‘Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies’

– Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Settling down is something that has probably crossed the mind of every almost 30-something girl. When constantly bombarded with Facebook albums documenting those momentous events in the lives of your peers such as engagements, weddings, baby showers,etc you do have to start considering the fact that maybe you missed the boat. Maybe while you were living life, getting drunk, travelling the world, playing the field and generally being immature…all of the sensible people were settling down?

Look, I’m not a total hater and I am happy for my friends who’ve truly found their happily ever after. But you just need to look at the divorce stats to know that the chances of success are not always in favour of people that settle down early (ish). Just because someone has followed the conventional path of marriage and babies doesn’t mean that life is a fairytale in any sense. We never know what goes on behind close doors. It’s much easier to pity the ‘lonely’ singleton than those that seemingly have the whole package.

On the flipside, beggars can’t be choosers and none of us is getting any younger. As we become more ‘mature’, our priorities change. Once upon a time maybe we’d only go for the guy with James Dean-esque good looks but after having our hearts broken by enough bad boys, most of us are willing to let go off some of our more ridiculous ‘deal breakers’ and formulate a more realistic view of our Prince Charming.

Luckily, unlike our grandmothers, women today have choices. Choices which don’t necessarily have to involve some dude who lives down the road or in the next village. While it’s always good to be open to romantic opportunities (cos I am not a fan of being a Sad Spinster aka a Hater of Men) this no longer stops us from enjoying all the other things that this world has to offer. We are fortunate in that we don’t have to settle for just anyone because our biological clocks are ticking (freezing your eggs is apparently a totally legitimate thing – so we effectively have longer to find someone as equally fabulous as ourselves before procreating! yay!).

Thankfully, even here on the tip of deepest darkest Africa, women are becoming more independent (well, actually they are generally the breadwinners) and society’s attitudes towards women are also becoming more progressive. These developments alongside advances in technology, mean there is really is no excuse for just settling. Girls these days don’t have to conform – marriage and kids by 30? Tfu to that! Seriously though, if it happens – great! But if, like Carrie Bradshaw in SATC, your life takes a different trajectory, that’s totally cool too.

While it’s important to be realistic while searching for ‘the One’ (remember Carrie’s Mr Big was far from perfect; a twice-divorced, somewhat emotionally unavailable, commitment-phobe) there really is no need to rush into ‘settling down’ (Carrie was 40 and fabulous when she got married!). So let’s stop conforming and listening to what society’s definition of who Prince Charming should be and instead enjoy single-time and wait for those butterflies.

What are your views on ‘settling down’ dear rinsers? Is there too much pressure on us to ‘settle’ and follow the path that society deems to be normal? And are so many of us still single because we have too much choice or because we set ourselves ridiculously high standards?    


  1. Good questions… is there too much pressure? Considering that there is pressure for young people in general to have sex early in life to drink and do drugs and yet we find it easy to do those things why is it hit the brakes I feel too much pressure to get married?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You raise an interesting point. I don’t think the pressure to get married is any worse than the pressure to drink or drugs. However, its the whole facade that bothers me a bit. People are always questioning single people as to why they aren’t attached, married, etc. Also its an age thing, if a 30-something girl didn’t drink, people would probably assume she was religious or something. But if she wasn’t married then she’d be questioned. Also drinking and drugs are generally seen as bad so you’d only get pressure from your peers.

      Marriage/Babies, etc isn’t intrinsically bad…so family members and society don’t feel so bad pushing people into this but the consequences of settling down/settling for the wrong person can be just as tragic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you don’t do drugs you are questioned if you don’t have sex you are questioned yet the excuse is to settle for someone to marry and have kids is because we feel pushed to do it? Not everyone is marriage material and not everyone can be single either but to settle for someone that you know deep in your heart isn’t for you is setting yourself up for failure.


