Q. I have not been in a relationship for a while and don’t feel like getting into one. My friends are all married and keep telling me I should meet people and start thinking of settling down. I am so used to my space and my time that I really don’t see myself even sleeping on the same bed with anyone overnight. I love my empty double bed! Is there something wrong with me?
Ans: There is nothing wrong with you. The fact is that you simply enjoy your space and time alone. We don’t all have to be in relationships just because everybody else is. And what does it mean to settle down or be in a relationship after all? We are allowed to choose the type of relationship we want to be in if any. We can also define what settling down means to us.
One thing is to be afraid of emotional and physical intimacy, and one is uncomfortable with the socialised set-up. Maybe you stay away from any form of relationship just because you think it will involve living and sleeping together. It doesn’t have to be that way. You could be in a relationship with someone, meet them a couple of times a week and set your boundary of not sleeping together. We all need intimacy and cuddles, but they don’t have to happen at night or on your bed. Your definition of settling down could mean feeling a deep connection to a person you meet once a week or once a month, or it could mean loving multiple partners who care about you, mostly from a distance.
Settling down means being in a situation that makes you feel safe, secure, and stable emotionally and physically. We are socialised to believe that this can happen only through a monogamous relationship, children, and probably buying a car and a house. Do you really think that this is the magic formula to feeling connected, safe, and happy? Looking at mental health statistics around the world, probably not. You are free to design your own type of relationship and safety nets. Reach out to a professional if you don’t know how to do so.
The writer is an Intimacy and Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual well-being (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on email@example.com)
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