I Wasted My Twenties Wishing For Someone to Ride or Die with Me

For a long time, there was only one group of people that I’d let define me: women.

Specifically, the women I was attracted to.

I’d fall in love too quickly, I’d compromise myself for a bit of attention. I’d call myself a romantic, thought my life was not complete unless I had a soulmate by my side.

After all, I was the one who wrote the following lines, “I could conquer the world with one hand, if only you’d hold the other.”

But you see, the romantics out there are also insecure, selfish, and quite misogynistic. I know, because I also kept asking myself what was wrong with women because they didn’t like me back.

Well, whenever you find yourself asking what’s wrong with something or someone, it’s far more probable there’s actually something wrong with you.

It took me most of my twenties to realize this.

Nobody believes in you until you do.

The world changes its opinion of you the day after you do.

And nobody is going to believe in you until after you’ve done it. Or, at least, you’re way on your way to accomplishing whatever goal you have in mind.

That’s why you rarely find folks willing to ride or die with you.

The sad truth of life is that we live as we dream. Alone.

The best part of life? We live as we dream. Alone.

You are free to be who you want to be, to live life on your own terms, to accomplish any goal you have, to travel the world, to experiment, to fall in and out of love, to write, to cherish the small moments…

Don’t waste your life wishing for someone to come along and make things right for you.

You design yourself. You are self-made, whether you like to admit it or not.

Being unapologetically yourself will make you look like you have superpowers

Because they believe that what they want is something to be granted to them by someone else, most people feel like they can’t be themselves.

I’m a personal growth blogger. I write all day, every day about self-improvement, success, and discipline.

But at the same time, I write about the depression, loneliness, and fear I have experienced for years and years.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for at least a few years know about my struggles with health issues, money, and depression.

But one thing that was tough for me to admit, even to myself, was that I was going through all that because I felt incomplete.

Yes. It’s not easy to write these words now.

I believe that we, as men, cannot afford to admit that we screw up in life because we have no one by our side, because, truth be told, it shouldn’t matter.

And it doesn’t.

Being yourself means loving yourself enough to not care whether someone rides or dies with you.

You live as you dream. Alone.

And that’s fine. More than fine.

It means you’re free to live life on your own terms.

And it’s the most exhilarating feeling ever.

Also, the paradox of this is that when you begin to enjoy your own company more than the company of others, that’s when you attract people. Genuine people.

People will only want to ride with you if you’re headed somewhere. If you’re on your path, if you are clear and concise about the things that truly matter for you.

And when you compromise yourself in order to get others to like you, or stay by your side, what does that say about you? That you don’t even care where you’re going, that you’d gladly be sitting on a sinking ship as long as you have someone holding your hand.

And it shouldn’t be like that. You can never, ever, ever conquer the world if you insist on someone else holding your hand, if you feel incomplete, inadequate, weak without someone by your side.

The truth is, the world falls in love with those who can conquer the world with just one hand, because they’re so bad-ass they can hold the other one behind their back.

This post is part of a new series called, “I Wasted My Twenties.”

As I am a few months from turning 30, I thought I’d share with you the lessons I’ve learned (the hard way) during my twenties. The good, the bad, the ugly, the frustrating, the breathtakingly beautiful. All of them.

Thank you,



    1. Thank you for your comment, Tom!

      Well, yes, I guess we also grow up. We figure out what’s important, what’s not. We learn from experience.

      Even though, to be honest, I see a lot of folks well over 30s repeating the same mistakes they were making in their 20s, so I guess we also must have a willingness to learn from our mistakes.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. This is one of the best posts you have written. And, I have been around a lot. You know I am REALLY GENUINELY HAPPY for you. Look at your website now. It looks like you. And, you are doing so much better *HUGS* I am sorry if I could not really help you financially at the time being a student. But, I genuinely am so glad your life has changed for the best. Lots of love and well wishes from me!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much! And don’t be sorry. I never felt good about myself either, so I never quite expected anyone to help me more than they did.

      Life’s funny like that.

      I guess I now know what I want to do with this blog, where to take it, and what kind of content to post. And to do so in a way that ads value to other people’s lives as well.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. I don’t know… Not sure what happened. At one point I just got sick and tired of always feeling sick and tired all the day. And I changed. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t fast. It was quite painful, but it wasn’t as painful as hating myself every moment of every day.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. 💖💖💖 this! And was just about to say the same! I knew there was something that had made me subscribe to your work. And having it all culminate in this post here as you and your personal growth makes me marvel at how I knew to subscribe to this blog so early on! So excited for your future, this closely parallels what I’ve been feeling and wanting to bring to my blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the line “I could conquer the world with one hand, if only you’d hold the other.” and in contrary love this bad ass line as well “conquer the world with just one hand, because they’re so bad-ass they can hold the other one behind their back.” So similar, yet so apart!

