How often have you heard the saying, "Stop and smell the roses?" Odds are, you’ve come across it at least a few times. Your best friends have likely said it in the middle of heart-to-hearts about living in the moment, and your mom may have mentioned it after your most recent breakup. You may have rolled your eyes and pretended that it was just cheesy and ridiculous, before realizing that it makes a lot of sense, especially in those in-between periods of life. Truth is, you have to get excited for the times when you’re not dating anyone or are "alone." You need to realize that there are things to celebrate about being alone in your 20s.
First things first: There’s nothing wrong with being in a relationship and giving your all to another person. In your 20s (or any other decade of your life), it can be the most beautiful and rewarding adventure to find someone who you wholeheartedly care about and fall effortlessly in love with. But, I also want to make the point that the periods of time when you find yourself alone have their own perks and privileges, too. Hear me out, OK?
These are the times when you can reflect, act, and appreciate. You can look back on your old relationships, create change, and find happiness in anything and everywhere. You can stop and smell the roses, and celebrate these five things. Confetti? Required.
1You Get To Cheer On Your Friends
When you’re in this "alone" stage, you see your friends happily in relationships and falling in love, and may want to be in the same place as them. You may feel a bit jealous, and wonder when it’s your turn. That’s normal, but what if you celebrated these people and their happiness instead of feeling blue?
Well, that would be a game-changer. You’d look at this period of your life with a lot more optimism and positivity, and smiling a whole lot more. You’d support the people you care about, and send some good vibes into the universe, too. It would be a beautiful case of mind over matter.
2You Get To Focus On Your Future Plans
There’s no doubt that life can be unpredictable. Especially in your 20s, you experience a lot of different curveballs in your relationships, professional life, and more — you name it. But, being alone allows you to focus on the little aspects of your future that you can control. It lets you dream a little bigger, turn the world into your personal playground, and ask questions like, "What’s next?"
Maybe you want to move into a cute apartment in New York City, like Monica and Rachel’s in Friends. You may want to go back to school or spend more time learning about the world. You could do all of those things with someone else, but this in-between period of life gives you extra time and space to do so.
3You Get To Reflect On Your Relationships
The periods of time when you’re in-between relationships are perfect for reflection. They’re perfect for looking back on what worked and what didn’t — what made you happy and what made you feel more stressed than you needed to be. All you have to do is stop and allow yourself to answer a few questions.
What do you want out of your next relationship? What do you need out of your next partner? And lastly, what could you do now to set yourself up for that relationship? Everything happens for a reason, and I’m a firm believer in the universe and all of its powers. But, doing this reflecting will make you more open and ready for your significant other to come into your life, and help you make the most of being alone.
4You Get To Spend Quality Time With Yourself
Right now, the idea of spending a lot of time alone may feel like, well, the worst. But before you totally write off the idea, realize that there’s a lot of beauty in being able to do things on your own. It makes you feel more confident and capable of handling yourself or any situation in the "real world." You begin to appreciate parts of an experience that you wouldn’t have before, like the ingredients in your food or the design in your cappuccino.
Once again, you can have these moments and experiences even if you’re in a relationship and take time for yourself. But, when you’re in an alone stage in your 20s, you have even more freedom to make these memories and get comfortable with your own presence.
5You Get To Say "Yes" To New Adventures
Last but certainly not least, having an alone stage in your 20s makes room in your life for one thing: adventure. Traveling, socializing, and getting outside of your comfort zone (if that’s where you want to be) has never looked so good — and it’s worth celebrating these new and exciting opportunities.
It’s worth throwing confetti in the air when you hop on a plane to a place you’ve only ever seen on Instagram, or start checking things off your bucket list, like changing your hair color or trying snowboarding for the first time. It’s worth bringing your friends and family members along for these excursions, and making memories that you’ll tell your new significant other about in the next period of your life.
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