The Best Piece of Dating Advice for your Twenties
Okay, we’re going to be getting a little personal here on the blog this Monday morning so grab your favorite hot beverage and fasten your seatbelts. I honestly waited until the very last minute to even start writing this post because I didn’t know where to start and honestly, sharing my advice on something so personal is nerve wracking. It all started a few days ago when I posted an Instagram post celebrating my 2.5 year anniversary with Justin, my fiance. I wrote a pretty heart felt caption and those of you that follow me on Instagram went CRAZY for it.
I cut the caption way shorter than I would have liked because it is a topic that I could go on and on about. I’ve read posts similar to this one that ended with me rolling my eyes because they focus on bashing Tinder or bashing hookup culture. I want to preface this post by saying that I don’t want to bash either of these things. Obviously, I dated a lot in college or I wouldn’t be writing this post and my fiance and I met on Tinder so what kind of person would I be if I stated this was going to be a post on the best piece of dating advice for your twenties when all I’m going to do is make people feel bad for being involved in those things? No, what I want to talk about is more of an idea that I think all women should hold onto when their dating in college and that is that you should wait for the “forever guy.”
The part of the caption that inspired this blog post is this, “In truth, I never thought this would be me. I never thought I would be the one planning a dream wedding to a dream guy. I thought I was destined to be with a string of guys who were all bad for me forever. If there’s one piece of advice I can give to any girl who feels this way, it’s to wait. Be patient and wait. I know, easier said than done but it’s the truth. I’m talking about holding your love close to your chest and waiting on that forever guy. Sure, go out and have fun but don’t try to force yourself into relationships you know are wrong.”
When I was in high school and college, I dated a lot. I was obsessed with this idea of what I thought the perfect love story was. It was everywhere, from my own parents to the TVs and movies I was obsessed with. You’re supposed to meet the person you’ll spend forever with in high school or college, right? Wrong. Yes, that may be the reality for some people but just because every TV show and movie you watch ends that way doesn’t make it reality.
I found myself in a string of empty relationships. Deep down, I knew that every guy wasn’t “the one” (even though there WILL be a whole post coming on how I think that’s a ridiculous concept) but I kept letting myself love them, forcing myself to love them anyways. I was disappointed time after time and even ended up in an emotionally abusive relationship, the ramifications of which I still struggle with today. They say that hindsight is twenty-twenty and looking back I see now that I made myself miserable by loving too many people.
If I could sit my younger self down and have a chat with her, there would definitely be a few things we’d talk about. But I think the most important thing would be this piece of dating advice. By waiting for the forever guy, I’m not talking about not sleeping with people or anything like that. I am a huge supporter of women taking charge of their sexuality and enjoying their early twenties and college life. But if we’re being honest, I wish I had let fewer people into my heart.
Justin is amazing in that he never faults me for the scars my heart carries. Emotional abuse isn’t something that one ever truly gets over and it is something we have to work through every day. But if I had just stepped back and realized that I was forcing myself into this relationship because of the belief in an IDEAL instead of the fact that I actually truly loved that person, then the whole mess could have been avoided.
As I said, I never thought I would get married. After my parent’s divorce and my own battle with emotional abuse, I truly had written it off. In fact, when Justin and I first started hanging out, neither of us wanted a relationship. But there was something there and we both knew it. There is a feeling that you get when you’re with the person who you’re supposed to be with and I guess you can only truly know that from dating. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go out with guys and even have boyfriends but the minute you realize that you’re just together for fun or for convenience, is what I wish I would have protected myself more from. I can’t tell you how many relationships I was in where we were “in love” and even talked about marriage and I wish I could take all of that back. Not because I didn’t care for those people at all but because it makes so much more sense when you are actually with the right person.
If you’ve made it this far in this post, then I applaud you because I’m not even sure if any of it is making sense. But seriously, do yourself a favor and wait. Focus on your friendships and your relationship with family. Focus on adventures and living your best life. Wait for that forever guy before you give away your heart.