In recent weeks, we’ve explored dating in your thirties, forties and fifties on the blog. Dating blogger Lara Loveless completes the set with an article about the realities of dating in your twenties.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Entering the Dating World – Dating in Your Twenties
Dating in your twenties – a whirlwind of parties, fun, and exciting dates with charming men. Well… not quite.
At the beginning of last year, I returned from my gap year, and Facebook stalked my ex-boyfriend. To my horror, I discovered that, despite breaking up with me because he’s “not good at relationships”, he now had a girlfriend. I’d been contently single for the past 2 years, but I decided enough was enough. I had to get back into the game. And that game is very different when you hit your twenties and properly enter the dating world.
As a teenager it’s easy to meet new guys. In sixth form, I spent my Fridays underage drinking in a field. At university, I met guys in halls or at the Student Union. But after graduation the opportunities to meet new people get less and less. There was no choice. It was time for me to go virtual.
Online dating is a bit like shopping in a charity shop. You get the occasional gem, but there’s a lot of junk to sift through. The dates I have been on so far have ranged from pleasant but lacking that elusive spark, to so awkward I considered walking out halfway through.
In the adult dating world, you’re kind of working backwards. Before, my dating experiences consisted of getting drunk, and, if there was a mutual attraction, kissing, establishing that we both liked each other, and then maybe going on a date. As an ‘adult’ I go on a load more dates, scattergun style, and, if there’s a mutual attraction, maybe kiss and go from there. The rules have changed and I’m still figuring out what they are. Is he going on other dates? Should I go on other dates? What’s the magic date number to have sex? What’s the difference between classy, mysterious lady and frigid nun?!
When I came back from my gap year, my friends tried to set me up with a guy who was perfect on paper. Mr Perfect on Paper was quite good looking, successful, we had a lot in common, and the same sense of humour. If I were 16, he would have been ideal.
But I didn’t really like him. I wouldn’t have slept with him. And since I was 16, there have been guys I have really fallen for, so now I wouldn’t settle for anything less. It is true that as you get older, your expectations get higher. But why shouldn’t they? There’s no shame in being single while you wait for the right one!
You Have to Make Dating A Priority
A funny thing happens after you graduate. Afternoons, evenings, and long holidays all become a thing of the past. Suddenly your entire life becomes occupied by this thing called WORK.
I leave the house at 7.30am. I don’t get home until gone 8pm. I eat dinner, shower, then go to bed. I get 4 weeks off a year, and can only take 2 in one go. “Maybe I don’t have time for a relationship” I started to think to myself. “Maybe I should just focus on work for now…” Until I went to a dating event, and met a 37 year old single woman who did exactly that when she was younger.
You have to consciously make the time and effort to date, otherwise life will pass you by.
A Time of Change
I’m now at the age where my friends are starting to get engaged and have children. My cousin, who is 2 months younger than me, is getting married this year, and Facebook is beginning to fill with life events. As part of my job, I work with a lot of “mummy bloggers”, and when I see a 25 year old married mother, I start to panic and wonder what I’m doing with my life.
On the other hand, our twenties are an exciting time of life. We’re old enough to earn our own money, yet young enough to enjoy the freedom it brings. Those of us with a lack of ties should embrace that freedom while it lasts.
I’m planning adventures that my teenage self would be proud of and my 30 year old self will be glad that I did. Live your life, and let love happen when it happens!