How many articles have been written about being a 20-something living in NYC? And how many have been written about these same 20-somethings trying to date?
The answer to those questions is a whole frickin’ lot. And that’s right you guessed it, in the wise words of DJ Khaled: I have here for you today, anotha one.
The thing is, dating can’t be categorized and broken down as simply as society tells us. Honestly, at this point, there are no established rights and wrongs, the dating world is complex. What works for one person may not work for another, and that is something I have found to be WILDLY true as a 24-year-old woman, living in NYC.
I need to make one thing clear before my attempt to dissect the brains of all of those who are in the dating world: I’m making generalizations. Of course, there will always be the exceptions, that’s a given.
So, let’s jump right in and talk commitment, shall we?
Did you get shivers down your spine while reading that? Why are so many people genuinely afraid that word, let alone the act of real long-term commitment, hmm? Don’t get me wrong, I know people who went straight down the road of commitment and never looked back. I have friends who at 24 are engaged and ready to get married.
On the contrary, I have a considerably larger number of friends who are still very, very, VERY single. Like me.
It’s not like I dislike being single, but who doesn’t like the security of having a significant other, no matter what the situation may be; it’s just comforting, right? Still, I wonder why 90% of my friends are in the same boat as I am. The dating scene isn’t easy, and definitely never has been. Locking down a partner for an extended period of time is for some reason, seemingly uncommon.
I can’t help but think that the fundamentals behind this type of “I can’t commit” behavior has to be connected to one of my favorite sayings: The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I think this gets twisted and somehow translates to “Oh wait, but there is another side, and I want to see what’s over there.” Sigh.
It’s so easy to let our brains consume every inch of our bodies in a way that isn’t always ideal. Those questions that take over decisions we try to make when we try so hard not to overthink. Questions like, well what if this isn’t actually my soul mate? What about this little thing that bothers the hell out of me? Is this the most attractive person I could get? Do all of their values align with mine? It goes both ways. Every person who has decided to let go and give a piece of themselves to someone else has felt some form of resistance because let’s be honest it’s scary as shit.
But why do we do this? Why do we always doubt?
Well, honestly, we have a LOT of options. So many options that it’s overwhelming, right? Especially now that technology has just about consumed our entire… well… everything. Whether it’s Instagram hindering our perceptions or dating apps that make it nearly impossible to stop swiping after one or two matches, we have endless selections right there at our fingertips. Now let’s not forget about all the people that we actually see out there in person – all the people we walk by that grab our attention. Then we think, wow where can I find someone like that.
It’s so easy to do. It’s so easy to look around and picture ourselves with other people and find ourselves daydreaming of the could be’s. But I want to challenge you to something. Think about your current partner, someone you are involved with, or try this on the next person that walks into your life:
Think about all of the good qualities this person holds. Write them down even. Then do the same with the bad qualities. If the goods outweigh the bads (within reason of course), don’t give up on it. Too often we pick out tiny negatives and let them become superior, the decision makers. Are you perfect? No? Didn’t think so. So why is it that we try to create or find that perfect person for us? Newsflash, perfect doesn’t exist.
Take the pressure off. Does this person make you happy? Yes? Okay good, then who cares what other people see or say. Stop thinking that the grass will be greener, because most of the time it won’t be. You know where the grass is the greenest? The grass is the greenest where you water it, and more often than not it’s right beneath your feet.