Thought Catalog

17 Women On What They Wish They Would Have Known About Dating In Their Twenties

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Zhora
Zhora

1.

“I wish I would have known that men will tell you you are “crazy” and that your feelings are “crazy.” But they are just doing it to diminish their culpability. Having feelings is normal and healthy, even when you were “just hooking up.” The title of ‘girlfriend’ isn’t a prerequisite to being able to mourn when a relationship is over. Don’t ever let someone make you feel silly because you cared.”

2.

“My biggest regret is spending so much time being insecure about my body. I wasted so much time being shy and not going after guys I wanted (and who, in retrospect, were totally into it) because I was convinced they wouldn’t think I was hot enough. The really cruel part is that now I look back and can see that I looked great! God. What a waste.”

3.

“A guy will reveal to you very quickly who he is and what he sees for your future relationship. It’s just that most of the time you are too blinded by lust and that awesome new relationship feeling to notice it. Pay attention to red flags and take them seriously. If he mistreats people in his life, he will mistreat you. If he cheats his work, he will cheat you. If he is a giant fucking slob who has no aspirations in life, you aren’t gonna change him!”

4.

“I was so shy when I was hooking up with a guy. I was afraid to say ‘no’ when I wanted to. I wish I realized earlier than women have way more power in relationships than they think they do. I could have asked for (and gotten) a lot more than I settled for.”

5.

“I wish I wouldn’t have wasted the years I was single being sad that I was single. I’m married and have kids now and I miss that shit! I’m totally happy with my life, but it sucks that I didn’t enjoy living alone and dating around for how awesome it could have been. I totally wish I had some steamier hookups and affairs to look back on now that I know it will never happen in my future.”

6.

“Buy condoms. Keep them at your apartment and bring them with you. Don’t be embarrassed to make him wear one. It’s such a silly thing to worry about when the consequence of a lifelong STD is so serious.”

7.

“I’ve been friends with my best friend since college. We were both single together and dating in our 20’s. I love her but she’s always been a tiny bit shallow. She will only date guys she feels “chemistry” with which always translates into “she will only date really conventionally attractive men.” They have to be over 6 feet and they have to be hot (not by her own quirky aesthetic, but by everyone on the planet’s aesthetic). She’s very beautiful it’s not like these men are out of her league, it’s just that the dating pool is sooo small and those kinds of guys have so many options, none of her relationships have ever lasted more than a few months because I think they can’t stop thinking about what else is out there. I wonder if she’s ever going to find a lasting relationship unless she changes her criteria.”

8.

“I wish I would have known how important it is to have strong friendships with other women. I pulled away from them when I started dating my now husband, and even more when I had a kid. There are times I ache for the deep friendships I had when I was younger but I don’t have any like that anymore.”

9.

“I wish I hadn’t been so pathetic! It always took me so long to let go of a guy and I thought that meant that our relationship was special and meant to be so I’d be the clingy ex who can’t move on. Having a hard time moving on is normal! But you can’t make that the problem of your ex. I’m embarrassed about what they think of me.”

10.

“I wish I could tell my younger self that only shady people get mad when you ask them questions. If a guy won’t tell you weird things like where he lives or what the name of his company is, walk out the fucking door. You’re a side chick and you’re too good for that.”

11.

“I would tell my younger self that relationships are really fucking hard and that’s just the way it is. You can’t have such high expectations of people and then be angry when they don’t live up to the relationship you’ve dreamed about all your life. That burden will kill any relationship.”

12.

“I wish I would be able to tell my younger self that the hot guys aren’t worth it. After getting cheated on three times I sat myself down and thought about how to get what I really wanted: a love, stable, committed relationship. The hot guys were great, but they knew they were great so they never appreciated me. When I wrote down the characteristics that I really needed (someone who *wants* to get married, someone who shares my values, someone who is a good communicator) I began looking at men differently. Now I’m married to someone I love and our relationship is amazing. I wish I would have found him sooner.”

13.

“Have tough conversations early and take the answers seriously. Don’t wait until you’ve spent 8 months of your life on a relationship to ask if maaaaaybe they want to get married and have kids on day. If it’s important to you, don’t waste time on people who will never give it to you.”

14.

“Extroverts need a lot of attention and they need it from new people. Date an introvert. Save yourself a lifetime of jealousy.”

15.

“Don’t waste your time trying to change someone. Just let it go so you can spend your time looking for someone who’s already exactly what you’re looking for.”

16.

“I’ve learned that you can’t complain about your man to your friends constantly and then expect them to support your relationship. When you tell them all the awful (but totally normal) things he does, that’s what they see in him and they’ll just wonder why you’re dating such a loser. They don’t see all the good things he does, they just see whatever you tell them to see.”

17.

“If you want something, ask for it. It’s like a fucking magic trick! I spent so much time in relationships wondering why my partner was so clueless. And then someone told me something that stuck: men aren’t mind readers. Ever since then when I found myself wondering why he did things a certain way or whatever I would just ask him. I tell him what I’d like to do for birthdays and holidays. I tell him what I like in bed. And things are SO. MUCH. BETTER.” TC mark

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    No. 14 is brilliant.

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