18 Things I Let Men Get Away With At 22 That I Would Never Put Up With At 28

I’m on the eve of my 28th birthday, which makes me feel very, very old and wise, especially where relationships are concerned. I cringe every time I think about what 22-year-old Kara was dealing with, dude-wise. I let guys get away with a bunch of shit when I was younger, but now that I’m pushing 30 and far more sure of who I am as a person, there are many things I won’t stand for anymore.


1. Only hanging out with me on weekends, at night. Barf. If a dude isn’t interested in seeing me on a Monday afternoon, I’m not into it. If he disappears right away on Sunday morning, see ya later. I won’t be waiting for your next text message.

2. The “You up?” text. For the most part, my late-night hookup days are over. My phone doesn’t ping with a “You up?” text at 3 AM anymore, and that is just fine with me. It was all fun and games back then, but I have a full-time job and packed weekends now, so I don’t have time for the late night booty call.

3. Having no interest in actually going out and doing things. I dated a guy who never wanted to go out. We stayed inside his apartment every time we hung out, and I got so stir-crazy. I don’t need fancy dinners and crazy dates, but actually leaving the house is a good thing.

4. Whiskey dick. I am so not going to try to have sex with you when I can foresee the whiskey dick waiting in the wings to disappoint me.

5. Not caring if I get off. I don’t stand for that crap anymore. Sex is a two-person activity and both parties should get the ending they deserve.

6. Rabbit sex. Please, no. Thankfully, (most) guys age out of this bang-bang-bang thrusting style.

7. Passive-aggressive arguments. The older you get, the better you can communicate. When something is wrong, it’s best to discuss it like adults, not have back-and-forth text conversations that get nothing solved.

8. Not having things at least 50% figured out. If a dude I’m seeing doesn’t have at least half of his life together, it’s not for me. A dependable job is a good start. A savings account is great, but not necessary. At 22, I dated a lot of dudes with crappy jobs and no motivation. At (almost) 28, I’m not interested in that aimless lifestyle anymore.

9. No goals. In your early twenties, it’s totally fine not to know what you want to do with your life! But when you’re nearing 30, you should have at least a few goals you’re working towards, whether that’s saving for a house, landing your dream job or even just being a better person.

10. Never ever picking up the phone. What is the point of texting constantly to make plans when you could just call me?

11. Being wishy-washy. I like a guy who wants to make plans, and who doesn’t leave it all up to me. In my early twenties, I was fine with making all the decisions and doing all the heavy lifting. Now, I prefer if we take turns deciding where to eat or what movie to see or who’s driving and who’s drinking.

12. Disgusting bathrooms. It’s fine to have a nasty college house bathroom when all you do is go to class and drink and play video games, but for god’s sake, keep your bathroom clean when you’re not in college anymore. Take the trash out. Wipe the little beard hairs and toothpaste spit out of the sink. Nobody’s impressed with a slob.

13. Commitment phobia. In my early twenties, I let the guys I was dating string me along, hinting at commitment and exclusivity, for way too long. Now, if I want to date someone who doesn’t want to date me, I’ve (mostly) learned how to let go. No one is “ready” for commitment. You just have to be brave and let it happen.

14. Not seeing me as an equal. This is one I still struggle with, but if the guy I’m seeing doesn’t think of me as his equal, then we can’t hang. I also hate it when dudes are threatened by the fact that I make more money than they do. It’s not cool. I work hard and I don’t deserve to feel bad about what I’ve accomplished.

15. Staring at their phone 24/7. My last serious boyfriend spent a lot of our relationship looking at his phone. I let it go then, but now I definitely wouldn’t. I’ve taken to leaving my phone in other rooms when hanging out with people I’m interested in. Show the person you’re dating that you’re listening to what they’re saying or enjoying your time together by not staring at your damn phone.

16. Peter Pan syndrome. Everyone’s got to grow up sometime. Twenty-two is not a child. As I age, I appreciate a guy who is excited to grow up and experience new things, not stay stuck in his college-age past.

17. No life skills. If you can’t cook at least a few meals, do your own laundry, iron a shirt and keep your place clean, then dude, WTF are you living on your own for? Go move back in with your mom.

18. Not vocalizing their feelings. The point of a relationship is to communicate. I want a dude to tell me when he’s angry with me, when he feels comfortable, when he’s really happy … and so on. The stereotypical “stoic dude” thing isn’t productive, relationship-wise, as you move through your life. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Kara Nesvig

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