Dating at this age is HARD. And I don’t mean hard in the sense of can’t-find-a-date-because-everyone’s-a-weirdo hard.
I mean that everyone is too busy consumed by the bullshit of themselves (or what they don’t-even-know-yet to be “themselves”) that they find it extremely difficult to look past their insecurity or lack of identity to let someone else in.
Let me break down how dating in young adult life tends to go (these conclusions are based purely on observation):
Age range 18-22: This is the period where people trickle off to uni, start their own lives, gain some sort of responsibility and are spat out in to the world from their mothering, nurturing safe haven. This is the young adult age when people tend to pair up- they found someone they really like outside of their home town, wahaay! How great! (If you began a relationship around this time, more than likely it ended in the mid-20’s region because your “lives were going separate ways” and/or “you both still loved each other but now just ‘wasn’t the right timing'”, amiright? amiright?)
Age range 22- 26: If you find yourself single around this time, more than likely, you remain single for an extended period of time; people tend to shut themselves off from any sort of relationship during this time frame. Everyone wants to have fun, they don’t want to be tied down. They want to experience life alone– “sort their shit out”. Go travel. No commitments. If you do happen to find yourself in a relationship in this age bracket, your significant other is more likely to make stupid shitty mistakes, or try and push boundaries. They don’t fuck up enough to fuck up the relationship, but make silly mistakes such as getting too mashed and not sleeping before your birthday celebrations. Or getting too mashed and falling asleep in a park somewhere missing date day. Or getting too mashed and generally behaving as though you’re not in a relationship. This is the age when if you find yourself in a relationship, the fuck ups tend to be behavioural of things that single people would do.
26 and beyond: I haven’t quite reached this category yet, but from what I have observed, of the male counterparts, this is around the time that boys start to LOOK like men. Their new found masculine physiques take them by surprise and they become more arrogant and “self assured” (arrogance is just insecurity disguised as confidence). At this age, boys become “talkers”. They may look more like men, but they’re not; lost in the bullshit of who they want to become, and how they’re gonna get there. This is when the babble of all their grand schemes are verbalised- how ONE DAY, they will be wealthy and/or successful. How ONE DAY, they will have done this-this-and-this to achieve that wealth, or success. The talkers become boring after a while, because they don’t transcend in to “doers”- but they fool you for a hot sec.
My friend and I were laughing about a similar situation we found ourselves in recently. We both had been seeing someone (separate peeps obvs), who inadvertently ‘disappeared’ for a couple weeks. We were initially upset, but got over it quickly when we remembered we are strong, independent ladies who don’t need no man. Then, as mysteriously as they disappeared, they reappear! Funny that. This is a classic tactic of 20-something daters, of which I am also guilty of. Keeping an old fling at arms length, just in case the mood strikes (just remember that said individual is usually aware they are being used as a back up plan).
I received this lovely message:
“Sorry haven’t been in touch for so long, been a bit of a weird one. Not quite sure why we haven’t spoken tbh no excuses really.”
WE HAVEN’T SPOKEN RECENTLY BECAUSE YOU’RE AN IDIOT.
Here’s the one my friend found herself in:
Let me set one thing straight- dating at this age isn’t just hard because everyone’s a bit of an idiot (I’m not much better in flip-role reversal). It’s also hard because if you’re someone like me, you’re caught between what your foo-foo wants, and what you think you should want for yourself (party boy vs. nice boy, exciting boy vs. safe boy).
I enjoy being single. I am more productive when I’m single. I see my friends whenever and however I want. I get more shit done. I can do whatever I want. I can go away every weekend over the summer and it doesn’t matter because I have no one else I need to think about (haha!!). I am less distracted with uni work (the times I have been in a relationship and/or “seeing” someone, I end up less focused and consumed by said-individual).
However, no matter how much I may enjoy being single, and these aspects that come with it, I’m only human. I long for companionship. I want someone who cares about the achievements I’m accomplishing for myself- I get this support and adoration from my friends, but there’s one thing they can’t give me (if yaaaa know whaaa I’m saaaayyyiiiinnnnn). I think this is something that every happily-single person yearns for deep down. But there’s also that classic “I don’t want to settle” argument. And I truly don’t.
I watched a video recently that was circulating around Facebook about a guy who said that we all are looking for that “rare bird”. That rare person who has a combination of something that makes them unique- unforgettable, unmissable.
I’ve often wondered why I don’t like “nice guys”. I know that’s super fucking cliche, but unfortunately it’s true. I went on a Tinder date recently (I don’t Tinder a lot, let’s set the record straight) with a 34 year old guy who throws javelin for England (and is English champion what whaaaat). We had a nice enough mini-date, he wasn’t drinking because of his strict regime of fitness and protein (it wasn’t that cringe), but as I was sat across the table from him I thought, yeah you’re nice, but you just haven’t got that something– whatever that something is.
This age is full of people who are too insecure to let people in. “I don’t want everyone to know I’m super in to her/him!!” This is complete, and utter bullshit. I’m a firm believer in if you like someone, fucking tell them you like them. If you think the person you’re seeing is awesome, fucking TELL them (but only tell them if you mean it), before they get tired of your bullshit and move on to someone who will tell them all these things. Sometimes I beat myself up for being too eager, or getting hurt when I blatantly put myself on the line. But then I remember, I’d much rather have been myself and been true to my feelings and been hurt than pretended to not care, and warrant the same reaction. I’m not going to play a game simply because there is a game to be played.
Life’s too short for the bullshit games of the 20 something dating. We all need to let go of that insecurity, because all we are doing is hindering ourselves.
I came across an article about different emotions we do not have the words for in English- it reaffirms how our Western society has not had the need for words which have richer, deeper meanings. Our emotions are diluted to take out the wonder of differing feelings of experiences and other people. Perhaps we need to remember that emotions are not weakness, they are what make us complex and make life worth living. My favourite quote from the article says, “The more granular our experience of emotion is, the more capable we are to make sense of our inner lives.” 🙏🙏
Give it a lil look: