Settle for somebody who will bring you flowers: not just for birthdays and anniversaries, but also, just because. Somebody who will move all your spiders. Somebody who lends you books with the page corners folded down and scribbled notes in the dust jacket like a portal to their thoughts. Settle for a person who will hold a constant umbrella over your parade.
Seek a person who will learn to dance for you, a person who loans their railcard to you, a person who will always carry your instruments in the rain. A person whose favourite dish is whatever you’ve got cooking. A person who leaves you post-it notes on your pillow every morning telling you how beautiful you are. Seek the person for whom no celebration is too small: Day 100, Week 15, New Shoes Day, Happy Second Breakfast In Bed Day In A Row. Seek a person who closes each day with a card, and a bouquet, and jubilant meal, and a fanfare.
Find a person who will let their friends be your audience, their coat be your umbrella, their body be your cradle. A co-conspirator, a partner in crime, an equal: dictators and lemmings need not apply. Find somebody who makes you feel simultaneously over the moon and more grounded and stable than you have ever thought possible. Look for a person who is motivated, articulate, indispensable; a brain that’s always on and a mind that’s always hungry. Anybody can be comforting, reliable and warm; blanket-like bedmate. Settle for somebody who sets your soul alight as well. Settle for somebody who wakes you up.
Discover somebody who will stop you from connecting with the worst parts of yourself; not from crying or shouting or guilt-tripping or force, but simply by telling you to stop. Learn that this person has a voice that rings clearer than all the others; this person has a patience which contains your salvation. Hunt down somebody who is really a lifejacket in disguise, keeping you safe and secure and afloat. Somebody who makes you wish your life could be longer.
Chase the kind of person who will slip their hands under your clothes and make you feel warm and safe, whose fingers find your sides in the middle of the night and stay there, like a second skin. Entwine your legs and feel whole in a way you didn’t know you could. Scout somebody so breath-taking that they make you lose the thread of your story, even though you’ve already spent the last 45 days staring at their face. Find somebody who makes your heart fizz and flip over, like a peach slice in a homemade bellini.
Search for a person whose passions and interests are so great that they spill out into your life. Reach for the person who will keep you on your toes and inspire you. Somebody whose opinions are tangible, fleshy beings; fully rounded and backed up yet still open for cross-examination, still able to change. Settle for somebody who makes you think, and open your eyes, and look. You can close your eyes and sleep with a blanket.
We are told about settling down with somebody compatible. We are told not to settle for less then what we deserve. Told that we deserve people who make us happy and always there for us. I’d argue we deserve far more, and that we should up the stakes. That we should never settle for anything than the absolute most. Why “settle down” when we can settle upwards, settle high? Settle for the sky, settle for the stars and the moon. Settle for the peach tree. Settle for a vase constantly filled. Life is far too short for empty windowsills.