Q&A: Is it time for me to settle down?

settling downI am a few weeks shy of turning 27 and I have yet to settle down into a relationship and career. I have gone through several different job choices since finishing high school. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not as if I’m trying different jobs and failing, but I’m pretty good at everything I’ve attempted. I’ve been in a few long-term relationships, but I always seem to cut those short, too. Is that normal for someone my age? Do you have any insight?

Nessa’s response:
I completely understand and can relate because I was in a somewhat similar situation. Although my parents are still married, there were a lot infidelity accusations. My mom turned to me as a confidante, which wasn’t a bad thing, but it made me doubt a man’s loyalty. It made me question if all men were cheaters and if I could ever stay with a man who didn’t treat me like a queen. Similarly, I wasn’t career-oriented either. I had a job, but it wasn’t a career.

It wasn’t until Ryan and I started getting serious with each other did I begin to think about settling down. We spent so much time talking, discussing, and ensuring we knew what the other wanted. He knew I had a history of not being committed to one person because no one ever showed me how a girl should be treated, so he let me know loyalty was his priority with me. He told me he loved me every day; he told me how beautiful I was; he told me how lucky he was to have found me – basically he changed my mind about there never being a man who would be 100% loyal to me – his heart, his mind, and his soul belonged to me, and that was a good feeling. My confidence in there being a man who was meant only for me grew stronger. I knew that the decisions we made were going to benefit us as a married couple, to strengthen us, and to make us a powerful team. After we got married, he encouraged me to finish school and focus on a career – two things that would not only help me, but our family. I knew I had a man who I could trust and therefore trust in the decisions we made in our lives.

With that being said, I believe that we all have an inner drive that pushes us – but only so far. With the help of someone we love, we can go even further than we’d ever imagined. It seemed like i had trust issues, and in turn, it made me not want to commit to anything (love, relationships, career, etc.). And when my faith in finding a good man was restored, everything just fell into place. As cheesy as it sounds, the right person can be the driving force to every good decision you make.

It seems like you have the capabilities to be happy in a long-term relationship and brains to be successful in any career that makes you happy. But the first step is allowing yourself to trust someone and give that person a chance to make you happy. Once that hurdle is overcome, so much good can come into your life. All you have to do is let it.

Ryan’s response:
Well, usually I do not read Nessa’s answer prior to writing my own, but that really is a tough answer to follow.  

Every person is different so I do not think what is right for you at 27 was right for me at 27.  I came from a broken up family and unfortunately, moved my entire life.  This wasn’t by choice.  I went to 3 different middle schools and 4 different high schools.  Just to put that into perspective, my entire life was moving and all I wanted it to do was stop.  I wanted something that wouldn’t change, someone that wouldn’t leave me, someone that wouldn’t hurt me, and someone I could trust would always be there for me.  I didn’t just want it, I needed it.  By the time I was 18 I felt extremely unhappy and had never been in a real relationship.  I don’t just mean with a female, I mean I never even had a real friend.    I learned a lesson in commitment from the other side.   As much as I wanted to hold on to a friendship or stay in touch, noone else had that same urgency.  I can say with all sincerity, I was the last person to write all my friends before the letters stopped.  For me, all I wanted was a friend.  I wasn’t only open to commitment, I was dying for it.  And then I met Nessa.   I guess you can fill in the rest of this paragraph with Nessa’s. 

If you feel you have commitment issues, maybe see a counselor.  If you feel you just aren’t looking to settle down, then who are we to say that your feelings are wrong?  Whether it be a career or a long term boyfriend, there is no right or wrong.   I have learned that there is expected and disappointment, which we tend to turn into right or wrong.  You have to live for yourself.  When you feel it’s time, then it’s time. 

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