3 Stages During Your 20s When You Should Be Single

by Matthew van der Westhuizen

When I think about being in a relationship, I think of the commitment that comes along with it.

At some inevitable point, many of us think about committing to one person for the rest of our lives. Before this time comes, though, we must live our independent lives to the fullest by getting graduate-level degrees, traveling the world, exploring our identities and discovering who we are and what we want to be.

Upon being ready, a relationship can be a beautiful thing. However, there are certain times in a young person’s life when it’s more important to be self-sufficient than part of a “we.”

I can tell you from experience that if you want to remember your 20s — particularly your early 20s — as a special part of your life, it might be best to stay single for the duration of the time.

It’s strange how our generation — like many before us — craves to find that perfect other half because in one's 20s, it’s simply best to be single. Here are three reasons why:

1. Your first year at college:

While the idea of a relationship at this stage may seem quite optimal, trust me, it is anything but. You have completed high school and are now entering a world of debauchery (and higher education).

You’re still a young adult and want to attend all of the social events that the campus calendar offers. Most of the faces you see are new to you, as you are still getting acquainted with your new home.

Do you really want someone calling you, texting you and bothering you every other second to remind you not to forget your Friday night dinner date, which you forgot about after a bunch of friends invited you to pregame before hitting the club that same night? I don’t think so.

2. Your final year of your college:

This is not only a time when you should be really focused on the classes you need to pass to graduate, but also a time when you should be bonding with the friends you cultivated throughout your years on campus.

Some people may stick around to work on graduate degrees, while others will go on to the working world. You aren’t sure where you will be.

You want to enjoy every opportunity that you have without worrying about how someone else feels about every plan you make; you simply don’t have the time. When you are not studying, enjoy moments of freedom at a bar with the friends you have made during this period of your life.

3. Your first year in the working world:

After graduating from college and entering the working world, you are pushed to shift from "young adult" to "responsible grownup." In this environment, people don’t care if you are heartbroken or if you had a fight with your significant other the night before because there are deadlines to meet and people to greet.

Taking days off to recover from your breakup is a complete no-no during this time when you have to prove your professional chops at the office every day. You are also learning more about yourself as you evolve during this new stage of life. You are getting to know new people and must become increasingly responsible (rent and insurance and bills, oh my!).

Being in a relationship just doesn’t quite fit at this point in your life since you are still discovering yourself and should prioritize things that reflect that huge task. You are still young and should work to enjoy your life in the most self-reflective way possible.

While there may be many other reasons, situations and periods during your 20s to stay single, the aforementioned ones are the most crucial. Love is a beautiful thing, but if abused, it can be a real heartbreaker!

Learn to love yourself before giving your heart away to some stranger who may not realize how special and sacred you are. Ensure that when you do fall in love, the lucky other person is on the same page and won’t hold you back from living your life.

First and foremost, respect and love yourself.

Photo via We Heart It