“Oh, you’re already in your 20s, what are you waiting for!?” or “Your friends are in committed relationships, married with children, and you!?” Or my personal favorite: “What, you think you’re better than everyone else!? Lower your standards before you end up a cat lady!”
Trust me, it’s better to settle down late, than to settle for the wrong person.
What’s wrong with living with a bunch of cats? It sounds much better than living with some “man” with mommy issues and an empty bank account. It sounds way better than living with a guy because everyone else seems to think you’re incomplete or insufficient without one.
And it certainly sounds much better than living with a man just because you’re afraid of what everyone else would say if they found out you don’t really want to live with him. Or any other man, for that matter, unless you’re completely, irrevocably, and unequivocally in love with him.
What’s wrong with being afraid of making the wrong choice? And let’s be honest, that’s pretty much the only outcome you can expect when your friends, family, and the entire society keep pressuring you into doing something you don’t want to do.
Why do you have to lower your standards instead of them raising theirs? Why do you have to worry about settling down late when you should worry about settling for the wrong person? And, why do you even have to settle down? Why, why, why!?
And, do you know what the worst thing about this entire debate is? They’re starting to change your mind. They’re starting to make you question yourself: “What if they’re right? What if I never find the one I’m looking for?”
God, they’re starting to make you feel like you’re running out of time: “Does he really have to have a career? Does he really have to know the difference between ‘they’re’ and ‘their’?” Come on, you deserve someone with some sort of ambition and a basic understanding of the English language.
Trust me, you don’t want to wake up one day and realize you’ve wasted your entire life on the wrong person. You don’t want to sacrifice your happiness for the sake of your mother’s expectations. Or your friend’s values and ethics. Or even your on-and-off boyfriend’s sudden revelations.
And, you don’t want to wake up one day only to realize you’re so far from being happy that you wouldn’t even know how to find your way back. You deserve better than settling for someone who’s “almost charming” and “kind of sweet” just because you’re freaking out about settling down late.
Change the narrative! Take control of the way you see yourself and your relationships! Be proud of yourself every time you turn down someone’s cousin who’s “nice and looking for a woman to marry” or someone’s coworker who’s “just got out of a long relationship.”
Wait, before anyone gets offended, we’re not talking about being proud of breaking someone’s heart or raising someone’s hopes. We’re talking about being proud of standing up for yourself, doing something you believe to be the right thing for you, and putting yourself first.
And don’t even get me started on the fact that being alone has a bunch of perks and comeuppances! You have all the time in the world to pamper yourself, work on your mental health, start a hobby you’ve been curious about forever, and do something you always wanted to do.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be with someone. Wanting to cuddle up, hold each other’s hands and watch movies. Wanting to make breakfast together and laugh at each other’s lame attempts at garnishing.
But there’s something to be said about our society that teaches us we shouldn’t enjoy our own company.
That we shouldn’t get dressed up for ourselves. That we shouldn’t avail ourselves of that companionless coffee at your favorite coffee shop. Or that we shouldn’t appreciate the time we spend with our cats.
Do you know that one TikTok that goes something along the lines of “I love when you get dressed up and people are like “Woah, where are you going? What’s the special occasion?” And then the girl says “The occasion is that I exist, it’s an ongoing thing, and I think that’s pretty special!”
Now, that’s the kind of attitude you need. You need to show everyone you can become the best person you’ve ever been without a boyfriend, husband, or partner. Show them you can appreciate your friend’s wedding without shoving your beliefs down everyone’s throat.
Show them you can be happy for other people’s happiness without feeling like you can’t be happy without a husband or child in tow. You’re a complete person without these things. You have every right to take your time finding the love of your life and discovering pleasure in the process.
You’re better off settling down late than settling for the wrong person. In fact, you’re probably one moment away from meeting the one, the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with. You don’t want that person to find you unavailable because you’ve given up and settled for less-than, do you?
So, what exactly are you waiting for!? Go out there and live your best life. Go get that career you’ve always dreamed of. Rescue that cat you crossed paths with at the animal shelter. Travel to that dream location you’ve had saved on your phone for years.
Don’t reduce yourself to the solitary confinement of spending the rest of your life wondering: “Have I married the right person? Have I made the worst mistake of my life? And have I let society dictate what I do within my own four walls?”
Settle down late, but settle with the right person! Don’t you want to be the person who breaks free from societal expectations? Who lives her life under her own terms and conditions? Who creates a life she loves? Trust me, you can thank me later!