When you walk away from a serious relationship in your twenties, you’re walking away from an alternate ending. From the happily ever after you had in your head. From an engagement ring and a big, romantic wedding. From a house filled with paw prints and baby toys. At least, that’s what you feel like you’re leaving. Really, if you aren’t right for each other, then the wedding wouldn’t feel right. The house wouldn’t feel right. Nothing would feel right. The beautiful, settled life you’re walking away from is only an illusion. A best case scenario that was never meant to happen.
When you walk away from a serious relationship in your twenties, you walk right back into the dating world. You thought you would never have to deal with dating apps and one-night stands and deciphering mixed signals again, but suddenly, you’re back at square one. Suddenly, you have to learn how to navigate single life again. You spent such a long time off the market, such a long time learning how to deal with one specific person, that dealing with complete strangers and learning the way they work is such a big shift. A change you never planned.
When you walk away from a serious relationship in your twenties, everyone else continues on their own course without you. The friends who were in relationships for a much shorter time than you are suddenly getting married and having children while you’re starting from scratch. You feel like all of your progress was lost. You were supposed to be this close to living out your happily ever after and now you’re further away than ever. It doesn’t seem fair. It seems like you wasted so much time chasing after the wrong love story. It feels like you screwed up somewhere along the line.
When you walk away from a serious relationship in your twenties, it feels like the world is crashing down around you. At your age, you wanted to settle down. You wanted to be done with dating. You wanted to be happy. But you have to remember, you weren’t happy in the relationship, either. It’s good you didn’t stay with someone, simply because you had a lot of history with them. It’s good you didn’t settle for the wrong relationship. It’s good you’re getting a fresh start.
It’s ridiculous to expect yourself to have your whole life together in your twenties. Your twenties are for discovering yourself. They’re for making mistakes. They’re for growing into a better, stronger version of yourself. You’re not supposed to be complete yet. You’re supposed to be a work in progress.
Besides, you can find the love of your life at any age. You don’t have to settle down in your twenties. Or your thirties. There’s no age limit to love. And there’s more to life than love.
Now that you’re on your own, you can work on creating your own version of happily ever after and it might not involve a relationship after all.