Something that’s been on my mind lately is the fact that it seems like everyone around me is either getting engaged or getting married. So many people I know are making serious moves in the dating world, and even though I’m seriously happy for them, I’m getting sick of the dating questions I always get. Countless people ask if I’m seeing anyone, or when I think I’ll get married (hello, I need to be dating someone first), and I can’t even tell you how often I hear “you’re going to meet the love of your life at law school and get married and never return to CA.” I mean, never say never, but also, I’m not banking on this. I actually like being single. This may be shocking, but some women in their 20s don’t mind being single. This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re closed minded to meeting someone, but unless the person really stands out, I’m okay just working through school and doing my thing. Powerful women are okay, single women are okay, and driven women are okay. But anyway, I wanted to share some thought about why it’s completely okay to be single in your 20s if you haven’t met anyone or aren’t even looking!
Don’t feel discouraged when you are single, instead embrace it. I feel like being single in college was one of the best things for me. In high school, I dated or liked someone really often. I felt like I needed a significant other or I was doing something wrong. How immature that thinking was. I did the most learning about myself, and became more confident in who I was when I was single in college. I focused on my girlfriends, and I focused on being happy and being content with being myself. I focused on my goals, and got to a point where I didn’t want to compromise anything for anyone. I wanted to make decisions that felt right with myself. Going to law school was a big decision, and I knew that if I was in a relationship, I would have had factors I didn’t want (like how close or far I would be from my boyfriend, or how to deal with long distance or whatever factors come with having to factor someone in). In season 7 of Gilmore Girls, Rory and Logan have this big talk about factoring each other in when making decisions about jobs and graduate stuff. I knew that was a conversation I didn’t want to have, as in I didn’t want to factor in anyone but myself and my family. I liked having to only answer to myself.
Now, when people ask me about dating in college, I say to keep it casual, keep it to a minimum, and to focus on yourself! Your twenties are your time to be selfish. Enjoy the time to yourself! Learn about yourself, learn about the world, travel, eat good food, drink good coffee, do what makes you happy. You do not need a significant other or counterpart to complete you. When I talk about this, I say, when I meet someone who really catches my attention, I’ll date them or see where it goes, I’m not opposed to the opposite sex, but I’m also not dependent on it either. I will date someone when I feel like I should or want to see where something goes, but I am also completely okay being single, and not in a rush to date. Again, if you meet someone you want to date, date them! If nobody is catching your eye, stay single. Don’t rush or force a relationship because you feel like you should be in one. The last relationship I had, I wanted a boyfriend, I wanted someone to call my boyfriend, so I ignored the red flags and pushed myself in to something that wasn’t healthy and ended poorly. Sure, the experience gave me a lot of perspective, and showed me what I definitely did not want, but it also turned me off to dating just long enough for me to realize the positives of single life.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I like having a boyfriend. I like the idea of going on dates, having someone to talk to, or be romantic with, and whatnot. But I also don’t want a boyfriend that doesn’t make me ridiculously happy or doesn’t treat me well. So, I wait. I will say I think the dating culture for 20 somethings right now makes it difficult to find what I see myself having. If I decided tomorrow I wanted to start dating, and I DO NOT mean hooking up, but actually dating, the kind of dinner and movie shenanigans most people treat as the most archaic practice, even more than what we see in Game of Thrones, I think it’d be tricky. Most people my age don’t want to seriously date, and it’s sort of like, why buy the cow when you get the milk for free? If so many people partake in hookup culture, there’s no point in a guy trying to date a girl. I’m not saying there aren’t men who want to date seriously, but they’re harder and harder to come by.
So, if someone comes along that really just makes you want to date, go ahead and go for it. But it’s also completely okay to stay single in your 20s and do all the things you want to do without having someone romantic. There’s nothing worse than getting caught up in a relationship and then feeling like maybe you missed out or resenting the relationship if it doesn’t work out and you put yourself on hold during its duration. It’s okay to put yourself first, and live life, and be happy. Do what feels right, and live each day as best as you can!