What To Do If You Don't Want To Settle Down

What To Do If You Don't Want To Settle Down

Whether you have permanent wanderlust or straight-up commitment phobia, you’re not alone. And you’re not damaged goods.

By Sarah Taviani | 7th March 2016

How many times have you had a friend or relative demand to know when you’re going to settle down? It can be humiliating and confronting, especially when “I’m happy right now” is apparently not a good enough answer.

Don’t worry: you’re not damaged goods because you’re not on the path to marriage. So everyone can just stop trying to figure out what your childhood trauma is. There’s actually nothing wrong with you and heaps of people face these dilemmas.

Problem: You can't settle on a career path

Times, they are a-changing. People used to stay on one career path for their entire lives. These days, most people have a career change at least once every five years. And it’s considered normal for about a third of the workforce to change jobs every 12 months. But for some reason it’s still not considered normal to have no idea what you want to do.

How are you SUPPOSED to know? There are kids in preschool right now who will start their careers in jobs that don’t even exist today. The world is constantly evolving so why can’t you?

Solution:

We’ll let you in on a secret: you don’t have to be passionate about your career. You don’t even have to have a career. You can just have a plain old job that you don’t hate, which pays the bills and lets you pursue your real passion. For a lot of people these days, that passion is travelling. With beautiful locations just a scroll away on social media or the internet, it’s no surprise that people are itching to get out there and experience these places for themselves.

Be warned: your family and friends might get sick of you jetting off at every opportunity. They might try and guilt you into staying with questions like, “Why don’t you want to be here?”, “What’s so horrible about living here?” and “What are you running away from?”

But you’re not running from anything. You’re running towards the rest of the world with open arms, desperate to take in anything and everything around you. There are thousands of different cultures and languages waiting for you, and millions of destinations you could never imagine in your wildest dreams. The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.

Problem: You Don't Want a Relationship. Or Kids.

There is CLEARLY something desperately wrong with you if you don’t want children. Or a partner. Your parents will never have grandchildren and you’re such a constant disappointment.

Solution:

Whatever you do, DON’T throw yourself into a relationship just to make your family happy. You may not be able to please everyone but you have to please yourself.

Having a child or a family is an option. It’s traditional and expected but it is NOT your job as a female or as a human to follow that path. Kids are not for everyone.

If there ever comes a day when someone dares to say that there’s something wrong with you for not wanting to be a mother or settle down, DO NOT ENGAGE. They may keep talking until you get beaten down and feel like all your choices are invalid and there really IS something wrong with you. There’s not. This kind of person just thrives on putting other people down in order to feel better about their own life choices.

Their comments might initially feel like a body blow and you might want to run off and cry for an entire day. Do it. But after you dry your eyes, try to let it go. You shouldn’t have to waste your time caring about what they think or letting their opinions get to you.

You also need to remember that it’s OK to change your mind. If you happen to fall madly in love with someone and nothing could make you happier than starting a family with them, that is perfectly valid. Changing your mind doesn’t make you a failure. People grow and change all the time. Whatever path you choose is the right one for you.

 

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Article by Sarah Taviani

Sarah is a Journalist. She loves lists, stationery and dresses with pockets. Sarah frequently breaks her self-imposed book-buying ban when she’s not looking.