There’s no doubt that some things get better with age — wine, cheese, sex. But there are other things that change so much year-by-year, that it’s hard to look back at where you once were. And if you’ve been trying to find something shiny in a pool of lackluster dates, then you likely know that dating is different in your early 20s than it is in your late 20s.
Go ahead now and ask for forgiveness for what you tolerated when you were 21, because the approaching-30 you would shake your head at what once impressed you. The nice part about being single for multiple years — is that you figure out more and more what you want, what you don’t and what you’re willing to compromise on. And in some very powerful, awesome, ways, you also learn how to care less about how it all goes and expect more out of yourself and your future partner.
In case you need a good belly laugh or you a reminder of how far you’ve come — or where you’re headed — here’s what dating is really like in your 20s. Naturally, in GIFs, because those are fun through the entire decade.
Age 20: I So Don’t Need A Boyfriend/Girlfriend.
Being single in college is so fun! There are so many parties, so many eligible people, I don’t want to settle down. I have time. I mean, it’s not like I’m 25 or something.
After 10 days of heavy antibiotics (thanks to an impromptu trip the ER), when my friends suggested margaritas on a Friday night, I happily obliged. We went through our usual catching-up work — craziness, what exercise class we’re planning to go to, the awesome event we should all sign-up for — and then we turned to the most entertaining topic: dating.
The two ladies I happened to be snacking guac and downing tequila flights with that evening were single like me. And though we’re all at varying levels of singleness, we all settled on one little fact: it’s hard. But while they stayed mostly optimistic about it and at least somewhat excited about the prospect of new dates (that could hopefully, turn into more than happy hour partners) — I was on an entirely opposite end of the spectrum. I’m tired of dating. Continue reading
I’ve been getting pretty burned out on the whole Tinder thing lately. So much swiping, so many unwelcome nudity, creepy opening messages, endless conversations that go nowhere and far too many (ridiculous) propositions. Blame it on being single in a city that sleeps around or just my lack of attention span — but I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with Tinder for a while now.
My mom, on the other hand is fascinated. When I would tell her about another date that didn’t go well, she’d instantly say ‘It’s because of Tinder.’ I can’t say she’s wrong, really, there is a certain amount of anonymity that apps provide, but she’s obviously never used it before — my dad called her on the good ‘ole phone when they dated in the 80s. Continue reading
When I matched with a tall, seemingly-charismatic man with a big smile online, I’ll be the first to admit I was a little skeptical. He looked almost too good to be true, and when he made reservations for our first date instead of leading it up to the happy hour gods, I found that old familiar voice in the back of my head that warns: “Uh, oh. This could be trouble.”
A few drinks and a shared appetizer later, we were walking around, chatting and stopping to kiss underneath the light and the allure of the night, and that voice was only getting louder. By the time he walked me home, said he couldn’t wait to see me again and texted me when he got home, the voice was so loud and my mind was so foggy that I could barely come up with a clever text in return.
The next few days were intense – wondering when he’d ask me out again, trying to play it cool while still seeming interested. Trying to decipher the intention between those blue iMessage bubbles and bugging my (incredibly patient) friends to help me analyze. And as it has happened more times than I’d care to admit – we never did go out again. He ended up disappearing, just as so many have before him, into what I can only imagine is a world of eligible, yet emotionally unavailable men. (Let’s all avoid going there, k?) Continue reading
Though I’ve lived in New York for five years and consider myself some sort of a hybrid of the East Coast, the truth is: I’m a born and raised Southerner.
I may not have an accent (sorry, dudes, I know it’s apparently sexy) and I take my tea unsweetened, but when it comes to chivalry and the importance of gestures in dating, my North Carolina roots always shine through.
If you’re lucky enough to be graced with the presence of a Southern lady, here’s a few things you need to know about dating these so-called belles (ahem, never call me that):
1. We don’t mind a little dirt.
I grew up next to a farm where I happily retrieved eggs from the hens for my neighbor every day after school. My dad taught me to drive a tractor when I was 1-year-old, and I learned how to ride a bike on a gravel road (I have the scars on my knee to prove it).
I spent more time outside than inside, and though I might rock stilettos and Calvin Klein dresses, I don’t mind a little dirt.
Every time this blog has crossed my mind the last month, I’ve felt a sense of guilt. Sometimes, even dread. Believe me, this little spot in the big ‘ol internet has built my life in so many incredible ways, I could never truly complain, and it’s not the blog’s fault for how I feel…
…but I can’t hide how I do feel anymore. You guys… I’m burnt out.
It’s not that I’ve given up on love (I still believe in it more than anything else). It’s not that I don’t want to go on dates (though I’d rather the good start outweighing the bad). It’s not that I don’t want to help inspire and invigorate every single woman (or dude) out there to put themselves first, value their worth and not rush into an okay relationship instead of waiting for a spectacular one. It’s not any of these things… but it’s something.
It’s this deep-rooted, incredibly painful, slightly manic and utterly obsessive fear that’s in the pit of my stomach and within every racing heartbeat. It’s what has been keeping me feeling a little less like myself and a little more depressed lately. It’s been the language I’ve been using and the words I’m selecting. It’s been the tone of my voice and the hushed cries at night that embarrass me more than enlighten me. It’s what I’ve been Googling and what I’ve been G-chatting about with my closest friends, who for some odd reason, still love me despite all of my messiness and need for reassurance on the same damn topic.
Will I be alone forever? Continue reading