If you recognize these 7 signs, you’re probably not ready to settle down yet

Maybe everyone in your circle seems to be getting married and having kids. 

Maybe at family get-togethers, you regularly get lightly interrogated about when you plan on cranking out kiddies. 

It’s perfectly natural to feel a sense of pressure to settle down during certain periods of life. 

After all, nobody wants to be left behind. 

But contrary to what society tells you, you shouldn’t have to feel that pressure. 

It’s 2024, and getting hitched and procreating is no longer than only route to fulfillment anymore. 

Life is linear. As is growth. 

In this article, I’ll walk you through the signs that you are not ready to settle down yet. 

If these items resonate with you, guess what, that’s okay!

Let’s get to it. 

1) You value freedom over partnership

To each their own. 

Everyone has different needs and desires in life. 

Many of my friends are married with a couple of kids. They’re happy and I’ll never judge them. 

I’m one of the few left in my friend group who has yet to make the transition into marital life, and they don’t judge me. 

We simply have different preferences in life. 

I deeply value my independence.

I love the fact that I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, without having to consider a spouse and a kid’s needs. 

If I want to get on a plane to Paris next week, I can do it without having to sacrifice any major obligations. 

I like the fact that all my income mostly goes to my savings rather than tuition or diapers. 

My mobility gives me joy, in a similar way to having a family gives many of my friends joy. 

2) You’re focused on your career

I’ve met many people who have had to compromise their career ambitions for family. 

And I wish them all the best. 

But if you are particularly career-driven, with the singular focus of climbing the success ladder, then settling down represents a hindrance to your progress. 

Sure, you can settle down and still have a thriving career, but this combination can be challenging. 

When I got heavily into work in the past, my long-term girlfriend would regularly feel neglected; she felt as if she came second. 

And in some ways, sadly, her inkling was accurate. 

So if you’re deeply invested in building your career, a serious relationship could be a legit distraction. 

3) You have a strong desire for personal growth

At the end of the day, it’s your life. You own it. 

So if you want to claim your autonomy and choose the path of personal growth, nobody rational-minded will fault you. 

Perhaps you’re aware of your inner shortcomings and want to fix yourself before entertaining the notion of reproducing. 

That’s admirable. Many parents don’t have that foresight and end up recklessly raising wayward children. 

Or maybe you’re preoccupied with things like travel and pursuing hobbies that you’re not willing to compromise on. Fair.  

Personally, I love travel. 

The exhilaration of visiting a new place for the first time, immersing myself in the culture, and eating local, exotic food? 

This brings me indescribable joy. 

Travel is an integral part of my identity–something I’m not quite ready to sacrifice for the prospect of settling down. 

4) You’re not financially stable

Mortgage, kids, daycare… in case you haven’t got the memo, settling down costs money. 

If you feel that you aren’t financially able to enter a committed union or family life, then staying single is the responsible decision. 

I mean, there are countless people out there who flippantly decide to have a family, while barely making ends meet. 

If you’re not quite ready to struggle in this sense, preferring a more stable position above all else, then settling down isn’t for you yet. 

If this sounds familiar, you’re being responsible; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

5) You’re not sure what you want in a partner 

Maybe you’ve been on your fair share of dates, but the sparks never really went off. 

Maybe you’re criteria for a life partner are not on any conventional checklist; or, maybe, you don’t even really know what type of person you want to be with yet altogether. 

Don’t settle because everyone else is doing it. 

I’m sure you know a few couples (or a lot) who decided to get hitched fresh out of college, before truly discovering themselves and the world, only to live in misery later on. 

Embrace growth. 

Embrace casual dating without the long-term commitment, with all the variety and lack of strings attached that comes with it.  

Life isn’t a race. Enjoy and trust the process.

6) You value your alone time

Some people just enjoy solitude more than others. 

What others might consider lonely, you consider sacred. 

So given this, if the idea of suddenly sharing your personal space and life closely with someone else isn’t particularly appealing, nobody can blame you. 

As established earlier, we all have different preferences. 

Some, believe it or not, find greater meaning and comfort alone–and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

7) You’re still healing from past relationships

When you’re still healing and hurting from the past, entering a new relationship is typically a bad idea. 

Why? Because you risk inflicting your emotional baggage and trauma onto your partner, which is unfair to them. 

This could mean a lengthy, agonizing emotional rollercoaster for the both of you–which sort of defeats the purpose of being part of a relationship. 

The best, most thriving unions out there are the ones where both members are fully healed and healthy, and any past trauma is thoroughly dealt with. 

So if you feel like you’re still dealing with significant emotional issues from the past, choosing not to settle yet is certainly the right decision. 

Final words 

As established, not everyone’s path in life is the same. 

If we all strive for the same social norms, the world would be a pretty bland, soulless place. 

In other words, just because many people are settling doesn’t mean you should, regardless of age. 

Move at your own pace. 

Prioritize yourself first, above all else. 

If (and when) you truly want to settle, you’ll know it. 

But until that day comes, do your own thing, at your own pace. You got this. 

Picture of Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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