The Pros and Cons of Being Single in your 20s

With some people, being single sometimes has a negative connotation, and in some situations? Sure, that’s fair. Like when you go home with that creepy/not so hot/desperate guy from the bar because, let’s face it, you’ve been on a dry spell and you’re 4 shots deep. Or you consistently have to RSVP for one to every wedding you’re invited to with a plus one because you’re still not in a serious enough relationship to commit to bring a guest, and the person you’ve been non-exclusive with  has also been non-exclusive with several other people.

BUT, aside from the drawbacks of being single, there are a lot of positive aspects as well. Here’s my list:

PROS:

  • Being more independent
    • Not that you can’t be independent with a significant other, it’s just more probable that you have to be independent while single. Actually, it’s kind of forced upon you. Sometimes your friends and family aren’t always around to do certain things and you conform to a lifestyle of only relying on yourself for company or a good time, which can be fundamental for various situations in life. Independence is good.
  • Time with friends
    • Let’s be honest, you’re going to have more time for your friends when you’re single. You’re more than likely more inclined to go out and get drunk with your friends on the weekends, there’s no decision making between his or her group of friends, and when you wake up hungover in the morning, you go get drunk again with your friends. In contrast, when you’re in a relationship, things can be a bit different; the decision to stay in on the weekends is definitely easier because you have someone to stay in with, which is fair, but you also now have two different friend groups and two families to divide free time with, which ultimately decreases the time you would usually dedicate to friends. I’m just gonna say it- I think people have more of an appreciation for their friends when you’re single.
  • Your focus is sharpened
    • Your focus on things in general, but also your focus on you and only you, is sharpened to the clearest point. You have yourself to look out for, so your discovery of self-love reaches its highest point, which is daunting. You have more time to focus on being a better version of yourself, more focus on your career and goals, and more focus on anything, really. Relationships can sometimes be distracting between jealousies and disagreements, and being single allows you to be more selfish which I think is more than acceptable in your 20s.
  • Meeting and experiencing new or different people
    • Of course you can meet new people while in a relationship, but you have to admit it’s more difficult. There are boundaries and lines you have to be conscious of, certain plans you can’t commit to, and there’s an awareness of which conversations are acceptable or not. It’s much easier to meet new people when single. Also, being able to experience new people, not just  strictly in a sexual way, but in a friendly manner, is definitely rewarding and beneficial in early adulthood.
  • No bullshit
    • There’s no perfect relationship, that’s common knowledge. But sometimes while listening to my friends bitch about the dumb things their boyfriends did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, all I can think is “wow, I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with this bullshit.”

With all that being said, I’m sure there are a lot of people thinking I have it all wrong, especially those in relationships, but let me stop you there. There are also a lot of cons to this lifestyles as well.

Cons:

  • Not having plans
    • When you’re only other single friend has plans without you, you may as well just stay on your couch all night, find something to watch on Netflix, and order a pizza because more than likely, you won’t have any other plans. All your other friends are either staying in with their boyfriends or going out with their friends or families. Buzz kill.
  • Constantly dodging questions regarding your relationship status
    • “So, are you dating anyone?” No, mom, and the answer hasn’t changed since you last asked me just a few short weeks ago. Maybe it’s a generational thing since most of our parents were probably married, or at least dating each other at our age, that they find it so abnormal when we’re not on the verge of marriage and babies. But yeah, the question get very old, very quick.
  • Dry spells
    • As nice as it is to have the ability to spontaneously make out with different people, the opportunity doesn’t always occur and there are periods of time when you almost convince yourself you’re a virgin because it’s been so long since you’ve had sex. Inappropriate? Sure. False? Hell no.
  • Wanting to go out but also wanting to stay in
    • It’s so hard to force yourself to sit in on a Friday or Saturday night if you’re not working or have no one else to spend the night with. Sometimes, there’s nothing I want more than to just stay in and watch TV or read, but then the creeping voice inside my head that calls me a loser speaks up and I force myself to go out because society makes me feel pressured to do so. But, when you have a significant other, you can silence these pressures and have someone to cuddle up on the couch with.
  • ‘Ms. Megan Keough accepts with pleasure.. and I’ll take the chicken’
    • As I touched on briefly in my opening, it does become a tad depressing when you have no one to bring as your date to a wedding when you’re invited with a guest. I don’t want to bring just anyone and I won’t, but I guess it would be nice to be able to invite someone so I could get both the fish and the chicken. And also not be the reason there’s an odd number of people at the table…

So, there’s a lot of ifs and buts, pros and cons, and probably a lot of arguments surrounding these points. But either way, cheers to all you single people and cheers to all of you in relationships!

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Love Yourself

Valentine’s Day is, in my opinion, an overrated holiday filled with unnecessary expenses like flowers and chocolates that are overly priced this time of year due to the high demand. Oh, and don’t forget the $5 card from Hallmark that your significant other will most likely toss in the trash a week from now. However, the holiday holds a respectable meaning behind it, which is obviously love. A day to celebrate love, appreciation and gratefulness… kind of sounds like a similar holiday we already celebrate in November, but it’s fine.  Here ends my negativity towards the holiday, and why I now view it as more than just a day for people in relationships, which is what society has come to depict it as.

