You can still have the best of both worlds.
Young, independent, ambitious and...committed? Yep, you heard that right. This is in defence of anyone who's in a serious, committed relationship in their twenties and has felt the pressure from other people to "see what else is out there". Some people think being in a long-term relationship in your twenties is a big mistake. They think you're wasting away your youth by being tied down to one person and missing out on your 'selfish' years and the chance to explore and figure out who you are. However, I couldn't disagree more.
I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years. While that may not sound like a particularly long period of time in the grand scheme of things, we've always been very serious and committed to each other and I can definitely see a future with him. We've helped each other through mental illness, cheered each other on through our highs and supported each other through the lowest of lows. We've lived life like every other 20-something, one of us lives alone, we're both invested in our careers and we've still gone out and had fun with friends - we just happen to be in a relationship.
I have a sense of stability that allows me to focus on my career and on myself rather than wasting energy worrying if that guy will text me back or wondering if I'll ever fall in love. I guess I'm a little different than others my age in that I've always had a very strong sense of myself and what I want in a partner that I've honestly never felt the need to casually date or hook-up in order to figure that out.
Here are some of the things I love about being a serious relationship in my twenties.
1. You have someone who knows and loves you by your side during a period of time in your life where you're constantly growing and learning.
2. You have someone who reminds you every day how much they love every single part of you.
3. You're constantly reassured of your aspirations and talents - it's like having a personal 24/7 cheerleader!
4. You help recognise each other's flaws and push each other to become the best versions of yourselves.
5. You can increase the status of your relationship at a slower pace, without the rush to jump into marriage and have kids that can come when you meet someone later in life.
6. You've already found what so many people spend their whole lives searching for - someone who truly loves and understands you.
7. The laughter is harder, the sex is better and the affection is stronger in a loving, committed relationship compared to a casual fling.
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8. You learn from an early age what is really important to you in a partner and what it takes to work towards a successful relationship.
9. You have a best friend, confidante and lover, all wrapped up into one.
10. You don't need to juggle dating and your career - you have a sense of stability that allows you to focus on your professional goals and ambitions.
11. You can still experience all the fun a single person has (like travelling and going out with your friends) while getting all the benefits that come with being in a relationship.
12. When your single friends complain about all the terrible Tinder dates they've been on and wish they could find a nice, normal guy like your man, you feel lucky to have found someone so wonderful.
13. You can teach each other new things, go on adventures and tackle challenges together.
14. You can always be yourself and have someone every step of the way laugh with you, reassure you, challenge you, encourage you and love you.
Emma is just your average book loving, tea drinking, story writing, narcissistic millennial on an eternal quest for the perfect t-shirt. Ever since she picked up her first copy of Dolly when she was twelve, she always knew she wanted to work in magazines. She would describe herself as a bit of a hopeless romantic with an obsession for true crime and horror and a love for red wine, whiskey or a stiff gin and tonic. When she's not binge watching Netflix or buying things she can't afford online, she spends her weekends trawling through bookstores and eating her way through Brisbane.