It's been a while since my last blog post, so let me refresh you all with who I am. I am 22 years old. I am unemployed. I am about to move to a new city across the country, yet technically I am still homeless without an apartment. Oh, and I will have an entirely new sea of men to explore, for which I am particularly enthusiastic.
In honor of starting this exciting yet horrifying new chapter of my life, my best friends Emily and Victoria and I have compiled a list of some vital dating tips to get you through your 20s. So, sit back, get ready to laugh at our misfortunes, and prepare to learn a thing or two about how to survive dating in your 20s (and how I've decided to embrace being single).
1. If he is interested in you, he will text you.
And no, Snapchat does NOT count. Ok, I admit that this was partially taken from the movie "He's Just Not That Into You," but I have learned this the hard way. I have always made excuses for why a guy hasn't texted me. "Oh, maybe he is sick." "I think he's really busy with work this week." "He probably died." If a guy truly likes you, he would be interested in talking with you. Bottom line. A snapchat takes less than 2 seconds to take and is usually sent out to a mass audience. If getting a snapchat from the person you're interested in makes you feel appreciated, I'm sure the other 15 people he/she sent that to must be feeling the same way.
2. You can't create chemistry over time.
If you are on a date with someone and you find yourself wanting it to end, you're simply not into it. This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes people try to be polite and find themselves hoping to find chemistry somewhere down the line. Don't let yourself get swept up into the idea of dating someone solely based on the idea that you will be dating someone. If there is no chemistry, don't go on a second date to "just see" if there's chemistry later on. It won't be there.
3. Are we on the same boat?
"Some idiot ended a relationship with me through a letter. I was very confused because I didn't think there was any kind of official relationship to begin with." (-Emily) It is important to make sure you are on the same page with the person you are dating. Establish clear expectations with your relationship in order to avoid awkward moments, such as when someone tries to break off a relationship that never existed. Yikes.
4. "Get out, right now, it's the end of you and me." - JoJo
Don't be afraid to end things when it isn't working out. Don't let the other person guilt you into staying with a relationship that is sinking faster than the Titanic. Some horror stories include a guy that told his girlfriend that he had cancer in order to make her stay in the relationship. Needless to say it still didn't work out, and he had to deal with the awkwardness that follows when your ex-girlfriend finds out that you are not sick with cancer. If you do not see a long-term relationship, don't bother continuing to waste your time or their time.
5. Three is not the magic number
If a guy brings a friend to your date, this could mean one of two things. 1) It's not a date in his mind or 2) he views you only as a friend or someone he wants to get into his bed. He shouldn't even have to ask if it's okay to bring a friend, because if he was really into you he would want to focus on spending time with you and not juggling his attention. Sorry, but that's the cold-hearted truth.
6. Fool me twice, shame on me.
"There's an old saying 'fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.' Don't let anyone make a fool out of you. If he screwed you over once, okay maybe be forgiving. If he screws up twice? Don't give him a third opportunity because it is likely he will do the same exact thing again and again until you stop letting him." (-Victoria)
7. If it's going down, I'm yelling "TINDER!"
In this day and age, people are more frequently turning to apps and online dating websites to find that possible connection. While I am in no way diminishing the success of online dating, it is important to be careful and stay smart while using such services. Pictures can often be misleading, so when getting to know someone via the internet or a dating app just realize that the person may look different when you meet in person. "One time I matched with an attractive man and went to the bar to meet up and he looked completely different. He was also half of my height." (-Emily) Awkward.
8. Comfort level: 0
You want to feel comfortable with the person you are dating, right? You want to be yourself and honest with this person. Here's a tip to decide how comfortable you are with someone: if you aren't comfortable enough to tell the person you are dating when they have spinach stuck in their teeth, then you are not comfortable enough to date them. "I went on a date with someone and didn't tell them they had spinach stuck in their teeth, and looking back it never would have worked out." (-Emily) It may seem like a silly guideline, but it helped me determine with whom I was just being polite and with whom I was actually connecting. Plot twist: this guideline can also mean you like this person A LOT and are too nervous to tell them because you don't want to be rude.
9. All the Single Ladies
"One of the newest trends seems to be settling down and starting a family when you're young. My advice? Live your twenties to the fullest. I'm not saying you should break up with the man you think is the love of your life, but marriage entirely changed the dynamic of a relationship. Go ahead and spend your twenties together if that's what you would like, but don't feel rushed to get married. If he's the one, he's still going to be by your side 5+ years down the road. If not? Screw him. Take advantage of your youth and explore the world, get to know your adult self, set new goals for yourself, etc. Take this time to be selfish and love yourself! And don't be afraid to be single, either." (-Victoria)
10. If it's meant to happen, it will.
At the end of the day, I believe that if you are meant to be with someone, you will be. When you find that person with whom you can 100% be yourself, make weird jokes, laugh way too loudly, tell all of your secrets to, be unashamed of who you are, admit all of your weird fetishes, and miss immensely whenever they are away, then you'll know. The timing is never perfect, and you usually find said person in the most inconvenient of times. However, when you find this person, don't let timing or other circumstances make you give up. Don't let them go. If it's meant to happen, it will.
As for me and my best friends (who graciously helped author this blog post), we are happily single at this time. They're my people. You know, the ones with whom I can 100% be myself, make weird jokes, laugh way too loudly, tell all of my secrets to, be unashamed of who I am, admit all of my weird fetishes, and miss immensely whenever they are away. We have learned the art of being happily single.
Until next time,
Leah, Emily and Victoria