“So, is there anyone in your life yet?”, and they proceed to wink.
We all know those ones. The persistent relatives that continuously ask you if there is anyone in your life at the moment, horrified at the mere thought of you shaking your head no. They bring on their speech about the importance of finding someone to build a life with and mumble a lot about the biological clock.
Sometimes it feels like the joyous twenties revolves solely around dating or lack of it. Why not ask me about my educational progress? Or about my career? Or how about if I figured who I am as a person yet? Why is it that the first thing that defines me is my dating life?
This is not a piece meant to rant about women not needing men or that being single is better for female power. I know plenty of people in incredibly happy and equal relationships that are empowered by their significant other.
This is more a piece inspired by an epiphany. A sort of self-reflection; finding myself if you will.
At times it may feel like I’m coming off as picky or cocky in the dating scene but that’s alright with me. I have stopped caring what people think of me long ago. The point of the matter is that I refuse to settle for a mediocre relationship just to please others. I don’t care who it’s pleasing, if that person isn’t me. I could deal with a mediocre sandwich or a mediocre outfit. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity and unremarkable things. But a relationship? Love? The person you’re going to be with for the rest of your life?
That should not be mediocre.
When you choose this special person, you’re choosing a lot of things with it. The person you will be parenting with, that will influence and inspire your children to raise them to be incredible human beings. The person you’ll be eating most of your meals with for the remainder of time. Meals should be enjoyed, not rushed through. Enjoy the company you’re with. This is the person you’ll be going on most of your vacations with from that point on. The person you’ll spend your days off with. The person you’ll be with after retirement. The person who will help you out with work, remind you to do what you love, and sit by your side searching Red Tag for your next vacation in rougher times when they could see how miserable you are because of work at that moment. The person you’ll tell about your day to all the time and will tell you about theirs just as much.
This person will be your eternal life partner.
That’s intense, binding stuff. Why settle? Especially in your twenties!
Find yourself first. Be able to figure out who it is you want to be. Take the time to love yourself because it is not possible to love another human being wholly until you do. Stop being so occupied with every male that walks by that is a possible contender. It’s not a marketplace and men are not assorted on an aisle with ingredients and labels for a quick pick.
Take your time. Pace yourself. No doubt that dating is a part of your twenties. Have fun with it occasionally. I have many dating horror stories that I could sit and giggle about with my girls on a night out. You learn from it too. The guys that repulse you will make you realize what you do not want to settle for. Some will be cool and you’ll hit it off but without any passion – you just click as friends. I’ve had a few of those. Then comes the moments with people that don’t see you as their equal, or don’t appreciate you, or it’s simply bad timing. Test the waters. There are many fish in the sea – just don’t stop hunting until you find the fish that is your sea. Don’t settle for mediocre! Don’t settle for someone that you talk to about the weather. I want to hear about your beliefs, your passions, and your fears. I want to know about your childhood and what moments made you who you are today. I want someone I could click with emotionally, intellectually, and physically.
I don’t need to hear the dreaded “How could you possibly be single, you’re such a great catch!” I’m not a sad ugly duckling waiting for a man to find and save me. I’ll spread my wings as a single bird as long as I wish, be whoever it is I want to be. I don’t want to hear that “I have so much time, I’m still young.” I know I’m young. That is especially why it is silly that people put some crazed rush on marriage sometimes. It’s not a race. There’s no expiry date. Whatever happens just does.
Ultimately it comes down to this: I don’t want to settle and suffocate in some normal relationship. Call me crazy for wanting some epic love story but I do. Marriage is a path for some and good on them. However, I have seen friends and family settle down quickly and get divorced within months. Why put yourself through that? Why rush through life so fast? Take whatever path you want but don’t rush it. Life is too short to be making mistakes that were only made because you feel like you’re ‘behind’ in life. There is nothing wrong with taking a little longer in school, taking a little longer getting an established career, travelling (or not), dating, getting married, and starting a family (or not). At the end of the day, there are so many paths in life. Enjoy the ride. The best part about life is the journey, not the ending.