If you’ve been in a serious relationship in your 20s–congratulations! You have experienced one of life’s most difficult things: navigating self discovery while being intertwined with someone else’s. Chances are, relationships in your early 20s won’t work out because we’re too busy discovering who we are to fully understand how we will work with another person.
In addition to all the difficulties that come with dating someone, dating someone while you’re still half-baked as a human is exhausting. You’re constantly blaming yourself for what you perceive to be your short-comings while not taking into consideration how deeply that other person is molding you.
If you feel as if you’re not enough, chances are you just may not be right for the person you’re with. The beauty about our early years of adulthood is that they’re a sounding board for who we eventually want to be. I am a firm believer in being alone in your early 20s, and what follows are 10 reasons why you should consider being alone for these formative years of adulthood, no matter how lonely you may feel at times.
1. You Learn to Love Yourself
One of life’s biggest cliches is that you can’t love someone else until you learn to love yourself. However, cliches are cliches for a reason and there is a huge amount of truth to be garnered through this statement. When you’re in a relationship seriously with someone in your 20s you forget to cultivate your sense of self. You’re so busy ensuring someone else’s’ happiness that you may forget what it is that makes yourself truly happy. When you’re alone for your 20s you don’t have any distractions when it comes to finding yourself, and all those nights watching Netflix alone (as boring and sad as they may seem!) will really let you figure out who you are–and furthermore will help you see what about yourself you like.
2. You Learn What You Need From a Partner
Being alone in your 20s allows you to see all your friends go through relationships without having to put your heart on the line. It allows you to cultivate what you like and don’t like in a partner–that way when you do find someone special you know exactly what you expect to get out of that relationship.
3. You Learn What You Won’t Put Up With In A Relationship
Learning a lot about yourself will allow you to really understand what you’re not willing to put up with in a significant other. For example, spending a lot of time with yourself may allow you to realize you’re an incredibly clean and tidy person, which would rule out anyone who is unable to wash a dish from your dating pool.
4. You Cultivate Hobbies
When you’re not watching Netflix, being alone allows you to truly figure out what you want. Since being single, I have read about 5 novels I never would have found the time for otherwise, and has allowed me to realize just how much I love taking a bath with a glass of wine at the end of the night. When you’re in a serious relationship in your early 20s it can be impossible to truly find out what we like outside of making money and hanging out with friends and all that alone time will give you clarity on the hobbies and skills you’d like to cultivate in yourself.
5. You’re Exploring Your Sexuality
When you’re not in a serious relationship you have the freedom to kiss whomever you want, whenever you want. Also when you’re single you don’t have to worry about explaining to someone why you never came home that night or who you were with. Being single at this age allows you to try new things in the bedroom with multiple people and figure out what your likes and dislikes are.
6. You Make Closer Friendships
Have you ever had a friend who got into a serious relationship when they were young only to have it feel like they’ve dropped off the face of the planet? When we’re young and in love, we want to give that person all our time and build a life with them. What we forget is that there is a love/ life balance that needs to occur. If it seems like your single friends have a more thrilling social life than you do, the reality is they probably do because they’re not spending every night curled up on the couch with their boo.
7. Everything You Own Is Yours
A lot of people find themselves in serious relationships in their early 20s out of financial convenience. As someone who has lived in three major cities, I understand that rent ain’t cheap, and that living with someone may seem like the most financially responsible option. However, as I previously stated a lot of times relationships when we’re young don’t pan out which leads to awkward conversations of who gets what. When you choose to be single all your money is yours, and everything you own is yours. No one can take that from you because you’re an independent person who gained all that on your own.
8. You Can Travel
Want to take a weekend trip? Want to go home for a quick weekend? Well, when you’re in a serious relationship it means two schedules to plan around. Two jobs to get time off from, and two people to spend money on moving from point A to point B. When you’re single your time is your own, and you’re able to spend it wherever you want, whenever you want.
9. You Can Be Selfish In A Healthy Way
You should be selfish in your early 20s! This is (usually) the time before you have children, a mortgage, and a job so high-up it feels impossible to step away from. When you’re that young you have the freedom to only care about yourself in the most healthy way. You’re able to focus on what you want out of life without having to worry about whether you’re giving someone else the attention they deserve.
10. You Can Focus On Your Career
When you’re single no one is waiting for you at home, which means you can be a BOSS in the workplace. When you don’t have to worry about making date night or making sure you’re not getting too swallowed up in your career, you’re allowed to fully focus on your future. So ditch the significant other and put in those longer hours at the office to get to where you want to be. Sure, you may feel lonely at times but when you’re in your late 20s and early 30s all this hard work now will pay off and you’ll be in the financial position to date without having to rely on someone else for money.