Women’s goals have changed over the years. The ideal goal used to be finding the right partner, settling down, and perhaps having a few kids. And not only that but the younger you were when this all happened, the better. However, things have changed, and women are looking to get more out of life before deciding to settle down. I mean, I’m 23, and I can’t even see myself married with children and a steady career. But what are these things that women should do before settling down? Here are 11 things every woman should do before settling down.
You should do this no matter what but it’s even more important to do before settling down. The world can teach you so much about life, different cultures, and yourself. And you shouldn’t just travel but try to travel alone. Completely lose yourself in a different culture and try finding yourself while doing so. This can mean traveling within the United States, but you should really challenge yourself and leave the country. Traveling can broaden your opinions and diversify your mind. Why would you not want this for yourself? I have even heard from people that have traveled and didn’t like it that they learned something about themselves (typically that they are not a fan of change). So whether you love it or hate it, you are going to learn something.
2. Educate Yourself
I have to stress the importance of educating yourself every day. Now this does not have to mean pursuing a degree although I highly advocate for that if you have the means. But there are so many ways that you can access knowledge not from being in a classroom. Join a book club, take classes from Groupon, travel (Notice how I tied that back in there). Hell, you can even spend a day in Barnes and Noble perusing the books, and I can guarantee you’re going to learn something. Education is a way of showing you all of your options. It merely presents you with many different doors and lets you decide if you want to take any of them. Don’t let settling down be the only door you see.
Volunteering is so good for the soul. It increases your humanity and humility to be able to help others who really need it. Volunteering shows you your worth and asks “who are you?” Are you the type of person to donate your time or would you donate money? While both are very important, it also tells you something about yourself and the ways you define “helping.” You could also see this as practice for the future of when someone is going to need you whether that be your partner or a child. How will you help?
4. Live Alone
Out of all of these, this one will definitely tell you the most about yourself and what you do/do not like. Living alone is true adulting because if you are unable to be alone, then how could you be truly comfortable with yourself? You need to learn who you are before you move in with someone else, and they bring their expectations, and you have none. Plus it’s good for the soul to spend some time alone. That may be your only time before you are surrounded by others for the rest of your life.
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5. Pay Bills
Paying bills are the ultimate adult move that shows you how you handle your money. If you can pay bills on your own, then you can see how mature you are with money and have established financial responsibility. You wouldn’t want to be a financial burden on your future spouse because you never learned how to be financially stable. However, you also would know what you’re looking for in a partner and how they handle finances.
6. Learn to cook
I suck at this one. Learning to cook for yourself is critical. You can't always depend on someone else to prepare a meal for you, nor can you go out eating every day (that affects number 5). Learn some basic meals that can be used to keep you healthy. There’s no need to go all out and learn how to make Coq Au Vin but don't keep it as simple as only making spaghetti. Pick some that help you take care of you.
7. Set definite goals for the future
Set plans for where you want to be in the future. 5, 10, 15 years down the road. Where do you want to be financially, romantically, and personally? You set these goals so that you always remain true to yourself. These goals help you to take care of you years from now. I say that because obviously if you meet a significant other, then they may change a bit. But always try to find a way that you can compromise and still make your goals work in some kind of way.
8. Flick the bean….often
Wasn’t expecting this one were you? Masturbate as much as you can! You know how they say that if you can’t love yourself then how can someone else? This doesn’t just mean emotionally but also physically. Know your own body. What turns you on? What turns you off? Learn your body before anyone else does.
9. Strengthen Friendships
This is incredibly important because romances may come and go, but your friends are the ones that will be there through it all. You have to have people in your life that have known you from different stages of your life and have been able to be a sounding board as you propel into a new stage. Every time I date someone new, I have my best friend meet him early because she is the one that truly knows me and knows what I need. Your friends are also the ones that will always tell you the things you don’t want to hear, which is what you need to grow. The truth.
10. Establish what you want
Know what you want in a life partner. Go into this knowing what you want so that you can eliminate people who do not have this. Now don’t make this a definite list that becomes a checklist. Treat it rather as an open letter of personality traits that you are looking for. But in that list make sure you choose things that are going to help you grow as a person as well. You’re not looking for a supplement; you’re looking for a partner.
11. Know Yourself
It’s pretty obvious that all of the things I have listed before are all going towards helping you know yourself. But if none of the things above seem to be able to help you do that, then do what you think will help you know yourself better. Because if you don’t know you, why would anyone else want to know you? Without even knowing you, I want to tell you that you are worth knowing, so learn yourself.