This is an issue that I’m facing a lot lately, which is why after a long hiatus from writing for this wonderful website, I just felt that I had to return to my relationship rants to ask if any other women are being asked this question a little more often that they’d like:
Oh, why haven’t you settled down yet?
The first, and rather cantankerous answer, that I give to people who ask this question is: I’m 21 years old, and this isn’t 1950.
It might be a snappy reply but you must admit, there’s a fair amount of relevance in those seemingly insignificant snippets of information. In this day and age, I believe that 21 is a fairly young age to have settled for anything, let alone a life partner. Secondly, we’re in a different era now and, I’m sorry if this makes some people uncomfortable, but there isn’t actually anything set in stone that says I have to settle down at all, irrespective of my age.
To avoid losing any lovely readers, I feel like I should slip in a disclaimer here about how it’s perfectly okay if you are 21, or older, or younger, and have settled down. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that – in fact, I’m quite happy for you! I only wish that people could be as happy for me, as a marginally successful 21-year-old, that I haven’t settled down yet, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, either.
Speaking frankly, I’m actually quite amazed that so many people are amazed when I say, ‘No, I’m not seeing anyone; I’m not really in the place for a relationship right now.’ It seems to stun them beyond belief, leaving them groping about helplessly for reasons that might explain this madness, which, to my annoyance, leads to yet more questions!
Oh, are you getting over someone?
Did your last relationship knock you about a bit?
Just not found the right person yet?
No, I’m not getting over anyone, actually; yes, my last relationship was fairly horrendous but, as you can see from my first answer, I’m already over that – but thanks for bringing it up anyway, because I love thinking about it…
And yes, as you mention it, I have found the right person. I’ve found a few right people who are funny and attractive and pleasant to be around. Alas, I’ve also found one degree, followed immediately by another degree, which will be followed immediately by another degree (yes, I know, I’m a crazy lady for even entertaining the idea but hey, the brain wants what it wants!). I’ve also found family troubles, times with friends, and the occasional hour to myself at weekends; and I haven’t even got round to the freelance journalism and my own website, where I have to play Editor-in-chief on a daily basis. So yes, I probably have found the right person, it’s just unfortunate that I found them five years too early.
Well, you just have to make time for them, don’t you?
This line right here, this is another firm favourite of mine; but I’ll leave that for another article.
Reading back over this, I appreciate it really does sound like a mega-rant so in order to tidy things up for those reading, and potentially thinking along the same mega-rant lines, I’ll try and find a neat concluding paragraph to tie this together.
It is perfectly okay for a woman, whether she is young and aspiring or older and successful, or any number of things that exist between, to be single. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it doesn’t make you unlovable; and it certainly doesn’t make you a social mutant – maybe I’m bias, but I definitely believe that last point to be entirely true. And, keeping in mind all of the above, the next time someone asks you why you, wonderful, successful, sexy, and determined you, haven’t settled down yet, given them the hand-on-heart honest reason:
Because I don’t want to.