5 Reasons The Only Way To Find 'The One' Is By Dating Like You DGAF

by Shireen McCleary

In college, girls in my sorority started dating guys they met within the first month of their freshman years.

Those couples stayed together throughout my wild college years and even past graduation. They posted engagement photos on Facebook shortly after.

Now, I’m all for people finding the loves of their lives. But seriously?

When you’re 22, how can you think you’ve found “the one?"

What do you know about love?

To think about committing to any of the guys I dated in my early 20s is a joke. With each passing year of this decade, my personality has morphed.

My interests, values, goals and even my attitude have all gone through major metamorphosis. So much so, I wouldn’t recognize the person I was as little as two years ago.

Like a squishy worm that has blossomed into a rad butterfly of an adult, my growth has been significant.

During the phases of my maturity, I've dated guys at similar stages. To consider being with the same person going through similar changes seems preposterous to me.

How can you even guarantee the butterfly you grow into is going to like or even love the partner you chose when you were still an idiotic, squishy worm?

Here are five reasons why dating multiple people during your 20s can be better for your future than settling into a static relationship while you’re still young:

1. We all need to let out a little crazy.

You know those desperate housewives who married in their early 20s and ended up having affairs with the gardeners?

The people who have only ever had one relationship have got to be a little curious about what else is out there, right?

I think there is something to be said for experiencing the single life.

Accumulating stories, experiences and memories worth sharing over brunch with your besties for years to come is priceless.

If you’re the person who rarely puts a finger down during a game of “Never Have I Ever,” you’re just not living life to the max.

2.  He doesn’t know what he wants.

I’d wager to say most guys in their 20s don’t know what they want themselves.

Try mentioning the idea of getting married before age 30 to that cute guy you've been casually dating. Be prepared for him to look at you like you just told him the Super Bowl got cancelled indefinitely.

He will be horrified, and will likely projectile vomit all over your cardigan.

Most guys aren't ready for serious relationships until they've figured out their careers, made plans to buy a house and dated hoochies.

This will all happen before their mothers intervene and tell them to bring a girl to Thanksgiving who won't wear a bandage dress or lose a press-on nail in the mashed potatoes.

3. Your 20s are the best time to explore alone.

While there are plenty of couples who start blogs, have cool Instagram accounts and travel the globe together, there are way more couples who get stuck in a rut because their decisions are so closely intertwined with another person’s.

If you’ve ached to travel to South America with a backpack and bug spray, go.

It’ll be way harder to up and go when you’re more settled in your career and life later on.

Waiting for that someone you’re dating to be as excited as you are about traveling could be an even longer, more difficult wait.

Don’t wait to buy that plane ticket. Don’t hold back when you are offered a great opportunity to move to a new city.

If you have to, find your dream career by living at home again so you can go to grad school.

These are all things you can do as a single person who is dating, instead of a person in a serious relationship.

4. As you get older, you go through serious sh*t.

The stakes get higher with each passing year of our lives. Family members die unexpectedly.

Employers lay you off when you don’t have a dime in savings. Rent and mortgages don’t go away, and sh*tty health insurance coverage can demolish any savings you might have had.

A strong couple goes through serious life moments together — the ups and the significant downs — which will either break them up or bring them closer together.

A relationship that can weather the storms despite hardships shows you are a good fit for each other in the long run.

Travel internationally together. Live together and share finances and chores with each other.

The both of you need to go through job changes or experience having one of you in grad school.

These types of life moments typically occur more frequently in your 20s, and they test the durability of your relationship.

If your relationship can survive those hits, you’ll be building up the personality tools to be capable of surviving life's ups and downs together.

Unless you’ve built that strong foundation together in your early 20s when you first started dating, it might be a lot harder to weather the storms later in life.

5. Dating is fun.

Here's the bottom line: There are a lot of attractive, interesting and special people out there.

They’re fun, they’re quirky, they’re smart, they smell good and they will teach you and show you how different people can be.

Not every partner will share your interests.

You might meet someone who has different interests from yours, but he'll open your eyes to a whole new world you never knew you could be interested in.

Wouldn’t you love to meet that one other weirdo who loves the same weird stuff you do? Go find your weirdo.

I dated this guy who was super into coffee, which spawned a love and snobbery of brewed beans for me.

Another guy I dated after a serious relationship in college opened my eyes to how much more stable and fun a relationship is when you're friends with a guy first.

I’ve also learned from relationships I’ve had that I can’t handle it when my partner is a picky eater, doesn’t love dogs or won’t prioritize me.

If I’d settled for those boyfriends instead of searching for that perfect fit, I never would have known the traits I don’t want in a partner.

If you settle for the first relationship that comes around, I question how well you know whether you’ve found your one and only, or whether you’re settling for what’s safe and comfortable.

Guys and girls are both waiting longer to settle down and commit.

I think it’s a great idea to test the waters.

Date people in your age group, learn about yourself and figure out what you want in a relationship.

Meanwhile, focus on your career and get to know the real you.

That solid version of yourself is what will ultimately attract the best partner you could ever hope to find.