Twenty Something Advice: Don’t Let Love Swallow Your Independence, Spend Time Learning What You Are Like When You Are Single

Thursday marks the continuation of the guest post series on Twenty Something Advice. Today’s guest post is written by Blonde Features, a 23 year old just trying to figure out life. She says she is “trying not to lose my tan, the beach, and my blonde hair in Washington.”

Love in your 20’s can be a very confusing thing. My best friend has just gone through an awful break up. At 22, she spent 5 years (all of college) with her boyfriend and the most important advice I feel that I have given her and what I would tell every 20 something is: The most important thing you can do for yourself is to spend time learning about who you are as an independent person and be comfortable being single.

I am a loving person, I love being in a relationships, but after being in one relationship for 3 years and another for 2 years I made it a point to be on my own. I found it extremely challenging and lonely but after spending two years single I learned how important it is to value yourself as an independent adult. This is the time in our lives to ask ourselves, “What do I want out of life? What do I want to accomplish before I die? How do I want the world to look at me? What is important to me?”. These are difficult to answer alone and more so when you have someone who is always around. How can you expect to be introspective when you are in a relationship and always thinking about someone else?

I have been in love twice, I have been single and I know that I have met “the ONE.” It wasn’t easy but I learned a lot in the process. I met him freshmen year of college. I was only 18. We dated for two years and I struggled in college trying to balance him, while trying to flourish in a new environment where I was on my own for the first time and I couldn’t have both. We broke up and I transferred schools, needing space to grow. And I did grow. While I missed him every day of the next two years when we were apart, I did a lot of growing up. I was single, I met new people, I met new friends, I learned about being lonely, being alone, and finally being happy and being alone. I kept him in a corner of my mind every day but not having him to lean on, caused me to venture out, do more things, pursue the things I love. I don’t believe it is impossible to accomplish these things when you are in a relationship, but I believe for me, I needed to spend that time alone, to force myself to get out there because I couldn’t just stay home and watch a movie alone on a Friday night and not feel lonely. I had to go to that party where that nice girl from my class had invited me to, I took up surfing so I didn’t spend Saturday afternoons always studying, I got a job and really pursued my interests of event planning. Those are the most important things I learned being single and I would never take any of that back.

My story ends happily every after. At the end of senior year in college, after two years of complete silence between “The One” and I, I finally cracked the ice. I was ready for him and for what he meant to me and my life. I sent him a note for his birthday, just a token that even after 2 years I was still thinking of him. He responded with the love letter I always hoped would be there when I was ready. The one where he told me he missed me everyday, his life was not complete without me, and that I was his “One.” We have been back together for 2 years since that heart-stopping moment. But I know things would never have worked if I had let my love swallow my independence and that is what I would hope for every 20 year old. Be Independent, Take “Me” time now before “Family” time takes over later in life. Learn to Make Yourself Smile Before You Try to Make Someone Else Smile!

Hope that helps!! I still struggle with being 20something everyday, but I hope what I learned will help someone else! Good Luck!

-Blonde Features

I love having this series being primarily guest posts because I love getting other 20somethings views on life, life and the whole crazy thing. Though I did my single, independent time in a different order than blonde features I completely agree with her. I very much believe life in your twenties is about figuring out what it is you really want for your future. I would like to add one thing it is important also to keep your independence even when you are in a relationship. This seems pretty obvious but I have seen several women, especially young women, lose themselves by trying to change themselves for their guy.

What do you guys think?

Be sure to check out Blonde Features blog.

If you’d like to contribute to the advice series you can contact me on 20something Bloggers.

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5 thoughts on “Twenty Something Advice: Don’t Let Love Swallow Your Independence, Spend Time Learning What You Are Like When You Are Single

  1. I’m with you on this one.

    A month away from 26 myself, over recent years I have seen friends marry their long-term partners and although I envy their love and stability that I see on the outside, I can’t help but to imagine and mourn the loss of their own youth – that they will never travel on their own, live on their own, and all the rest of the trials and tribulations of being a single girl.

    Myself, I haven’t spent much time IN relationships – over the years I’ve had TWO x 6 month relationships. The last one was almost 3 years ago. I date as much as I can. I feel like I know myself SOOO much better than I did during those times I was with someone – I hid behind them and put my energy into the relationship, rather than my own self and identity.

    Nowadays, I still wander around a bit, but I know who I am and I know what I want. I just don’t know WHERE THE HECK HE IS!?

  2. I agree with the advice of enjoy being single, figure out who you are and also don’t lose your independence when you’re in a relationship. Yet at the same time, with out sounding cynical and bitter…..I think everyone should keep an open mind as to what a “happy ending” should be. Besides, there is no such thing as a happy ending, it would be a happy beginning :o)…and it’s not necessarily written in the cards for everyone to get married and have 2.5 kids with a minivan and a dog and cat,and that’s ok,too.:o)

  3. Your comment at the end rings most true for me, it’s important to keep your independence when in a relationship as well as learn it while out of a relationship. While there should be compromise, I’ve fallen victim in the past of thinking that by keeping elements of my independence (I have to have time to create things/be creative or I’ll go mad) I was doing something wrong. It’s simply not true.

    Good guest post :)

    @Tanja – 2.5 kids? What does that entail?

  4. I myself am in a 3 year relationship. I am confident that he is the “one” but after the first year or so of the relationship, I felt I was losing myself a bit. It just so happened that I was offered a great internship in a city 8 hours away. I decided to take it, and have since taken a FT job in that same city. The long-distance works because we are so confident and trusting of each other, and we know it is only until he finishes his degree. But this distance has allowed me to grow as an individual. Sure, he is only a phone call away and still my best friend, but when it comes to making things happen for me, I have only myself to rely on. I have made new friends, joined new organizations, and spent my alone time learning as much as I can about myself. In a way, I’ve gotten the best of both worlds. I am happier and more confident in who I am, and I know that it will help us both in the long run.

    I really enjoyed this post!

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