Let’s be real – being single can be hard, especially if you’re in your 20s. While you get to be an unrestrained, liberated free-spirit, there are also some nights where you feel like you’re missing out. Looking at your couple friends who have been dating for ten years, you can’t help but wonder – will I ever experience that kind of love? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

Here’s why being single in your twenties is the best and the worst at the same time:

 1. You can explore your sexuality but at the same time you experience a deeper form of loneliness.  

Your twenties are the age to traverse through unchartered waters, discover your attractions, both sexual and romantic, your connection with your own body, your preferred relationship structure, your kinks and fetishes, and more. Experimentation is key to embracing your own sexuality. But, often this search comes to a halt when you enter a commitment. 

However, this freedom is accompanied by an abundance of solitude. Relationships contribute a beautiful experience of connection and companionship and without them, you tend to feel lonely and isolated. One can’t help but wonder, “am I missing out?”

2. You enjoy your independence, but there are times you feel envious of relationships.

Navigating life on your terms is a phenomenal feeling. You are not tied down in a cycle of devotion and fidelity. You can dally in on your relationship with your body, your emotions, your sentiments and think through your existence. 

On the other hand, when life gets hard, it’s human to feel desirous of the intimacy and camaraderie shared by romantic partners. It’s nice to have someone to confide in and talk through your troubles to unload some of the burden off your shoulders. 

3. You don’t feel the pressure to constantly look good, but sometimes you have an desire for validation. 

In the early stages of every relationship, there is a tenacious compulsion to look like your best self. People have gone through hysterical lengths – from spending 30 minutes perfecting the “natural look” to sneaking into the bathroom before your s/o wakes up to fix your hair. This is an endless cycle until you get comfortable with each other. Good thing none of this is a worry when you’re single. When you’re single you can repeat outfits all you want and rock a ponytail so you can skip a hair wash… or five.

Although, sometimes it’s reassuring to hear from another person that you look good after you’ve spent hours getting dolled up. Especially if you’re not used to affirmation from other people.

4. You have fun meeting new people, but you long for someone you’re comfortable with. 

Going on first dates, encountering new characters, the raw chemistry, the compliments and laughs, the butterflies in your tummy is magnificient. But there are so many ways a first date can go horribly wrong. Awkward silence, stinky breath, bad sex. It’s times like this you wish you had a partner who knew your wants and desires. 

5. You always have the time for plans, but you have to answer the dreaded “Are you seeing someone?”

The best part about being single is you’re always free to meet up for plans, from brunch dates to night outs. But with that comes a flurry of maddening questions – “Are you dating?” “Can I set you up with my friend?” “Did you hook up with someone?” No! Sometimes, you just want to be.