As someone who’s been in plenty of relationships and was even married briefly, I can say — based on personal experience and basic common sense — that there are several more things you need in life more than a guy. Emphasis on several. While having a partner can be great, it doesn’t complete you. In fact, you’re probably already complete on your own, but maybe you just haven’t realized it yet. Here are 11 things you need way more than a relationship:
You need a healthy relationship with yourself. As we’ve been told thousands of times, you can’t truly love someone else until you truly love yourself. Yes, it’s totally cliché, but it’s also totally true. But even if a relationship with someone isn’t on your list of priorities, developing a healthy and loving relationship with yourself is essential to happiness and growth. It’s also something you need far more than a guy.
You need to make your mark. For far too long men have dominated the world. When it came to world-changing breakthroughs or important discoveries, usually it was a man who was behind. But those days are long gone. As a woman, you owe it to all the women before you who fought for the opportunities you have today, by making your mark on the world in whatever way possible.
You need to explore the world independent of someone else. It’s always great to have a partner-in-crime, but it’s not necessary. When you go out and explore the world by yourself, without a guy at home to worry about or with whom to concern yourself, you travel farther, dig deeper, and explore more. You don’t have the constraints that come with being legally bound to another human being and feeling like you need to check in or, even worse, get some sort of permission to leave town at a moment’s notice.
You need your sanity. Most relationships involve a lot of drama and BS, which tend to drive people crazy. This, I’m pretty sure, is a scientific fact. It’s hard to evolve and grow as a person when you have so much BS to deal with. Ditch the idea that you “need” a guy and you ditch the likelihood of unnecessary drama. Who wants to fight over whose turn it is to take out the trash when they could be changing the world for the better? Definitely not you.
You need your freedom. We all define freedom in different ways. For some, it means traveling near and far. For others, it means getting to fall in love several times in your lifetime and relishing in each love with the fervor that would make people think you’re in love for the very first time. Still, for some, it means not having any tangible strings that attachment them to anyone else in the world. I’m not saying a guy will deny you your freedom, at least not in most first world countries, but it will put a damper on just how high you can fly.
You need to challenge yourself. Although a great partner will challenge you, no one will ever challenge you as much as you will challenge yourself. Even if you don’t know what the hell you want to do with your life just yet, it’s that fire in your belly that’s going to challenge you more than your husband. I can pretty much guarantee that.
You need to find a career you love. As I wrote above, this is a great time to be a woman. Sure, there is still so much more work to be done in regards to equality and kicking the patriarchy that often stands in our way to the curb, but it’s definitely a lot better than it used to be. You have the chance to find something you love, want to do, and pursue it. You have the opportunity to create and be part of something extraordinary when you find that career you love. The satisfaction that comes with that is far superior to the satisfaction that comes with having a husband. Anyone can have a husband; not just anyone can change the world.
You need to be happy on your own terms. As it’s been said time and time again, you don’t need a man to be happy. You need to find and own your happiness separate from someone else, and when you find that happiness, you need to not let it go. Ever.
You need to try to figure your life out. In 1997, a columnist at the Chicago Tribune wrote an advice column to the graduating class of that year (it has since become very famous). But of all the bits of advice in it, the one that really resonated with me has always been, “Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.” It’s true. What’s even more true is the fact that it might take a lifetime to figure your life out and not only is that okay, but even if you never figure it all out, the fact that you tried, that you let life take you down a hundred different paths on your quest is definitely more necessary (and fulfilling) than a guy.
You need a great group of supportive friends. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but when it comes to relationships — marriage in particular — there is no guarantee in “happily ever after.” Although divorce rates have dropped according to a 2016 study, the possibility of divorce is still very much there when you get married. That being said, what you need more than a guy is a group of supportive friends who always have your back.
You need to put yourself first. Take it from me: When you’re coupled up, it’s no longer just about you. You don’t get to be selfish when you have a partner because you’re constantly taking someone else into consideration and sometimes that means you go without. Being selfish is liberating; it’s not a bad thing. Being selfish means living your life on your terms which, in many ways, translates to living your best life. If someone calls you selfish for this, it’s probably because they have a boyfriend or husband and never stopped to think that there’s far more to life than tying the knot and being someone’s girlfriend or wife.
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