When you’re single and searching for someone you actually click with, the topic of settling comes up a lot. Whether you discuss it with your girlfriends over Friday night glasses of wine or just think about it yourself, settling can be totally terrifying to some people and a legitimate option to others. But settling doesn’t always work out very well. It usually means you end up with someone that you don’t actually feel a spark with, and why would you want to do that? Here’s why you need to stop being afraid of being alone and start being afraid of being with the wrong person.
- It’s lonelier to be with the wrong guy. Think of how you feel when you’re happily solo: free, content, confident. Now think of how you feel when you’ve just fallen for someone: totally and utterly happy and excited. When you’re with the wrong person, you don’t feel any of those things. Instead, you feel lonely. It’s a super specific sense of loneliness because you’re not technically alone and yet that’s how you feel. It feels even worse than being single.
- Being alone can be hopeful. The single life can be a beautiful thing. It allows you to think that your next date could lead to The One (or at least a good second date) and that literally anything could happen to you. It’s thrilling to not know what’s around the next corner. You owe it to yourself to enjoy this time instead of forcing yourself into a relationship with someone you don’t even like, just for the sake of calling someone your boyfriend.
- You don’t want to feel trapped. If you’re coupled up with the right guy and go through all the traditional milestones, you’re super on board because it’s what you truly want. If you’re with the wrong person, though, you’ll feel nothing but trapped. You’ll start to blame the big bad “society” for forcing co-habitation and marriage on you when it’s not those things that you resent, it’s the person you’re with. Don’t let this happen to you.
- YOLO, as all the cool kids say. Do you really want to spend your youth with a guy you’re lukewarm about? Wouldn’t it be better to be single, hang with your friends, fill up your calendar, devote yourself to work, and wait for someone that is truly special?
- It’s not the 1950s. We have iPhones and iPads and glorious Netflix. We don’t have to get married ASAP and we can go to school longer or build our careers. We have so many opportunities that women before us didn’t have. Don’t squander them by thinking you have to settle for the first guy that shows any interest in you.
- It’ll be harder to leave later. If you’ve been dating someone for a month but just don’t feel any sparks, it’s a lot easier to cut your ties now rather than waiting two years when you guys are practically engaged. You’ll start to rely on him and things will get too comfortable. Enough things in life are difficult – don’t make your love life problematic and tricky.
- You both deserve better. It’s not fair to a guy to stay with him when you’re not all about him. You wouldn’t want someone to do that to you, right? Do both of you a favor and wait for a better situation. You’re also giving him a chance to do the same, which is the right thing to do.
- You’ll get weird looks and questions. Just a fact: if you date someone you’re not super into, people will be able to tell, from your closest friends to your most distant relatives that you only see at your awkward fam Christmas party. People will wonder why you don’t seem to be jumping for joy that you’ve found someone or why you don’t mention this guy at all in casual conversation. You won’t be able to keep your lukewarm feelings a secret, so it’s best to say goodbye.
- Patience works wonders. While we never know when we’re going to meet the right person, we do know that it takes time and lots of patience. You may think that sucks and you don’t want to wait – you’ve got someone waiting in the wings, after all. But wouldn’t it be better to hold out? Isn’t falling in love worth a few more months of being single? When you find your true romance, you won’t even believe that you even considered settling for anything less. And that’s the way it should be.