While you may not find the "20-Something Syndrome" listed on WebMD, it’s certainly an epidemic in the dating world.
Here’s the theory: Once a woman hits her early 20s, she may get the urge to be just like her single girlfriends and “have fun.” This means the poor sucker she’s with gets the boot.
Symptoms of this include excessive drinking, sh*tty advice from single girlfriends and the urge to no longer feel tied down.
Or, as Rita from "Bridesmaids" put it, “That’s why every girl needs those slutty college years. To experiment, get it out of your system. Find out what you like.”
But, if this is becoming an epidemic, does that mean we should fight or embrace it?
I’ll be the first to admit I went through a brief phase of the 20-something syndrome.
My best friend had just ended a four-year relationship, and thanks to the combination of a carefree summer, drinking wine almost every day and the distance I felt in my own relationship, I soon grew envious of her single life freedom.
Luckily, however, when I tried breaking up with my boyfriend, it didn't go as planned. He resisted and told me what I had been feeling all along: I simply wasn’t being myself.
It took time for me to get it together, but thank God he stuck around. I finally detached myself from that confusing phase of my life.
And I’m not the only one who has gone through it. Countless of other girls — and even guys — are currently experiencing it or have already come out on the other side.
If any part of the above description sounds like a description of you, here’s how to deal and make a lasting recovery:
Curb the alcohol.
I know. I love a glass of wine just as much as, well, anyone, but excessive drinking only made my situation worse.
I was acting off my drunkenness and making stupid decisions as the result.
Partying may seem like the “thing to do” in your early 20s, but it can seriously lower your inhibitions.
You act reckless and become addicted to the lifestyle, and it can cause some of the plainest guys to look like Channing Tatum’s twin (something no girl wants to find herself fooled into).
Once I got drinking back under control, it was like the fog cleared. I could get back to being myself and fixing the mess I made.
Find your clarity.
Your clarity brings you closest to your true self: your wants, needs and desires.
All of this can bubble to the surface once you’re ready. You just have to be patient getting there.
When I got my clarity, it was like a jolt to my system telling me to please wake up.
I followed my gut instincts and called off throwing away a serious relationship just for the single life.
Don’t let others influence you.
While your friends' single lives may seem all glamorous and exciting, it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
Don’t allow yourself to get so swept up in what they're doing that it influences how you feel about your own relationship.
Those single friends may even be envious of what you have; you never know.
As the old saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side.
Embrace the process.
Regarding the question of fighting or embracing the 20-something syndrome, I think it's best to embrace it. Again, it’s all about listening to what you truly want.
Whether it’s remaining in a relationship or choosing to be single, only you can know exactly what you need in your life at this point in time.
So, embrace those feelings, make your decision, and roll with it.