Q: I met my boyfriend when I was 23. I’m so in love with him and our life together and I want to marry him and spend the rest of my life with him but sometimes I’m afraid I met him too soon. Am I missing out on my 20’s by being in a serious relationship?
B: Hmmm, okay. Let’s talk about me for a minute, because I’m one of those, “I don’t want to deal with commitment until I’m 30,” kinds of people. Let me explain why. I’m about to be 24. My whole life, up until now, has been devoted to my relationships. I decided it’s time to take a step back and reflect on why I have been meeting guys that make me afraid to date for the rest of eternity. I think that the easiest way for me to do that is to be single, because I’m the type of girl who jumps into relationships too quickly and never took time to truly figure out what makes me happy.
I am figuring that out now, so I feel at peace that this is where I’m supposed to be in my life. I don’t focus on my age, or how much time I have, because my perspective is that things will work themselves out the way they are supposed to.
Before now, I always had some sense of uncertainty that I was with the right person. There was one point where I was committed to spending the rest of my life with someone who I thought was a perfect fit for me, but I had a lot of doubts and wondered if I would be happy spending my life with that person. That scared the shit out of me. I felt like I was not completely happy, and in a moment the whole thing could have come crashing down, so if I ended up staying in that relationship, there would come a point where I wondered what else was out there. Eventually, that was exactly what happened for both of us.
I am now at the point where I feel like the rest of my twenties should be spent reflecting on how I can be a better person, without needing a man by my side. I want to understand who I am, so I can understand the type of person I want to be with. Instead of changing a person, I am working on actively changing myself.
The rest of my twenties are going to to be happier and better than ever because I am no longer in those relationships filled with uncertainty, and because I am a happier and stronger person than I once was.
For me, that might mean it will take longer to find what I want, and that is okay. I feel so relieved that I finally get to do all the things I never allowed myself to do because I was way too concerned with making somebody other than myself happy. Now if I meet somebody, it will be for the right reasons, and not because I feel the need to jump into something.
Now, I don’t know how you felt when you started dating your bf. But you say that you are in love with your life with this person, which sounds to me like your only uncertainty is that you met him too young. You seem less worried about changing the person that you are with, and more concerned about if you will have regrets later on in life.
You ask, do I think you are missing out on your twenties by being in a committed relationship?
I would stop worrying about what your 20s are supposed to be, and start changing your perspective.
Let me start by saying, nothing in life is a waste unless you think of it that way. I missed out on a lot of things in high school and college because I preferred snuggling up with my bf instead of going to every single football game and frat party. Would I go back and do it again? In a heartbeat.
Repeat the words of John Lennon:
“Time that you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time.”
Do you feel any uncertainty that this is someone you enjoy spending time with? Could you imagine your life without him? Do you want to change things about him? And not just in the, “I wish he would clean the house more,” type of way. I’m talking the, “I wish I could change his attitude so he wouldn’t make me feel so bad about myself,” kind of way.
If the answers are no, then who cares when you met him! The most important thing, is your happiness. If he makes you happy, I say you are not wasting time at all.
Whether you are in your 20s or not, the only people that are wasting time, are the ones who are not actively searching for what makes them a happier, better person, or being grateful for what they have.
I am not saying you are ungrateful by any means. But the people who are letting their minds wander onto things other than what they already have are the ones who will be left wondering if they wasted their youth when they are older. They will think maybe I should have been with someone different, maybe I should have waited until I was ready, maybe I should have dated more.
But if they took the time to actively find what made them happy, they would not end up in that situation. If they changed their perspective to that of “everything in life happens for a reason,” they would not waste time wondering, but instead spend time being grateful and getting out of situations that leave them second guessing.
The good news is, it’s never to late to figure out what makes you happy, no matter how old you are. The fact that you are wondering now if you are wasting your life is actually a good thing, because you have so much life left to figure it out.
No one these days really needs to rush to get married. Women do not have to rely on men to provide for them like they used to, and people do not have to marry the next person who looks at them because there are tons of ways to meet new people.
Because we have so many options, perhaps there is a lot more uncertainty that we made the right choice. But, at least we can make that choice based on the RIGHT things, and not just the things that are most convenient for us.
If you love this man, and know what that means to you, and you love your life with him, then you made the RIGHT choice. You know the kind of person he is, and you know why you want to be with him, so that should be all that matters.
Once you change your perspective, take the focus off your age, and focus more on the positive parts of finding this guy so young, then I promise you, all your doubts will go away.
Perspective is a powerful thing. It tells us that everything we see is a reflection of what is inside of us. Everything we feel comes from within, and depending on how firmly we believe it, it won’t change no matter what anyone tells us.
Maybe what I say won’t change the outcome of your life, but what YOU believe in certainly can.