Recently, my girlfriends and I have been talking a lot about soulmates, finding "the one" and dating in general. At our age, we are starting to see a lot of engagements and babies pop up on our Instagram and Facebook timelines. It makes you think, “what am I doing wrong?”
What we have come to realize is we are doing nothing wrong. Society has placed a nonsensical idea in our heads that we must go to college, get a degree and get married all before we are 25. Well, I am 22 now, and I am SO far from being ready for marriage it isn't even funny.
After many conversations, we decided to take a different approach to dating. These “rules” about dating can apply to anyone, of any sex, at any age. Removing the pressure from yourself can make you a whole lot happier. It also just makes life simpler.
1. There is no timeline.
Lots of young women (and men) feel like there is a specific time in which they should be getting married. Society has socialized us to think that we are supposed to be married by a certain age. That timeline that we tend to have is in our heads. It does not exists, like the limit. It's not illegal to get married after 25.
2. #WasteHisTime2016 and #WasteHerTime2016 were... a waste of time.
In the beginning, this shit was funny, but also stupid. By wasting a guy or girl's time, you are wasting your own time. There is absolutely no point in “talking to” or dating someone you see no chance of a future with. If you avoid this, you can also avoid the unnecessary drama and emotional roller-coaster that accompanies this. Simplify your life by getting rid of baggage.
3. Being alone doesn't have to equal lonely.
I've seen plenty of people stay in bad relationships or situations because they are scared of beingFear of being #Foreveralone. Being alone has negative connotations. But remember, alone and lonely have two different meanings:
Lonely: sad because one has no friends or company.
Alone: having no one else present; to be on one's own.
Being alone gives you the time to think about your personal goals in life, or to pursue your own interests without being influenced by somebody else.
4. If it's difficult at the beginning, it's not going to get any easier.
Yes, relationships are tough. Dating shouldn't be. The early stages of dating should be light and fun. You should be getting to know one another without too much pressure. If you are only a few weeks in and there are already red flags, PAY ATTENTION. Those flags are there for a reason. You don't try to force a puzzle piece to fit: you find a new place for it. Ya know what I mean?
5. Be what you want to attract.
If you are looking for an intelligent, successful, fine, fit, loving and encouraging partner, you should be those things. I can scroll through Twitter and see tons of people talking about their dream spouse. “I just want a godly, fit, fine, successful and rich bae. Is that too much to ask for?” If you are a lazy couch potato with no motivation or drive, I promise you, that's exactly what you will attract.
6. Don't settle.
That fear of being alone will sometimes make you accept the stuff you hate. It might make you accept being treated badly, or being ignored. Only you know what you want and need in a relationship. If your partner cares about you, they are willing to make those compromises. Similarly, if you care about someone, you'll make compromises as well.
Don't settle for some BS just because you don't want to be alone. Trust me, you will feel more lonely in a relationship or “situationship” with someone who doesn't understand you or care about you, than you will by yourself.
7. Get to know yourself.
We are constantly evolving. I learn something new about myself all the time. I learn something new I like or find a new talent or passion I have. I am constantly evolving into the woman that I want and am meant to be. Instead of moping about being single, get to know who you are and do new things. Step out of your comfort zone and try something you have always wanted to try. Waiting for someone to make you happy is the quickest way to become unhappy. Happiness is a choice; you can't put that much power into someone else's hands.
Now, I know you are probably like, “Who does Mia think she is, she doesn't have man,”and you are hella right. But one thing I do have is confidence that my #ForeverBae is out here somewhere getting his life together just as I am doing mine. There is no rush to find your soulmate. You will find them when you are ready.
Until then, just relax, be happy, and live your life for you.
This post originally appeared on the author's personal blog.