We’ve dated for 5 minutes, I’m totally in love with him!

Ok, Ok. I admit. I knew I was in love with Andrew probably three weeks into knowing him. I’d just gotten out of a really bad 2-year long relationship and didn’t want to be tied down to anyone. Much less be tied down to a man I knew could really hurt me, simply because he held so much of my heart. I made him wait. I jerked him around. I wouldn’t agree to be his girlfriend.

Hell, I often find myself thinking that I was smarter 5 years ago than I am today. I even made (some) smarter decisions. The college freshmen in me didn’t want to be in a relationship. She just wanted to have fun and make the very most of her 4 years of college.

Obviously those who know me know that reality played out much different than my wishes. Andrew and I are approaching our four and a half year anniversary, and when I’m not trying to come up with ways to rush his eventual proposal, I’m trying to find equally as crazy ways to get him to go along with purple bed spreads, throw pillows, cleaning out the fridge and buying some new clothes that actually fit him.

I’m totally in love with my best friend and with the idea of us creating a new life together, and finding our own happily ever after. However, I have no idea why young girls, namely 20-year-olds are so concerned with finding “the one” and being married and starting a family.

When I was 20 I was working my dream job. Well, I guess my dream internship. I had two jobs and was taking classes part time. I did spend a considerable amount of time worried about making my love with Andrew work in my favor. (That last sentence was an understatement). However I had goals and knew I was going places. Hell. What happened to that in control young woman?

I even find myself saying to girls now, that if I didn’t have the boyfriend I have today, that I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone. Why? Relationships take a ton of work. And so does reaching your goals and starting a career worth being proud of.

I look back at myself when I was 20, and I’ve been through so many things, tried out a ton of different things, and I’ve grown into a different person. Besides, in most cases guys at 20 are 200 times dumber and less reliable than guys are at 25. My relationship with Andrew had to grow and evolve into something special, he and I both had a lot of maturing to do before we could really work out and get along as well as we do.

Why focus on that aspect of things, when they will always be around? Internships, academic programs, and mentors may not. We live in a day where women are finally beginning to step out of our traditional housewife roles, something of which I could not be more proud of. I don’t think we should completely abandon the notion that if we’re a good girl and play by the rules that our prince charming will stumble along and whisk us off our feet. I think that we should simply own our power, realize our potential, and be all that we can be. With or with out a man.

Take that internship. Move to a new city. Study something, just because. Study something because it will advance your career. Put in long hours. Volunteer. Do the boring jobs. Do things, just because it will help you get noticed. Get noticed for your brains and not your boobs or bum. Don’t be afraid to dress smart and BE smart. Just like the quote says. A woman may wake up one day and find herself boyfriend-less or husband-less. But she’s never woken up, or come home, to find her career has packed its bags and decided to leave. Some things are just more important than finding love so young. At least in my mind.

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