    Loved reading the article, relatable! Same pinch on turning thirty in few months :) I in fact have a post in my draft about feelings on soon turning thirty!

    Looking forward to see yours :) ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Because people are drawn to those who don’t need their hand held, even though we often think it’s so romantic to tell someone you could only conquer the world if they were holding your hand.

      In reality, that’s what some call being “overly-attached” because you constantly need to be motivated, inspired, loved, etc.

      Those who need no one else but themselves are those who, paradoxically, genuinely have people who’d ride or die with them. But they don’t need them, because, like I said, they could easily conquer the world with one hand behind their backs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! That’s what growing together means.. That’s where you can have true love!

        While growing up my hole concept about love was screwed up because of movies!! I always thought that there is a “Prince Charming” who is going to come for me. LOL!! Sounds damn funny now. But back then, that was my lala land, which gave me nightmares later!!

        SO, on point! Independent yet together :)

        Liked by 2 people

          1. ah!! Cannot agree more!!!!!! Had my fare share of reality checks!! Took me years to figure out that my imaginary world is not real and there ain’t any prince charming. Of course i am not a damsel in distress as well ;)

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I guess that’s the weird thing about it, right?

              If we want to live in a fairytale, men must pretend to be Prince Charming, and they automatically think a woman is a damsel in distress. It’s like being actors. We must play the part, even if we’re breaking apart from the inside.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. hahaha true!! Because I sure was playing a Damsel back then.
                Then I had a HUGE reality check and it was like someone thrashed me from 100 ft to the ground. That gave me the realisation that I am not as weak as I think, I am educated have lived independently all my life, have travelled abroad all alone, why the heck I think I am weak…. It was in my head, because my concept of being with someone was screwed up, because I had to hold the hand of my prince charming and that had consumed my identity.

                If you have time checkout my post “Not Hurting nut healing” it talks about the very same experience of my life.

                But yeah, Better late than never. Whatever happens, happens for good! :) Now the sky is clear and so the concept ;)

                Liked by 2 people

      2. This was so true. I noticed the same qualities about myself. True some people would love to encourage you and inspire you. This is true to their nature. But MOST people ar4e attracted to the confident. Attracted to women and men and NBs who know what they want even if it is as simple as choosing food on a menu. If you know your worth and also are fun people are attracted to you.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Not sure what to expect from my 30s, let alone my 40s.

      Never quite thought that far about my life. I’ve always known what I wanted to do, my passions and what not, and I’ve always had clear goals, but to visualize myself as a 40-something…


  3. I struggled mightily with dating in my twenties. I wanted so much from a woman that I would expect her to be morally perfect. Because I put my happiness in their hand’s they had to be perfect because I gave them too much power to hurt me so once I would see a red flag I was out of there. At 31 I met my wife however and at this point in my life I had come to grips with who I was. I accepted that I needed to be more open with women and accepted that I had anger issues that I needed to work on. This was the beginning of a life change for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get it, and here is my take at age 66:
    1. Take out the word “incomplete”. We are never ever “completed”. We work on ourselves every day. Every day. 2. “I Wasted My Twenties.” Nope, nope you did not. This post is exactly why you have not wasted your 20’s. You gained a perspective on life. That was an “earning” badge, not a “waste” and each decade will give you another badge of life.
    We all have to earn our ways in more ways than one on this road called Life. One day your partner in life will come, and if not, that is okay too. Be satisfied with you.
    We are always moving to improve and learning is just part of life and there is absolutely no way around that road. If you hit a bump and fall, pick yourself up. If you hit a dead-end, turn around and go another road and throttle on. We really have no choice, do we?
    I enjoyed the post. It made me look back to realize all that really defined who I am today. …and that is not so bad after all. I do have my days still, but that is what these types of memories are for and that is No Regrets.
    Earn your badges. Everything will all fall in place. :)

