Originally featured on Odyssey
You're not in love right now. Not even close. At this age and in this context of your life, it seems like everyone that you know is falling in love, getting married, and running off into the sunset that is the rest of their lives. They're happy, but so are you. Sometimes, you look at them and think, "Why don't I want that? Why don't I have that? Should I?" Maybe someday you will and maybe you won't, but there's something that you need to keep in the forefront of your mind no matter what ends up happening in your love life: You were complete before you fell in love.
Sure, you feel a little bit of pressure from the world right now to find someone to spend the rest of your life with. Who doesn't? Most of the movies and shows that you watch have that timeless romantic element in it that a lot of people crave at some point in their lives. And it sure doesn't help that your friends keep trying to set you up because they "just want to see you happy" and "you never know what could happen." Your family may think you're getting a little old and that you should really start dating because you don't want to die alone and you have to continue the family blood line, but don't listen to them. Don't listen to any of them. You are so happy right now.
I can't stress this enough, so I'll say it again: You were complete when you weren't in love.
It must be nice to find the right person and to feel like you can trust them forever. You'd have a permanent partner in crime, right? Love is the greatest thing in the world, but don't forget that romance isn't the only kind of love you need. You need friends and family and coworkers and dogs. You always have and yo always will. Don't give any of that up for one type of affection. You can have it all!
When (if) you do find that love, I hope your whole life doesn't revolve around this person. I hope you didn't abandon the people that have loved you through it all because you're too busy catering to this one love. I hope you didn't say goodbye to who you are because the people who love you have shaped and saw you through it all.
"You complete me," are the words that too often fall out of people's mouths when they find that person, but that isn't quite right, is it? You are whole and you are worthy and you are enough without them. You can totally live without them and that's not a bad thing. None of that makes your love any less meaningful. Always remember that you don't need to put up with this person, but you choose to. You will choose to love them. You will choose to go through all the crap together. And if it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out.
In the midst of life and love, don't forget about your passions. You have dreams and aspirations that shouldn't be overshadowed for the sake of one person. For the love of everything, don't let them change you. Don't let them mold you into the perfect person for them. You are perfect the way you are. (But if you're being an awful human being, then maybe you should think about changing for the sake of yourself.)
You will never lack for love in this world. You will always have your family and you will always have your friends. Heck, there's a whole world full of people to meet. But if all else fails, there's always dogs.