From a female 23 year old’s perspective.
Let me start by saying 23 is an awkward dating age for the very simple reason that you’re too young to be looking for something ultra serious but a bit too old and tired of fooling around for prolonged periods of time. Bit too free but at the same time bit too busy on trying to put your life together, thus, not always having the time to devote to a prospective partner.
On top of the personal reasons of why you yourself are confused in regards to what you’re looking for in a man/woman, it’s also super blurry as to what to expect from others and how to distinguish what the fuck it is that they want.
I personally came out of a two-year relationship around March so I’ve been exploring the “field” ever since and I’ve come to receive a general feeling of detachment and distrust which leads into uncertainty and sometimes distress when it comes to meeting someone new.
Step 1: The meeting method
Let me go ahead and dare to give an estimate that 2/3 of your potential dates are going to come out of the web; specifically, let’s say tinder-bumble and such or Instagram. The old fashioned “met at the bar” has almost ceased to exist. That by itself means that the element of surprise is absent; sure, you might go to a bar with the sole purpose of meeting someone to bang or potentially date, but there are so many other factors in that scenario to be taken into consideration; in a bar you can’t just assume that everyone around you is looking for something. When you decide to go on tinder it almost always means that everyone you’re matching with IS looking for something, and it’s almost always sex, which is normal, everyone wants sex, but it’s sometimes overwhelming playing the guessing game of “could he/she be interested in something beyond that”?
Again, 2/3 of the online dating world are just looking for sex, so when you go like “oh I actually don’t wanna come over to your house for wine because I don’t know you” or “I do not wanna smash on the first date” you receive an aura of disappointment and you feel like you’ve wasted valuable time. I don’t know what it is but I feel like the circumstances of the era are pushing us towards shallowness and unwillingness to be open to anything that might lead to future complications and bonds.
Step 2: It was going well, you smashed, now what?
Oh well! The first, or first few dates were super enjoyable, the conversation was flowing, the topics were on another level, the atmosphere was sparkly, all of which led you to yours or his/her house where you had some extra drinks and you ended up doing the dead. Now you’re just waiting to observe the after-sex atmosphere because we all know it gives away everything about the other persons’ intentions.
In my experience so far, it varies from him getting dressed and being exhaustively silent, which translates to “I’d like you to go”, to getting some awkward food, which is followed by some awkward conversation. When you go home it could go two ways; he’ll either call you after a few days to go on another date, or you’ll never hear from him again.
Step 3: He calls again.
SO you got that phone call or text? Congratulations, you’re probably about to get into 2017 dating. It starts by having a couple more of successful dates which always leads to sex and after a week you’ll start wondering where is this going. That’s when you’re gonna have the lovely DTR (define the relationship) talk. He/she is going to say that they’re very busy at that particular point in their life and they’re not looking for something serious but they like you and they enjoy spending time and having sex with you.
“Let’s be friends and just try to have fun”!
So this is the time for you to decide if you’re in the same phase. If you’re not walk away NOW and try your chances with someone else.
Step 4: You agree to “just friends”.
Yayy! You possibly just added in your life something that eventually might become inconvenient and messy. The thing is he/she said they aren’t ready for a relationship but when you spend time with a person attachment comes naturally; FACTS. As you go through more and more dates it’s gonna be fun and that person is going to start expecting and asking for you to do stuff together that are inappropriate in terms of a friendship and would be characterised as “couply”. Like getting food together all the time, sleeping over after sex, sex by itself, cuddling, watching movies in bed and such.
Naturally, you’re gonna start expecting to do stuff together too, accompanied with feeling threatened from other girls/guys and sometimes being jealous. You will struggle not to show it but it will slip out occasionally. That’s when you’ll receive the “you can’t claim me” response, but at the same time he/she is going to be negative and angry when you flirt with others. That is going to make you push away other guys/girls even though you’re actually single. Basically you’re always gonna be making yourself available in case your “friend” decides to ask to spend time together.
The unspoken expectation will be “I need you to be loyal but I’ll do what I want”, and when you get mad because he/she doesn’t follow the same unspoken rules the answer will be “we’re not together, you can’t control me”. You’ll probably catch feelings because the attachment will be growing and he’s gonna be giving you just enough to keep you there.
So, after 2-3 months into this “friendship” he/she is methodically gonna push you away and become distant because you caught feelings. When you question it the answer is going to be…
“You knew what this was…I told you, I’m not ready for a relationship”.
If he/she asked you to stay after you first smashed, if he/she just let it flow and didn’t ask questions, didn’t put insecurities and stupid expectations of this era ahead of the awesome vibe between you, if he/she didn’t lead you on, then he/she is a keeper. Congratulations you found a window out of the shitty modern dating scene. Enjoy!
