Thought Catalog

The People You Will Fall In Love With In Your 20s

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You will fall in love with someone who annoys you, whose orgasm face looks and feels pathetic. Despite all of this, there’s something keeping you drawn to them, something that makes you want to protect them from the harsh world. What you fail to realize, however, is that you are the harsh world. You aren’t their noble protector — you are someone to be protected from but it takes a lot of dates, a lot of nights where you question whether or not you are actually a good person, for this to ever resonate with you. When it’s over and whatever love is left is put back in the fridge like a sad plate of leftovers, you will finally understand that you have the power to hurt someone. You can either hurt them or love them and it’s up to you to decide what kind of role you would like to take on in future relationships. What feels more comfortable — being the one who loves more or being the one who’s loved less?

You will fall in love with someone who’s cold and always seemingly pushing you away. When all is said and done, they will be forever known as the one person you couldn’t get to love you. Unfortunately, it will hurt and sting worse than the good ones, the ones that chopped up your meat for you and picked out an eyelash from your eye and were nice to your mother, because love often feels like a game we need to win. And when we lose, when we realize we couldn’t get what we ultimately desired from a person, it makes us feel like a failure and erases all the memories of those who loved us in the past. It’s a permanent smudge on your love resume.

You will fall in love with someone for one night and one night only. They’ll come to you when you need them and be gone in the morning when you don’t. At first, this will make you feel empty and you’ll try to convince yourself that you could’ve loved this person for longer than a night, but you can’t. Some people are just meant to make cameo appearances, some are destined to be a pithy footnote. That’s okay though. Not every person we love has to stick around. Sometimes it’s better to leave while you’re still ahead. Sometimes it’s better to leave before you get unloved.

You will fall in love with the old couple down the street because to you they represent the impossible: a stable, long-lasting love. You’re trying to get someone to like you for more than ten minutes. A monogamous “never get sick of ya” love seems unfathomable. “What’s your secret, sir? Do you just say yes a lot?”

You will fall in love with smells, the good and the bad kind. You will want to wear your lovers shirt because it makes you feel close to them and you’re okay with being that PYSCHO who is legitimately sniffing their shirt in public. You will fall in love with sweat, certain perfumes, the smell of the season in which you fell in love. This particular love smells like fall. It smells like Halloween and a roaring fire and leaves and fog and mist and candy and food and family and whiskey and sex and the lint that collects on sweaters. When it ends, if it ends, you will never experience another fall without thinking of him, her, it. The memories will stick to the ground like a mound of leaves and will only dissipate when the weather drops.

You will fall in love with your friends. Deep, passionate love. You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable. Sometimes our families can’t love us all the time. Sometimes we’re born into families who don’t know how to love us properly. They do as much as they can but the rest is up to our friends. They can love you all the time, without judgement. At least the good ones can.

This is where I’m supposed to tell you that you will fall in love with The One, a person who isn’t too cold or too nice. Their “O” face is perfectly fine and they’re not afraid to show how much they love you. This person is supposed to wait for us at the end of the twentysomething road as some kind of reward for all the heartache and loneliness. We deserve them. We’ve earned this kind of love.

So fine. You’re going to fall in love with The One. You’re going to fall in love with someone who will make sense beyond college or a job or a particular season. They’ll make sense forever and won’t ever want to leave you behind. I’m telling you this not because it’s true but because it NEEDS to be true. Everyone is entitled to this kind of love, so why not? Have it. It’s yours. Blow out the candles on your 30th birthday, holding their hand, and let out an exhale that’s been waiting for ten years. Do it. Now. TC Mark

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Well, here is some good news for your ❤️ next year

The fact is, if you don’t feel good about yourself, nothing he does will ever be enough. If you don’t truly believe you’re worthy of love, you will never believe someone can love you.

“I’m currently on a huge self-help kick and I could identify with a lot of the situations mentioned within the book! I would definitely recommend this book to any women who may be having issues within a relationship or with the men in their life in general. I’m going to pass this book on to one of my best friends now!” — Aubrey

Improve your love life in 2018

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  • beatricekt

    Hopefully, the one doesn’t ever ignore you, not because he doesn’t want to but because he knows that it’ll hurt.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kehreeztine Kris Tine

      you got that right!!

  • jbird

    “You will want to wear your lovers shirt because it makes you feel close to them and you’re okay with being that PYSCHO who is legitimately sniffing their shirt in public.”

    1) lover’s*
    2) Doesn’t everyone do this?

    • j

      i like that you correct the grammar mistake in lover’s but overlook that PSYCHO is spelled wrong. if you’re going to be an anal grammar nazi, at least do it properly

      • g.adelia.s

        haha! good one! *slow claps*

  • KN

    how do you always do this to me ryan?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chantaldenise86 Chantal-Denise Ortega

    “This is where I’m supposed to tell you that you will fall in love with The One, a person who isn’t too cold or too nice. Their “O” face is perfectly fine and they’re not afraid to show how much they love you. This person is supposed to wait for us at the end of the twentysomething road as some kind of reward for all the heartache and loneliness. We deserve them. We’ve earned this kind of love.”

    Thank you, Ryan, as always :)

  • http://manveergrewal.wordpress.com/ Manveer Grewal

    This is beautiful, in a cynical-hopeful-the-quest-for-love-is-universal way :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/blackpaperbag Faith Chung

      yes.

  • scintillatebrightly

    Well thanks a lot! So you mean we don’t get to find a love when we turned 30? What good is suffering through all the crappy relationships then? We DO need to believe it and I for one and gonna keep believing it until it damn well happens.

