giving Into Pressures To Settle Down

October 17, 2011  |  

It’s been well over two years since I’ve been in a steady relationship and quite honestly, I’m okay with that.

My last relationship wasn’t abusive or dysfunctional in anyway. In fact, my boyfriend was a really nice, caring and attentive guy, who accepted me for who I was and went out of his way to make me feel appreciated and loved. He was as close to perfect as it comes. And in fact, prior to our courtship, I used to stress myself – and the unfortunate men I had dated – out about why I hadn’t been able to find relationship like the one I had. I should have been happy. There was no real reason for me not to be happy. But despite finally getting what I wanted, I can honestly say that I wasn’t.

Somewhere within the mix of coupledom, I began to feel stifled and confined. And that’s when the fights started. I would routinely pick arguments with him over the most mundane things, like how loudly he chewed his food and his penchant for smiling all the time. Amazingly the characteristics that first attracted me to him suddenly became the very reasons why I couldn’t stand him any longer.

And while I enjoyed our time together, there were many days in which I had longed to be solo. Then one day, while we sat quietly on his couch watching a movie, it hit me. While I was spending so much time and energy on making the “we” work, I knew little about what made the “me” happy. Whereas I wanted to travel, see the world, meet new people and explore interest outside of the realm of what I had been accustomed to, my significant other was just content sitting on the couch and watching movies together. I realized that what I had been searching for wasn’t necessarily a significant other but a life of significance. So I dumped him, nicely of course, and went out into the world to not only do my “thang” but to find out exactly what my “thang” was.

Again, that was two years ago and at 34 years of age I realize that I am not getting any younger. But even as the anxiety and fear of being the old spinster cat lady nudges at me and almost weekly articles in the press hounding me about why I’m not married yet, I’m still not ready to be in just any relationship just to say, and to quote Sophia from the Color Purple, “I iz married now.” There are so many questions about myself, about what I want in a relationship, which I have yet to figure out. Questions like do I want children? Do I even desire marriage or would I be content with a part-time lover? Where do I see myself career-wise five years from now? And how much will I really be saving by switching my insurance to Geico – you know the important stuff in life. So until I truly figure it all out, I think that I will remain ambivalent, single and very much unattached.

And despite the Single Lady anthem swirling around me, according to the Census Bureau, I’m not really alone in my thinking. Its most recent report has suggested that the proportion of married households in America dropped to a record low of 48 percent and that nearly 50 percent – and growing – of the adult population is single. This compared with 33 percent in 1950.

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  • it’s official. i now have a crush on charing ball…major…i make you first wife!

  • reese

    You shouldn't give in. If you don't want to settle down you shouldn't because you will probably be unsuccessful. I was proposed to by three different men before I got the right one. I would probably be in a bad marriage or divorced by now.

  • Military Honor?

    I too like everyone else on here thinks this article spoke to me. Just today I found myself struggling with the choice to follow my dreams or continue to serve in the military. Of course the military would be the safe choice, but will it be morally correct to myself. It's great knowing I am going to get paid every 1st and 15th, I have full benefiits, and get to do some traveling from time to time, on the government exspense. However, I am so unahappy with what I am doing, but I'm afraid to step outside of the box in fear of losing the stability I have become so accustomed to. Luckily, I have not followed suit like a vast number of people in the service and jump head first into a microwave family. I am single with no kids, so I know the time is now for me to make the choice to find out who I really am as an individual, and not a number to fill a billet. Hopefully I have the courage to venture out and follow my heart and not my head.

  • I like it and by me it is truth.

  • That article spoke to me. I went through all those decisions and questions just last year. I love the freedom of being single but at times I miss the companionship. But I’m in NO hurry to force a relationship or future marriage and end up being unhappy. More women need to know who they are before they get married and they might end up with the right man, the first time. As always love ~www.womenaregamechangers.com

  • Hmmmmmmm

    There are millions of men in America that feel exactly the same way you do fore their own reasons.
    Thanks for speaking up.

  • cocotamara

    your story reads almost exactly like mine! good to know there's more of us out there…thanks!

  • LOVE THIS!!!!! Thank you for showing the world it's okay to be you, okay to want what you want, and okay to think for yourself. It's pretty courageous to reveal yourself in this way and it was an inspiring read.

  • Prissy

    AHH!!!!! I agree with this article wholeheartedly!!! Thank you for this!