Single in your 20s

The decade of your twenties is a busy one. For most, it includes attending and graduating college, first jobs, first apartments, and a lot of growing up. A few of my classmates got married or engaged right after we graduated, and at 22 I felt shocked. I couldn’t even figure out what I wanted to do with my life or which city I wanted to live in, let alone think of forever with someone.

For those of us who haven’t found someone we’re ready to be with forever, that’s okay. Being single in your twenties can be hard – it’s lovely to have someone to go on dates with, share holidays with, and just be with. Single-dom can also be lonely when you’re the only one of your friends who is flying solo. Watching people fall in love can feel like sitting on the sidelines.

Don’t let it be. You don’t have to be with someone to have a life, all you need is to live your life. Don’t sit around waiting for that moment when someone shows up and is the one. Your twenties are a time for exploration, growth and learning. If you want to find someone to be with, go on dates, join a pick-up soccer team or volunteer or develop a hobby. More than likely, you’ll meet people who have mutual interests and you’ll develop a friendship or a relationship, as well as learn something new and even discover something about yourself.

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If you don’t want to find someone right now, then don’t. Explore your new neighborhood, make work connections and friendships, learn to build a life that you love living. That’s the secret to growing up to enjoy the life you have – do what you love and do it for yourself.

I can’t wait to celebrate with my friends at their weddings and watch their love continue to grow. But right now, I enjoy being on my own because it gives me a chance to grow and explore and learn about myself, even if I do get lonely sometimes.

A few reasons why it’s OK to be single in your 20s:

1) For most of us, we’re just starting out on this “adulthood” adventure, and it takes time to grow into it.

2) It’s important to be able to be by yourself, to develop your interests and yourself as an individual, and you’ll be a better partner to someone in the future if you know yourself.

3) You can take job opportunities – such as a promotion that requires you to relocate, and pick-up and go more easily.

4) You’re not tied down so you can take risks, such as switching to a new job in a new city or taking time to travel.

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5) You can watch whatever you want on Netflix – no judgment and no need for compromise.

Just know, that marriage is not a race down the aisle. What’s right for you and what’s right for someone else may not be the same thing, and someone else’s success or achievement is not your shortcoming.

Now is the time to try new things, to date people, to fall in love or fall out of love, to make new friends and learn new skills, to take up a new hobby or build a better relationship with your parents, your friends, and your self.

The time to date and be in a relationship will come. For some, it is now, for others it’s tomorrow, and for many more, it’s a ways down the road. Being single in your twenties is not a hindrance; it’s an opportunity to set yourself free to explore your own heart.