I came across an article on my Facebook feed recently titled “16 Things Every Girl Must Do Before She Settles Down”. Immediately my heart sank. Articles like this are a pet hate of mine, because instead of giving actual useful advice for things that you should be doing before considering marriage (e.g. discussing important issues like where you want to live and how many children you want to have), they’re generally a lovely mish-mash of marriage demonization, and shaming of conservative women.
Instead of being a union of two people who are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together, marriage is portrayed as some kind of impending doom, so you need to do as much crazy partying and casual sex (regardless of your personal preferences) now to make up for it.
So let’s take a look at the list.
16. Be Spontaneous
Try something new, from a festival to an event in your city, tag along with some friends or ask someone adventurous to join you…
There’s nothing wrong with trying a new festival or event in your city. Those are the things we should be doing. But the idea that you somehow can’t attend a festival if you’re married is ridiculous. In fact, you can probably go to more events if you’re coupled up, as you’ve got someone you can take with you who won’t flake out last minute.
15. Live Alone
…living alone can be a wonderful experience. Before settling down with someone, move out on your own and enjoy it…
Live alone? HAHAHA.
I live in London, so I’m spending half my wages on a grotty flatshare.
14. Have A One Night Stand
Let’s keep it real ladies, this is a must in order to experience all that life has to offer (LOL). Keep protection in your bag and scope out your next adventure. You want to taste what’s out there before you find ‘the one’.
I had a sinking feeling that this one would come up. As the mainstream media narrative goes, you HAVE sleep around before settling down, otherwise you’re NOT EXPERIENCING ALL THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER, and your future marriage is doomed to failure.
This of course, is bullshit. I believe sex is something that should be valued, so I have never had a one night stand, and never will. I work in the job I want to and travelled to three different continents solo, and experienced a hell of a lot more than all my promiscuous friends. Some of my friends have waited for marriage, and they also have zero regrets. Freedom of expression and all that, but that works both ways.
13. Increase Your Network
This is the time to meet new friends and people who can possibly help you get to that next step in your career. When you’re in a relationship you have to watch who you exchange numbers with, even if there isn’t any interest on your part.
Why can you not increase your network if you’re in a relationship? It’s actually easier to give out your number if you’re taken, as if the other party gets the wrong end of the stick you can just use the “I have a boyfriend” excuse and they’ll leave you alone. You also get to increase your network by meeting your partner’s friends.
12. Fulfill A Naughty Fantasy
Let’s get naughty. One option is a threesome which is a fantasy for many guys and girls, but most partners would never agree to it. Why wait to fall in love?
My first thought when I read this was… what guy would never agree to an MFF threesome?! MMF might be a little more tricky, but who wants to be spit roasted anyway? No thanks.
My second though was, isn’t the whole point of a relationship to fulfil naughty fantasies? I mean, you have your friends for platonic company. The difference between that and a relationship, is well, sex.
11. Learn To Cook
The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. There’s something about putting together a good meal that just makes us feel good. Food is the key to being alive. The fact that you can prepare it deliciously is something you should be proud of.
Damn straight, you should learn to cook for your man (or lady). The only point here I actually agree with.
10. Learn A New Language
Take advantage of your free time to impress your girl/guy in the future. Learning a new language doesn’t only expand your mind and culture, it multiplies your options.
Learning a language is a great thing to do, but again there’s no reason why you can’t do this in a relationship. It’s not like language classes have a “singles only” disclaimer. Also, free time? My non-working hours are rammed with swiping, replying to messages, and sitting through dull dates. I can’t wait to settle down so I can take a breather.
9. Decorate Your Home, Your Way
Get your Marilyn Monroe prints, candles and paint brushes out because this space is all yours to decorate! Having the freedom to style your space your way is priceless. Take this time to have your home looking fabulous without having to compromise on beige walls instead of that baby pink you love so much.
Oh yeah, because my bastard landlord from the letting agency is totally going to let me paint my walls baby pink.
8. Finish School
Impress him/her with your mind. Having an education is an important part of development. Although success is not always measured by a college degree, an education is pivotal to even carrying on a conversation.
OK I’m going to assume that by “school”, they mean “university”. While higher education can be great for some people, it’s not for everyone. What about the women who instead decide to do an apprenticeship, or go straight into work? Are they somehow less valuable?
Also, education is the best time to settle down. You actually get to meet people in real life, so you can skip the entire online dating/ Tinder thing, instead laughing at your friends’ bad dating stories while you’re putting a deposit down on a house with your beau.
7. Party Hard
Go out and party while you have no one to come home to. Life is all about the experiences you have.
Now, I love a good party. However, I also appreciate that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people may belong to a religion that disallows alcohol, or may just not enjoy the party lifestyle. Life is all about the experiences you have, but different people want different experiences.
Also, who says you can’t party in a relationship? Give me an outgoing man who loves a night out over a couch potato any day.
6. Get In Shape
Fitness is very important to living healthy. You should always aim to be fit and look your best, but while you’re single, you will have more time to work on it.
Agree, you should definitely get in shape. But don’t take your foot off the gas when you settle down.
5. Focus On You
Imagine how much more you can give if you are satisfied with yourself? Having a stable lifestyle before you meet that special someone is key to success in a relationship. With a successful career you will have more to offer.
Agree, you should make the effort to get your career to a good place. But don’t make it your sole mission. Make time for friends and dating too, otherwise you could hit 30, get that CEO position… but find you have no-one to celebrate with.
4. Travel The World
See the world on your own terms. Travel abroad and spend some time exploring other cultures and lifestyles. Traveling is a way to open your mind and see outside of your circle.
Travel is definitely a must-have experience. But that doesn’t have to stop when you settle down. As much as I loved my solo trip to Thailand, I couldn’t help but get envious of the couples when I got sick and had no-one to take care of me.
3. Make Sure Your Bank Account Is On Fleek
Financial stability means peace of mind. It feels good to know that you can bring something to the table, even if your chivalrous partner would never allow you to pay for anything.
Nothing wrong with this. However, it’s sooo much easier to keep your bank account “on fleek” when you’ve got someone to split the rent with.
2. Spend Lots Of Time With Family And Friends
Time is of the essence. Family and true friends must be cherished dearly at all times. Often, when you start seeing someone, they tend to take over your free time. Once you meet someone, your time will be compromised, so take this time to share lots of special moments with family and friends.
Family and friend time is a must, but don’t give it up once you settle down. We’ve all had that friend who mysteriously disappeared off the face off the Earth once Mr. Right appeared. Don’t be that friend.
1. Discover Who You Are
What makes you happy? What takes you over the edge? Who are you really? Being single is the absolute best time to get to know yourself. It takes some people an entire lifetime to answer the question of who they are. Spending time alone will help you find the answers to that question faster.
I know who I am. Now I just need to find someone who can put up with me so I can delete Tinder.