I have found that when you settle down with someone, especially when you’re younger, people will have a lot of opinions about it.
They will also have a lot of questions about it. Because they won’t understand how you could be ready for this kind of commitment already. They will say you are giving up your freedom and cheating yourself out of exploring and finding yourself.
And there will always be well-intentioned people with concerns that this decision means you are settling and giving up on all of your other ambitions.
And to that, I would usually respond fairly simply. My settling down is in no means settling.
I think it is very common for people to put settling down and settling in the same category, but they couldn’t be more different.
Because, if someone is truly ready and that’s what they want, settling down is a beautiful thing.
But, settling? That is never a good thing. Settling is compromising your values, your hopes, your dreams. It’s saying, “eh, this will do” and agreeing to accept that this is as good as it’s going to get. Settling is selling yourself short.
But, settling down for me has been far from settling.
I am not settling on my dreams. I am continuing to pursue them. But, now I have someone there to be a cheerleader and an unconditional supporter of my goals. I have someone to keep me accountable and make sure I don’t stagnate.
I am not settling on life experiences. I’m just creating them alongside someone else. Whether it’s learning how to deal with finances or traveling for the first time. I just share these memories with my forever person. We get to experience things together and learn from them together.
I am not settling when it comes to finding myself. I am still learning who I am, but through this relationship, I am gaining a better understanding of who I want to be. I can’t hide my flaws or shortcomings when I see them mirrored in all of my actions. I am learning to see myself through someone else’s eyes, while also making sure I am proud of the version I see through my own.
I am not settling for young, fickle love. I am committing to watching this relationship stand the test of time, through every trial and every growing pain.
I know that young love doesn’t always work, but neither do a variety of other types of love. So, our age doesn’t mean we aren’t contenders.
Because we may have been young when we fell in love, but that doesn’t make it any less permanent. It was something that we wanted to make sure we held on to. And, it is through this love that we decided we would create our lives’ foundation.
A foundation where we can dream together, pursue things together, and grow together. And, let me tell you, it has created a life that has been far from settling.