First off, Valentine’s Day was a lot cooler when the whole class was your Valentine. Everyone got a cute little card and a bag of candy, and your teacher would throw you a party with enough junk food to make you sick. February 14th used to be a lot easier and fun as a kid, then it got weird and hyped up in high school and college, but now it’s becoming pretty cool again.

As someone who has a lot of friends in relationships, it makes my heart so happy to see them in love not just today, but everyday.  And to see my guy friends step up to the plate for the day? Refreshing.

This year, according to other blogs and social media accounts I follow, the trend of “Galentine’s Day” is becoming progressively popular, which I think is awesome. Your girlfriends are the ones who let you bitch to them about the same things over and over again, talk you off the ledge when you have drinker’s remorse, drink a bottle of wine with you in the middle of the week just because, shop with you, kill the dance floor with you, and probably hold your hair back while throwing up after a long night out. WHY NOT appreciate these lovely ladies in your life on Valentine’s Day, they’re basically holding you together like glue! And to all of my girlfriends out there, and you know who you are, I love you to the moon & back.

I’m also feeling a lot of love for myself today as I recently started a new job in a  full-time position, finding my daily routine, planning exciting things for later in the year, and above all else, finding the happiness I deserve. Sometimes we don’t appreciate ourselves enough, so today can also be a day to reflect on the person you are and think about all the things you love about yourself. Be as conceited and self-absorbed as you want today, we deserve it.

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So, whoever you are, go out and treat yourself tonight! Whether it’s a bottle of wine, a pizza, dessert, a scratch off (guilty pleasure), or whatever it is you love, go get it! Because you are loved, appreciated and beautiful, and you definitely don’t need a life size teddy bear or flowers to tell you that. Love yourself, today and everyday.

Happy V-Day everyone, cheers!

Post Grad Dating

If you thought finding a boyfriend in college was hard, you’re obviously still in college because trying to find a boyfriend once you’ve graduated is near impossible.
In college you’re constantly being exposed to new people, even if none of them fit your criteria for prince charming, at least you’ve got options. Once you’ve graduated, a lot of these outlets for meeting people disappear; so how’s a gal supposed to find a boyfriend now? The options don’t seem too promising: you can start dating one of your friends, hope to be introduced to a friend of a friend, meet someone randomly at a bar, or resort to apps like Tinder and Bumble. Neither of these options guarantees you’ll end up with a winner either.

Most of my guy friends would probably make great boyfriends, but that doesn’t mean I want them to be my boyfriend. We’ve gone through a lot together and that isn’t necessarily a great foundation for a new romance. I don’t need my boyfriend and potential husband knowing all of the dumb things I’ve done over the years.

Another con of dating one of your friends is upsetting the balance of your friend group. What happens when you fight or god forbid break up? You have to be prepared to be exiled from that friend group; worst case scenario or best case scenario, you share the friend group and alternate weekends out like the child of divorced parents. I won’t even suggest you both stay in the friend group because that’s just awkward and torturous for all parties involved. Some people are just better off as friends.

Possibly the most promising of the post grad options for meeting a man is through a friend of a friend, but this also leaves the most up to chance. Friends of friends can be a great resource for post grad dating. In my eyes it would be ideal to date a friend’s friend. You don’t have to worry about your date being a serial killer and they’re far enough removed from your life to not know too many dirty details.

The only kink in this plan is that it depends explicitly on your friends having other friends that you’d want to date. First, you need the friend with suitable friends, then you need them to make the introduction, then you need the guy not to be a weirdo. It’s a delicate situation, especially if it turns out that you don’t like the person all that much, you risk offending your friend.

Before going away to college was the norm, people pretty much depended on meeting their spouses randomly. My parents met at a bar, my dad and his buddies went to my grandparent’s house the next day for a barbecue and the rest was history. I can’t even put into words how strange I would find it if someone I met at a bar wanted to come to my parents house the very next day. It’s not hard to start talking to someone you don’t know at a bar, but it can be risky. You never know who you’re talking to; is this guy going to be the answer to your prayers or is he going to unwantedly follow you around for the rest of the night. Even less likely that you’ll find a potential suitor at a bar, imagine meeting a stranger at a coffee shop. I can’t help but think about how utterly strange that would be not to mention unlikely.

Thankfully apps like Tinder and Bumble let you be proactive in post grad dating so you don’t have to hold your breath for coffee shop guy. However, finding someone you’d even consider boyfriend material on these apps is like finding a diamond in the rough. You’ve got to be persistent, you’ve got to have patience and you’ve got to use up a lot of data every month. So you swipe for what seems like eternity, send out a few messages and then wait. Getting an answer is only half of the battle though because from there you have to materialize a conversation out of thin air. If the connection is there you can take the relationship off of Bumble and eventually into real life. Just be prepared to tell everyone you encounter for the rest of your life a fake story about how you met, perhaps at a coffee shop?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since graduation, it’s that I don’t want to settle for anything, especially not for a love interest. Sure my contestant pool took a devastating loss after graduation, but that just means I’ll be more likely to recognize and commit to a good thing when its right in front of me. In college it was hard to keep someone’s interest, now it’s hard to even find someone worth interesting. Post grad dating is basically a waiting game. Wait for one of your friends to express interest, wait to get introduced to somebody, wait to meet someone randomly, wait for him to message you back on Bumble. As much as I want this waiting game to be over, at least the few prospects I have now are keeping me entertained.

Good luck out there ladies.