Society drills into our heads that when you’re in your 20’s you should be single and enjoying life. You should be focused on you and only you and not worried about having a committed relationship that just may or may not last.
What being 20 and in a committed relationship has taught me is that everything society tells us isn’t necessarily true.
Yes, these are your formative years. Yes, you’re still growing and finding yourself. And yes, you can do that with someone. The whole point of being in a serious relationship is not only finding yourself as an individual but finding yourselves together. You not only figure out what you want personally but what you want in your relationship and where you want to go together. You learn all the important things together, and together you can start a life with the steady support from one another.
I’m 20 years old. That means I had my fun high school years, and had half of my college career to spend too many nights at the bar flirting with guys I barely even knew. At some point you need to learn that there’s more to life than spending your nights at the bar or at a party wasted with a new guy every week. You’ve got a serious boyfriend, you can still have those drunken bar nights, but now you know you’re safe and are guaranteed to have someone to hold your hair back at the end of the night. It doesn’t mean life is over, it doesn’t mean you can’t have anymore fun, it just means you have someone to have fun with.
Your 20’s are probably some of the most stressful years of your life. You go through hell and back and that’s hard to do on your own. It’s so incredibly comforting to know that if you’re having a rough day, your significant other is going to be there to hear all the details. If you’re stressed, you have an automatic go to. You’ll never be alone in anything you’re doing.
All the things you should be doing when you’re single and in your 20’s you can be doing when you’re in a committed relationship in your 20’s. It doesn’t mean you’re restricted to living by the rules of someone else. You can still be spontaneous and do whatever you feel like doing. You can still travel; you just now have a guaranteed travel partner. You can spend that quality time with your friends and family when you want it. Your boyfriend will have his own relationships; you can have yours. You’re allowed to have your own life, your own career.
What people don’t understand is that being 20 and in a committed relationship doesn’t mean you’re selling your soul to someone else and giving away your entire life, it means you have your sights set on a happy future. It means you have all these wants, wishes, and dreams, and that you have someone to share them with.
Being 20 and in a committed relationship has changed me for the better. I’m more career driven than I used to be. Instead of relying on my parents for money that I just wasted at the bar, I’m now working and saving money to travel the world. Instead of having that 2.7 GPA, I’ve got that 3.5 GPA. Instead of hounding my roommate with all my work and school problems, I have a boyfriend who happily listens to my every word. If you are single and in your 20’s that’s okay, but I just want you to know that if you’re 20 and in a committed relationship, that’s okay too. It doesn’t mean your life is over, it means your life is just starting, and you’re starting it with someone you love.