How you should spend your 20s is a pretty overdone topic.
The free spirits will tell you to travel. The conservative folk will stress the importance of paying off your student loans.
The romantics will say to find the one, and the hipsters circle together along a campfire, drinking Moosehead and singing, "Who the f*ck cares?"
Today, I’ll be protesting against the romantic’s frame of mind.
The first thing I immediately find wrong with my fellow Gen-Yers is the type of questions that are being asked in regard to relationship advice.
Most questions place emphasis on the individuals we’re hoping to date:
“What happens if the girl I like always chooses to go to clubs and bars with her girls, rather than stay at home and watch Netflix with me? “
“I’m afraid the girl I like flirts with other guys. Does that still make her girlfriend material?”
”Bro, she’s been with like 35 guys. Do you think that makes her a slut?” (No, but that’s for another article.)
Here’s the honest truth: In your 20s, none of that really matters.
As long as you feel like you have a real attraction toward that person, that’s all that really matters.
You can like a girl who lives in another state, parties four times a week and has three guys ready to date her as soon as you slip up, and that’s perfectly okay.
Why is it okay?
Why is it alright to date a woman who doesn’t make perfect marriage material sense?
Well, it’s simple.
In your 20s (especially your early to mid-20s), you’re probably not going to marry that person. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yes, the woman you’ve spent the last two and a half years getting to know probably isn’t “the one.”
Let your 2os be a time of trial and error.
Collect a list of regrets, intimate connections, mistakes, lustful affairs and healthy relationships.
Be a drunken-love karate master with no clear objective of specific soulmate. Rather, be intent to learn as much as you possibly can about yourself.
I can hear the naysayers and romantics right now:
“How can you say such a thing? We’ve been together for four years and eight months! I’ve never felt this way before about a woman.
I met her parents. We bought matching bracelets. I took her on a vacation to Europe. We already named our future kids! This is nothing like the women I dated in high school. This is real, and this is love.”
Well, all of that may be correct, but it still doesn’t change the fact this isn’t the woman you’re going to spend the rest of your life with.
You have no idea exactly who you are yet!
You most definitely haven’t dated enough women to even know what you want in a wife.
Most 20-year-olds are still figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Our political opinions, views on money, literature tastes, priorities and favorite branded beers are changing.
How exactly are we supposed to specify exactly what we want in long-term partners?
Well, my friend, that’s exactly what our 20s are for. This is why I’d advise to date, f*ck and go out with whomever you want to. This is the time to figure out what you like, don’t like, value, etc.
More importantly, your 20s are the time for self-love and discovery. Spend this decade figuring your sh*t out!
Don’t value anyone more than you value yourself. Don’t prioritize anyone else’s life more than your own.
Yes, you can still enjoy every bond, memory and moment you create with that person.
Yes, you can still fully love him or her, and make yourself as completely vulnerable as possible.
Yes, you can tell that person you love him or her.
Just know that deep down, this thing isn’t going to have wedding bells.
Why can’t you self-discover with "the one?"
Remember folks in marriage are one flesh. There is no self-discovery, self-growth or self-love. All of your energy is spent on the bond you’ve obliged yourself to.
Can you imagine what happens to the people who never spent the time to truly figure themselves out? To travel on their own, to jump out that plane or to date that weird, quiet girl they secretly crushed on for several years?
Regret happens, sadness happens, questioning happens, a mid-life crisis happens and splitsville happens.
Make sure you spend your 20s discovering yourself, loving yourself and prioritizing yourself over everyone else in your life.
Can you be in relationships while you do that?
As long as you fully understand you still need to go through your self-discovery process, and this relationship probably isn’t “the one,” you can absolutely do that.
Marry yourself before your marry anyone else.
You're born alone, and you die alone. Let that be the mantra while you’re 20.
Your 30-year-old self will thank you later.