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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To The 20-Year-Old Girl Dating A 45-Year-Old Man, From The Child Of An Age Gap Relationship

Please know what your getting into.
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Recently, I've seen a few stories on the Odyssey discussing age gap in relationships.

They all seem to be written by girls who are dating men who are 20 years or more their senior. The articles talk about how love is love, the heart wants what it wants and that no one will change their mind about their relationship. I respect everyone's right to their opinion and their happiness. If you really think it works for you, then go for it. However, you should know what you are getting into completely before fully committing to this.

I am a child of parents with a large age gap. My dad is 23 years older than my mom. They got married when he was 50 and she was 26. My dad was 65 by the time I was born. I love my parents but here's why I think we should be wary of large age gap relationships

Disclaimer: my parents both know and understand my feelings on this. They know I wrote this article and that they are mentioned. I wouldn't trade or change them or their relationship. My parents have provided me with a wonderful life full of love, family, and happiness. Because of them, I've been given financial stability, a safe environment, an education and a huge, loving family. Things have worked out for our family, especially given the circumstances. However, that doesn't mean I would recommend a large age gap relationship. It may seem like nothing now, but the years between you and your significant other will catch up to you.

My dad is now 86 and struggling. He has trouble taking care of himself.

He needs help with almost everything. He can't be left alone for more than an hour or two. He has nurses come three times a week to help with his care. He needs someone present when my mom leaves the house to work part-time. His memory is fading, his health is declining and it seems that he slips out of lucidity more often these days.

My mom is now a full-time caregiver more than a wife.

She does an amazing job making sure my dad is content and taken care of. However, it is draining. She is still young enough to want to go out and do things. She wants to go on vacations and hang out friends. But most of the time, she is at home watching my dad. She is following her wedding vows to a tee but that doesn't mean it is easy. She struggles with guilt sometimes over the entire situation.

Then there is me. Because of my parents' age gap, I have been put in a difficult place.

I've had to watch my dad slip away physically and mentally for a good portion of my life. I try to help out but it is not always an easy thing to do. I will go watch TV with him so my mom can get out for an hour. Unfortunately, I usually end up calling her home because something arises that I can't handle alone. I have gone over to their house many times to help pick my dad up because he fell and refuses to let someone call the EMTs. I have changed college and life plans in order to stay close to home. I have known since I was little that my dad most likely won't be there for my wedding. He won't meet my children. I have struggled with my relationship with him due to the immense age gap. It is all I have ever known but it is something that still greatly affects me. I love my dad with everything I have, but that doesn't make the situation easier.

So my warning to you is this; be prepared for what is down the road.

Know that your age difference of 18 and 40 doesn't seem like anything now but it will at 60 and 82. It will be difficult for everyone involved. As a wife, you will slowly watch the man you loved slip away. Your kids will have to deal with struggles that no one else will understand. It is a lonely and painful situation. Before you make any drastic decisions, please understand what is coming.

If you decide that is what's right for you, then, by all means, go for it! but just understand the consequences of your choices.

Cover Image Credit: PX Here

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I Went On My First Date In 3 Years And It Was A Good Reminder Of Why I Haven't Been Dating

Who needs the added stress of dating on top of all the other work we do?
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I haven't gone on a date for the last three years that I have been in school. Most people think that seems crazy but for me, I just didn't want to take the time to date.

However, I decided to finally put myself out there and go on a date with a guy I had been talking to for about a month.

The date was nice enough and he was a gentleman as far as how he treated me, but it did remind me of some key reasons that I decided to not date while I was in school.

First, this guy totally insulted my job. I work with kids with behavior issues, which I get is not something all people could or would want to do, but he totally insulted the people I work with and that really hurt my heart.

He also had a potty mouth, which is a red flag. I was always taught that you don't swear on a date or in church, but he was dropping every word he could think of and it really bothered me. I tried to remain polite throughout the date but it was a struggle because the whole time I was just looking for an exit strategy.

I also found it a bad sign when I felt relieved that the date was over.

While everyone has bad first dates, this one really struck me as rough and I will probably not be seeing this guy again. However, I am still out there trying to see what dating is really like as it is not something that I have really done since high school and college dating is proving to be very different.

I just wanted to share with you all the fun experiences of my bad first date. It was also a good reminder for me of why I chose to wait to date seriously until I was almost finished with school, because really who needs the added stress of dating on top of all the other work we do?

Cover Image Credit: Megan Couey

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