When it comes to our dating culture, I think it’s safe to say we all have a lot of questions. But one of them raises itself the most apparently, and it is this:
What the actual fuck are we all doing?
Throughout college, I’ve garnered my fair share of numbers, sorority formal dates, hook-ups, and everything in between, but I’ve only had 2 labeled, formal, FBO relationships. So where do all of those other lackluster almosts fall? The in-bewteen. They are the boys I danced with at the bar who I took back to my place. They are the boys who were my FWBs, my wedding dates, my backup plans. They are the boys who I was basically in a relationship with without being able to call them mine. Call them what you will, but I call them a product of society.
Picture this. Two twenty-somethings meet and hit it off. They are not only great friends, but there’s great chemistry, the timing couldn’t be better, and both of them seem to be feeling each other.
Sounds great, right? Except for the fact where both people are afraid to have the DTR because it’s uncool to be the person who cares more. When did it become unattractive to give a shit about someone?
It’s fucked up that ghosting is even a thing people do, as if people don’t deserve enough respect to hear the truth. It’s fucked up that most of us shy away from something real our of fear the other person will walk away like it’s nothing. It’s fucked up that this blog even has to exist, but since we’re all in this relationship-limbo shithole together, I’m going to share a few of my tips in hopes of saving you from cringe-worthy scenarios.
When nobody wants to put labels on things, it’s still important to know where you stand. Even if you don’t like the answer. Either accept that it is what it is and that’s all it will ever be or move on. Period. Be up front from the beginning about your expectations and what you’re looking for, and keep the line of communication open.
2. You can’t make someone ready who isn’t
You can’t automatically make people meet you where you’re at. You may be ready to walk down the aisle, but if he isn’t ready to walk next door to the neighbor’s apartment, you may be in trouble. Find someone who wants the same things you want and is in the same phase of life as you are, and you’ll save yourself the hurt later.
3. Know yourself
Some girls are capable of having a friends with benefits. Some aren’t. Some girls are ready to get married at 21. Some girls aren’t ready to pick out breakfast at 27. Know where you are in your own personal growth and embrace that, because these are the years to really find yourself. And if you find Mr. Right along the way…well, that wouldn’t hurt either.
4. Don’t invest yourself too quickly
I am the queen of jumping to two things: conclusions and falling for fuckboys. Take it slow. Take time to enjoy getting to know the person. Don’t be afraid to open up, but do remember to guard your heart from people with shitty intentions. If you wear your heart on your sleeve, this can be really difficult, but I think having some walls is healthy. Now, speaking of fuckboys…
5. Know the fuckboys and stay the hell away from them.
There is no such thing as a fuckboy with a heart of gold, so leave him on tinder where he belongs and save your efforts for someone who gives a shit.
6. Trust your instincts
If you think something about a relationship is off, you’re probably right. Don’t ignore the truth in favor of blissful ignorance. Spoiler Alert: Eventually, Sleeping Beauty wakes up, and shit hits the fan.
7. It isn’t like the movies
We’ve been raised on disney movies and sub-par romantic comedies telling us that one day, this awesome dude will come and sweep us off our feet, but ladies? He’s not coming. Prince charming probably swiped left, or doesn’t exist. Don’t look for perfection. Look for the person you want to hang out with all day and don’t want to kill. Look for someone who makes you laugh so hard it hurts, or for someone who sets your soul on fire. Fairytales are nice, but shut the book, go out, and live.
8. Don’t get jaded
This is the hardest part about dating in the twenty-somethings. It’s easy to get bitter when half of your friends are married and you can’t even hold down a steady relationship, much less find someone to spend your life with. And when there are no labels and basically no rules, it’s easy to end up hurt and confused, wondering what you did wrong, or how it could have been, because there’s no closure. If they never dated you, then the don’t owe you anything, right? Wrong. They owe you respect, and probably a few apologies, but sometimes, you don’t get any of that, and you’re left alone and confused. Sometimes, people peace the fuck out with no explanation whatsoever. And that sucks. But it’s just one more person down on the countdown to finding someone decent. Patience is more important now then ever, so stick it out for someone who’s on the same page.