This past summer I turned 30 — so I’ve had some time to look back on my 20’s with a (more than a) few moments of reflection. Okay, so those years were fun — but I’ve learned a loooot about dating in that time.
There’s been a bunch of ups and downs — as dating goes — but overall it’s been a pretty great ride. For anybody currently navigating the trenches of love in their 20’s, take these tidbits home with you. I guarantee its good advice … and not just because I’m providing it.
Fall in love once or twice
Those kind of relationships you see in all the chick flicks, everybody needs them at least once in a life. The passion is high — and so are the expectations. I got my heart broke –or so I thought at the time — and my friends hated me because I was super annoying. I honestly thought nothing would be good again because I couldn’t be with her. Looking back, I would have paid to kick my own ass.
Point is– you will learn some really important lessons here about what love really is. These types of relationships come easy in your early 20’s and are critical experiences for young people.
Don’t determine your value based on someone else
Always make sure that you bring a lot of value to a relationship. Keep the ball in your court. Don’t let your emotions be controlled by someone else’s mood. I’ve been a victim of this (“falling in love”), and I see friends going through it now. Be in charge because, lets face it, the alternative sucks.
Be good to whomever you are dating
Bottom line, this has to do with you as a person. Always be good. Being able to look back and know that you were just a good person is a great feeling. Helps me sleep at night. If they were good or bad, it doesn’t even matter. You were in control of how you acted, and that is powerful. Be good. Be strong.
Be able to let go
It’s important that if the time comes you are able to move on. For the most part, I’ve learned that being able to do this comes with experience. Once you have this ability in your arsenal, you are unstoppable. My last girlfriend and I broke up over a very quick phone call — when I thought things were super good. I made the decision to go along with it, and it was the best breakup strategy ever. Felt great. Always look forward to the next thing because, I promise, there is always a next thing.
Relationships are experiences
Try to have a good time. That’s what dating is about. Don’t psych yourself out by treating someone as an end goal. Some of the best relationships I’ve had were when I liked the person — but didn’t give a shit if it was going to end. Those are learning experiences that teach you the person you are, your dating style and what works for you. Try to learn from every relationship and see how you can better yourself as you go.
When you get serious…
These are partnerships. Be driven to create a strong connection with someone who makes you the best you, and who understands you — don’t be driven by lust. That lead to splits and regret — I’ve seen too many serious relationships end because “fools rushed in.” Take your time and find somebody you can, above all, trust. Always second guessing, playing games — it’s not a good time. Not having trust is the worst…trust me.
Have fun! Dating and relationships are a great part of life, so make sure you are enjoying it. Don’t stay in something that isn’t working out. Meet new people. challenge yourself and experience new things. That’s what life is all about, amirite?