I’ve noticed a trend among young women who think that “settling down” is the same as “settling.” I am here to set the record straight.

You are settling when you:

  • Marry someone who looks good on paper, but with whom you are not head over heels in love.
  • Marry someone because you’re afraid no one better will come along.
  • Marry someone because you don’t want to be the only one of your friends who is not married.

You are settling down when you:

  • Find the person of your dreams and want to build a life together.
  • Make a conscious decision to grow your family by having children.

“Settling” means to make a decision based on fear (i.e. fear of being alone, fear of missing out). “Settling down” means to make a decision based on love.

Make decisions based on love, not fear.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I was in a serious relationship with the man I thought I would marry. I asked my parents how would I know, and to my frustration, they answered, “You’ll know.”

Fast forward a few years, I was dating the man who would become my husband. And I knew. It wasn’t a question of whether or not I wanted to marry him. I just did. I liked my future with him in it, with us planning together.

From my tumultuous twenties, I have definitely settled down. But I didn’t settle.

You deserve an amazing life. You deserve to be happy whether or not that is with someone by your side. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t treat you with respect. Don’t settle for someone who is “alright.” Marriage is hard (awesome, but hard) and you are worthy of the time it may take to find “the one.” You’re going to see this person day in and day out for decades to come, so don’t rush it.

But when you do find that person who is worthy of all of your love, put your heart and soul into the relationship. Work together to build a life full of love, laughter and passion.

What are your thoughts about settling vs. settling down? Have you settled down or plan to? Share your thoughts in the comments below!