Should Finding True Love in Your 20s Mean No-Strings Attached?

by Chris Riotta

Love – and I mean real, true love – has an incredible way of coming into our lives at the most inappropriate of times. True loves forces itself onto us, and out of nowhere, life seems to become a movie script.

The sun shines a bit brighter every single day. Patterns of memories and small moments with your beau replay vividly in the depths of your mind as you fall asleep.

Morning comes and you wake up, noticing one of the most beautiful and profound effects love gives to the human experience.

Your reality is now better than your sweetest dreams.

Then, life hits you. The other moving parts to your days that came to a grinding halt suddenly resume and you are forced out of your little bubble. You are now immersed back into this world of social media, technology, clubs, partying, drugs, temptation and music -- the world otherwise known as your 20s.

Balancing a healthy, mature relationship while enjoying the freedoms and independence of your 20s is not an easily accomplished feat, my friends. It requires upfront honesty.

Which means you tell the truth about situations that affect you and your significant other before having to be asked or, worse, having it found out before you decide to share the information.

It requires endurance and the willingness and strength to stick together through some really difficult situations, all the while, caring for and respecting your partner. It requires fun, the ease of making each other laugh without having to say a word, exploring news places together and discovering new things.

It requires keeping the friendship in front of the relationship. These are all essentials for keeping your relationship light, healthy and happy.

However, not all people are able to balance the commitments of a relationship and the no-limits attitude we attain in our youth. Like all other aspects of life in our 20s, we are bound to make some mistakes along the way to a harmonious and ideal companionship.

Speaking candidly, sometimes, we f*ck up. It happens. This doesn’t necessarily mean we are unsatisfied or any less in love; rather, something negative happened in life that has provided an opportunity from which to learn and grow.

And other times, there are those people who just want to have their cake and eat it, too. In today's world, open relationships aren’t exactly taboo, and it seems like people are becoming somewhat more receptive to committing without the strings that sometimes hinder the rest of your 20s nightlife.

In case you haven't realized, this revolves entirely around sex (or behind it, or on top of, whichever you prefer).  You may not even know it yet, but you could possibly be one of those people!

The fascinating thing about being in our 20s is that we’re young and have so much ahead, while we're also mature enough to revel in life and explore opportunities that come our way.

Which brings us to the question at hand: As a generation, should we be more open to the idea of semi-monogamous relationships in our early years? Is giving your boyfriend or girlfriend the freedom to engage in occasional promiscuity, so long as it’s safe and non-emotional, such a bad thing?

The answer to this question is unique to each individual reading this article. In order to discover your answer, you must remember some key things: First, the type of relationship you are in is entirely your choice.

So, if you are ever unhappy or are uncertain about the negative road your relationship is going down, it’s time to immediately reconsider priorities and possibly find a way out.

Now, being that your relationship and its ingredients are entirely your choice, you have to first decide what it is you want: What are you comfortable with? What freedoms and needs do you have at this point in your life? Are you able to deal with the fact that your boo may have had a one-night stand after a night out?

Whether you are monogamous, open or have feelings for someone new and are thinking about taking things to the next level, remember that some types of relationships are not for everyone. What is most important, above all else, is the happiness of both people (or multiple, for that matter) in the mix.

My best advice is this: Take the time in your relationship to first learn about your partner. If you’re truly falling in love, give all of yourself to this person. Fully commit, develop your trust and respect each other; make your loyalty and friendship to that person one of your main priorities.

Allow yourself to feel vulnerable and unsure of these sorts of decisions that may come down the road, but don’t stay up thinking about them.

Extend that honeymoon phase as long as you possibly can; the happiness, trust, love and contentment you find in each other during this time will be the building blocks of your entire relationship.

Lastly, if it is supposed to work out with this one, it honestly will. If two people devote themselves to one another, prioritize each other and remain honest and sincere, any type of relationship that makes both parties happy will evolve into a lifelong companionship of eternal bliss.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It