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Why Putting Off Being In A Relationship Is The Most Grown-Up Thing You Can Do

There is a huge gap in communication that lies between television and reality when it comes to relationships. From silly cartoons to romantic-comedies, our society has engrossed us with this idea that boyfriends and girlfriends are necessary novelty items in order to live a truly fabulous life.

In reality, this is very far from the truth. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be in a relationship to be an acceptable member of our society (shocking, I know). Being single does not mean something is wrong with you; it may just mean you aren't ready for a relationship yet, and that’s perfectly fine.

Relationships are a big deal -- at least they should be. The decision to enter one should not be driven by loneliness, or because all of your friends are in relationships, and especially not because of Hollywood, Disney or MTV’s projection of what life should be.

Think about the time you asked your parents for a dog. I'm sure you remember the weary eye they gave you and the, “Are you sure you’re ready for that type of responsibility?” speech that came along with it.

Take that warning, multiply it times 1,000, and you will get a remote idea of the type of consideration bringing someone in your life should take.

Of course, I am not comparing a potential significant other, or any of my past flings for that matter, to a domesticated animal; I am pointing out that the same decision process in taking on a pet is often looked over when committing to a relationship, which happens to be a decision highly more significant in magnitude.

The extent of our decision process often stops at infatuating features: beautiful hair, curvy physique, mesmerizing eyes.

While all are enticing incentives, they shouldn't be determining factors in entering a partnership any more than the cuteness of a puppy should when deciding to become an owner.

Every time we enter a relationship irresponsibly, we risk discounting the emotions of the other individual. Liking someone is not enough.

While an equal level of feelings is often an unrealistic expectation, if we fail to evaluate where we are in our lives and how much of ourselves we are able to commit, we would be in danger of taking advantage of their feelings.

And unlike a pet dog, bunny or cat, when people enter a romantic relationship the emotions aren't unconditional; they require an equal level of commitment.

I know every relationship has its rocky parts as well as the “honeymoon stage,” but more so, one must make sure they are in the right place to take on such ups and downs.

When I got into my last relationship, I did not factor in how unsettled I was mentally. I didn't consider my level of emotional investment, or how much of an investment emotionally relationships required for that matter.

It wasn't fair to either of us. My girlfriend was in a relationship where her output wasn't being matched, and I was in a relationship where all I could give wasn't enough.

We often fail to evaluate where we are emotionally in haste of becoming someone’s significant other.

We forget the short term and long term goals we make to ourselves, and end up making an emotionally charged decision thinking “love,” or a chance at it, will be enough to sustain both the relationship and the promises we've made for ourselves.

It’s hard to accept that we are not in the right place for a relationship, especially when we long for one. Maturity is accepting the task we have at hand and properly assessing the output we are able to give at any point in time.

Just because we are ready for a relationship doesn't necessarily mean our lives are. So next time you decide to take someone seriously, make sure you are serious about yourself.

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