Girl, you're 20-something, so the dating scene might be on your mind. You've scrolled through social media and seen couples from high school start to get engaged, and watched enough sitcom wedding episodes to know that settling down could be right around the corner. One day, you'll snuggle up with your soulmate and make a thousand memories together. You'll have your first date and take on the really rad parts of life with a partner. But, there are just some
types of happiness you need to experience for yourself, especially before you say, "I do."
Maybe you're single, or you're content in a relationship right now. Whatever your current situation may be, you should always think a bit about yourself. Self-love isn't just some trend that gives us every excuse to take bubble baths with lavender-scented candles. It's a lifestyle that focuses solely on your well-being and happiness. Before you settle down, you'll want to take yourself on dates — to coffee shops for some soul-searching, and to places around the world to satisfy your wanderlust. Creating your own life and being able to make yourself smile is key.
When it comes to your happiness, you should never settle for anything less than you deserve. You'll have so many beautiful life moments with your bae, but don't forget to focus on yourself, too. There's truly something to be said for experiencing these seven things solo, before you decide to settle down.
Take yourself on a trip before tying the knot. Traveling solo might seem scary for some, or even a little bit lonely. But,
the Sagittarius in your crew will tell you that it's really rewarding to see the world through your own lens. You could book plane tickets to somewhere that's halfway across the globe, or have a long weekend in a local city. The experience is completely up to you.
For awhile now, I've said that I'm going to take a week and leave all my worries behind for Santa Fe. I'd love to see all of the art galleries, go hiking in the trails just outside the city, and make memories for solely myself. Sometimes, you just need to channel your passion into your passport like that.
Living on your own will bring you so much happiness, because
you'll truly feel like an "adult." Settling down means that you're ready to commit to the long run. So, figuring out how to cook for yourself and taking time to decorate your cute corner of the city is much-needed.
You've watched enough episodes of
House Hunters on HGTV to know exactly how you'll set up your new apartment. You'll put a picture frame around the peephole on the door just like they do in Friends, and hang your mugs on a hook just below your cabinets for easy coffee access. Honestly, what would you and your roommate do without IKEA? You've probably single-handedly funded their sales at one point or another, especially before settling down.
Seriously, you should always be reaching for the stars, and never settling for anything less than what you want in your personal life, or your career. You might have spent so many long hours in the library at school, stressing over finals and getting that degree. Now, it's time to pursue all of things you're passionate about, and turn your daydreams into a reality.
Side hustles are necessary to your happiness, because they give you a creative outlet, and likely a thousand opportunities. Even if everything doesn't go according to plan, you'll be happy that you chased after a challenge and put your all into something before settling down.
Going Out With Your Girl Crew
Before settling down with your significant other, you'll want to spend some quality time with your crew. These ladies won't be going anywhere. They've been there since day one, after all. But, life tends to get busy, and you may not be sure of where you'll end up in the future. So, making the most of every memory now is essential.
Your girls have brought you so much happiness for as long as you can remember. In high school, you may have played on the same field hockey or soccer team, or were the loud ones in the back of your biology class. In college, you had to learn to be apart, but still shared a thousand laughs over FaceTime. They'll forever be some of the most important people in your life, so have experiences with them a lot when you're living solo.
Self-care Sunday is always a good idea. When the work week is just hours away, you deserve to spend a day snuggled up in your sweatpants. You could watch reality television all afternoon, or finally use that bath bomb you got for Galentine's Day. The lazy lifestyle is sometimes the best way to recharge and focus on yourself, especially before settling down.
Truth is, when you're in a relationship, you don't get as much time to yourself. The days of brewing yourself a cup of coffee and disconnecting are spent in the company of your significant other. (Although you're totally OK with it, because they're your best cuddle buddy, anyway.) But, you'll want to experience at least one lazy Sunday where it's just you and the couch. Appreciating your alone time will bring you so much happiness now, and in the future.
Doing Some Soul-Searching
You don't need to have everything figured out by the time you settle down. In fact,
not knowing what you want by age 25 is entirely OK. But, you should take time to find yourself and do some soul-searching. It's an experience like no other, because you're suddenly becoming who you're meant to be and discovering what sets your soul on fire.
Personally, I love taking myself to a coffee shop and sitting at the counter with a book of poetry like Rupi Kaur's
Milk and Honey. You may find that traveling solo is more your style, or even volunteering and making new friends. Any situation that changes your perspective and opens your heart and mind to what this world has to offer, will put you on a much-needed path to yourself.
There's so much to learn about love. Falling in love happens differently every time, and so you should never compare two stories as if they were the same. You've probably seen enough romantic comedies by now to know that everything happens for a reason. Some relationships don't work out, but are bittersweet because they teach you something, too.
On your way to finding "the one," you may kiss a lot of frogs and go on some cringe-worthy dates. Embracing those solo experiences will make life feel like an adventure, and will surely bring you so much happiness now and when you do decide to settle down.
There are seriously so many experiences you need to have solo, and every single one should make you smile. You're excited to one day make memories with your soulmate. But for now, don't worry about settling down and share these moments of happiness with simply yourself.