‘Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies’
– Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Settling down is something that has probably crossed the mind of every almost 30-something girl. When constantly bombarded with Facebook albums documenting those momentous events in the lives of your peers such as engagements, weddings, baby showers,etc you do have to start considering the fact that maybe you missed the boat. Maybe while you were living life, getting drunk, travelling the world, playing the field and generally being immature…all of the sensible people were settling down?
Look, I’m not a total hater and I am happy for my friends who’ve truly found their happily ever after. But you just need to look at the divorce stats to know that the chances of success are not always in favour of people that settle down early (ish). Just because someone has followed the conventional path of marriage and babies doesn’t mean that life is a fairytale in any sense. We never know what goes on behind close doors. It’s much easier to pity the ‘lonely’ singleton than those that seemingly have the whole package.
On the flipside, beggars can’t be choosers and none of us is getting any younger. As we become more ‘mature’, our priorities change. Once upon a time maybe we’d only go for the guy with James Dean-esque good looks but after having our hearts broken by enough bad boys, most of us are willing to let go off some of our more ridiculous ‘deal breakers’ and formulate a more realistic view of our Prince Charming.
Luckily, unlike our grandmothers, women today have choices. Choices which don’t necessarily have to involve some dude who lives down the road or in the next village. While it’s always good to be open to romantic opportunities (cos I am not a fan of being a Sad Spinster aka a Hater of Men) this no longer stops us from enjoying all the other things that this world has to offer. We are fortunate in that we don’t have to settle for just anyone because our biological clocks are ticking (freezing your eggs is apparently a totally legitimate thing – so we effectively have longer to find someone as equally fabulous as ourselves before procreating! yay!).
Thankfully, even here on the tip of deepest darkest Africa, women are becoming more independent (well, actually they are generally the breadwinners) and society’s attitudes towards women are also becoming more progressive. These developments alongside advances in technology, mean there is really is no excuse for just settling. Girls these days don’t have to conform – marriage and kids by 30? Tfu to that! Seriously though, if it happens – great! But if, like Carrie Bradshaw in SATC, your life takes a different trajectory, that’s totally cool too.
While it’s important to be realistic while searching for ‘the One’ (remember Carrie’s Mr Big was far from perfect; a twice-divorced, somewhat emotionally unavailable, commitment-phobe) there really is no need to rush into ‘settling down’ (Carrie was 40 and fabulous when she got married!). So let’s stop conforming and listening to what society’s definition of who Prince Charming should be and instead enjoy single-time and wait for those butterflies.
What are your views on ‘settling down’ dear rinsers? Is there too much pressure on us to ‘settle’ and follow the path that society deems to be normal? And are so many of us still single because we have too much choice or because we set ourselves ridiculously high standards?