Monday, 5 August 2019

The terrifying truth behind putting your career before relationships in your twenties

For two years now I have sternly believed that you can not have it all. You can not be in love and climb the career ladder two steps at a time. I am very naive. 

We are a generation who are desperately trying to prove ourselves. Frequently updating our social media to show we’re having fun, flaunting expensive purchases even if it means eating Pot Noodles for two weeks, and as women drilling the fact that we can be successful as hell without a man by our side. 

After a couple of heartbreaks during our teenage years fuelled with acne and cramming in revision, we are told to focus on our careers and ‘better ourselves’ during our twenties. A term I have come to utterly despise.

We see young people in serious relationships as a negative for getting involved so early on in their life, that surely they can’t balance uni, work, family, friends, hobbies and a girlfriend/boyfriend all at once. 

And that’s the problem with your twenties. We’ve forgotten that once we die we all end up in a box, our bank accounts left behind and our loved ones stood around drinking Prosecco while laughing over our memories. No one is going to give a single s**t about how much you had in the bank and by what age. So those people helping each other grow and flourishing in their sickening love while saving for their split mortgage are, I’m sure, doing just fine. 

I focused on my career and truly believed that if I was to enter a relationship they would distract me and I would fail at everything else. Now I’ve achieved the goals I set to achieve by 23 and instead of feeling a wealth of pride I find myself thinking about the couples around me who celebrate each other’s success. 

Unfortunately, if you are pushing people away thanks to the mindset that you can’t have it all then there are a few things you may come to realise.

1. Having casual sex just to let out frustrations is actually pretty s**t. Along with the annoyance of fiddling around with a condom, you also have to endure the anxiety of getting naked in front of someone new over and over again.

2. Your single friends drop like flies. It’s hit me rather unexpectedly that my friends will not ride the single wave with me forever despite me chanting ‘single till 30’ while necking a glass of wine at the local boozer. 

3. That laying in bed with someone late at night talking about your day doesn’t sound lame anymore. Instead, you end up googling therapists to share your problems with (bit dramatic, but you get the point).

4. The fear that you will be the last man standing. Brace yourself for the intrusive thoughts of spending Saturday nights in alone while your friends munch down a Chinese with their boyfriends. 

5. Mocking couples doesn’t make you any more successful than them. We’re all just living the life we feel is best for us. 

6. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t have your own freedom. A healthy relationship means you are still your own person, you just have your best friend by your side who doesn’t cry if you just want a girls/boy night. 

While this all sounds like being single is a s**t storm, being single in your twenties is nothing to be ashamed of. You have a different sense of your own liberty, you learn not to depend on anyone but yourself, and your heart doesn’t get broken.

However, it does not mean you’ll have a greater chance to succeed in life. It does not give you any more freedom than being with someone. And if you’re with the right person who supports you, you will have all of the above as well. 

While I will not be desperately scrolling through Tinder in the search for a partner, I will allow myself to have an open mind and not run away the minute I find myself smiling at their name popping up on my phone. And if nothing happens for years to come, I have male friends that I can pester to help my incapable a**e put oil in my car. 

In short, date someone who will support your ambitions and don’t settle for anything less as you’re going to end up in a darn box anyway. 

Written by VavaViolet’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman. 



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