On Candace Bushnell’s hit series “Sex in the City”, Carrie Bradshaw said “Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for less than butterflies.” However, can you identify who’s who? Where do you stand? And at what point, or age, do you start considering switching teams?
As I type this, I am a single and childless woman. I would like to be married some day with kids to soon follow. Back in the day, that was the normal expectation of most women because that was the societal standard. Thats what people did. Even men expected that once they secured a job, fresh outta high school or college for some, you soon after start setting your sights on wifey so that you can pop the question and live happily ever after. In 2016, not so much! A lot of people are waiting until a lot later in life to even start thinking about marriage and children. Its totally acceptable for Janet Jackson to be having her first baby at the tender age of 50. Halle Berry had her first child after 40. So did JLo. These women are physically attractive, outwardly they appear to be successful, and no doubt there are a slew of men that I know personally who would have jumped at the chance to impregnate them way sooner. Were they waiting for butterflies? Or did the butterflies never show up, so they settled for the caterpillar that caught them on their brink of defeat?
When I speak to friends and family members who are much older than me, they say “you’ve got plenty of time” and things like “don’t rush to get married or have kids.” However, no judgement on Janet or Halle or woman who do it, but I’m not trying to be pregnant after 40 with my second kid, let alone my first! I envisioned myself being a youthful mother and having my husband and our house to enjoy alone starting in our 50s when the rugrats go off to college or join the workforce. I look at my 40+ single co-workers and the dating scene appears to only get worse the older you get. So at what age do you give up hope for your ideal? A good guy friend of mine had aspirations of being a rapper, but he always said “if my rap career doesn’t take off by the time I’m 30, I’m hanging that up.” When do you decide, or at what age, do you accept that the butterflies aren’t coming in the same package as the stable and loving husband?
In conversations that I have with close friends, its perfectly common to hear statements like “IF I ever find the one” or “IF I ever have kids” because there is a looming cloud of doubt in accomplishing these seemingly impossible feats. Its also equally common to observe friends “settling down” with people whom we, as their friend, know isn’t their ideal. For example, Kim always said she’d never date a guy with kids- now she’s marrying a guy with 3 children. Is Kim settling or did she find butterflies in an unexpected place? Tiffany said always wanted and dated men who were 6’4 and taller with athletic bodies, however she married James who is 5’4 with heels. Is she settling? He treats her like a queen tho!
I, like most people, have an “ideal” that I would like to find in a partner. In my opinion asking to not have to settle for less than butterflies, a six pack of abs, 6’1 + of manliness, no kids, a well-paying career he is passionate about, an enterprising spirit with ambitious follow-through, impeccable character and integrity, commitment to family and a love for travel shouldn’t be that difficult to find right? Well, I haven’t found it yet. At least not all in the same man. So one must ask, what are you willing to strike from your list? And in doing so, is that settling or compromising?
We do it every day in deciding which job to take – this one pays better, but it requires we work more hours than we’d like. In choosing which route to take to work – this one is faster, but I don’t pass a Starbucks on the way. In which outfit to wear – this one looks better on, but is less comfortable. So, why should we not expect to have to “settle” when it comes to love? I think a large part of our resistance to embrace “settling” is merely in the word. The idea of “settling” has such a negative connotation. If we viewed our adjustments as healthy and mature compromise, I think we would be more happy to comply. But how do you distinguish between the two: settling VS compromise? For me, settling is dealing with something or someone that you know, deep down, will always be a source of discontent or disappointment. Compromise, for me, is choosing to accept something that isn’t preferred in favor of gaining something that is. At what age do you start having to compromise for love? I, a single and childless women (gotta put that disclaimer out there LOL) , believe that when I meet the right person, any compromises will happen so naturally that they don’t feel like much of a sacrifice. Therefore, at this point in my life, I don’t feel that there is an arbitrary age at which you should hang up all hope of finding what you believe you want and deserve. Although I’d rather not be getting married at 40 and having babies at 50, in this moment I’d much rather do that than be married with children to a husband that I can’t stand and never could. I think that the perfect person for me and YOU will show up and perhaps change our ideas about what we actually wanted and needed in the first place. At least I’m still hoping so LOL Cheers to the journey!
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