1. Because somebody has to tell you when you can do better.
Somebody has to be willing to take a long, hard look at your circumstances and be frank with you about when you are settling for less than your full potential. Only you know what your dreams are, what your settling point is, and exactly where those two intersect.
You need to be the one who makes the hard judgment calls about your life and future, because nobody understands what you want out of it better than you do.
2. Because somebody has to take care of you when you are hurting.
Somebody has to be there to pick you up off of the floor when you get knocked down. Someone has to wipe your tears, give you pep talks, remind you that you’re awesome, and be patient with you as you heal.
And guess who has historically done all of those things for you? You have! You’re the one who calms you down when you wake up hysterical at 3am. You’re the one who picks yourself up and forces you to start over again. You are ultimately the one who gets yourself through every heartbreak, every letdown and every rejection. And every time you help yourself through it, you get better at knowing what you need.
3. Because somebody has to make you laugh at your own hang-ups and insecurities.
Your insecurities will eat you alive in your 20s if you aren’t able to level with yourself about them. Some part of you needs to be able to step outside your own crippling sense of self-doubt and remind yourself that you’re being (sometimes more than) a little bit ridiculous. In fact, your outlandish thoughts are pretty funny a lot of the time – if you are able to consider them from a perspective outside of your own.
4. Because you need someone who’s going to fight like hell for you.
If there’s anything we all fiercely need in our twenties, it’s someone who will advocate for us. Someone who will believe in us. Someone who will show up to every interview, every first date and every challenge we come across and confidently convey that we’re the shit.
But here’s the catch: Nobody’s going to do this for you, except you. And so you owe it to yourself to start singing your own praises.
5. Because you need someone who’ll show you patience and understanding.
At the end of the day, nobody ever knows exactly what you’re struggling with except you. And so you need to be the person who sets your own pace. You need to be the one who decides when you need to ought plugging away at something and when you are ready to move on. Nobody is ever going to understand what you need as intricately as you do – and so you need to be the one who shows yourself the most patience and encouragement.
6. Because somebody has to push you toward consistent self-improvement.
You are the only person who can ever properly determine what success, happiness and overall wellbeing looks like to you. And so you have to be the one who pushes yourself towards all of them.
You know when you’re settling. You know when you’re succeeding. And you know exactly what you need to do to bridge the gap between those two points. Because nobody else is going to bridge it for you. No one else is going to challenge you to become the best version of yourself, except you.
7. Because someone has to celebrate your wins.
You may always have friends, family members and co-workers who will be there to grab drinks when your accomplishments are piling and the good times are rolling. But none of them will ever know exactly how much sweat and blood went into those accomplishments – how many all-nighters you pulled, how many challenges you overcame, how much of yourself you invested in the process. Only you know all of that. Which means only you can ever truly appreciate what you’ve built for yourself in life – and the rewards that you get to reap from that.
8. Because you need someone who you can rely on come hell or high water.
The unfortunate truth about life is that people come and go. Friends change, relationships form and fall apart and even our closest loved ones may move away or become distanced at various points in our lives. But we never leave our own sides. We are the only people who will see us through all of the best and worst days of our lives – and we’re therefore the only people we can ever be 100% certain we can rely on.
9. Because you need someone who knows all of your intricacies.
No matter how long someone spends getting to know you, no one will ever truly understand you the way you understand yourself. You need someone who is able to see through your greatest hopes, your deepest insecurities, your most painful memories and your most outlandish thoughts – and that person has to be you. Because at the end of the day, the honesty and openness that you apply to the relationship you have with yourself sets the stage for all other relationships in your life.
10. Because you need someone who’s seen you through the best and worst of times – and who still wants to be on your team.
If there’s anything we can be 100% certain of in life, it’s that we’re stuck with ourselves. We’re the only person who never has the option to bail, flake or bow out on us. And so we might as well be on our own team. We might as well fight for ourselves, advocate for ourselves, believe in ourselves, and learn to – at the least – get along with ourselves.
We have an entire lifetime to spend in our own company. And that’s a hell of a lot of time to spend with someone you cannot call a friend.