      • I’m not bashing marriage and kids option. But I am saying its just that one of many options. I am not saying that everyone who is married is unhappy or settling, the same way everyone who has a drink isn’t an alcoholic. Neither thing is bad per se. Its just that people should know in both cases there are alternatives that might be better.

        Just saying that for women these days especially things are different…we have more time to explore our options so when we do decide to settle down, even if it is much later in our 40s, then we’ve done it for the right reasons rather than just societal pressure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Women do a lot of this to themselves.

    Girls these days don’t have to conform? Oh, yes you do. But not the way you think.

    Too often those that tout girl power sound like they ARE men haters. Empowerment is supposed to mean not needing a man, but the message received is often don’t WANT a man. TV dads are mostly idiots while the mom has it all together. Can you think of a sitcom where the mom is an idiot and the dad has it all together? If things are equal, why isn’t it funny when mom’s the idiot?

    Guys shrug it off, knowing there are still plenty of fish in the sea. Women’s high school and college graduation rates outnumber men’s, and somehow things still aren’t fair. It’s when those empowered ladies become moms of boys that they see the teeter totter is out of balance – but is so politically incorrect to say so, they dare not say it out loud.

    Face it, if you aren’t pro abortion and a democrat, the women in power have no use for you. That’s your societal chains, put on you by other women. Because Carly Fiorina is a moron and so was Sarah Palin and so will be the next self made woman republican the left targets. You don’t have choices, you have what certain people insist you should have or you are mocked for it. When was the last time Hillary Clinton praised a stay at home mom who goes to church and homeschools her kids? When was the last time you did? But if it’s her choice, why isn’t she just as much of a role model for believing in her values?

    While all this nonsense is going on, guys are cool watching the game with just their male buddies, no problem. Little boys get it. It’s the dude who pisses and moans all the time that’s really the wimp. And after guys realized they could screw around all they wanted and there were no repercussions, but if they got married and divorced they’d be writing checks for the rest of their lives, they decided marriage wasn’t all mom and dad made it out to be. Just Clooney, baby. A hotter, younger model every six months for 20 years? Sound like the life.

    So when guys are role modeled as idiots on TV and ads and inundated with how terrible they are, don’t be surprised when they want none of somebody else’s prearranged time table. If a kid can screw around his whole life and not get married, and nobody gives him hell over it, and he can hang with his pals and drink when he wants and eat what he wants and drop the nagging witch and move on to the next one, it’s a tough sell to say put up with my crap for the rest of your life in exchange for what exactly? And if you guess wrong, you lose everything.

    What, who are these shrews you are talking about. Well, see, the message sent may not be the message received. Guys are hearing that be all you can be stuff, too. They have eyes. They see things.

    So, after years of making sure guys knew you didn’t need them, don’t be surprised when they act like the message was received and aren’t interested in getting hitched. Over 30 and single is the new little black dress. Over 40 and single is desperate and dateless (unless you’re a rich and famous New York socialite. Which every woman is.) But not because guys say so. Cosmo says it. And Redbook. And People.

    Maybe while you were living life, getting drunk, travelling the world, playing the field and generally being immature…all of the sensible people were settling down?

    But most of you didn’t see the world. Most of you got a crappy job and started slaving away at your life of quiet desperation. Most of you didn’t live an amazing life, you caught up with the Kardashians. Most of you didn’t play the field, you acted like you were too cool for school and went home alone. And when it got old, there you were.

    The very phrase settled – as in they settled for that, implies there was more to be had and you didn’t get it. Settled down – versus settled up? Reached high? Nope, settled down. Did the best they could under the circumstances. Better luck next time.

    I wish I’d have gotten married in my twenties and had more kids. I didn’t need as big of a house or as cool of a car, and the fulfillment I sought at work was nowhere near as soul-filling as spending time with my child.

    “Just because someone has followed the conventional path of marriage and babies doesn’t mean that life is a fairytale in any sense.”

    Nobody said it was, but it’s a damned fulfilling life. My wife is my best friend and my daughter is the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. But you can’t tell people that when their societal norms demand they not listen.

