What It’s Really Like Dating In Your 20s And How To Do It Better

couple-having-fun-enjoying-dating-in-your-20s

When you read the words “dating in your 20s” what comes to mind? 

Maybe it’s late-night drunk texts. Or is it that person you dated who was scared of commitment? 

While most of our minds may immediately go to something negative, that’s not the way it has to be. 

There are many ways to improve the typical 20-something dating scenarios. 

Here are some common scenarios that happen when you’re dating in your 20s and our advice on how to handle them better.

How to Succeed at Dating in Your 20s

Scenario: Things are moving too quickly

Do you ever feel like you’ve just lived through an entire relationship with someone in three weeks? You’re not alone. 

Since the introduction of dating apps, it often feels like relationships are in fast-forward mode.

For example, you may match with someone on Thursday. Go out with them on Friday and spend the weekend in their bedroom. 

But then, on Sunday morning you discover that they don’t like pancakes. So, on Monday you break up. 

I mean, your S.O. has to share your breakfast opinions, right? No, not necessarily.

How to do it better

There are pros and cons to this rapid-fire way of dating in your 20s. 

On one hand, you sort through people faster. This may be more efficient if you’re dating to find “the one”. 

On the other hand, you may be writing people off before you get to know them properly. 

After all, it’s easy to be turned off by someone’s messy apartment. It’s not so easy when you’ve discovered what makes them special. 

If you tend to be a speedster when it comes to romance, try taking things slower than normal. 

You may find that you like people better when you’re not immediately putting them on the fast-track to be your next significant other. 

Or, you may find that you put up with less BS when you haven’t already committed to someone in your mind. 

Scenario: You’re in a “situationship”

If you read that first paragraph and thought, “what do you mean things progress fast? I’ve been in limbo with the same guy for the last year”. You’re also not alone. 

It seems like many people in their 20s find it tricky to define their relationship.

This can lead to a “situationship” and they can be super stressful.

One week you’re feeling lovestruck and bubbly. 

But the next you’re wondering if your partner, who’s not quite your partner, is sleeping with their co-worker. 

You worry if it’s OK for you to say something to them. I mean, technically you’re both still single. But inside, you feel hurt.

Sounds complicated, right? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon.

How to do it better

First off, don’t be too hard on yourself if you relate this scenario. 

Secondly, take some time to ask yourself what you want from this person. 

Do you see a happy future with them? Or are you only hung up on them because you feel like you should be in a relationship? 

Then talk to them about what you want. Maybe they also want to set some boundaries.

And if having this kind of adult conversation scares them away, they probably weren’t the right connection for you anyway. 

Moving forward without them means you can pursue more fulfilling connections instead. Sometimes breaking up is the best thing to do!

Scenario: You feel like the odd-one-out 

There’s no right way to date in your 20s. 

Many will tell you that your 20s are for finding yourself. Others will swear by marrying their high school sweetheart and buying a home at 25. 

There may be a point where you feel like all your friends are in relationships and you’re as single as a dollar bill. 

If this happens, don’t worry.

How to do it better

Social media makes it easier than ever to feel like we’re falling behind our friends. But this isn’t the case.

Try to remember that everyone forges their own path. What’s right for your bestie from middle school may not be right for you. 

It’s better to succeed in feeling secure with yourself than to jump into a relationship. 

Focus on other aspects of your life. Appreciate your career, friends, or traveling instead of over-analyzing your dating life. 

Scenario: You feel heartbroken

Whether you’ve been ghosted or let go by your college sweetheart, there may be times in your 20s when you feel heartbroken.

Every breakup is different, but they’re rarely easy.

How to do it better

Remember that this heartbreak won’t last forever. One day you’ll feel better and you’ll learn from this relationship.

Remind yourself that you’re young and have so much life ahead of you. 

Avoid throwing yourself into a new relationship ASAP. 

Instead, invest in something that benefits your independence. Learn to nurture yourself instead of a partner! You’re worth it.

Dating in your 20s can feel like a minefield. But it can also feel like a playground! 

Concentrate on who and what makes you feel good. Pursue your dreams, learn from your mistakes, and take chances! 

By focusing on the things that make you happy, you’ll create a future that you’ll be proud of.

Ashley Uzer

Ashley Uzer is a freelance writer who specializes in sex and dating. She has written for many international outlets including Bustle, VICE, & Galore. She’s currently doing the whole digital nomad thing, but you can find her in Washington D.C. or NYC every once in a while. Follow along with her adventures on TwitterInstagram, or on her blog.

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