NB: this entry may contain dire cheesy comments or sections. I apologise to anybody who feels sick to their stomach reading this. But it might make some people happy too. So I suppose, on balance, it’s worth going ahead with.
I’m 20 years old (21 in November). I have been in a relationship for two and a half years. A few months before that, I was in a relationship for a year and a half. Basically, I’ve been in a relationship since I was sixteen. Even in the time between my two proper relationships, I wasn’t really looking for anyone other than the guy I’d already fallen for. Most younger people write about being single, partying, going home with people. I’m here for the other side.
I think a lot of it has to do with personality. While I like going out, it’s for my friends. I like having a dance, funny moments, catching up with people I miss while they’re away at uni. On nights where I look up and I’m surrounded by people I don’t know, I get uncomfortable.
- They’re usually guys.
- I have no interest in speaking to them because I will never see them again.
- I don’t want you to touch me. Please stop trying to dance behind me.
- No. I don’t want a picture with you. Why do I want pictures with some random 40-year-old man? Ew. Get away from me.
The things I look forward to on a night are getting dressed up, dancing, cocktails, the inevitable McDonald’s and going home to my boyfriend. Because even though I’m young – and who knows, maybe one day I will look back and regret not getting out there and making those kind of mistakes while I can. But, even though I’m young, I love knowing there’s somebody that cares if I get home safely, but wants me to go out with my friends and have a ball. That will leave me to have a good time and not try to control what I wear or do, but will pick me up and laugh at the stupid drunken things I say. I see it as the best of both worlds.
A lot of students, or people my age will say ‘I don’t want to be tied down’. I totally agree. I’ve felt envious at times, and even wished I’d met my boyfriend a year or so later in life so I could have had the option of just having fun if I’d have wanted. Maybe I would be a different person if I haven’t been in such committed relationships at this age. But the person I am now thinks that maybe it never would have been me. And I think my relationships have brought out good things in me.
Sometimes I worry that I don’t know who I am, alone. Outside the part of my identity that links me to somebody else. I think a lot of people think that being serious with somebody means that you can’t be your own person. Like ‘salt ‘n’ pepper’, you’re always linked. But that’s not how it has to be. And I have such strong opinions about a lot of things that I must know my own mind. Because lots of them are different to my boyfriends. Phew.
My opinion is that the only time being in a long relationship so young is detrimental is if you don’t want to be there. I met a couple a few years ago (who are now engaged) but the guy was always looking elsewhere. Even if it never lead anywhere. This is pointless. Be single, get out there. Being in a relationship for being afraid of being alone is never good. Being alone and you is a thousand times better than being with somebody you don’t love with everything you have. Wait for somebody worth it.
I strongly believe that if somebody comes into your life that is properly special, don’t let them go. No matter what your age. Some people meet their life partner (for lack of a better word) in childhood. Some do when they’re 50. Some don’t need or want anybody else. What matters is we do the right thing for us. And even if I wanted things to be different for a short time, or took what people said about it not being worth it if it doesn’t last to be true, I don’t think I’d regret how I spent my youth. Because I’ve been really lucky to find someone who makes me happy.