My parents fell in love at first sight, got married within a year of meeting, have never argued and after thirty years of marriage are still hot for each other.
I don’t believe that everyone finds the sort of love my parents have, and I have seen evidence of the many different types of love and life-long partnerships that can work just as well.
My father believes in making your own luck and calls bullshit on religion, and yet after discovering how cynical I am at only 23, he has unbelievably begun to lecture me incessantly about how I need to open myself up to the universe in order to find my ‘soulmate’.
I am obviously not asking your opinion about soulmates, but rather about the concept of ‘settling’.
A man has recently proposed to me, and with that proposal comes the expectation we will have children before his 40th birthday, which is much sooner than I ever anticipated. However, I now have an opportunity to travel to places I never could have without him. I’ll have a house in Sydney (no small feat), no university debt and the opportunity to work in the industry I want without having to worry about money.
I will be ‘settling’ for someone I didn’t love straight away, but I feel saying no to something solid on the off-chance the universe could, maybe, deliver something better is a ridiculous concept.
Should I listen to my father or go along for the ride?
Your father is the guy who thinks he can give financial advice because he won the lottery. He just wants you to be happy, which is sweet, but that doesn’t mean his expectations for you are tethered to any kind of reality. If he has a specific problem with your relationship, let him voice it, but feel free to dismiss anything he has to say about finding your soulmate. Sure, it’s a charming sentiment coming from your dad, but it’s utterly useless as practical advice and potentially harmful if incorporated into your world view.
Now, as for your suitor. If you want to marry him, go right ahead, but don’t do it for the passport stamps, and don’t let him treat you like a broodmare. (He doesn’t get to decide when you get pregnant.) Do it because you love him and you want to build a life with him as an equal partner. If there’s confusion about whether you love each other, whether you’re equal partners, or whether you have similar visions for the kind of life you want to build together, please take all the time you need to figure it out, but don’t make this decision about whether the universe might deliver something better. (That’s not how the universe works.)
You aren’t settling if you actively choose to marry him. You aren’t settling if you actively choose not to. The only way you would be settling is if you sit back and passively “go along for the ride.” You are the one who makes this decision for yourself — not your dad, not your boyfriend, and not fate. You.