Thinking back to our younger days, the thought of being divorced in our 20s simply didn’t even seem like an option. If we got married, we had high hopes for a bright future and a happily ever after to call our own.
But these days, more and more of us are facing the harsh reality of divorce, and we’re not even 30 yet.
We didn’t go into marriage thinking it would end up this way, but a couple of years down the line, and it seems like many of us are staring into the face of separation, lawyering up and gearing down for a life back in Singletown.
But getting divorced in your 20s can actually be the best thing that ever happened to you. Once you finish guzzling down your second bottle of wine and a delicious pint -- or three -- of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, the revelations start coming.
Once you wipe away your tears and get your bearings, it’s clear to see that this could be the most amazing turn of events your life has taken thus far.
Here are seven reasons why getting divorced in your 20s is f*cking awesome:
1. You are still young enough to jump back into the dating (hook-up) game.
Let’s face it: Dating sucks, but if done right, it can be pretty fun. Getting divorced while you’re still young means you’re probably still pretty hot and you’ve got some great options for those Friday night hookups you’ve been craving.
At this point, you’re the coolest hookup ever because you definitely don't want to settle down, and no-strings-attached sex is the perfect way to mend your heart. You won’t care if he never calls you -- hey, you weren’t planning on calling him either.
2. You can be happy you didn’t settle for 10 years before seeing the light.
You got out while the going was good. You spent a couple of years married and then peaced out when it wasn’t working. Good for you.
How sh*tty would it have been if you had wasted a decade of your life with someone only to wake up one morning and realize how unhappy you were all that time?
Settling is the worst thing someone can do, and staying in a marriage because of outside reasons, like the house you bought or the car you share (or maybe even the kid you just had) is garbage.
If you’re not happy, you should be, and sometimes not settling for anything less than butterflies is the only way to do so.
3. You can get back to being you and following your dreams.
The time leading up to your separation probably was not very fun. You might have become a hermit, felt like you weren’t good enough, maybe you packed on a few pounds or just had no motivation to follow your dreams.
Well, guess what? Divorce is Latin for starting over (well, not really, but it’s basically what you get to do now that you’re free).
Now that you have no one to answer to and no one holding you back, you can get out into the world and do the things you want to do. Buy that car you’ve been eyeing or write that book you’ve been itching to start (you’ll have great material to base it on due to the divorce).
This time in your life is now all about you, so get out there and be the best version of yourself this world has ever seen.
4. You realize age is only a number.
Only a few short years ago, I guarantee you felt like you were soooo old and that you were about to start falling behind.
You thought you weren’t moving fast enough and as you saw your friends start to settle down, get married, have kids and buy a house, you came to the brilliant conclusion that “F*ck, I’m going to end up an old cat lady all alone with no one by my side.”
So when marriage finally presented itself to you, you scooped up to opportunity and went with it. Your biological clock was happy, but your heart secretly wasn’t.
Now that you’re divorced, you feel like you have a new lease on life. You feel the freedom and the independence that you haven’t felt for years and you finally start to realize that in the grand scheme of things, you really aren’t that old. You’re not even 30 yet; you’ve got this sh*t on lockdown!
5. You recognize that divorce isn’t really an icky word after all.
We have been molded to think that divorce is the ultimate failure. Like if you can’t keep a marriage together then you must be some awful swamp creature who deserves to live in seclusion for eternity. But it’s not true.
Back in the day, people got married (and stayed married) for different reasons, but in this day and age, we are more educated and we know that we don’t have to rely on anyone’s paycheck but our own.
We don’t need to strictly follow the religious backings that were predominant 50 years ago, and we sure as hell don’t need to settle just so we can start having babies and create a brood to work on the farm.
Divorce is not failure, it is having the confidence to step into the world alone and know that you will survive.
6. You become more independent than you ever thought possible.
Separating yourself from the person you have relied on for some time may be one of the hardest things you will go through. But once you do it and once you accept it, you will feel extremely liberated.
Breaking free from the chains that were holding you down and living life your way will feel extremely empowering and knowing that you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself will give you such a sense of freedom.
Maybe you never paid the bills before, well, guess what? Now you have to figure that out and once you do, you’ll feel like a whole new type of adult.
7. You become wise.
With divorce comes wisdom and though you’re still in your 20s, you can probably feel the deep knowledge that has already started to entwine itself within your heart and mind.
Going through something as big as a divorce means you learn a lot of stuff rather quickly: legalities, asset division, stuff you probably thought you’d never have to deal with. It's not just those matters that make you wise, it’s learning about yourself that really helps you grow.
You start to look back on why you got married, why you settled, why your marriage fell apart and you start to understand yourself and your soul better than you ever have before.
You begin to understand society a bit better and the restraints we put on ourselves and each other and you start to see that divorce doesn’t mean ending up alone. Instead, divorce will show you how many people care for you and how many shoulders you truly have to lean on.
At the end of the day, many of us got our fairy tale wedding, but the marriage we ended up with was nothing like we expected. We are not a selfish generation of 20-something divorcees, but instead we're blazing a trail.
We are showing the world that we don’t need to stay in a relationship that no longer works, we don’t need to be sad every day just to keep up appearances and we don’t need to be embarrassed when we tell people we are divorced.
We are young, we are confident, we are independent and we definitely don’t need a marriage to define our worth. Our happiness relies on no one but ourselves.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It