    And are so many of us still single because we have too much choice or because we set ourselves ridiculously high standards?

    You have the wrong standards. Building a life with someone is an amazing thing you’ve missed, because you thought there was something better at the time.

    See, there was this whole other group of people involved and they kinda got railroaded, but it turns out they liked where the train took them. And the others, who took that awful, boring, dull “conventional” (yawn) route? Most of them are pretty darned satisfied. Not all, but it turns out the other side of the coin wasn’t a fairy take, either.


  3. There really isn’t a need to settle in this day and age. Women make more money, are more highly educated, and can (if they really really want biological children) freeze their eggs. We’ve past the point where women need to depend on men for their livelihood (excepting some pretty terrible parts of the world of course) so I’m with you. Don’t settle! Get married at 40, hell, get married at 50 if thats when you meet the right guy. Or never get married! Don’t sacrifice the potential for future happiness for present “blah”.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not sure we disagree, we just see different pieces of a bigger puzzle. There are more than two choices.

    I have two nieces from the same parents. One sister, all she ever wanted was to have a family and be a mommy, from the time she was five or younger. The other sister wanted to be a career woman. Some see one of the two as a flop. I think my brother and his wife raised two equally smart young women who pursued their individual dreams and are both living fulfilled lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sometimes “settling” (as in settling for less) can be used interchangeably with “settling down.” There’s so much pressure to be with someone— from Disney movies to Cheerios commercials. Even the nerds on the sitcom, Big Bang Theory, all have a girlfriend/wife now. And this pressure isn’t just on women. It’s on men too. You just don’t hear about it as often, and they usually have a different, sometimes violent (just watch the news), way of dealing with it. I think we’re all just better off being alone (vs. rushing into a relationship) because if we decide to spend the rest of our lives with someone we only tolerate, we’re going to be miserable.

    Liked by 2 people

    • True. I never really thought of it from a male perspective because it seems they generally play the field for longer and they won’t necessarily have the same time pressure. But I guess in some communities they do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think, at least in mainstream society, it’s the constant image on TV and in movies of the “good guy” always getting the unattainable (bombshell) girl that does it. It may be that only a certain kind of man feels this pressure. From my experience, it’s the self-proclaimed “good guy” or “nice guy,” but I could be wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. There is a difference between “settling down” and “settling”!!!! Settling down has no indication that you are settling in anyway. In fact it could be the opposite. Getting married and having children indicates that it is more of a shift from “I’m the centre of my Universe,” to a “I have people in my life that I love and include in my decision making.” I have absolutely no problem with that! In fact, I want that. What I take issue with is the idea of ‘settling’ for less in a relationship. If you have survived until your 30s without being married, then why all of a sudden drop your standards and accept someone who likes you for reasons like “my clock is ticking” and “I’m not getting any younger”… oh and “he/she seems safe and won’t hurt me”?????

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree there should be a difference between just ‘settling’ and ‘settling down’….settling down should be a good thing but in many cases it isn’t. Also, there is a difference I think between settling and being realistic….sometimes we need to incorporate some element of compromise in relationships because if we are so rigid in what we want in a potential partner then we’ll effectively find fault with every man that comes along. Story of a Sad spinster.


  7. Totally get what you are saying here. It’s sad when you see people settle. My ex and I had a crazy relationship which was full of ups and downs…in hindsight more downs. Regardless it was exciting. He couldn’t tame me and make me settle down the way he wanted so he replaced with me. With someone who was ‘safe’. Obvi, I’m biased but he replaced Miss Crazy Romantic to ‘settle’ for Mrs Boring Suburbia. Everytime I see him he looks as if the life has been sucked out of him.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s weird but I just had this conversation with a good friend of mine. She hot for a guy she dated before and she is ignoring all the red flags from before and is willing to settle just because it will help her out of a financial bind she is in. And she is in her early 50’s so it’s not about the age it’s about the person.

    Liked by 1 person

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