Like most “adults” in their 20’s, I have had my fair share of heart break and failed relationships—if you can even call them that. You get caught in the moment and you tell all your friends “this is it; this is the one!” and then two-weeks later your “soul mate” is a Chipotle burrito (hey…NOT complaining). This made me a bit of a skeptic, that love was just something that made a good plot-line in books and would sell out tickets at a movie theater. I was one of those girls that judged EVERY couple, accompanied by gross gagging sounds whenever I saw any PDA.
I would read articles online titled “Why Your 20’s are a Time to Focus on YOU” and “Why Getting a Dog is Better Than Having a Boyfriend” and would sit there saying “YES! This is so true!” But all that changed very suddenly when I was blindsided out of nowhere by this wonderful, funny, little thing called “love” that I apparently didn’t believe in. I was no longer a skeptic– I finally realized what all the hub-bub was about. And after being on both sides of the 20-something relationship spectrum, I could finally see how annoying people like the old-me were, being a Bitter Betty and putting a damper on perfectly happy, normal relationships.
1. “Don’t you guys ever go out and have fun?”
Truthfully, we DO go out–sometimes. Just because we’re in a relationship doesn’t mean we sit at home and knit and go to bed at 8pm. True, there are many nights that we would rather sit in bed and watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory that we’ve probably seen a thousand times than go to a bar, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun doing it. Just being with each other is enjoyable, and we don’t need alcohol to do that (if you do I’d seriously reevaluate things). We’ve both realized that we’re done with our crazy college days and it’s nice to have someone who doesn’t need to party every night. If that makes us boring… oops.
2. “Your 20’s are a time to go out and have fun and make mistakes. Why would you want to give that up?”
As I’ve said before, we do go out. I see many of my friends go out and go home with a different guy every night—to which I wait for the “phone call of shame and regret” the next day. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to guys, all of which have helped me grow and realize that I don’t want to make any more. If I have something wonderful in front of me to go home to every night and wake up to every morning, why would I give THAT up to test drive a bunch of guys that probably don’t even know my name?
3. “How can you be that committed to someone and plan out your whole future in your 20’s?”
Back up. Who ever said we have our entire future planned out? I don’t even know if I have anything in the fridge for dinner tomorrow! I used to live my entire life by planning it on a Pinterest board- always scrambling to plan out what was coming next because nothing and no one in my life was ever concrete and for certain. There was always something for me to rush towards and something for me to dream about because that was better than the reality I was living. For the first time in my life, I am able to take it day-by-day because love has given my life calmness and clarity. I don’t know about other people, but I don’t intend on missing out on that preoccupied on planning a future that I know will have my person by my side.
4. “You know, you really shouldn’t be so dependent on someone else for your own happiness.”
This one probably makes me most irritated. Yes, my person makes me happy—why is that a bad thing? I agree, there are many couples who become creepily dependent on each other, like weird little relationship leeches, but why is it a bad thing that someone makes me happy? As a relatively cheery person on a normal basis, I could be made happy just by seeing a puppy 50 feet away from me or my mom buying raspberries at the grocery store. But now, this happiness has been enhanced 1000%. Things I once loved became sweeter and things I was always scared of I’m no longer afraid to conquer. I have not so much become dependent as I have become independent, using love as a something to fuel my strengths, dreams, and happiness and make me a better me.
5. “There are so many fish in the sea. Are you sure this is for real?”
I always used to laugh when anyone, young or old, told me the saying “when you know, you know.” I didn’t understand how that could be possible. It didn’t logically make sense because there had to be a specific reason why you “loved” someone. But lo and behold it was true. As cliché as it was, for the first time in my life I couldn’t explain why I felt the way I did. I think in a way my soul and body knew before my head was even able to identify it. And in a way I don’t want it to be explained. I could write a list of infinite things that I love about the person I do, and none of them would exactly pin-point WHY. Love is one of life’s greatest joys and mysteries, and I couldn’t be more grateful that it gave me the wake-up call that I needed.