Why being the only friend in a LTR isn’t a bad thing

November 07, 2016
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If you’ve ever logged onto Facebook, read a magazine or visited almost any online publication, you have probably seen articles preaching the importance of being single in your 20s. Hell, you probably hear it from your teachers, friends, co-workers, and parents all the time. Being single can help you figure out who you really are and allows you to fully experience your youth. But what if you find that special someone when you’re young, before it’s the ‘right’ time to settle down according to everyone else?

For all you committed lovebirds out there, here are some of the reasons being in a long-term relationship in your 20s doesn’t mean you’re missing out.

You can still party and enjoy your youth

There’s a common misconception that the fun of being a 20-something somehow disappears when you enter a serious relationship. Contrary to this popular belief, wild nights out, taking holidays with friends and meeting new people don’t just become things of the past when you’re in a LTR.

Not only can you still get #lit with the girls (or boys) on the weekend, but a serious relationship also means you get the benefit of having two friendship circles and double the amount of sometimes ridiculous and often hazy experiences.

You can become your own person

There’s no denying that your 20s are a crucial time for making decisions about your future and growing into your adult self. But the love and support of a boyfriend or girlfriend not only makes it easier, but also helps you flourish as an individual. Your taste in music, your personal ideologies and your preference for pizza over almost any other food won’t change because you’re in a serious relationship.

More importantly, you will always have the ability to stand on your own two feet, but having someone to lean on when life doesn’t even give you lemons makes the woes of young adulthood seem much easier to overcome.

You can be in a LTR with your friends and your significant other (and it’s not considered cheating!)

Friendships are vital to growing into (and surviving) adulthood. Some of the most important lessons you can learn in life come from experiences shared with your friends, and being in a serious relationship doesn’t need to affect the close bonds.

Friends help shape who you are, steer you in the right direction when you’re trying to navigate university and are also a vital part of reminding you of who you are outside of your relationship.

You can still achieve your goals

Do you want to travel the world? Complete a PhD? Forge a career as a professional duck master? (Yep, that’s a real thing). I have good news! You can still do all of these things while in a LTR. Your boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t there to hold you back, they are there to help you achieve your goals while you do the same for them. Having your own personal cheer squad on the days those goals seem unattainable is just an added bonus.

Your 20s are a rollercoaster of confusion and emotion at the best of times, but having someone to challenge you to do better, be better and to achieve more only helps you grow into and nail adulthood. Society may tell you that your youth is a time to be unattached and thriving, but I can guarantee that the things you remember in your life are not those that society necessarily agrees with. You can still do you in a LTR, and you don’t need to sacrifice any part of that.

Penny Robinson

Penny is a Philosophy and Media and Communications student at the University of Melbourne. She enjoys travelling, snacking and not going to the gym.