It’s easy to get wrapped up in what you feel (or what society tells you to feel) or perceive to be a normal path. You leave school, go to college, meet the man of your dreams, fall in love and get married at 25, right? Well, not always.
Over time, this outlook has shifted; our grandparents found partners at a young age and launched into marriage before war separated them.
Our parents were free-spirited, with lives full of hope and opportunity. They sought love a little later than their parents did.
As for us? We have shifted even further away from what history tells us is normal. Somehow, though, our expectations to find love early and settle down are still very much in tact.
In my early 20s, it seemed as if the majority of my friends were settling down, falling in love and moving in with their boyfriends.
I felt like I was being left behind, that I needed to be in a relationship and I needed to keep up with my peers. If only I knew then how much changes through the course of our 20s.
It may seem like your friends are entering the next phase of their lives — and many are — but a lot of relationships don’t work out and a lot of your friends who are in relationships may eventually start wondering what else is out there. After all, the grass is always greener… or so we think.
As a product of how much people change throughout this period, I’ve come to realize that it’s not such a bad thing to wait, to find out who you are first and to find love later.
So while you’re figuring this out, you might as well enjoy being single. Here are 20 ways to do just that:
1. Be spontaneous.
This may be one of the only times in your life when you can do whatever you want, when you want and not be restricted by someone else’s desires.
It’s one of the best ways to discover who you are; you’ll meet lifelong friends and make lifetime memories along the way.
3. Spend as much quality time with friends and family as you can.
Having another person in your life leaves less time for others you love, so make the most of being able to give current loved ones as much of your time now as you can.
4. Watch rom-coms and binge watch “Girls” and “Sex and the City” because you can.
5. Work hard, play harder and take time in between to reflect.
Your only responsibility is yourself, so enjoy having time to focus on what you want.
6. Learn to be okay alone.
You’ll get to know yourself better and it’s a quality you’ll need throughout your life.
7. Go on as many dates as you want.
The more, the better because the more guys you get to know, the easier it will be to know when you’ve found the right one.
8. Did I mention travel? You must travel!
9. Read hundreds of really great novels.
It’ll expand your knowledge and provide you with life lessons that will help to guide you along the way.
10. Figure out what your values are because eventually, you’ll realize how important it is to find a partner who shares those values.
11. Experience what life has to offer -- get out there and do it.
Appreciate being young and free because eventually, when you do settle down, you’ll feel far more content and have less of a desire to look back. You’ll be ready for the next phase if you make the most of your youth.
12. When you get into bed, lie right in the middle, starfish-style because one day, you’ll only have one side.
13. Enjoy the freedom of being able to make decisions based solely on what you want.
This right once belonged to your parents and soon, you’ll make decisions with your partner. But right now, you hold all of the power.
14. Buy the expensive bag or the overpriced shoes you love.
Eventually, your hard-earned money will have to go towards more important, less exciting things. Right now, however, it’s all yours. Treat yourself.
15. Stay out late and sleep in as long as you like — who’s judging?
16. Figure out what you enjoy most and use any spare time you have to focus on it.
Learn to surf, get fit, write a book and take advantage of the time you have. It belongs to you and no one else.
17. Move to a new city.
If there’s nothing tying you down to where you currently live, don’t waste the chance to experience a new place, new people and new challenges. Home will always be there for you when you need it.
18. Be a “yes” person.
You have more space in your life now than you ever will; don’t let any opportunity pass you by.
19. As cliché as it is, try not to look for love.
It will only distract you from what you could be enjoying during the here and now… just let it happen.
20. Do all of this and more.
One day, when you’re telling your children about life in your 20s, you will be able to tell them how much you truly lived and how ready you were when you brought them into the world.