25 Reminders That All Single 20-Somethings Need To Hear Right Now

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1. It’s good to always be striving towards becoming a better person, but being single does not mean that there is something wrong with you that needs to be fixed.

2. Romantic love is not the only type of love you can feel in your life. While on your search to find a lifelong partner, don’t forget to embrace and appreciate the love that surrounds you in the form of your friends and family.

3. Settling for someone who is not right for you will always be worse than ending up alone.

4. Sometimes people’s engagement announcements on Facebook and Instagram are going to make you feel crappy, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re bitter, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, and it doesn’t mean you’re not wishing them the best. It just means that you’re human, and you’re worried about being alone.

5. …You’re normal for feeling that way. And you are certainly never the only one.

6. Finding someone to love you will not fix all (or sometimes, any) of your problems. It just means you’ll have someone to hold you and help you when things get really tough.

7. But ultimately, the best person to fight your demons will always be you.

8. Sometimes, the people who post the most about their significant other on social media are actually in the least stable relationships. But other times, they’re just over-the-moon-in-love and they can’t stop talking about it. The point is, you have no way of knowing what’s really going on behind the scenes and you never will. So even if their posts annoy you sometimes (or all the time), it’s better not to waste your energy thinking about someone else’s life in too much detail. Just put your phone away and go hang out with a friend who makes you laugh.

9. While single and on your own, you’re gaining a lot more wisdom and insight about life, and about yourself, than you currently realize.

10. Your hobbies and passions outside of work are probably not going to compare to the love that a real person can give you, but they can certainly help you learn how to enjoy your own company and further understand who you are as an individual.

11. There is a difference between finding someone who is perfect, and finding someone who is perfect for you.

12. If you are lucky enough to find the person who is perfect for you, understand that they are still going to drive you nuts, infuriate you, and frustrate you to no end. Finding the perfect person for you just means finding the person whom you love enough to deal with all the unappealing aspects of relationships.

13. Your coupled/engaged/married friends are not more deserving of love than you. There are so many aspects and factors involved in falling in love that are outside of our control. Trying to figure out why your one friend is engaged and you’re not is just a waste of your time.

14. A partner that you truly love can help you work towards a life of fulfillment, but they themselves cannot and will not be your ultimate source of fulfillment.

15. Falling in love feels really, really good. But the falling part is temporary, and you will always hit the ground at some point.

16. It is when you hit the ground that you must decide if you’re in love with the idea of being in love, or if you have found someone that you want to fight for – for the rest of your life.

17. No one on this earth can guarantee you that you’ll definitely find the love of your life someday. So when you’re having a hard time and feeling alone, the friend who says, “There’s someone out there for you, I promise!” is not necessarily the best person to turn to, no matter how good their intentions are.

18. Instead, go to the friend who will simply listen, and remind you that you’re not alone, and tell you that, while it’s important to keep your heart open, it’s also important to refrain from putting your life on hold until you find ‘the one.’

19. Of all the couples I look up to who have been together for years (and often decades), the biggest thing I’ve taken from them is that they’ve had to make a lot of difficult choices, and a lot of decisions that put the other person first (even at the cost of their own desires).

20. What I’ve also taken from them is that making the more difficult choice is what has kept their marriage going – far more than their ‘passion’ or ‘excitement.’

21. Weddings are beautiful, special, and magical experiences. But they last for less than twenty-four hours. Once you’re at an age where it feels like you’re attending a wedding every other weekend, it’s hard not to daydream about your own, and that’s understandable. But when you get frustrated, or you feel like it’s never going to happen, just remember that it’s one (possible) day in a lifetime of various incredible milestones that you will have.

22. In a study about the brain and love, people in relationships were asked to look at a picture of their partner while their brain was scanned. Most activity was found in a tiny factory at the base of the brain responsible for making dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps to control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers). But whereas newly-in-love subjects had activity in the brain region also linked with anxiety, people who had been married for twenty-one years or more (and claimed to still be madly in love) showed activity in a brain region near the base of the brain linked with calm and pain suppression, and no activity in the brain region linked with anxiety.

23. So while it’s understandably tempting to want the addictive, infatuating, obsessive kind of love that we see in the movies, the type of love that lasts is one that fosters trust, contentment, and loyalty – and you can still be madly in love while fostering this kind of relationship.

24. You’re never under any obligation to ‘explain’ to anyone why you’re ‘still’ single. That’s your own damn business.

25. Sometimes, on certain days, loneliness sucks more than usual and is particularly crushing. It’s okay to be frustrated, irritated, and sick of feeling like everyone else has found their person except you. Don’t feel the need to ‘fake it until you make it’ or pretend you’re okay. Just give yourself time to breathe, call up that family member or friend who just listens and doesn’t try to solve anything, and remember that no matter how single you feel, you aren’t alone. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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