12 Women Reveal Their Best Relationship Advice For Your Early 20s & It's Genius

by Candice Jalili

Dating is hard. I'm in my 20s, so I can't speak the dating challenges that lie ahead for us all (gulp), but I feel pretty confident saying that most of us could do with a little help right now. In a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, ladies responded to a prompt asking them what they should keep in mind going into their first serious relationship in their 20s. I don't mean to overstate it, but these relationship tips for your early 20s could literally change your life.

These women provide tons of amazing advice for how to improve your already good relationships, get out of the currently toxic relationships, and — most importantly — how to tell the difference between the two. Their advice is pretty darn useful even if this isn't your first trip around the relationship merry-go-round, and even if you've been coupled-up with someone special for awhile now.

The thing about love advice is that it's not one-size-fits-all. Some of the wisdom below might totally resonate with you, and some might not. That's OK. Everyone's different and it's crucial to trust your gut. It's important to find and cherish advice that works for you.

Being 'Number One' isn't the same as being 'THE One.'
Just because they are your first serious love doesn’t mean they are the right one.


Maintain your own sense of self.
Don't lose yourself in the relationship. Don't let being an SO become your identity. Be careful not to allow compromise to equal your total surrender.


Have hobbies outside of your partner.
Have your own thing separate to them, and always see your friends regularly.If they become your whole life and you have no interests/hobbies outside them, it's going to hurt a hell of a lot when they're no longer there. Especially if all your friends have left too.If the relationship works out, it'll make you stronger as a couple. It gives you new things to talk about each day, and makes you feel like a whole person who has found the perfect mate, not a half person who has been completed by someone else.


Be prepared to grow in different directions.
Even though you're now "an adult", you're still going to change a lot. Your values, priorities, and goals are going to change almost as much in your twenties as they did during adolescence, and so will your partner's. Be prepared to go your own way if you both/all grow in irreconcilable ways.


Make your own money.
Nurture your career and be financially self-sufficient. Don't move in together just because it will save you money.


Remember you're not a bank.
Don’t give them money. Ask questions about the future to see if you are on the same page. Don’t buy expensive things in both of your names. Definitely don’t settle


Drinking too much can be a red flag.
Stay away from guys that drink too much


Check in with each other regularly.
My SO and I got together when we were 19 and we're 26 now. We've gone through lots of life changes together, so regular and honest communication is really important. Our opinions and values when we were 19 are different to what we are like now. We check in on the state of our relationship fairly regularly. Every life change we talk about extensively in advance, make decisions together and try to keep on the same page. If at any point we were to diverge, then I think it's important to have that forewarning.


Don't try to change your partner.
You shouldn't view the person you're dating as a fixer-upper. You aren't on an HGTV show, and the person you're with isn't a house. I'm not saying people can't grow or change. Don't be with someone because of what they could be, be with someone because of what they are right now.


Stay in touch with your gut.
Listen to your gut. You are worthy of respect. Communication is everything. The biggest red flag is someone who tries to set out a bunch of rules at the start of the relationship. They will break them. Use birth control. Sex clinics are not scary, most have nurses that are very nice. If someone does something you don't like talk to a trusted friend. Don't keep it secret cause you're worried about what they will think. People who are "Red-pilled" are more likely to be abusive


Don't tolerate aggression.
Run away from the very first sign of aggressive behaviour he shows. Run away from the very first lie or when your gut tells you something maybe wrong. I always tried to distract my mind of all of those, maybe just one time thing, maybe it was my wasn't.


Enjoy it.
Don’t get too sucked in where you forget your goals but otherwise enjoy it. Have fun, get to know each other and don’t overthink it with “what should I do,” “what’s going to happen” etc. I met my husband when I was 20. Been together over 20 years. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible either.


Now go forth and date wisely!