Opinion: The Term “Settling Down” Is So Obnoxious And I Refuse To Do It

People always talk about how they can’t wait to find someone special to “settle down” with and I can’t stand that term. In fact, the idea of “settling down” has never appealed to me in the slightest, and even thinking about it makes me anxious to the point of breaking out in hives. Here’s why I hate it so much.

  1. The actual definition of “settling down” is all about submission. In the dictionary, settle down means to become quiet, calm, or orderly. An example is when someone says, “Settle down, children.” Why the hell should this be used in a relationship context? I know it’s just a phrase, but words matter.
  2. I’m not done with my life yet. Just because I’ve found a great monogamous relationship, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped growing and living or becoming more of myself. If you slap the “settled down” label on me, it’s like you’re saying I’ve reached the full stop of my story and now it’s just a slow decline towards death. I’m not feeling that.
  3. It’s a way to please society. When older relatives express happiness that someone’s settled down, it’s like that person’s now okay in the eyes of society because they have someone who’s not going to pull a runner on them. Everyone can heave a big sigh of relief. Ugh, what BS. Really, the term “settled down” is often used to satisfy society, not really make the person who’s in the relationship feel like they’ve achieved something amazing. I don’t need a “settled” relationship to make me seem like I’ve got my act together.
  4. It’s too close to settling. I hate that the term “settle down” has “settle” in it. It makes me feel like I’m accepting a relationship and getting so comfortable in it that I’m turning a blind eye to other things, like my needs and desires. Screw that.
  5. It’s too much like being tied down. Have you noticed how many relationships terms are negative? Whipped, tied down, locked in… “Settled down” isn’t much better. It still implies that I’m slowing things down and coming to a stop. Can someone open a window? It’s starting to feel claustrophobic as hell in here!
  6. I don’t want to be tamed. In the same way that I don’t want to be quiet, I also don’t want to be tamed. Settling down is like trying to domesticate a wolf so that it can be a pet dog. But don’t you see – that totally destroys the wolf. I don’t want to be domesticated. I don’t want love to tame me or my partner. I want it to let us run wild and free together.
  7. It doesn’t mean i don’t want love. Hating the term “settle down” doesn’t mean that I hate love or long-term relationships. I’m all for them, but it just makes them feel negative, like they’re nothing special, comfortable, cozy, and mediocre. I don’t want to be in a relationship that focuses on going “down” – I want to keep stepping up!
  8. It feels like tunnel vision. When a couple settles down, it feels like they’re choosing to nest forever, sacrificing all the fun stuff, such as their love of travel. “Settled down” implies that all that adventure has gone out the window for good. Why should it be like this? It doesn’t have to.
  9. It puts pressure on the relationship. I’m all for monogamy and commitment, but I feel anxious when I hear the term “settle down.” It’s like a truckload that’s just been thrown down on me, putting pressure on the relationship to be even more committed than it is. It’s like the next stop is getting hitched or having kids. Stop the pressure!
  10. It stresses out the singles. Even single people feel the pressure to “settle down.” It’s so ridiculous! You have to be the person that men want to settle down with, or you have to try to make your boyfriend settle down with you. Ugh, it’s just too much, and for what? So you can feel worthy in other’s eyes? No thanks.
  11. It’s a “what now?” Once you’ve settled down, that’s it. You’re in a LTR, living with a great guy, and you’re settled. It’s such a dead-end road. But there’s still so much for my relationship to do! I don’t want to feel like my boyfriend and I are just going to sit around nesting and that’s just not happening. We’ve got places to go and exciting experiences to have.
  12. It says I can’t take another chance. “Settling down” seems really old-fashioned, like having to make a choice between having adventures or getting married. It means that if I choose the committed relationship, I’m giving up the chance to have anything else, like solo travels or dream chasing. Hell, it’s 2017! There are so many more options. Life isn’t an “either or” situation – I can have the relationship and the travel and whatever else I feel like having. There’s no limit, so don’t try to box me into the decision I made to “settle down” – I’m not going to remain stuck in one place forever, and neither should you.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.