I spent most of my teens and early twenties in romantic relationships and they were a giant waste of time. I’d like to find a long-term partner one day, sure, but in the meantime, I have so many more important things to accomplish.
As cheesy as it sounds, our 20s are supposed to be about self-discovery. After college and before we start popping out kids (if we ever decide to do so) is the ideal time to figure out what the hell we want to do with our lives. Unless the person we’re in a relationship with has the exact same life goals as we do, it’s pretty hard to do that when you’re seriously dating someone. I want to figure out what I love, what I hate, and who I am with total freedom.
This is the last time in my life that will be all about me. In high school, I had to do whatever my parents wanted, and if I end up with children and a spouse later in life, I’m going to have to incorporate them into my plans too. Our 20s are essentially the only time we can do whatever we want without having to consider anyone else. I want to take advantage of that.
Life’s short—I want to be able to be spontaneous. I’m talking everything from taking a last-minute weekend road trip to deciding that I want pizza for dinner instead of whatever I’d originally planned to eat. Dating someone means having to plan for a whole separate person too and I’m just not feeling that right now. Sure, I could potentially find a partner who’s also spontaneous, but I’m too busy living to look for one.
Now’s the time to have big dreams and then go out and make them happen. Man, that sounds cheesy too, but it’s true. Before my last year of college, I traveled around Europe for the first time and fell madly in love with Barcelona. I decided I wanted to move there and work in a hostel because it sounded like fun. After I graduated university, that’s exactly what I did. That would have been hard to do had I been in a relationship at the time.
I want to see and experience everything there is to see and experience in the world. I’ve gotten pretty good at traveling on a budget by myself, but if I do eventually end up with children, I’ll have to pay for airfare, hotel, food, and activities for them too, and that adds up quickly. I do think parents who travel the world with their children are badass, but they probably also have more money than I’ll ever have with a journalism degree.
I want to see what’s out there. My most recent relationship wasn’t monogamous, but I still felt like I was tied down. I still had to tell my partner whenever I was going to go on a date with someone else, and I could mostly only do that when either my partner or I was out of town. I want to go on dates whenever I want, with whoever I want, and have lots of stories to look back on and laugh at when I’m older.
Settling down feels like something you do when you’re older, not in your twenties. When I was 16, I was in a serious relationship with someone who talked about being together “forever.” I used to worry that we were going to end up getting married shortly after high school and then I’d suddenly wake up one day and be 40 years old only knowing what it was like to kiss and have sex with one specific person. I’d end up resenting my significant other and it would be a disaster. Maybe I was getting a little ahead of myself, but I see what my point was and I still agree.
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