I remember the burning sensation in my eyes, the feeling of being so unsure and so terrified about what’s next. I wanted to cry but I was trying to stay strong like he taught me, like he always was. I swallowed my tears and tried to forget about the knot in my stomach, growing bigger with every hour that was going by. It was our last night together and the more I was thinking about it, the more of a reality it was becoming; but that wasn’t solely the fact that was killing me inside. What was killing me was that I didn’t know what was next.
I barely slept that night. I was sobbing quietly because I didn’t want to wake him up, and I didn’t want him to know how much leaving would affect me. When it was time to get up I took a look around my room, the room that was my home for four months, the room where me and him created some of the most amazing memories of my life, the room where me and him had some huge fights that ended up bringing us closer to each other. My things were still scattered around; a reflection of my denial to deal with reality. I only had a few hours to accept it and to say goodbye to what I thought would be my life for much longer.
“So much for our big plans”, he said, and I could barely hold it together.
I wanted to grab onto him and not let go, unless someone had to rip us apart. I got up and started packing while he was sitting on my bed looking motionless. I couldn’t tell how he was feeling. When I was done I laid next to him and I put my hands around him. My lips were touching his neck and as I was breathing heavily I could feel the warmth of his body, a warmth I didn’t know when I was going to feel again. I told him I loved him which was the only true thing for me at that moment, everything else was just a bad dream that I could not wake up from.
It was almost time for me to go; I walked him out the door, my heart trembling like I was about to commit a crime. I hugged him tight and breathed him in while he asked me not to cry, told me that he’d see me soon, that he loved me too. He walked down those stairs and I run in my room. He couldn’t see me anymore so I started crying, I couldn’t help it. It was pouring out and along with it all my feelings were blasting upon me. Everything that I tried to avoid the past week was hitting me hard now, everything I denied to look at was staring right at me, forcing me to look back, and while I was crying alone the knock at the door sounded like something I imagined, only it kept going.
I run to the door with those warm tears all over my face and when I opened the door he was crying too, he was looking at me and this look was like a stab in my heart, deep and painful in a bitter-sweet way.
“One more”, he said and he kissed me hard, as if it was the last thing he would ever do, and this kiss felt like forever, or I wanted it to last forever, I’m still not sure. He didn’t say anything, we just kept crying and kissing until he left again; for real this time.
I have them, you have them, DWI
cause they still love us…
There are so many type of parenting styles they don’t even count on my two hands; there is this one pattern that often appears across all types. That is being extra (even before the word extra was a thing)! From basic parents who stress their kids out about being super-students, parents who stress their kids out since they’re 5 about not having sex before marriage, to parents who are just extra overprotective for no apparent reason, they all exist and some of us grew up putting up with it because “they’re worried and they want what’s best for us”.
But people, this was childhood. Endorse this bad habit or not, doesn’t matter, trust me, it’s gonna follow into adulthood. They are gonna snoop their nose into your business, force their opinion upon you even when you didn’t ask for it, and ruin a perfectly good day with THEIR worrying which they bring upon themselves. Bitch it’s not my fault you sit down and create scenarios in your head, which you then proceed into believing are some kind of intuition or prophecy that you magically achieved when you became a parent. Like yes, you do fall in when you guess stuff about your kid sometimes but that’s expected man! You know this person all his/her life, it’s normal that you’re gonna get it right sometimes, it doesn’t make you a psychic.
You know what I hate? They always tell us that we are not trying to understand them. To understand that they act the way they do cause they’re parents and they’re worried, but when we do something they don’t understand they don’t try to. Not only they don’t understand that we are adults in an adult world that is different than theirs, therefore our rules are different than theirs, but they also do not trust our judgement and our ability to make decisions for ourselves. Like, I’m 23, isn’t this what you’ve been prepping me for my whole life? You don’t have any faith in the work you’ve been doing as a parent that I can get out there and be good by myself? Without you?
Oh this a whole other chapter. The transition of us becoming independent is so hard for all of them. The thought of us taking steps towards our future without consulting with them is, oh my god, so outrageous. They will make themselves sick worrying about stuff with no basis and then they’ll be so miserable that they’ll try to pass this anxiety onto you without stoping to think that this might ruin your happiness and make you stressed as well for absolutely no reason.
They are always justified, because they are parents and kids don’t come with a manual right? But parents don’t come with a manual either and taking into consideration that there is no such thing as a “perfect parent”, we reach the conclusion that they are not always right and we don’t ALWAYS have to listen to them, especially when we’re like… I don’t know, ADULTS?
All I’m saying is that they should stop expecting us to excuse their every mistake because they are not perfect and because everything they say is because they love us. We love them too, but we also love ourselves and we are entitled to being our own person, even if that includes not living to ease their anxieties and fears.
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I’m sorry I haven’t been very active lately. Turns out moving across the world is not very easy. I’ll have a more elaborate post for you soon, but until then please enjoy this beautiful picture!