I have written before that there are widespread views on love and life that I don’t share. I will try to explain this in more detail by using a real life conversation and then talk you through what’s in my head when something like this happens.
The conversation (snippet) is the one from the picture.
(If you can’t read it: It’s: “When is your goal to settle down?” – “I don’t like the concept of settling down” – “Huh? Are you serious?”) I would like to stress that it has nothing to do with the person I had this specific conversation with – it is by far not the first time I’ve had it; and I’ve had it with all kinds of people.
There’s nothing wrong with asking “When are you planning to settle down?”, right? When we get to know each other, we need to ask questions.
Well…. Technically, there is something wrong: The presupposition that I want to settle down is false.
Why don’t I want to settle down? Well, let’s talk about settling down. There are two points on which I would like to give you my opinion and I would be happy to read about yours in the comments.
- The metaphor: Do you know those film scenes where a car drives on a dry and dirty street and suddenly there is a lot of dust in the air? And then, the dust settles. It falls down, to a place where it belongs, and stops moving. Some of this will be related to the following points but there is something that I specifically don’t like about this metaphoric aspect and that is the idea that whatever comes before the settling down can only be temporary: the sand in the air, single life,… all just transitional stages to something permanent*. And I hate this idea.
- The package: As far as I know, settling down is meant to be a package deal: marry someone, built a house, decide where you are going to live and stay there forever. Have kids. Start gardening. I don’t see why that should be a reasonable package. Maybe I want to marry and then move to a new location every year (with my spouse)? Or I want to buy a house for myself and never marry or move in with someone? Why does it have to be this specific package? What’s so good about it?
I might want to get married, I might want to have kids, I would like to be able to stay in one place for a longer period of time, all of this is fine. But I am not happy with the idea that everything I do now is nothing more than a prelude to something more important that comes later and that necessarily combines all of these aspects and maybe more.
*In case you want to be smart: I am aware that my point becomes boring once you point out that death is such a permanent stage. But that’s not what I mean.