Wo(no)man: Single with the Option to Mingle

While I am away studying for the Medical College Admissions Test, I have invited a few bloggers to entertain you while I am away. I'll be back next week, but until then, enjoy!

Written by Kay of Modern Day Kay

To be perfectly honest, I don’t completely agree that your twenties are your selfish, unapologetic and freedom years, but I hear that a lot. So much so, that it sounds very reasonable. “I’m young, no children, college educated, no boyfriend, why not have fun?”  However, on the flip side, that does not necessarily mean that your 20s allow you to be self-absorbed or have unabashed behavior.

Whether you’re being told of what life in your 20s should be in a listicle, from a parent, friend or favorite celebrity, there’s this general concept of what you should be doing in your 20s. Singleness is real and it exists, but it does not mean that if you’re 25, single and no children you are behind. Let’s first throw away that mentality that being single is more of a burden on women than men.

As I maneuver through the Singles Club I am starting to see that those fun, carefree and selfish elements that should be a part of my 20s can be subjective.

You can be single and still maintain your individuality and independence once in a relationship.
First off, freedom means different things to all of us. It can represent unrestricted behavior, having the confidence to voice your opinion without judgment, or stepping outside your comfort zone and accepting that job across the country. Being single does mean freedom, but being in a relationship does not take your independence hostage.  It still belongs to you and I will have mines when I transition from single to girlfriend to spouse. I personally feel when people boost the pros of being single it’s at the expense of equal co-dependence. You can still have all of what liberates you and maintain a healthy relationship. Don’t willingly give up your independence because that’s what you think you are supposed to do. When people say, “you’re single, you’re free to do whatever you want,“ it sends the false impression that when you make that commitment with someone it strips away some of said freedom.

Your independence does not leave you when you change that Facebook status and it’s truly about balance. I can start a relationship tomorrow and still do whatever I want. You absolutely have the right to make your own decisions, but it’s expected that when we are in a committed relationship our behavior is respectful to our partner. Being in a relationship is not synonymous with restriction; you can still express your individuality and do what you want to do. The only difference is that your romantic life is now a partnership.  You must build trust and discuss the exertion of power. You can have freedom and a committed relationship. I won’t sacrifice one for the other; both are attainable elements. I am allowing my curiosity as a single lady for me to embrace all what freedom means to me; whether it means traveling, speaking out on social injustice or going out with my girls. I’ll carry my freedom into a commitment because in order for me to fully commit myself to someone I have to allow myself to have that sense of feeling free.  

Selfishness won’t does not safeguard you me from settling

When you’re unintentionally selfish in yours 20s, how do you intentionally become selfless in a relationship? Our 20s don’t have to be our selfish years, consider it a span of time that allows you to share your experiences and unique perceptions that allow you to connect with people who you meet along the way. It means more than not having to share your Chipotle burrito bowl or your social media login. Being in your 20s does not automatically make you an egocentric or self-interested person; don’t allow yourself to believe your 20s is your ticket of utter and complete self-indulgence. Are we being selfish because we can or because we instinctively lack consideration for others outside of ourselves?

For me, I think “selfish” is too hard of a word to describe how one should live their life. It’s okay to put yourself first, but I don’t believe to avoid settling for less than I expect out of a partner I have to immerse myself in all my pleasures. I personally feel that you don’t have to be selfish while single in fear of meeting someone who does not meet your standards. That’s why I strongly endorse protecting your emotional state when dating to avoid dating just for the act of dating. Just as much as we have to hold on to ourselves, I think my 20s is a time of my life where I have a lot to give as I experience life. When I leave my 20s, I cannot get that part of my youth back. I can’t get any part of my life back and that’s why I have to be cognizant about how I live. You can be selfish and single at any age; it’s just more typical to not have as much responsibilities in your 20s because of all forthcoming life experiences from age and maturity. It’s amazing how much you can learn from others when you open up a little.

Unapologetic ≠ IDGAF

To be unapologetic, it’s almost like being a rebel: You don’t live by the rules or have to answer to anyone, which is true. I don’t have a boyfriend right now, so, I don’t have to check in with anyone or make sure if the mini skirt I’m wearing is “appropriate”. To be unapologetic is dancing on the edge of unwillingness, similar to being selfish as a word on surface level with a negative connotation. When I think of being unapologetic as a single woman, it more so means being true to myself.

As I experience life and mingle here and there, I know I have to be unapologetically me and confident in who I am when meeting knew people. I find it so important to know what kind of person I am sharing with someone else. When we get into relationships, we compromise so much of ourselves. Are you in love with who you are as a person? If not, what love can you offer or expect in return?

I could see myself being more unapologetic in a relationship than dating because I feel you should be able to be more uncut with your partner. You should be comfortable enough in a relationship to discuss issues without being disrespectful.

The single years do not have to be tradeoff.  The 20s are one of your most pro-active years. Be yourself. If you can’t be yourself then you shouldn’t even be in a relationship. Live life while you have a life to live and make the most of it.
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Quirky, Brown Love is a media outlet for quirky, brown millennials. EST 2014.

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