Why It’s Okay To Be In A Relationship In Your 20s

by Rebecca Kaminsky

Recently, the Internet has been flooded with articles like, “The Single Girl’s Guide to…” or “10 Reasons Being Single In Your 20s Rocks.” Girl’s night out is basically every night out, and phrases like “forever alone” are tossed around lightheartedly, while relationships are considered inconvenient and selling one’s self short.

When did being in a relationship become uncool? Why is turning into the “crazy cat lady” suddenly trendy? Why does Generation-Y fear relationships?

Some worry that a significant other impedes discovering more about one’s self. Don’t listen to the bullsh*t opinions of those who claim that you can’t “find yourself” while in a relationship. Many say you can’t love someone else until you love yourself. What if that someone else loves you? Seeing and understanding the reasons someone else loves you is the easiest way to begin to love yourself.

Scared of losing your independence? Get real. Being “Miss Independent” is not the same as being anti-relationship. It’s like Ne-Yo said, “It's something about the kind of woman that want[s] you, but [doesn't] need you.” Relationships are not the same as dependency. A relationship with a significant other offers unique warmth that cannot be attained from any other type of friendship.

Growing apart from friends is another reason young adults fear relationships. A significant other can and should be your best friend; however, friends are still important. Learn to balance the various relationships in your life. Don’t be the girl that ditches her besties every weekend for a movie night on the couch with her boy toy. On the other side of the spectrum, don’t let your friends make you feel bad about spending time with your man, or cause you to resent your relationship. Not every girl’s night out is a “single girl activity.” Unless your friends are coordinating their one-night stands every weekend, nothing they do is strictly a “single girl activity.”

Now, this is not to say you should dive into a relationship with the first Joe Shmoe who shows up on your doorstep. Take it slow. No one is telling you to drop out of school, marry someone named Jim Bob and have 12 kids. If he is the right guy for you, he should want the same things out of life. Look for a guy with goals. He should be working toward his own goals, while also helping you reach yours. Similarly, if he’s a good guy, he will surround himself with good people. You can never have enough good people in your life.

You can’t keep flirting with losers for drinks forever. You can’t keep blacking out at bars and going home with random guys for the rest of your life. Don’t miss out on someone who could be perfect for you just because the timing doesn’t seem perfect. In this day and age, there is no “right” time for anything. Yes, your twenties are a time for learning, but how will you learn unless you try? Not only should you learn about yourself, but you should also learn how to work with others and how other people function.

The women AND men of Gen-Y are so concerned about missing future opportunities that we are missing the opportunities right in front of us, opportunities to be with someone who can make us happier than we thought we could be. Take a chance. You have time. Isn’t 30 the new 20, anyway? If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out. But, if you don’t take a chance, you may never know what you’re missing.

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