If You’re In Your 20s, This Is The Only Dating Advice You Need To Follow

When I started out as a journalist, a dating coach I interviewed for an article told me that a woman’s 20s are for having fun and that we should only focus on finding lasting love when we hit the big 30. God, I wish I’d listened to her. Here’s why that’s such amazing advice:

  1. There’s plenty of time for seriousness later. Really, it’s not cool to get too serious about guys too soon. They take up so much of your time and energy, and for what? There are lots of more productive, enjoyable things to worry about. Choose your path and dreams, and only THEN let a guy along for the ride.
  2. Dating around helps you figure out your type. Once you date around a bit, you finally realize that the mysterious, moody dudes look cool on TV aren’t really all that fun in real life. Instead of thinking you’re only into one kind of guy, go out there and give them all a test drive. You’ll be surprised at what you find works for you — and knowing will be half the battle down the line when it IS time to settle down.
  3. You learn to love yourself. If you’re so focused on finding love that you totally forget about growing up and loving yourself, you spend your 20s losing yourself, undermining yourself or allowing men to treat you badly. Not cool. Love yourself and what makes you awesome and this will just make your relationships better because you won’t be trying to get some guy’s approval all the time.
  4. You open your eyes to the good stuff. Don’t allow the bad guys to make you jaded or hold you back from having fun. If relationships aren’t fun, they’re not worth it. Instead of thinking that you somehow have to settle for jerks and try to fix toxic relationships, you should take your blinkers off and seen that there are so many other great guys out there worthy of your time.
  5. You don’t waste your precious time. You know the guy who’s stressing you out now? Soon you won’t even remember why you were so wrecked about him. Seriously. But here’s what you will remember: all the time gone to waste on his loser ass. Time waits for no one.
  6. You don’t waste so much makeup on the wrong guys. It might sound silly to say that bad dates are a waste of makeup, but they are. You try so hard to look your best and then you end up stuck with a guy who doesn’t even notice you or makes you cry, wasting your expensive mascara. Have less tolerance for BS and heartache. If your mascara is running after a date and it’s not from tears of laughter, lose the guy.
  7. You learn to love your freedom. It’s a real treasure to be single in your 20s. You’ll never get all these amazing cellulite-free years back, so don’t waste them waiting around for a guy. Go out and do something fun with your BFFs!
  8. You master the art of chill. What’s with the mad rush to find a guy? Have a little faith that an amazing relationship will happen when it’s the right time. You really do have so much time and life is not a race, FFS. The problem is that you think you’re running out of time, but there is no limit to when love can happen. 
  9. You trust yourself. You worry so much about whether or not you can trust the guy you’re dating, but what about trusting yourself? This is the most important thing and if you can ace it in your 20s, you’ll be on the right track. Listen to your gut so that it steers you away from all the relationship BS that you don’t need.
  10. You become open to more. Relationships are not marriages. If you don’t like something that your BF is doing, you really don’t have to stick around with him. Hell no. End things and be with someone who treats you like the goddess you are. The most important thing is to be committed to your wellbeing, more than any guy. Guys will come and go, but you’ll be with you forever.
  11. You know not every guy is supposed to be The One. Thinking you’ve met your soulmate when it’s only been three dates just creates expectations and completely rules out other opportunities. Slow down a little and realize that some great loves don’t have to last. One day, you’ll be so thankful they didn’t.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.