Sunday 24 April 2011

Settling Down . . . whatever that means

In India, maybe elsewhere in the world as well, the two words settling down are quite frequently heard when one reaches the age of 20+. People often throw up the question When are you planning to settle down? The question actually means When are you getting married? But it is quite unsettling that the phrase settle down refers to getting married. An individual's whole life takes on a different turn when he/she gets married but that is referred to as settling down. And settling down is not the remotest phrase to refer to marriage. Well, . . .

But I found that the phrase settle down does not refer to getting married alone. It could refer to getting a job after studies or getting children after marriage. But whatever those two words signify, settling down does not happen unless one feels that life is enough.

Another issue that constantly niggles me is the question: Settling down after what? Does it signify settling down after boisterous youth which has been spent in wanton and frivolousness? If that is so, then it cannot be homogeneously used for every individual. But many people (even those in the "young" bracket) choose to ask the question almost as if it is something quite natural to ask.

But contrary to what I have mentioned in the first line, the phrase sometimes is used while speaking to people who have just gotten their children married: Now you can peacefully settle down, as your children are married. In this case, does it mean that the only impediment to settling down was the marriage of the children? Well, not necessarily. But I reckon that the words settle down refers to a state of zero-worry and tension. It points out to the fact that marriage, children, a home and other things make sure that the individual is in a position where he/she can rest and sit back.

Whatever said and done, I think that one cannot settle down in life as life requires us to be in action while also being restful and calm. So, marriage, secure job and other things are part of life and not something which causes an individual to settle down.

Well, what do you have to say on settling down in life?

Image courtesy: Internet


  1. Settling down to me says being comfortable in your comfort zone...laying back and letting it happen..not moving ..not living....I hope I never ever settle down..keep on moving....As always...XOXOXO

  2. Jan's version of settling down is quit being childlike and grow up. I hope I never do. Splashing in puddles,
    dancing in the grocery store, singing full volume in the car. Having fun and not caring to much about protocols is how I want to continue living my life. Laughter 1st I say.

  3. Bongo:

    I wish you never settle down. As always xoxoxox in abundance.


    Welcome here. How nice to have you here. All of us belong to the same school of thought, I reckon. Bravo.

    Come again when you find the time.

    Joy always :)

  4. Settling down = stagnancy and that is something i do not believe in.
    To the indian culture it means, marriage, parenthood, and so on.
    Life is not meant to be settled (personally) it is changing always...

  5. Sav:

    Well-said. You endorse my thoughts and I'm happy happy :)

  6. Settle down?? I'll have plenty of time for that when I am dead.. If it means growing up , I have no worries I have always been young at heart and will continue to be that way. I started following you

  7. i agree...i am not one for settling down...nor do i ever want to...

  8. To me, settling down means having a plan for your life, and setting a routine that follows a certain course. It can mean that you are going to end up in a rut, but if you are flexible and able to change course if need be, it can be fruitful.

  9. In the Indian culture,settling down means getting married...thankfully people have started to think a little different...I am actually beginning to "settle" down now in life..I am living the life I want to,at my terms and conditions..and not to please anyone. Great post..Susan

  10. Susan, I honestly tell you this... if I had to "settle down" for once and for all, I would positively lose it. What keeps life interesting is that we are unsettled, always moving, always changing, always new. Nothing wrong with being a bit still and settled, sometimes, but then... time to get up and do, once again!

    Sorry to learn you had the chicken pox, but glad to know you are over it, too. :-)


  11. for me "settling down" has positive connotations. However, I have others in my life who are determined not to "settle down" and they keep me on my toes!

  12. Lol!

    For me settling down meant- deciding what you want to do for living, taking up a place, put up somewhere.

  13. Is there not a difference in being 'child-like'...or 'childish'? I hope to NEVER lose my 'child' attitude, inquisitiveness, zest and love for life and JOY over the little and BIG happenings!
    Susan, No Matter What...

  14. Life certanily has a tension to it. That tension is often considered bad and other time considered good. But regardless there is no escaping the tension.
    Good Post - once again.

  15. Hmmm. . .it can mean having a plan that is flexible :-) Depends on how you look at it. If societal expectations exist as cookie cutters (ie. only for women and they must be married with x number of children by a certain age), then they must be challenged. I'm always up for a good challenge :-)

  16. the quintessential question! and a difficult one to answer at that. I agree, settling down can not be just one full stop. Life has to go on with all its intricacies...
    Good to have you back Susan Deborah :)
    Hope you had got my mail at g-mail?
    keep smiling and have a lovely day...

