1. Nobody has their shit figured out.
Let’s be serious here: We’re all perpetual hot messes until the age of at least 25. If you’re under 25 and you are not a hot mess, you’re just a few mistakes away from becoming one. It’s that we are not trying – we are. It’s just that we’re all too damn new at this. Too new to the workforce, too new to the real world, too new to our ambitions and too new to our letdowns, to fully invest ourselves in somebody else. How do we decide what we want out of a partner when we don’t even know what we want out of our own lives?
2. Nobody is ever on the same page as anybody else.
You meet someone, it’s going well, you want all of the same things then bam – you wake up three years later ready to have kids and they’re packing their bags to go tree-planting in Africa. What happened? Your twenties did. Our values change so rapidly before the age of thirty that it’s almost impossible to keep up with anyone else. You can be on the same page for a while but we’re all flipping through at different speeds. You might suddenly find yourself five chapters ahead or behind, wondering what the hell happened in the meantime.
3. We all kind of suck at it.
Let’s call a spade a spade – we all suck balls at relationships in our early twenties. We think that sitting on our couches swiping right counts as making a move on someone and that ‘hanging out sometime’ counts as asking someone out on a date. WE ARE ATROCIOUS AT THIS right now because we have too much else on the go and you know what? That’s okay. There will be a time when we’re ready to put real effort into this. That time just isn’t right now.
4. We’re still young enough to be having fun.
There are so many benefits of being in a serious relationship. I get that. But we also have the rest of our lives to be in them! We’re all going to get older, slow down, pair off and wish that we’d taken more advantage of the years when we were young and unrestrained. So why not make the most of them? Our twenties do not have to feel like a mad dash to the finish line – we could all stand to slow down and enjoy the trip a little more.
5. The future is a big fat question mark for most of us.
No matter where you think you’re going to end up by the end of your twenties, you’re probably dead wrong. The world is changing faster and more drastically than ever before. In five years time you could be working at a job that doesn’t even exist yet. You could be living in a city you have never heard of. You could head over heels in love with someone you wouldn’t ever glance twice at today. It’s an exciting time to be young, but it’s also a stressful time. We have to stay open to change and a lot of that makes planning for the future quite difficult.
6. Most of us haven’t achieved our ideal lifestyle yet.
In fact most of us don’t even know what our ideal lifestyle looks like. How much money do we want to be making? How much do we want to be saving? Where do we want to raise families? Do we even want families at all? The first several years of our twenties raise a lot of questions, and those questions take years to answer. You don’t want to find out five years into a relationship that you both want completely different things for the long term.
7. It is easy to become way too dependent on our relationships.
There will (hopefully) never be another time in our lives when we are as lost and confused as we are in our twenties. When we enter into serious relationships during these years it can sometimes feel like they’re the only stable things we have in our lives – which can lead to uncontrollable overdependence on each another. It’s always best to figure out our own shit before figuring out our shit with someone else and in our twenties, let’s be serious – that takes a while.
8. Our changing careers have us re-locating like crazy.
We’re becoming an undeniably global workforce. Now than ever before, promotions mean moving cities or even countries to take the next steps in our careers. Can we really ask our partners to follow us to each new place we go? And if so, how much pressure does that put on the relationship? Our tendency to move around like mad in our twenties makes it hard to commit to other people – people who may just want to stay put.
9. We’re all a little gun-shy.
Simply put we don’t want to choose incorrectly. It seems like our whole lives are ahead of us so if we are not 100% sold on the person sitting across the table from us, why waste time? At some point we’re going to have to start taking this whole ‘dating’ thing a little more seriously. But right now we are writing each other off for every miniscule flaw we can find – and it’s getting a little exhausting.
10. We don’t know who we are going to become yet.
You may have a pretty good idea of yourself at 23 but who’s to say you won’t have a completely different way of looking at things by your 29th birthday? The eternal frustration of being in our twenties is that we are impacted drastically by rapidly-changing life events and its impossible to pinpoint what type of people we’ll grow into as a result. It’s an exciting time that’s rife with self-discovery. But let’s be serious – it just doesn’t cater well to dating. And that’s okay. We have our whole lives. We may need to give the whole search-for-a-serious-relationship thing a break for the next couple years.