I spend a lot of time on the Ram Van. Whether coming from my internship, classes, or a night on the town, my rides on the Ram Van offer plenty of time to reflect upon what the hell just happened in Manhattan. Some of these stories, you just have to read to believe...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why is everyone so horrible at dating in their twenties?

I'm gonna be upfront. This week's entry was inspired by this entirely too real post from BuzzFeed. It talks about dating in your twenties, and it's the most real thing I've seen in years. Take a gander.

But as the BuzzFeed article points out, and as my fragmented soul also points out, people in their twenties are THE ABSOLUTE WORST at dating, or really, just being decent human beings in general... But that just sounds irrational and rude, so let me explain in a structured manner, okay?

1. High school dating was easy, and now, everything sucks.
In high school, you and your significant other could just be a boss, and the pressure was minimal. If you didn't go out to dinner all the time, or if the height proportions between the two of you weren't perfect, it didn't matter because you were high school students, and love was a new thing. It was something fresh and exciting, and just being together was enough. Sure you could get hurt, but you could recover quickly, because pressure was low and there were 20 other boys or girls in your class who you could date. We were all growing together, and mistakes weren't really mistakes because no one gets married in high school... But now that we're in our twenties, the pressure is on, and every mistake we make is another reason for someone to stop dating us.

Thanks, high school, for these wonderfully realistic expectations about what dating is like.

2. The misconception that: if you're not having sex, you're bad at dating. WTF. Who thought this was a cool thing to tell the entire 20-29 y/o populace?
Maybe I am nun, or maybe I should have lived in the 1820s, but the pressure to "hook up" - no matter how you define "hook up" - is really annoying. All anyone talks about on a Saturday or Sunday is who they woke up next to that morning, or what weird and exotic things they tried with their boyfriend/girlfriend of three days the night before. (Don't get me wrong, I understand that it's fun, and like, of course I've made mistakes before or whatever.) But I also know that it's hard to completely separate the physical from the emotional. I'm sure most of the male species will disagree and want to murder me, but physical intimacy and emotional intimacy are directly correlated and you can't expect one to exist without the other. Hooking up will surely complicate any relationship - whether it's a friendship or acquaintanceship - and things will be messy, messy, messy.

So. Am I crazy for wanting to know someone's last name or like, go on a few dates before really hooking up? Maybe I am a nun. Or maybe I'm Shoshanna from Girls. Whatever. #noregretz

3. Twenty-six is the new fourteen, aka the Age of "What Is Going On" and the Era of "Who Am I?"
I don't know if it's social media or the changin' times or what, but nowadays, people are still figuring themselves out at age 26 and on into their thirties. And maybe it's always been that way, but my parents got married at 21 and 22. I am NO WHERE near ready to get married. I need to figure myself out before I can add someone else to the mix and expect it to be smooth sailing. In our twenties, we change jobs and career paths, we move cities, we volunteer in Africa, and who the heck can do that stuff on tope of a serious relationship? Not me.

I don't know.
I say all of this to explain why dating sucks so much in your twenties. But the frustrating reality is that I would love to be in a stable relationship. And I would settle down if I met the right person. And everyone says that's weird, but like, don't we all want that? Isn't that why we date?
For now, it's a frustrating back-and-forth between wanting to date everyone and wanting to date no one, because everyone is awful at dating and moreover everyone is awful at being decent human beings. I only know one couple in their twenties that is doing it right, but I think they're the exception to the rule. So congrats, Nikki and Michael.

As for me. I'm just going to date Nutella until someone more perfect (if that's even possible) comes along.

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