Clearly I am a few days behind...back to my series of what every single 20something gal should have...
#7 Every 20 something single gal needs a solid group of friends.
Your twenties is your time to find lifelong friends. These may include your high school and college friends, and it will likely also include new people you meet in this stage of life. What I love about my twenties is that all of my friends aren't like me. Growing up, I had a few different friends, but mainly you met people from your same activities. In college, the same is true - I met people through sorority life and student government and RUF (bible study). Some diversity, but a lot of my friends were a lot like me. Maybe its because we all change so much and start having different interests and careers, but it feels like my friends are a lot different than me (and a lot like me all at the same time)
I have friends who are artsy, sciency, single, married, likes to cook, sing, run, etc. I'm friends with former prom queens and former class nerds. I'm friends with people from my same hometown and "outsiders" And, as I said, most of my friends are smart convited attractive fun people, so we really all have a lot in common, BUT at the same time, it seems I have a variety of friends and I love it. This isn't high school with obsession over popularity and "coolness" -- I encourage you to befriend people who are different than you as well as those who are similar!
Also, in your twenties, when single, your friends serve as family. They come to the hospital when you are sick, they take you out to dinner for promotions, they encourage you to try new things, they celebrate holidays with you, they sit next to you at church. They fill in for the family you used to live with and stand in for the husband and children you don't have yet. So pick friends who support you and you can support as well. I hope my friends and I remain this way as we get married and have babies (and some have remained this way) I hope we continue to be there for eachother like we were during our single years.
#8 Every 20something single should have a good grasp of what she believes.
Seriously, figure it out now. Know what you believe about faith, love, childrearing, etc. Nothing is set in stone. You can strongly believe you want 6 kids and that can change. But, I think whats helped Dave and I in dating is we both knew what we wanted in life. Thats not saying we will have it all together, but we could see the red flags (Oh, she doesnt want kids and I want ten? move on. Oh, he's an athiest? move on. He wants to live greenly and I think thats dumb? Can we work that out or not?)
On top of helping in dating, it also helps solidify your adulthood. I think some people are age assume you don't have to make big decisions until you're married and having babies. Not true. Decisions I make now can affect my future and as an adult, I need to have an idea what I believe.
I know where I stand on religion, politics, marriage and children. I know a general idea of how I want to raise kids. I know what my dealbreakers are in dating. I know how I feel (on a base level) about the environment, city v. country living, where I want to live, where I am willing to move to, financial goals, etc.
Will these change? yes. Whether I get married or stay single, my view will change. But, atleast they can change because to change, you have to start somewhere. And with goals and beliefs, you have an idea of who you are and what you think.
#9 Every 20something single girl should have a few funny dating stories.
And, by this, I mean, by your late 20s, you should have some funny stories and some sweet ones. You will probably have a few regrets --dating someone you shouldn't have, passing on someone you shouldn't have. But, most importantly, you will have learned lessons.
Hopefully, you will have good stories because you took chances - you gave men chances who weren't "gorgeous", your type, bigtime professionals, perfectly preppy, wealthy, etc (whatever your weakness is). Maybe you gave online dating a shot or said yes to some blind dates/set ups. Maybe you gave a guy a second chance.
And hopefully, you will have good stories from these dates -- stories of meeting nice guys in ways you didn't expect, funny date stories with guys that weren't meant to be, happy memories of getting to know nice men that weren't your husband but were still worthwhile people. Maybe you will learn lessons about what you think you want not being what you need -- or maybe you will learn that certain aspects of the man you marry are exactly what you needed.
I do think that an extra 5-10 years of dating does cause you a little more pain, but also a little more growth because you know heartache, second chances, forgiveness, and surprises better than others. So I hope that by the time I am 30, I can say I'm glad I met X or Y because they taught me this. I also know some good girls night stories start out with "The worst date I ever went on was...."