Young Women Like Me Are Settling Down, NOT Settling For Less

Young Women Like Me Are Settling Down, NOT Settling For Less

And I wouldn't have it any other way.
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"You're too young to settle down."

"You have your whole life ahead of you."

"You don't want to be held down at your age!"

"You should be spending your teen years and early 20s dating and having a lot of different experiences."

Any serious "young" couple has probably heard these negative comments from friends and family. But as a 20-year-old in a deeply committed relationship, I dare to say this: these "reasons" people give me to be single at my age, are exactly the same reasons I want to be committed to my boyfriend. I truly believe we are soulmates, after all.

So why wouldn't I want to be with him?

"You should be dating around, figuring out your likes and dislikes in a significant other."

It's true, dating experience is important. If you spend your entire life with your first ever boyfriend or girlfriend, you'll never know anything else, and may be limiting yourself in doing so. Most people don't end up with their first dating partner for life.

If you're still with your first love, I applaud you! But most of us have to kiss a few frogs and get our heart broken a couple times (or a lot) before we find "The One." I've gotten my heart broken plenty of times and had a multitude of positive and negative dating experiences with different people.

I've had my fair share of heartbreaks, and I definitely don't want any more of them. So why should I subject myself to dating jerks just to get more dating experience, when I'm in love with someone who treats me amazingly?

Now that I've found someone who loves me for me, I have no interest in Talking (with a capital T) to guys who I'm 100% sure are just going to hurt me. Why bother opening up to someone who's just going to use me for sex, and then go ghost? No thanks!

When you find your soulmate, you don't need as many of your own life experiences. Your soulmate becomes your life partner, and there are so many things to do together: getting a house together, taking vacations, adopting a pet, attending your friends' weddings. While I would be forced to grow up on my own if it weren't for Sam, life is so much more comfortable and happier with him.

"You have your whole life ahead of you."

Right, and I have been blessed to find my soulmate so early in life. Because of that, we can spend the majority of our lives together — growing up and growing old together.

I don't want to "do" life alone. And because I met my boyfriend Sam so young, we are lucky enough to be able to "do" life together. We can share our life experiences and adventures together, and build decades worth of memories.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Cover Image Credit: demibrooke / Flickr

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Stop Saying 'Love Is Love' And Then Shame Me For Dating A Republican

"How can you date a Republican?!" Quite easily, actually.

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"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.

This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.

The conversation went something like this:

"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"

"He's a Republican."

"WHAT?! Are you serious?"

"Yep."

"How can you date a Republican?"

After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.

At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?

Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.

Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.

But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.

So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.

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Poetry On Odyssey: That One Moment

My scarf moved an inch...

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Some moments even photos can't capture. Some moments are pure feeling. And there was a moment...just one moment...that made me want to capture it forever. So I did, through words and poetry...


Was it the way your blue eyes

Reflected off of me

Slowly, intensely

In the gutters and stars like you said?

Because I'm just reeling.

And I know

That not even a handshake

Was made…

I know that.

But your cheeks turned red

And you shook your body

As you laughed with me too

I keep replaying the moments

Scared one day I'll forget them

Like I do so many others

Scared one day

I'll be sad

And done with the laughter

That ignites our blue eyes

And shakes our bellies

And quakes our hands

When they point

To things

That aren't there

And I keep thinking about

How I hid my breasts

With my scarf

Because I didn't want to be open

Enough for you

To reach out your hand

And feel the beat of my heart

And see me in a light

Very unfunny

I don't know why I'm so scared to do

Anything but laugh with you

Of course, I know, really, but

Admitting the truth

Is like

Taking a scarf off

And showing you

I'm as soft as my eyes when I laugh.

And as open and waiting as the jokes

Of a night

I'll never forget.

From the stars to the gutters

You can't forget

The baggage we carry from station to station

So heavy

Or the stories of words and language

And empathy

Where we agreed that not everything is universal

And nothing is the same in a different vision

After all,

We're all

Just waiting to be understood

And you're the first person I know who

Speaks the language

Of just being warm,

So good

Maybe it wasn't your blue eyes reflecting

Maybe it was just the moment

My scarf finally moved an inch

And I caught you looking

For a moment.

That one moment we didn't laugh.

About everything.

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