Oh, 20-somethings! You’re so full of life and promise, and that’s a great thing. But you’re also full of some lousy ideas about love. So, let’s take a moment to educate ourselves on the things we need to know and the misconceptions we need to drop, ASAP.
Here’s what Gen Y needs to know about love:
1. It takes work.
Love isn’t some gorgeous, easy fairytale. It’s a wonderful thing. But. If you want to make it work, you need to put in the work.
2. You aren’t defined by having the love of another person.
Nope. Sorry. This high school-holdover is one of the most important ideas you can drop. You’ll never be truly happy in a relationship if you aren’t happy and whole on your own.
3. Perfection is possible.
Ha! Cute, but no. As much as we’d all like to truly believe this one, it just isn’t true. And that’s a good thing! It’s our foibles and failings that make us (and our relationships) interesting.
4. You cannot change your partner.
And no, we don’t mean getting your boyfriend to put the seat down or getting your girlfriend to realize how important flossing is (it saves gums!). We mean on a deep, fundamental level. People are who they are. Embrace your partner for what makes them them, and learn to accept their quirks. Or, if it’s seriously not working, part ways and search for someone you won’t want to change.
5. You will never change.
Hardly! These are the vital years for defining yourself! You will grow and change as a person (yay!) and find that the person who sparked your love at 22 might not fit your life and needs at 29.
6. If you want it badly enough, your life can mimic a Nicholas Sparks book (or some other similarly sappy fare).
*Falls off chair laughing*. Sorry, but that’s not happening. You can have a happy ending, but it won’t be sparkly and techni-colored. (Can you tell I don’t like Nicholas Sparks? Nothing personal, man).
7. Mistakes are OK.
So, you dated one too many hipsters. Whatever. The universe forgives. It’s OK to make mistakes like spending too much time on the wrong person or having unprotected sex, so long as you learn from it and grow in your heart and mind (and go to the clinic to get checked out. Seriously, use a condom).
8. Anonymous sex isn’t all that great.
Sure, there’s a certain thrill to getting it on with a total stranger, but over and over again studies prove that more satisfying sex is found between partners with an emotional connection.
9. You can always strive to better yourself in bed.
Forget what you think you know; buy a book (or five), learn what your partner truly likes and always be working towards a sexual goal. Also, try yoga (flexibility goes a long way).
10. Unconditional love comes at a price.
And that price is being able to return it. That kind of love isn’t free.