  17. Jim:

    Well, yes. One can settle down after death -- literally! I like your spirit, Jim. Bravo :)


    I knew it :)

  18. Jean:

    I hear you when you say that too much planning can lead to life getting a bit boring. We should be ready and flexible for change.


    I'm glad that you are able to do what you want, Alpana. Nothing like that. Thanks for coming by dear Alpana.

  19. Nevine:

    Right said, Nevine. You always inspire me to take life headlong. Quite indebted to you :)


    Ha Ha. Enjoyed reading your quirky comment :) Hope your Easter was grand.

  20. Sameera:



    Glad, Steve. You are one rockstar!

  21. GQ:

    Tension, yes and passion, a bigger YES.


    Challenges . . . life is made of them no matter what.

  22. Ruchi:

    I did get your mail. But I just couldn't reply. So good to see your comment after long. Hope you have been well and that life is treating you well.
    I wish you a great week and a wonderful time with people who bring smiles and happiness to you :)

  23. Settling down = Routine. Boring! I hope I never 'settle down':)

  24. I think the phrase was derived from a time when opportunities in India were less. So people had to find some kind of govt job and lead the family life Veda prescribes. But today concepts r changing..peope\le throw off their jobs to take risks.. something industry didnt anticipate

  25. Aha, just when I was about to ask my son "so when are you planning to settle down"
    He is 28.....maybe some more years ?
    I don't know. As we say there is no fixed time or age for settling down.
    But on the flip side, maybe parents are worrid that by the time they retire, their children should be able to look after themselves.

  26. oh, my dear lady! i hope to never ever ever "settle down" - i plan to always always be standing up, reaching up, speaking out, acting out, and more of the same! ;)

    what horrendous images those very words conjure!!! ;)

    have had you on my mind so much lately - and had to come by to let you know! much love - jenean

  27. settle down? Never if I can help it! But I know what you are talking about. My mom is a major "settle down" matron. She feels life is not complete unless you marry someone even if after you do, your life is anything but settled.

  28. Mary:

    How does one escape routine, eh? Please do tell me :)


    Concepts are changing but the questions aren't, sadly :(

  29. Joe:

    Please don't ask that to your son. Things will happen when they are ought to happen. But I do hear you as you are a doting father.


    Glad to see you here. It is always great when I read your comments as I haven't forgotten that you were my first foreign reader!
    Lots of love and big hugs, dear Jenean. Your thoughts always add to what I have written here.

  30. Myriam:

    ""Settle down" matron" sounds so funny. I am imagining rmamma now. Most mothers are like that, I reckon. Yes, most of them even here fee that life is incomplete if one does not marry, find a job, get children and have a 'own' house. Sad. I wish I never become a "settle down matron" for anyone!

  31. The day I consider myself settled down will be the day I have all that I ever wanted - and that cannot happen atleast in this lifetime!

  32. Yuvika:

    Bravo and well said, dear Yuvika :)

  33. I can see that you are putting a lot of time and effort into your blog and detailed articles! I am deeply in love with every single piece of information you post here

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  34. "Settle down" for me is to find my comfort zone first then having to plan the course of actions I wish to undertake.... It can mean a lot of things actually.... But for my present case, it isn't the marriage yet.... Thanks Susan...xoxo

  35. Jorie:

    Settling down can definitely refer to a comfort zone in the path of life. Nice to know your thoughts on this one.
    Have a great remainder of the week, Jorie :)

  36. Anonymous consultant:

    I would have been glad if your name was posted too. Anyway, thanks for your comments and time.

  37. Having got married at the ripe (??) old age of 41 - this was a question that often came my way. At first I used to get irritated and then I found a way of foxing the person who asked me: When are you settling down? My response: I'm well settled thank you! ;)

  38. Corinne:

    Wow! Now that is something wonderful. What were you doing until that, if I may ask, dear one?

    Nice to have you in the loop again. I missed your quirky comments in Blogplicity :)

  39. I use the expression quite a lot when I'm out and about with my children and they misbehave. I even have different ways of emphasizing the words to express the seriousness of the situation.

  40. Angie:

    Would love to hear the different ways of emphasis!

    Joy always :)


  41. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.

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  42. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for linking me to this post. I figure you're right: it's a state of contentment, a stable state of sorts where there are no upheavals, no major changes, that people refer to when they say, "settle down". But it's probably only an illusion, because no one really "settles down" until one's end when you become a part of the earth again. We move from discontent to discontent, with temporary "settlements" of contentment in between.




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