I don’t want to settle

The topic about choices and consequences has been revisiting my world in recent weeks. People I’ve met talk about the (complicated) choice-making process, primarily wanting certain things but not the consequences that come along with them.

It’s really interesting seeing and discovering how we, this silly bunch of species called human-beings, are often so the same. Despite believing we are divided by geography, cultures and made distinct by our outlooks and physical casings, the way we function are uncannily similar. More often than not, we have common fears and insecurities, yet our dreams and desires scream equally loudly.

It’s no secret that I have fallen in love with the dance, Tango. It is an unexplainable and irrational love, pure in its passion and true to its core. It is the one thing in recent times that I will go to with a spring in my step, regardless of where the class/practica/milonga is located – if it is good, I will go. And I’ve found so much joy in living a linear and uncomplicated life. The other considerations and factors simply melt away, because they are just not important enough.

Many people think we have to give up something for another. True, that many choices lead to different consequences, but what I don’t get is why these choices have a direct correlation to the idea of giving up things.

I feel that the idea of losing is so intense, it often scares us into inaction.

Why are the new outcomes a result of having given up something? Why can’t they just be new outcomes? Are the things we hold unto so dearly now really what we want by the end of the day anyway?

I was out with a new friend some time back. We were on similar quests in life, having both taken sabbaticals from work and seeking answers to what’s next. We were out at a milonga and it was surreal seeing tons of middle-aged and older ladies and gentlemen dressed to their best on a late Wednesday night, sipping wines and having a ball of a time dancing the night away.  They were having entirely different lives, something I probably didn’t think was an option back in Singapore. While the tangueros twirled and whirled on the dancefloor, I asked my friend if he wanted to go back to his job back home.


“Ok, that’s nice.”

“But the job pays a lot of money.”

“What do you want to do with all the money?”

“I don’t know.”


After a while, we embarked on another conversation. He asked me this.

“Will you rather be in a raw and passionate relationship that is all about spontaneity and experiencing the moments, where every day brings your heart on roller-coaster rides and you’ve never felt more alive, but it is also laden with reckless dramatic fights and the impossibility of things, or will you rather be with someone whom you are comfortable with, feels like friends, can talk for hours, and lead a simple, contented life?”

“Wow, that’s a tough one. Having a lover and a relationship are two separate things.”

I had no answer then. My mind was too tired and I was too engrossed watching others dance.

But the question intrigued me. I thought long and hard, I really did. Honestly, I think I have had both – was in “destructive” relationships (how silly, looking back on hindsight, but I would never want to trade those moments away) and also comforting, unexciting ones. Needless to say, none of them worked out.

I was beginning to do a cross-sectional analysis of the question, to weigh its pros and cons.  And then I stopped myself dead in my tracks.

Because, why do I need to choose between the two? Who says that having A will automatically eliminate the possibility of having B?

Why can’t I choose to have both?

The idea of settling comes to me. So many times, concerned family and friends tell me that finding a lover and a husband are two separate things.  I have fun with my lover. But I settle down with a man who can provide the security as my husband. Some cynics even go to the extreme of saying that I don’t have to love my husband in the romantic way, because it is a different care and concern.

I respect all their opinions.

Just that for me, I don’t want to lie to myself. I don’t want to live a compromised life.

I don’t want to settle for just anyone. Because if the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with knows that he is merely the man I “settled for”, I think I will feel really sad if I were him.

If there is no passion, there is no attraction. There is no fire.

If we are just comfortable and are like friends without the romantic attraction, then we can just remain as friends.

I want to be in the most passionate, inspiring, comforting relationship ever. Where the attraction sizzles. Where the conversations feel like coming home. Where we exchange ideas and dreams. Where we support and love. Where we live and run in the wind and through the fields together. Where we are two separate strong individuals, bounded by our common dreams and visions of what we want our lives to be.

Another friend asked me that day, “so have you met any hunks yet?” and I candidly replied, “plenty, but none I am going head-over-heels for yet.”


Because that’s the thing. I don’t want just a hot body. I don’t want just a gorgeous face. I want a fiery passionate brave spirit, and a loving warm generous heart. I want a man whom I can build my dreams with, the man whom we can scale to greater heights together.

Yes, I want all of that. I know this sounds crazy demanding and intense, but I don’t want to settle. I have a big passionate dream and I want a beautifully spirited life.

Does having this dream create certain consequences? Sure it has. It has brought me on this journey, unsure of why I am here at times, sad and homesick at others. It has sometimes made me feel inadequate as a woman when I see my dear friends starting families and having cute lil’ bubs, and has more often than once, raised doubts of my worth as an overly independent, strong woman.

But my desires are greater than my fear. I don’t want to settle.

My best friend, Jason, has always reminded me that I can, and have the ability, to walk into the fire and be the phoenix rising through the ashes. For years I struggled to understand what he meant, or what this dramatic imagery signifies. And I think, perhaps, I have finally understood what he meant (and yes, the imagery is still too dramatic for me Jason, haha).

If we are free from our fears and we head straight to our biggest enemy, we will rise to the occasion.

Another new day of breathing, living and experimenting. I am so grateful to be alive.


4 thoughts on “I don’t want to settle

  1. This is such an inspiring post. I don’t know Jason, but his vision of you walking into and then rising from fire is amazing – and you know what, even though I’ve only known you for such a short time, I can say that I think I know what he means.

    You’re probably one of the most open, bravest, down-to-earth and sincere persons I’ve met in a long time. With huge crazy dreams but also grounded enough to know what you want and what you won’t settle for. So glad we’re now friends!!


  2. Jane says:

    Thanks dearie….I’m really touched by your comment. You’re equally brave. loving and inspiring, and yes, so glad we are now friends 🙂 Can’t wait for this weekend’s cookout! Barrio Chino, here we come!


  3. Pingback: An open letter to my Lover | Jane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s