Read Here: Stop Telling Me I Need A Man To Be Happy

“You’re just operating a little behind schedule on settling down.”

“I bet your anxiety is because you’re single.”

“I just want you to settle down and start a family!”

“You’ll be such a good mom when it’s your turn.”

“One of these days you’ll find a good guy. I know it.”

These are all things I hear on a weekly, if not daily basis.

I’ll let you in on a secret: I am aware of the fact that I am a 24-year-old single woman.

I know, I just blew your mind. I am constantly reminded of my relationship status. From cheesy online articles. From Pinterest. From Instagram. From my mother. From my coworkers. I am VERY aware of my singleness. As someone in my mid twenties, there is an extreme pressure to settle down and start a family. I should be married and starting my 2.5 children with a dog and a white picket fence by now.

But guess what? I’m not. I’m not criticizing anyone who is on that track – by all means, you are very lucky to be sharing your life with someone (as long as you are happy and healthy). I’m just not there yet. So as you are commenting on and critiquing my singleness, I want to tell you why you need to stop perpetuating the pressure to change my relationship status.

My life is no less exciting because I am single.

I go out with friends still. I continue to go to the movies. Concerts are the bees knees. Restaurants still have great food when you’re not in a relationship. Just because I don’t have a significant other doesn’t mean that my life gets turned down a few notches on the fun dial.

I do want a relationship.

Believe it or not, I genuinely desire a relationship with someone who is a good match for me. I can’t wait to feel those butterflies, to share kisses, to slow dance around the living room. I look forward to making memories, sharing life experiences and creating a lasting connection with someone that will (hopefully) stand with me through a lifetime of ups and downs. Because I am so excited for that good match, I won’t purposefully date people who I know are not good matches. I’m not going to waste my time on people that are already guaranteed dealbreakers. I am excited to find my future partner. But I’m in no rush so stop making me feel like I should be.

I am cultivating many other relationships, just maybe not romantic ones.

My friend group has had my back. They are constantly challenging me, bettering me, inspiring me, loving me. I am putting the time into relationships, into friendships, and into the people who will be there for me if the next guy who “might be the one” ends up NOT being the one. I am growing my support network and I am being loved by them.

I get to be selfish.

I bought myself a $40 concert ticket because I knew it would fill my soul. I can spend an hour and a half at the gym. I can go out with my girlfriends without checking in. I can try out new lipstick and hairstyles without wondering if someone else will like it. I can flirt with a guy just for fun to boost my confidence. I can, will, and DO take care of myself.

I am 24 freaking years old.

I am not some shriveled up 90-year-old woman. I am still young enough that people ask me how long I’ve been out of high school. My biological clock (hypothetically) still has PLENTY of time. Stop making me feel like I’m past my prime. My prime hasn’t even hit yet fools!

And lastly…

I do not need a man to validate my life and lifestyle.

I’m doing pretty darn well in the whole life category. I have a great career. I have a great apartment. I have a great roommate. I have a running car that I love. I am surrounded by a loving support network for those days where my life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. I am active, healthy and incredibly happy.

Sure, I’m excited to find a partner, but my life is NOT lacking right now. So stop trying to make me feel like it is.