Settle down whenever you feel ready


Courtesy of Brynn Lundy

In August and September 2019, Elijah Arriago, pictured with Brynn Lundy, graduated from Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training for the Army.

When is the right time to settle down? The short answer to this question is: whenever you want.

Being in college, I think many of us are starting to notice more people our age moving in together, getting engaged, getting married and/or having children. It can seem intimidating. 

Nowadays, it’s easy to compare your relationship (or lack thereof) and your life to the next person when everything is broadcasted constantly and so perfectly on social media. PSA: people post when they’re happy. There is nothing wrong with that, but you should realize that their relationships do not define your aloneness. 

While there seem to be dozens of couples saving the date and sealing the deal, I have also seen many long-term relationships meeting an end, and that’s okay too.

Each moment in your life is valid, whether you are 20 years old and getting engaged or 20 years old and ending a relationship you thought would last forever. Everyone is at a different stage in life. 

There are a thousand different aspects that play into the decision to settle down, and making important life decisions is scary. Will it work while you’re in college, or should you wait until you graduate? What about finances –– will you have a secure job, can you and your significant other afford a place to live together, and what about student loan debt? 

The more I list things to worry about, the more I realize no one should worry that much. What I would worry about is this: if settling down feels like you’re “settling” rather than making a decision that should be a positive life-change, maybe that is the indicator that you aren’t ready to settle down. 

I feel that it’s more important to mentally and emotionally know you want to spend the rest of your life with this person than to worry about other things that you are less able to control –– the things everyone else (like adults) tell you to worry about.

Although I am not necessarily qualified to give you advice, I can tell you that there is no need for rushing or feeling rushed. It feels like time is flying by, but it also simultaneously feels like we have all the time in the world. Utilize it the best you can. 

There is no universal schedule for everyone’s love lives. There is no template for the perfect time or process for deciding to take that step. 

Personally, I would love to be engaged and get married as soon as I’m able, but if you had asked me about the same thing three years ago, I would have laughed uncontrollably. I was completely content with being single and having a small friend group, but the next thing I knew, I wasn’t single anymore, and then I actually met people I liked when I came to Southeastern. 

I’m telling you: God really does work in mysterious ways, so have hope.

Learn to be grateful for where you are in your life romantically. It’s okay to spend time with yourself, your friends, your significant other or all of the above before making long-term decisions like getting married and living with someone.