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Dear Poll: And What About Settling?

Seems I'm hearing a lot of talk lately -- maybe it was a Valentine topic? -- about being alone, being comfortable or uncomfortable with the absence of a significant other, about waiting for the right one, and about adjusting or rethinking one's expectations. Every few years there seems to be a wave of statistics about eligible, available men, fertility rates for women, benefits to our health and finances if we're partnered, and the consequences of professional ambition or passion. It wouldn't be surprising if women began to doubt themselves, their choices, their needs and priorities, or if that doubt began to take some shape in their lives.

Even the title of bachelorette Jen Schefft's new book BETTER SINGLE THAN SORRY, excerpted here, gave me pause. Single as the alternative to sorry? That's defining one condition as preferable only because the other state is negative. Like, better poor than sick. Or better sick than dead. Isn't a thing good because it's good, period?

It's true, tho, dating can be grueling and unnerving. And there are days when the perfectly natural and acceptable experience of being alone can transform into a kind of loneliness that feels unmanageable. And what kinds of choices do we make when faced with this combination of external pressures and internal challenges?

We all handle these questions as best we can in our daily lives, but I'm wondering about your personal experience or opinion of "settling"? Whether it's settling for a few months or a few years, have you? Would you?

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