I’m officially past the point that’s considered “mid-20s,” by numerical definition — as “mid” generally signifies, um, the middle of something. I haven’t had a one-night stand with a narcissistic writer with mommy issues, and an awful name like, let’s say, Donald, in awhile. (This may have something to do with having a boyfriend who smokes cigarettes after Sunday morning hikes. The one with the mustache. I don’t know.)
Perhaps it’s the big sister in me, perhaps it’s based on my 1,534 past Tinder dates, perhaps it’s because my friends are getting engaged and slowly, but shockingly realizing that they will never date anyone ever again. Well, ideally. We all know that divorce statistic.
Whatever the contributing factors are, these are the five men you should date in your 20s:
1. The One You Have Really Good Sex With
He doesn’t need to be particularly intelligent, in general or emotionally. It doesn’t matter if he has a recent ex-girlfriend or freakishly small teeth, or gets spray tans — because you’re going to be that girl. You’re going to be that girl that rejects a proper date with him because you’re not interested (i.e. see above). You’re going to be that girl who grabs a bag of chips from the corner store and devours them at 12:03am while texting him to come over. You’re going to be that girl that gets grease on her phone screen and on the tip of her nose. You’re going to be that girl that realizes she doesn’t know how to seduce a stranger, but somehow it will happen anyways. And that’s all it will be. And it will be great. (Only if you have chips, first, though).
2. The One That Cries More than You
This is the man that has more emotions than The Best of Oprah DVD. If your last name is a common compliment of the English language he may exclaim something like, “My life has become so novel-esque since I’ve met you.” He’s the one you’ll break up with on the phone in an airport two days after he spends an entire sushi dinner pouting because he was “just born with an innate sadness.” And can’t get an erection because he’s depressed on his bedroom floor. It’s better to leave him crying all alone — being someone’s emotional tampon sucks.
3. Your Co-Worker
Tequila Tuesdays at work inspire uncharacteristic actions, like finally hooking up with the co-worker you’ve flirted with for months, and have gone on dates with for weeks. And then throwing up directly after this activity. If there’s something more uncomfortable than making cereal next to a man whose penis bumped your cervix the night before, it’s making cereal next to him in your company’s kitchen and then going to your 10:00am meeting with him. Ultimately, this will all fade, but your job won’t. It’s an oddly empowering experience to process your feelings for a person fully, from start to finish. From initial attraction, to like, to really like, to sex, to barf, to sad, to mad, to forgiveness and then to developing a true friendship with them. Usually we stop at the ego bruising part of that process (or at least the barfing, post tequila hook-up).
4. The One You Know Is the One
He won’t be, though. He’s the one that will break your heart so hard and ferociously — not solely in terms of rejection, but because it will be the first time you realize how wrong you can you be about something that you knew was true. It’s the emotional equivalent to Silence of the Lambs horrifying. You’ll grow, though, in experiencing a deeper state of being that deepens your capacity for joy in life, in all things — including string cheese.
5. Your Guy Friend
The one who has that thing you’re arbitrarily attracted to (big butt, beard, beekeeping skills, whatever you’re into), but whose chemistry level is questionable. Would a kiss have Uncle undertones or a family dog familiar feeling? If he sends you a cleverly written email asking you out during the brief moment you’re both single, it’s certainly worth investigating. It’s could be nothing, but you’ll never have to play the what-if game again next time he introduces the newest dingbat with three cats he’s dating.