Originally, I wrote this article this past fall, but knew I wanted to add a few bits, and publish it when I felt the time was right. With it being the New Year, this gives us all the chance to start fresh if we choose to do so… This article is addressed to everyone, but I want millennials to especially pay close attention.
Leaving the age bracket 18-25, has really opened my eyes to life, love, and relationships. My thought process has completely changed from where it was five years ago, and I’m so pleased it did. I have several friends who are approaching 30, and I usually hear the general consensus from every one of them – “Ew, I’m leaving my 20s.”
I’m THRILLED to be in the second half of my 20s. I’m only 26, but you couldn’t pay me to go back in time. My early 20s were difficult – full of tragedy, sorrow, loss, and grief… Now, I’m not trying to be pessimistic. They were also full of celebration, love, and happiness… but I learned lessons that needed to be learned, and I’m grateful for the trials I’ve been put through – it’s made me the strong individual that I am today!
Throughout your 20s, you witness your friends grow up and begin some important chapters of their life. Their careers start to unfold, couples are getting engaged, then married, and people are popping out children faster than I ever imagined.
That pressure can weigh down on us single men and women. Whether you have an S.O. or not – seeing your friends one by one walk down the aisle makes you think, “When will it be my turn?”
How sad is it that we feel pressured? I’ve watched several girlfriends be completely and utterly content with their life, and as they watch a younger sibling, or best friend get hitched, suddenly they start to panic. “Why have I not found a husband yet?!” “Why am I not the one walking down the aisle?!” Tick tock, goes the clock, so they think.
Well, I’m here to tell you there is no time frame for you to meet the one you’ll end up with. There is no “perfect” age to settle down. Our society fuels us to “get the ring.” We are told every day through our family, friends, the media, advertisements, and even through music, that he needs, “to put a ring on it.”
I’m an impatient person by nature, so trust me, I get it. I get that you want to find the love of your life right this second, but hey, the world doesn’t work like that. You may not find your Mr. or Mrs. Forever for a while. Wouldn’t you rather wait for the right one, rather than settle for anything less?
I was in a long term relationship for six years in my late teens to early 20s. For so long, I had the mindset that it was better to be in a relationship than to be alone. Towards the end of our relationship I was so unhappy, but I truly believed that being unhappy with another human being was better than being single and lonely.
OH. MY. GOD was I wrong. I was so, so, SO wrong. Looking back, I would love to go back in time and shake myself to snap out of it. I would tell myself that I’m not happy, and I DESERVE HAPPINESS. I deserve to be the best version of myself, and that he does too. I would convince myself to face my fears, and break it off sooner.
If you’re with someone right now (i.e.: a serious relationship), who you know isn’t going to be the one you spend the rest of your life with, my advice to you is to let it go. You’re wasting each other’s precious time. Take the risk, and take the plunge.
I’m not trying to tell you not to get married in your 20s. I know many, many happy young couples who will stay together forever. The difference between them and “the settlers” is that the ones who will make it, AND be content, didn’t settle. They just happened to find the right one early in life.
I don’t want any of my friends (or anyone for that matter) to feel the way I did those few years ago – to feel like you’re trapped or stuck in a relationship.
It took me awhile to discover my inner happiness, and I was only able to do it on my own. I don’t think I could have done it stuck in a dead relationship. I am so glad I’ve been able to spend the last 2 years getting to work on myself, and figure out what is I truly want out of life.
Please don’t settle. Please don’t think that being alone is a punishment. Please know that you can be happy alone. Take your time being single to travel, and explore this wonderful world we live in. Appreciate the time you have with YOURSELF. Focus on your health, your passions, and your dreams. Being single can be a blessing, if you make it one.