The Best Singlehood Advice For Your Early 20s, According To 7 Women

There's a reason the media has given us so many TV shows about single women in their 20s: It's fun! It's a time in your life when you can stay out late, meet new people, and create your own adventures. If you want to make the most out the magical post-collegiate years, learn from women who have been there and are open to giving you their best singlehood advice for your early 20s.

In your early 20s, you might find yourself living on your own for the first time, navigating your career, and missing cafeteria food (just kidding!). You might also find yourself single — and that's OK! Rom-coms tell you that singlehood is a stepping stone to finding the love of your life, but that is in no way true. Singlehood is actually an amazing time to learn about who you are and what you like. Whether you want to end up in a relationship or you want to continue to explore, being single in your early 20s can be a formative experience. It can also be scary — you're experiencing so many 'firsts', which can sometimes feel isolating. With that comes excitement and love — you and your friends are out there experiencing adulthood together for the first time, and you're going to have a blast.

Read on for some critical advice on singlehood in your early 20s from women who've been there (and came out on the other end alive!).

Learning Experiences

I 100 percent learned so much being single. I've learned not to settle for less. I've learned what type of qualities I want in a person and as a result, instilled a few of those qualities in myself. I've learned to enjoy my own company and the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. After a few dates, it's easy to spot who's ready for a relationship and which guys are clearly not. I've learned how to become a better person overall and to surround myself with people who also have great qualities by having a solid group of girlfriends. Know your worth. Put yourself out of your comfort zone. Travel. Meet new people and make new friends. Walk away from anything or anyone that isn't helping you become a better version of yourself. Develop hobbies and interests (this is an important one).

— Malini, 23

Expose Yourself

Try to meet as many people as you can. This will help you in every year — not just dating, but work, friendship, life, everything. The more people you expose yourself to, the more you learn about yourself and what you like

— Maura, 31

Don't Force It

I forced a few relationships in my 20s I shouldn't have. My early 20s were plagued with a sense of being alone, so being single for me was never that enjoyable. In my mid-20s, I was single for long gaps, but I'm not too hung up on these moments. Rather, I'm glad I spent some time alone and worked on myself. I guess my advice would be to make the most of the things you enjoy, embrace new experiences, and spend a lot of time with old friends in addition to making new ones.

— Britt, 30

Get To Know Your Number One

In my 20s, I was hardly single. And in my 30s, I am learning the importance of getting to know myself to be a better partner. But um, I know myself now so, hello, I’m ready.

— Jessica, 31

Sex, Drugs, And Being In Your 20s

I can’t imagine trying to seriously date in my 20s, when I had no idea who the I was as a person. I’ve never had a pregnancy scare or an STI (not even HPV, thanks Gardasil!) and after some 20 or so partners, I have a good idea what works for me sexually and intimately. I had the want and energy for a 'sex and drugs and rock and roll' lifestyle in my 20s, and I'm so glad I lived that way. Now, approaching 30, I’m into early nights in, movies at home or at the theater, gardening, cooking, going to therapy, etc. With the slowed-down comes wanting to date more seriously. Just trust your gut, young bloods. The best thing I learned being single in my 20s was how to be alone. No breakup is catastrophic or devastating. It’s sad at most, but it just is.

— Emily, 29

Figure Out What You Want

I was single in my early 20s, and I’m really glad that I was. Singlehood was an opportunity not just to focus on myself and my goals, but also to meet and date enough people to know what I’m looking for. Because of that time, I now have a clearer idea of the type of person I want a relationship with. It feels like your early 20s are a great time for that process of elimination because you’re more open and impressionable in terms of who you let into your life.

— Caitie, 26

You Are Enough

The only person worth fixing in my relationships was myself. I cannot count the times I tried to rescue other people when I could have used all that doting attention and care myself. Turns out, almost everything I wanted in a partner, I contain myself. I couldn't see that at first.

— Ngoc, 25

Your early 20s are a magical time. You'll stay up late, fall in love with people, fall out of love with them, and — most importantly — fall in love with yourself (and hopefully stay there forever). Armed with the advice of women who have been in your shoes, you're now ready to conquer singlehood!