The Perks Of Being Single In Your Early 20s

Flickr / Pedro Ribeiro Simões
Flickr / Pedro Ribeiro Simões

I am single. I have been for a couple years now. I have been in relationships before, and it’s important that you know I’m not single because I’m afraid or because I think the next person I meet is going to hurt me the way the last one did. Not at all. I don’t go into anything with the notion that any 2 people or relationships are alike and will treat me the same way.

It’s just not how I think this whole thing works, and I don’t think it’s fair to the other person to go in with that assumption. If you’re not over past hurt or are not ready to be in a relationship, I don’t think you should be in one. But let’s save that for another blog post.

I am single because I refuse to be with someone unless my entire heart is in it. I tell people all the time how I don’t like anything to be lukewarm. Whether it’s my career, a significant other, or any other kind of life goal, I want the passion and flame. Otherwise, what’s the point? I’m not being difficult or having “too high of standards” for wanting those things, either. I want them because I’ve felt them and know they’re real. I don’t expect perfection; I expect authenticity. I simply refuse to settle for less.

Right now, I am living life completely selfishly. I am doing everything for myself. I am growing and changing every day, and my roots are not intertwined with anybody else’s. Any decision I make is because it’s the best decision for myself, no one else. I don’t have to answer to anybody. I spend my money the way I want, attend music festivals I want, travel when and where I want, and talk to whoever I want.

Nothing at all holds me back from opportunity or experience. In fact, I’m moving to New York in August to attend graduate school at NYU. Instead of feeling guilty or held back when I made the decision to move, I felt free. I feel like I have wings and I cannot wait for my experiences in that city. I am not restricted by anyone else’s desires. If I want to go to the set of Good Morning America every morning, dammit, I’m going to. My only responsibility is my own happiness.

In taking time for myself and getting to know myself on a higher level, I’ve also become more comfortable with who I am. Unapologetic, if you will. I don’t need anybody. I don’t need validation; I don’t need someone to come make me feel better if I’m upset. I’ve learned to take care of myself and rely on myself before anyone else. It really is an amazing feeling. Like I said before, I don’t go into anything expecting it to go down in flames.

But through being single and learning to love myself, I know that if the worst should happen, I’ll be okay. I don’t depend on anybody. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy other people’s company, because I definitely do. I love my friends and they are always there for me. But it’s different to have your friends there for you versus someone you’re romantically involved with. When the right person comes along, it’ll be wonderful to have that partner to experience things with and lean on-but equally as wonderful to know I won’t collapse without it.

Not only that, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy dating and actually getting to know different people. If there happens to be a spark and you truly want things to go further, that’s awesome! But there’s absolutely no need to feel guilty if your time getting coffee resulted in getting to know an interesting person. It helps you recognize what you do and don’t want in a significant other.

Learning to be comfortable on my own will no doubt make me a better person in a relationship. I recognize what a healthy relationship looks like and I know exactly what I want. I’m not actively looking for anything, but I know that when that special person comes into my life, I’ll be ready to embrace it with my heart and arms wide open because of the time I took to be alone. I couldn’t be happier about where I am in my life right now or with the person I’ve become.

I truly love myself and that makes me sure that I will truly love my significant other with my whole heart. When it happens, I’m going to let it. And it’s going to be beautiful. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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