    • newen

      Ditto! :)

  • http://sf.densilporteous.com densilpo

    Reblogged this on destination: unknown and commented:
    Interesting read…

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/06/the-people-you-will-fall-in-love-with-in-your-20s-2/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • Priyanka

    Perfectly true saying. Just I wanna add something as u have mentioned the one in our last twenties and we know they are the one we are waiting for but it’s not wrong to fall with ones for whom we r not waiting for or ones who r not supposed to be ours at last!!

  • lisamariechen

    Reblogged this on lisamariechen and commented:
    The People You Will Fall In Love With In Your 20s

  • Jasmine

    Is it just me or is thoughtcatalog almost all about love and relationships these days.. Way more so than earlier..

  • j

    what happens if you don’t fall in love by the time you’re 30? i’ve got 2 years to go and absolutely NO prospects in sight … not even in province …

    • Doublemaybe

      I had 361 days until my 30th. He asked me if I was the new girl with the Skyrim map wallpaper. I lied and said no. That’s how it started. It was that simple. When I honestly gave up and stopped looking for “The One”, he showed up, loved me for my good and bad. He is not my reward for head down and powering through egotistical, condescending, abusive, controlling, and crossdressing ex’s that insist they look better than you. He is the one that made me give not a single fu@k about ANY of that anymore.

      …and the best part is that he loves me right back.
      It’ll happen to you and it will be wonderful.

    • j.d.

      You just keep going, I suppose. I just turned 30, no prospects, never had any prospects. I’m kind of surprised. I would have thought something of some sort would have come along by now…? :( This doesn’t seem normal. I guess what I’ve learned is that 30 isn’t a magic number- it’s just another birthday. Things either happen or they don’t.

      • Aelie

        I agree. Things either happen or they don’t. I gave up looking for The One in my late twenties. My thirties went by in a small town with very few men my age, and my forties in a large city where I work evenings. At 48 I have given up looking, period … I figure the person who loves me has four paws and maybe a tail :) Who knows what could happen in the future? I might meet someone, I might not, In either case, I have had to learn to live in the NOW and be happy with who I am NOW.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michellerows Michelle Garcia

    What, are you following me around taking notes of my life?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Reijinct Reg Tolentino

    Incredibly real.

    Its nice to turn the decade with a partner. :)

  • sam

    “You will fall in love with someone who’s cold and always seemingly pushing you away. When all is said and done, they will be forever known as the one person you couldn’t get to love you.” This will happen more than once…

  • http://closetjabberwocky.wordpress.com/ closetjabberwocky

    Reblogged this on Bhavika's Blog.

  • guest

    smells are people now!

  • http://jbernsteinwrites.wordpress.com jbernsteinwrites

    Reblogged this on jbernsteinwrites.

  • Sarah

    Loved this article. I particularly enjoyed that this article didn’t limit itself to be about solely romantic love.

  • http://innerwildchild.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/you-sit-there-in-your-heartache/ You sit there in your heartache |
  • http://nidhitram.wordpress.com Nidhi Trambadia

    I really wish all friends could be real! Reading this article makes me feel sad that I’ve got everything in life – the best mom, best dad and an awesome bro! However, I’m not too blessed when it comes to friends. May be its my fault because I let everyone be my friend! Wish there was an angel that could help me make the correct choice when it came to friends.

    This article is so damn true – every word is strong enough to describe the cruel reality of this world! I am so glad I read it. Thanks a lot for sharing. It really is inspirational :)

    I am not very near to my 20s yet but I will definitely note down all the above points and never regret – this is what I learned from this article. Thanks again for encouraging me to cheer up and never give up :) x

  • Janelle

    ryan you’re such a ted mosby and that’s not a bad thing

    • Aarushi

      haha Ted Mosby!
      Lol, it’s true! and it’s not a bad thing at all! :’)

  • http://dielittlehero.tumblr.com Gaby Matz

    First article of you in a long time that I actually like, Ryan. (To be fair, I have been in finals and haven’t read Thought Catalog)

  • Q

    My favorites are the ones that smell good, that make me want to bury my face in them. But these articles need to stop. The One is a big fat myth. That you should have it by 30 is a bigger fatty myth- driving a lot of wonderful loveable 30 somethings to misery. The loves described before were all beautiful and worthwhile in some way, albeit not the ‘perfect One’.  That they’re imperfect does not mean they don’t mean as much. Just because you’ve had a string of imperfect loves does not mean you ‘deserve’ ‘the One’ ‘at 30’. It means you’ve loved a lot of people – good for you. It means you’re fully capable of love and hopefully, with this practiced skill, you love someone in a way that makes you feel satisfied for a long, long time; long enough to last that last heart beat before flatlining. Because no, no one is entitled to this kind of love- this is something you work for. The best ones are made through shared trepidation and sweat because you’ve shown them they were worth the work- you both were. If you sit around waiting for ‘the One’ to generate the ‘perfect love’ that you are ‘entitled’ to, my deaf friend, you will be old, alone, and bitter, wondering why love passed you by.
    I write this as someone who held the hand of my best friend, the person I love, on my 30th birthday while blowing out candles he set in the sand of our oceanside vacation. You bet your as$ it took years of work, of push and give, of sharing and understanding to get there.

  • Panda

    Why’s everyone so bitter.. lol.

    • Q

      Because of articles like this :) It starts out funny, even sweet, but ends by making anyone who doesn’t fit the form feel like they failed somehow. Love in your own way and be open to it when it comes. Nothing scares away people faster than someone with a loud ticking in their pocket.

      • Katie

        Thanks for saying that. Sometimes my patience (or lack thereof) needs a reminder. :)

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