1. Your ‘type’ changes drastically as time goes by. Especially in your mid to late twenties. You start looking for deeper and more solid qualities like responsibility, honesty and integrity instead of someone you can just have fun with. You begin to appreciate a partner you can talk to about meaningful things, about your problems, about your family and about your work because as you grow up, the things that matter to you change drastically too.
2. Finding the right career is more important than getting married. Finding the right career for you is the most rewarding gift you can give yourself. It will give you something to look forward to and will always motivate you to grow and learn new things. It will make you a better person and a happier person and you will not have to depend on love to make you happy.
3. Modern dating sucks but it really teaches you a lot. Modern dating sucks but with every dating disaster that happens to you, you learn one more thing about yourself and about the person you are looking for. You also learn how to love yourself and you learn that sometimes you have to choose being alone instead of being with someone who is not treating you right or someone who doesn’t want to define the relationship.
4. Invest in a few good friends. Your friends will be your support system forever. The better friends you have, the easier your life will be. Good friends will get you through almost anything in life. Pick them wisely and you will always find someone to lean on when life gets rough. They will be your main backbone.
5. Don’t settle. Don’t date someone just because you’ve been single for so long or because all your friends are married. Don’t stay in a relationship that is not good for you because it’s comfortable and don’t hold on to someone who doesn’t love you the way you deserve to be loved.
6. You have to know who you are before getting married. Getting married when you’re in an unsteady place in your life makes you count on the relationship as the main source of your happiness and makes you follow your partner’s footsteps without stopping to ask yourself if this is what you really want.
7. Kids are not the answer. Having kids does not mean you secured a spot in marriage paradise, if anything, it’s the ultimate test to determine how strong the marriage is. People who have kids when they’re not ready are really just setting their marriage up for disaster.
8. You will not ‘lose’ your married friends. I think this is the biggest misconception – that you will not be talking to your friends who got married. Once they get past the honeymoon phase, everything will be back to normal and they will still be a phone call away.
9. You can make things happen alone. You can get your dream job or buy that house or travel to this country without anyone’s help or approval. When you are growing up without being committed to someone, you truly have the world in your hands and you can just do whatever you want and you can become whoever you want. Being independent is a wonderful thing that will make you rich in so many ways. In this day and age, being single is actually a privilege — depending on the way you look at it.
10. Marriage is also not the answer. I mentioned earlier that kids are not the answer but marriage is not the answer either. If you didn’t learn to find your happiness alone, you won’t find it in your marriage, if you didn’t learn to love yourself when you’re single, you won’t love yourself when you’re married, if you didn’t find yourself before marriage, you won’t find yourself after marriage.
People are told that marriage is what makes them complete but the truth is nothing can complete someone but themselves, their experiences, their passions, their hearts, their intelligence and their strength.
Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.