If you’ve been watching for any amount of time, you’ve heard me highly critical of several aspects of the dating scene in Israel (especially in Jerusalem). I think single people are looked down upon, and are in many ways treated like second-class citizens. And I think that the pressure is far too intense, and it pushes people to make decisions they do not want to make.
I wanted to address another topic that feels like it comes up a lot. And the topic makes me livid.
It’s Time to Settle Down
In the Jewish world (perhaps to some extent outside), when you hit a certain age without settling down and having kids, people begin to look at you funny. This is true for men, but the amount of inappropriately aggressive pressure placed upon women is downright reprehensible.
And just to be clear, we’re talking about people in their early 30’s or even late 20’s.
And what happens when a person (gasp) is looking long and hard for someone they truly love and admire, someone with whom they can picture building a caring family with for the rest of their life? What happens when they choose to continue that search past these ancient years?
They are told things like they shouldn’t be so picky, or they should lower their standards or expectations, or they should learn how to settle with someone with whom love could develop later on.
If I accomplish nothing else this entire year, I’ll be happy if I found out just one person heeded these words:
Be picky. Do not lower your standards. Your expectations can and should be met. And never settle. Never, ever settle.
I know at times it can seem impractical. But not everyone meets the right person at age 20, not everyone meets and marries the right person at all, and more so than anything else, it’s best to do everything in your power to meet someone you truly want to be with. It’s best to find someone with whom you’re compatible, with whom you can picture spending the rest of your life. And even if you start late or very late in life, it’s best to spend the rest of your life with the right person, than a minute with the wrong one.
Why Should You Settle?
I’m trying really hard to understand the mindset of those who push toward lowering standards in order to ensure a quicker match. These are what I believe are three reasons behind their thinking, and my responses:
Love Comes Later
“Don’t look for perfect. Look for really good. Love can and will develop.”
Right… And next you’re going to tell me divorce rates are getting lower, and couples across the world are happier than they’ve ever been.
Fact is, not every couple is compatible. Some relationships are volatile, cancerous messes whose ends are inevitable. The question isn’t if the relationship will survive. The question is when they will finally pull the trigger and put it out of its misery.
The notion that any two people can put together a happy, healthy household is patently absurd. There isn’t a shred of evidence to support the idea, and continuing to perpetuate it will just keeping pushing people to make more and more bad decisions.
The base of a sustainable couple is shared values. They should NEVER settle for less. But after that, there are still plenty of things that should not be considered unnecessary. They should could be considered integral parts of a healthy relationship.
You could and should have lots of fun together. Lots of fun!
If you don’t, the assumption that you might one day have that is asinine at best.
Single is the Devil
“You’re doing yourself a disservice by remaining single. The only proper way to truly accomplish and enjoy life is through marriage.”
I’ve already written extensively about my feelings when someone insults single people or our supposed lack of abilities or potential for true happiness.
I think the concept is abhorrent.
And utterly and completely wrong.
Furthermore, it ignores the statistics. It ignores the reality of the world out there. There are many happy, accomplished single folk out there in the world. And there are many people suffering through countless terrible, debilitating marriages.
I believe there’s an agenda. Usually a religious one. The agenda is attempting to prevent behaviors others deem inappropriate or sinful prior to marriage. It’s fine if that’s your belief system. It’s not fine if you’re willing to let others make ill-fated, hasty, uninformed decisions just because of your own stubborn and dare I say somewhat outdated beliefs.
And even further, by pushing people to leave being single prematurely, you’re also preventing them from doing the single greatest thing they can to attract another great human being into their life:
Working on being amazing at being single.
That doesn’t mean sneering at the concept of dating or serious relationships. That means spending your days not hyper-focused on marriage, but rather focusing your full attention to becoming a great individual.
You are worlds more likely to never even consider settling and to attract an amazing person if you have spent many a waking hour bettering yourself and pushing your confidence through the roof.
“I just don’t want you to be lonely. There is nothing worse.”
There is something worse. Something so much worse. Please understand that being lonely while married is infinitely worse than being lonely while single. I’ve been both. There is no comparison.
There’s a lot I can say about the topic, but I’l leave you with this: When you’re single and lonely, there’s a way out somewhere. There’s hope. When you’re married and lonely, it feels like there’s no escape. This is your reality. Loneliness forever.
Having another person in your life does not equal an end to loneliness. But being in a bad relationship creates endless problems and solves none.
So What Should You Do?
What do I propose?
Wait. Wait as long as it takes. Work day in and day out to have a life filled with joy, growth, and accomplishment. Never settle for less with your single life. Never settle for less than amazing with your partner for life.
What if you knew that waiting another ten years would produce the results you are looking for? Choose the ten years. Choose it every time.
Never ever settle.
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