Dating in Our Twenties: True Love, Mingling, or Wild and Free?

Author: Emma Poliseno

Going off of our previous post a few weeks ago regarding living the dream post-college and in our twenties, (which in the grand scheme of things we totally are!) dating and relationships strike up a lot of conversations, wonderment, and not to mention some ridiculous stories. Let’s be honest, we all know meeting someone, dating and relationships are a whole other game at any time in your life. But in your twenties, and after college, it can turn into a complete jungle with some uncharted waters.

First off, in our twenties most of us don’t know what we want when it comes to almost everything in our lives, let alone dating. It’s hard for us to decide whether we want that reach for the stars, over the moon forever kind of love or still hold onto the freedom of being able to hit the town on a Friday night with the ability to be single and mingle with however many people we choose. So here lies a dilemma. Settle down within the love and comforts of a relationship, or soak up the immense freedom we have while we still can? Whichever your preference, or whatever your values, it’s totally ok. Let’s break down all sides of this dilemma to help light the dark path which each can have.

If you’re the relationship type, have found your signifiant other, and have a strong stable relationship…amazing! (and I am jealous of you) This is an incredible thing to have found and really does only come once in a lifetime. Don’t let the rest of us single and dating twenty something try and tell you different. I’m sure you’ve gotten “You’re so young to settle down!” or “Are you really sure they are the one?” If you know deep inside your soul and your heart that yes in fact they are the one and no you’re not too young to be so serious, that is all that matters. Love is a beautiful thing and comes into your life at any time. It takes work and dedication from both ends and if you’ve got it, hold onto it!

Now, for those of us (myself included) who are a bit tired of the single life, although it can be a blast in a glass, and are looking for that ever lasting love or just a little bit more than an awkward dinner with a one time make-out sesh the game becomes a little bit harder to play. The root of the problem is once again, we don’t know what we want. So when you are out meeting new people and setting expectations upon meeting and after the second or third date, you could be let down because your person of interest is likely not to be on the same page as you. Talk about frustrating! What is important in these situations, is just to go with the flow. Don’t set those expectations. (Please this is the pot calling the kettle black so I get it) But seriously, try not to assume and jump to the fairytale ending right away. No one likes a Stage Five Clinger and it just doesn’t help your cause. Also, branch out of your typical social circle or scene. Meeting someone at a bar is rarely the place to find The One. And don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! We are all guaranteed those bad dates, but within them there could be a really good one. We’ve all heard it before (and want to punch the people telling us) that you find love when you stop looking. This whole game is optimism at it’s finest. We have to stay positive, but still enjoy the ride of course!

And there are those twenty somethings who just have no interest in finding someone or settling down. If this works for you, have at it! There are tons of fish in the sea who are looking for a good time and not much more so you should be fine keeping yourself entertained until your mind suddenly, or maybe not, changes. Just be mindful and careful! I don’t want to sound like your mother, trust I have my repertoire of reckless and amazing stories myself, but you’ve got to at least have a little bit of caution. There are some crazies out there, we’ve all met them, and if you’re not looking to get serious and fall in love than look out for yourself. But also, keep in mind the other people you are mingling with. The best thing that is going to keep your wild single and free lifestyle successfully going is honesty. If you don’t want to go past the second dinner or fifth drink with someone, just let them know. Because as mentioned before, the other person could have some expectations and hopes which we don’t want to keep up and carrying on if it’s not what we want. Other than that, live it up as much as you please!

Clearly there are not set rules and regulations for dating. But it can definitely become a game with many sticky situations. Just try and enjoy it all as much as possible. Laugh at the horrible blind dates or randos who can’t get a clue. Embrace the romance when it is there and don’t be afraid to feel or risk some things for love or the possibility of it. Every thing you do and experience is something that allows you to learn and to grow. Just remember to stay true to yourself, your needs, and your wants, (what ever those may be!)

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