    Liked by 6 people

  5. It’s great that you recognise this now. It”s really nice to read a self confessed male romantic’s opinions. This post was really insightful. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Your post hit me in the feels. It took me a while to learn this lesson on the dating front, and I am still working on it in other areas of my life.
    I also wanted to say thank you for your openness and vulnerability. It’s been fun watching you grow over the last few years, and I am glad that things are going so well for you now.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think society places too much value on finding that kind of partnership (whether it’s cohabitation or marriage), but some people just function better without one. I’ve never had a romantic partner myself, and it’s taken me a long time to get to the point of being able to appreciate myself. I look back at my twenties (which I refer to as my “lost decade” because I spent most of it feeling isolated and depressed), and I realize that even if I had a partner or family of my own at that point in my life, I would have been terribly unprepared for it. I’m in my thirties now (I just turned 33 about three weeks ago), and I think now even though the circumstances of my current life are preventing me from socializing (I’m a home caregiver for my mother, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and is now bedridden), I think I’m more prepared now not just to have a partner but also to be a good and loving partner than I would have in my twenties. At the same time, I’m so used to being single that the prospect of letting someone into my life and heart is frankly pretty scary.

    I think social expectations and Hollywood have also placed unrealistic expectations of what that kind of partnership is supposed to be like anyway. Life doesn’t play out like a romantic comedy or a Hallmark movie where everyone is happy and kissing at the end and everything’s okay. Not everybody gets a happily ever after with their Prince or Princess Charming. And nobody is entitled to or required to have that “ride or die” in their lives. We need to teach the world that not only is it perfectly okay to be single/unpartnered, but that those who are can and are allowed to be happy. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from all my years as a single adult woman is that while it would be nice for me to have that companionship and partnership in my life and all the great (and not-so-great) stuff that comes with it, it’s not the beginning and end of my happiness.

    TL;DR: Don’t feel the need to enter into a relationship to validate yourself. Your relationship status does not determine your happiness in life.

    Embrace your thirties; for me so far, it has been a period of a lot of learning and introspection. I hope you learn a lot of wonderful things about yourself during this next phase of your life.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This resonated with me, Cristian, and I love it so much. I definitely wasted my twenties searching for something from someone, that I couldn’t show myself, love. I, too, have suffered from depression since the age of 14, and now at the age of 35, I realize it’s okay to talk about it. I just completed a 14 month therapy stint, and it was the best thing I could’ve ever done for myself and mental health health!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Bravo! I feel Exactly the way you feel. I’m almost 30 and I was also a very big romantic but now after going through all those tough times in my 20’s I can agree with your writing a 1000% . You are correct to live your life exactly how you feel like and life should not be only defined by girlfriend/boyfriend husband/wife. “We are born alone and we die alone only through our love and friendship can we establish the illusion that we are not alone.” Orson Welles

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, this is an unapologetic truth that you had the courage to write. It’s not easy to show the vulnerable side without being ashamed. Personally, I can relate with everything that you told. And being just months away from my 30s too, I also have no idea what to expect after my encounters in 20s. Will be looking forward to your writings!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “The truth is, the world falls in love with those who can conquer the world with just one hand, because they’re so bad-ass they can hold the other one behind their back.” This line is so powerful! I’m in my 20s and it helps a lot to read posts like this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I know you’re going to have a great 30s. :)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I am a practical romantic. Never fell in love too quickly nor think that I could be someone ride or die. But then I found someone who would do anything to be never let go of my hands. But I blew it. I feel like that your most of 20’s is going to be a steep learning curve where you learn to fail, to be okay again. And just maybe, you’ll be mature enough by 30.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I honestly shed a tear reading this. I’m 20 years old and I’m very grateful i read this now. I’m struggling with all my insecurities and dealing with failures and I don’t know what to think of my circles but this post really helped opening an eye for me. Thank You!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Wow dude this was just…. idk “awesome” just doesn’t seem the the right word to use here. Though I haven’t quite hit my twenties, far from it, to be specific, but that “insecurity” thing was lowkey relatable. Thank you writing this. I am so lucky to have stumbled upon this jem!!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hey Cristian!!! This is great!
    As a blogger documenting my twenties, I absolutely enjoyed this post and wasn’t to ask if you won’t mind me featuring you in a blogpost, ‘My Best reads of the month?’

    Thank you as I await your response!!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Relatable x 100
    I think the notion of romance we have is so delusional it blinds us- makes us feel as though we have to give up ourselves to feel love or loved. The vision falls apart when someone like you explores and figures there’s a better way- to love oneself & not worry about being likeable- being genuine.

    Looking fwd to reading more from you :)

    Liked by 2 people

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