You’ve heard the phrases before. “Settling down” and “ball and chain” instantly conjure up images of relationships, be they long term partnerships or marriages. These phrases, along with others, have been used for generations to describe – sometimes jokingly, but with an underlying seriousness – a typical relationship. Often, the normal response to hearing these types of phrases is to sigh and chuckle, but have you ever really thought about what those phrases represent?
Think about it. “Settling” refers to accepting something that is less than preferred. “Ball and chain” gives the impression of absolute constriction and restriction. Both of these terms describe a state of limitation and a loss of freedom. Why does our society continue to look at relationships this way? Should relationships result in a loss of freedom?
In short, no, it doesn’t. Relationships should be about enhancing what the two of you bring to the table individually. One party shouldn’t be limiting the other. Deciding to be with another person shouldn’t be done just for the sake of not being alone, thus feeling that you’re “settling”. Settling also lends itself to being with or doing something that doesn’t quite match up to your genuine desires. You’re limiting your own freedom by choosing that path, as well as robbing both you and your partner from the genuine joy of being authentic with the right person.
Besides, who made the rule that getting married is “settling down”? Why does a long term relationship have to mean that things should slow down? Why can’t the union of two people who love one another and enjoy each other’s company actually be a ramping up of excitement? It may be time to shift some old thinking and programming in order to take away outdated habits and expectations.
Look at your relationship and realize that the generations before us didn’t always have the luxury of finding the right person to fall in love with and being allowed to choose to be with him or her. Between fixed or arranged marriages and taboo couplings, we’ve come a long way since that was the societal norm, but the rest of it is now up to us as individuals.
Choose what is best, not just better, for yourself and for those you love. Choose to be authentic and to allow that freedom in others to be the same. While that may lead to a decision to end a relationship that isn’t working for either one of you, it opens doors at the same time to allow the types of connections you both deserve to walk into your lives. Don’t “settle down”: Turn the volume to ten, break the chains and watch your relationship soar to new and exciting heights!
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