In your early 20s you should be living and breathing your youth. Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Gain an understanding of your own emotional and psychological anatomy before nurturing someone else’s. Discover who you truly are. Don’t relinquish part of you before you’re whole yourself. Be selfish, be your own better half, because self-awareness is arguably the most important form of intelligence you can acquire at this age.
As women, we’re often seduced by the notion of needing a man. Whether it is society’s conditioning, or our own desires, we’re under the false assumption that we are incomplete without one. This is not the case. We are complete when we have a grasp of our world and understand yourself enough to know what we want from it. Yet somehow, a woman who depends on someone else for her happiness is seen as superior.
It’s okay to be single, especially at this age.
In fact, in my eyes, it’s preferred. This is the youngest you’re ever going to be. After you graduate, you have the freedom to travel or move to a new city without any emotional attachment to ground you – take advantage of that. Your purpose is somewhere out there, waiting to be discovered; and trust me when I say he’s not it. Sure you can date, there’s value in learning how to be a good partner. But always watch how much of yourself you dedicate to someone. Don’t let them become too factored into the equation. Live for yourself. Have your own goals. If you’re not studying abroad or applying to that internship in New York just because you can’t bare to be apart from him, you should reevaluate your priorities.
The best advice I can give is to build a sense of security on your own. Imagine each block is self-worth that is only sturdy if you cement it yourself. At this age, you are still assembling your foundation. What happens when you allow someone else to build you up? You’re left with gaping holes if it doesn’t work out and a yearning for a new significant other to fill the void.
Or worse yet, it comes crashing down like a piece of fruit picked from the bottom of the pile. And you’re insecure again. But when your security is strong enough, only the respectful, the better suited will be let in. You’ll know your self-worth and anyone who falls short will be turned away.