Your 20s are a time for self-discovery, global exploration, and plain old messin' around. However, many young adults find that these years can be filled with the societal pressure to settle down with that special someone, soul mate, one true love, or, as I like call them, a fun-sucker. Just kidding (kind of). Anyway, here's a few things that you could try instead of looking for love:
1. Finish school and get a degree.
First and foremost, you should do one of the single, most important things you can do for yourself, especially in this day and age: Go to college. If you're not already in school, find something you're interested in, pursue it, and use it to fuel your future. Whether it's your bachelor's, master's, or even your Ph.D., start and finish it out strong — you'll thank yourself later.
2. Get into the best shape of your life.
Find your inner Kayla Itsines, go on Instagram to get some #fitspo, and whip your butt into shape. Whether it's the conventional eating healthy and exercising a couple times a week, or training for a marathon — go out and do it! Hot yoga and Zumba are also very in trend right now, so go give it a try.
3. Learn to cook.
Chances are you're probably living on your own for one of the first times, so why not learn how to make yourself a decent meal? While Raman noodles and hot pockets are very reliable, Pinterest has some great, easy recipes that don't require *that* much more work, yet they'll taste 10 times better than some pre-made, freezer-burnt cardboard boxed meal.
4. Get a job that you love and work your ass off.
Put that degree to good use and find a job that makes you happy. As the old saying goes, "love what you do, and do what you love." Once you find that, make some good money off of it before you're burdened with even more responsibilities (as impossible as that feels sometimes). Don't overwork yourself, but definitely dedicate a solid amount of time to your job.
5. Travel — anywhere.
Get out and explore the world! Go anywhere you can — abroad and out of the country, to another state, or even just to another city nearby. Go visit a far away friend that you haven't seen in awhile, or go road-trip across the country with the best people you know. Anything counts. Chances are most of us 20-somethings don't have the necessary funds to support one of those Tumblr-esque dream vacations, so don't beat yourself up if "traveling" means something a little less extravagant than a month-long European tour that's bound to make you Insta-famous.
6. Spend time with family.
Family is always there for you (blood is thicker than water) and from personal experience, I can say that I don't see them nearly enough as I should or would like to. Your family is always going to be there for you, so take this time to make it up to them for putting up with your angst-y teenage years. Go to your younger sibling's games and that weird third cousin's wedding, and embrace those moments. And If you can't physically be with your family? Well, don't forget to call — they'll appreciate it more than you'll ever know.
7. Focus on your friends and make some new ones.
Keep the old, the good, and the best friends close. Spend time with them — get Sunday brunch, go mini-golfing, or have a Netflix marathon together. Don't be afraid to bring new people closer, too. Always leave a little room for future friendships.
8. Go to a concert.
Whether it's across the country for Coachella, a one-day thing at a venue nearby, a local artist at the bar across the street, or if it's just an old favorite or a genre you've never even heard of — go out and experience it. Music is good for the soul and can heal in a way that most things can't.
9. Learn to do something new.
Learn how to play the guitar and upload a YouTube video singing along off-key, take a foreign language class, hell, go get your scuba diving license and go for a swim. If there's ever a time to try something you've never tried before, or have always secretly desired to attempt, now is the perfect time to do so.
10. Read and write.
Keep your brain stimulated. Reading and writing can be very therapeutic, in addition to educational. Let your mind escape into a good book or have a cathartic writing session to cleanse yourself of negative thoughts. It'll prove to be more useful than you think.
11. Make mistakes.
Sometimes it takes falling flat on your face to find out what does or doesn't work for you — or if you're anything like me, most of the time it takes a mistake to set you on the right path. Finding yourself requires trial and error. Don't be afraid to eff up every once and a while because everyone knows that one success can come from a thousand failures.
12. Stay out late.
This one might go along well with not being afraid to make mistakes because nothing good comes after midnight. But to reiterate, don't be afraid to make these mistakes! Go out with friends and stay out past your usual bedtime. Enjoy these nights while you still have a fully functioning liver, brain, and metabolism.
13. Catch up on some much-needed Zs.
After staying out late and potentially making some regrettable decisions, you'll definitely need those extra five minutes under the covers. Nothing is more blissful than staying in bed all day or taking that two-hour nap after a long day at work. Indulge in these extra moments of sleep because later down the road, they are going to be few and far between.
14. Get in touch with nature.
Go to the beach for a swim, go to the mountains for a hike or some skiing, or go to the desert (you know, if you're absolutely psycho and have a death wish). Whatever it may be, get off your phone and get outside. Look around and embrace the beauty of the world. Find some inner peace. Why look for love when you can see something just as beautiful all around you?
15. Learn to say "no."
In a generation of people-pleasers, we often aim to impress at our own expense and find ourselves doing things that we really have no desire to be doing. Quit feeling obligated to other people and only do things that you *want* to be doing. Apply this to everything you do, and I promise that you'll find a happiness you've never had before.
16. Love with your whole heart.
Even though you might not be looking for love in another person, you should still love everything you find yourself doing, and loving it with everything you have. Love your friends, your family, your job, and anything else you can. Life is too short to half-ass your way through it. Dedicate yourself to all of the things you love and take this time to find some self-love, too, because how can you be expected to love anything else if you don't love yourself first?
17. Do something absolutely ridiculous.
Do something totally insane. Why? Because why not. It's less of a waste of time than looking for a love that you'll never find (I promise, I'm not bitter). Go skydiving, get a tattoo, make a horrible investment in that broken down car that you're just *so sure* is the best deal ever. Don't worry about the judgment you might receive, you're in your 20s. This is basically normal. Who gives a damn? As long as you can handle the possible consequences, go for it. Do something you never dreamed of doing.
18. Come to terms with your past.
Forgive the ex that destroyed your trust or the old best friend who never really had your back. And if you can't find forgiveness, at least find some sort of acceptance. Let go of the past because it can't be changed. Don't let it dictate your future in a negative way. Learn from it, embrace it, and use it to your advantage in becoming a better person from it.
19. Get a dog (or a cat if you're one of *those*).
If you have the proper means to care for an animal, go get a dog or a cat. They can provide you with the companionship and love that you may otherwise be searching for in another person. It may be a good opportunity to fill that void, and practice some responsibility, too!
20. Sing and dance around in your underwear like a crazy person.
Completely let loose and have fun! When you're home alone, strip down, turn it up, and go wild. Watch yourself in the mirror and love what you see. Who doesn't love gettin' naked and belting out your favorite lyrics?
Bonus: If love happens to find you... Accept it!
Just because you aren't necessarily looking for love doesn't mean that you have to reject it. If someone happens to stumble into your life that you click with, don't fight it. Let it happen. Not looking for love doesn't mean you also have to be a cynical, anti-relationship, love-hater.