Young, independent, and . . . committed? Yep, you heard that right. This is a declaration for anyone who's in a long-term relationship in their 20s and has felt pressure to "see what else is out there." Some people think that being in a relationship in your 20s makes no sense at all. They assume you're wasting away your youth; however, I couldn't disagree more.
I've been with my boyfriend for almost three years. Since we've been together, I've studied abroad, lived alone, and still go out and have fun with my girlfriends. As a couple, we've traveled around Southeast Asia, gone to music festivals, and lived life like every other 20-something — we just happen to be in a relationship. I have a sense of stability that allows me to focus on my career rather than wasting energy worrying about if that guy will text me back or if I'll ever fall in love.
Some of the most self-sufficient and motivated women I know happen to be in committed relationships as well. I asked them to share all the reasons they love having a significant other and compiled a list of perks below:
- You can still experience the fun that a single person has (like studying abroad and going out with friends) while getting the benefits of a long-term significant other.
- You've already found what most people spend their whole lives searching for — someone who truly understands you.
- You have someone who knows and loves you during a time when you're constantly learning and growing.
- The laughter is deeper, the sex is better, and the affection is stronger in a committed relationship compared to a casual fling.
- You're constantly reassured of your talents and aspirations. It's like having a personal 24/7 cheerleader.
- Your family won't constantly bug you to see if you're dating anyone — they already know and love him.
- From an early age (relatively speaking), you learn about what's really important to you in a partner and what it takes to work toward a successful relationship.
- Being able to fully trust someone is so important when trying to figure out your life.
- At the end of the day, there will always be someone waiting for you.
- While friends are telling you about all the immature guys they meet on Tinder or at bars, you don't have to deal with jerks on a weekly basis.
- Monogamy equals reduced risk of STDs.
- You have someone who reminds you every day how much they love every part of you.
- You teach each other new things, adventure together, and tackle challenges together.
- You can increase the status of your relationship slowly, without the pressure to jump into marriage that can come later in life.
- It's nice to know someone is always looking out for you, there to drunkenly dance with you, and make sure you get home safely.
- You have a confidante, best friend, and lover, all wrapped into one.
- You have someone to take to your awkward family gatherings.
- Even when you're without makeup and wearing sweats, he makes you feel beautiful.
- You don't have to juggle dating and your career. You have more time to focus on your professional goals and ambitions.
- Whether you marry or not, you've had way more practice being in a serious relationship than someone who only dated around until their late 20s.
- Doing the most mundane things like going grocery shopping or heating up leftovers becomes instantly more fun with a partner by your side.
- You have a support system during those years after college when close friends might be superbusy or spread all across the country.
- You can stay in without feeling the pressure to go out. But on the nights you do go out, you don't have to fake nice to the drunken guys at the bar because he's there. It's a win-win situation!
- You help recognize each other's flaws and push each another to become a better person.
- When your single friends complain that they can't find a normal, nice guy and wish they had someone like your guy, you feel lucky to have found someone so wonderful.
- You can be yourself at all times, to be good and to be not so good, and to have someone every step of the way encourage you, laugh with you, reassure you, challenge you — in a word, love you.