It’s OK to Settle Down Early (And What I Mean by That)

I can confidently say that VCU would not have been a reality for me without my boyfriend. Trust me, I know how that sounds. It sounds like I am weak, dependent and relying too much on someone else. Fortunately, I am none of those things. In fact, I consider myself pretty dang strong and independent when I need to be. So, if that’s the case, why do I choose to be in a committed relationship instead of “just having fun” and dating around? Why do I choose movie nights and cuddles over parties? Well, let me explain.

First, let me explain what I mean when I say “settling down early." To me, it starts with finding your other half. Not just someone you date for a few weeks, or settling for less than you deserve. It’s finding the person that you truly want to grow with and who will be there when things are tough. Someone to love deeply forever. If you are lucky enough to find them at a young age, like in college, and you decide that you are ready to move in together and are prepared to work through the tough times, then you, my friend, have decided to settle down. This is not me bashing people who party, are single or anything else because those things are okay too! I just want to normalize the idea of young people being truly in love and committed to one another in a world with so many negative views and opinions.

So, what did this look like for me? It was taking a huge leap of faith by coming to VCU and getting an apartment with my longtime boyfriend, Landon. We talked about it for months and went through the whole process of apartment searching and loan finding together. It ultimately made us closer and helped me to grow up and realize that I am at the age where I need to be on my own, but with my best friend by my side to support and love me through the changes.

Why couldn’t I have just done all of this on my own? Having Landon by my side has shown me that you don’t have to do things alone just to prove yourself as strong or independent. You can be those things and be in a relationship. You can do whatever feels right to you. Society doesn’t get to dictate how you choose to live your life. Want to move in together at 19? Do it! Want to get married beforehand? Be my guest! Want to stay single? You do you! Ready to start a family at 22? You go, girl! It’s okay to choose your own path and it’s a shame that society has made us feel otherwise.

Being in your teens and twenties can be a weird and confusing time where everyone is in a different place in their lives. The most important thing to remember is to stay true to yourself and your beliefs and not to let anyone dictate your life. College life is whatever you make it, so make it good!

 

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