dating in your 20s

You’re What I Need

If you are tired

Let me lay you down

My hands will murmur soft lullabies

into your hair.

If my feet grow weak

You can carry me.

If the wind and the rain

make you shiver

I’ll shelter you from any storm.

They see me alone and hungry

But only you satisfy my every need

And I’ll be there for you

as you are there for me.

Paying in kisses and gentle words

Take from me as often as you give.

-Aug 2017

 

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Is Online Dating Embarrassing?

The date had gone well and he was walking me to my car when instead of asking about our second date he says “we gotta start thinking about what we’re going to tell people about how we met”. Honestly, I was a little taken back. Should I be offended? Is he embarrassed of me? about how we met?

Of course, I couldn’t really be offended because I had similar thoughts just last week. Dating apps are where all the people who have been rejected in their real life congregate. Honestly though, that’s not exactly true. If you work really long hours or in an industry predominately populated by the gender you’re not interested in then you’re just not meeting enough people in the outside world that you could even consider dating. When I first joined online dating, I was in college surrounded mainly by college guys who were only interested in hooking up and partying. Since neither of those interests me, I decided to search for people who actually matched my interests.

Perhaps 5 years ago, when dating apps were much less mainstream, the few people meeting online would be embarrassed about admitting how they met. Now though, 49,650,000 people have tried online dating out of the 54,350,000 singles in the US. For those that haven’t given it a try, they probably still know a relative, friend, or coworker who is on a dating app. So if you’re talking to someone under 75 years old then you most likely don’t have to worry about anyone asking which fishing dock is named Plenty of Fish.

But maybe the issue isn’t IF people know about dating apps, it’s WHAT they know about them. Are dating apps seen in a negative light? Do people look down at those on such sites? But with one-third of marriages starting online, it now seems like an appropriate possibility with reasonable success for relationships. Sure, Tinder will probably always be seen as the hook up app or just a mobile game everyone plays now to pass the time. But even then, I still know a couple that originally met on Tinder now planning their wedding for next year.

Or maybe, it’s time we care less about what people think of us and our dating lives. If you’re dating a guy who treats you well and makes you happy, who cares how you met him! Your close friends and family will forget all about his dating profile once they begin to see him together with you more. And for everyone else’s opinions who don’t really matter, you’ll be too busy holding hands and making future plans to ever worry about such opinions.

 

I Finally Got a Boyfriend!

So if you read my Liebster Award post back in August, I kind of let it slip that I recently got a new boyfriend!! (which by the way, is such a weird way to say that, it sounds like I just brought one from the store or something…) He’s also Dater #4 ( the good kisser lol) from Back in the Saddle if you read that post and were taking your guesses as to whom I was going to see again.

I’ve got some bad news and good news for all my fellow singletons out there, the good news is you don’t have to have the perfect dating profile, play hard to get, or follow any other dating rule out there because finding a significant other is basically all up to chance and fate. The bad news is all this effort you’ve been putting in to having the dating scene figured out and thinking you’re another step closer to finding your partner is pretty much bologna because finding a significant other is basically all up to chance and fate. I consider all those saying about finding love complete nonsense if I’m being honest.

You’ll find love once you stop looking for it: Lies. I went on 4 dates in the same week, I was 100% looking for love. I have been on the hunt for the past 2.5-3 years now. The only way in which this phrase kinda works in regards to my boyfriend was that I had no expectations for our first date, in fact each of us were considering cancelling on the other!

You won’t find love until you learn to love yourself: Another lie. This one has always bothered me a little bit since I do struggle with self-love and the fact that I wasn’t finding a good match was just cementing the idea that I was unloveable. You’re too close to yourself to see the big picture clearly of who you are as a whole. You nitpick at yourself rather than acknowledging the general idea that you’re a good person that just makes mistakes like every other human.

I do believe in self sabotage though, whether its subconscious or not, I used to pick emotionally unavailable men because I was afraid of showing the real me and getting hurt or abandoned. It also took meeting a good guy to realize how much I was settling because I didn’t realize how much more effort and consideration I deserved from a partner. My boyfriend compliments me all the time my intelligence, my creativity, my body, my nurturing skills, and every other part of me. I know it’s up to me to work on any issues of self-doubt but his support shines the light on parts of me I overlook and often expect more from. I can be a work in progress and be loveable at the same time. I can still love someone else while learning to fully love myself.

Of course, I’m sure there will be someone reading this who had one these clichés work for them or someone they know. The cliché for me and the boyfriend is “Timing is Everything” but I would never give someone the advice of waiting for a guy or periodically checking in on old flames to see if the timing is better now haha. We weren’t waiting around for each other which made the two of us very surprised with what we discovered that first date but that definitely will not be the case for everyone else (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE DON’T WAIT AROUND ON A GUY HOPING HE’LL GET HIS ACT TOGETHER OR SUDDENLY FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU) But I think everyone should take each cliché with a grain of salt. You don’t know which one will end up being yours, if any at all.

In the beginning of this article I said finding love is all up to chance… but staying in love is a choice you’ll make over and over again, don’t confuse the two.

When Should the First Kiss be?

There’s not exactly a set time, but there is definitely a window from date number two to date number four with the sweet spot being at the end of two or three. Timing is super important here. You want to make sure a connection is there before jumping the gun.

Trust me there is nothing worst than going in for a kiss too soon.

If a woman isn’t ready for that kind of intimacy than you only seem disrespectful and aggressive and that’s a sure-fire way to sink your chances with her. You can gage how ready your potential suitor might be by starting with casual touches such as shoulder brushing and a brief hand on the arm. If that seems to go well then you might lean in more during conversation or sit closer so you both might get used to each other in your personal space. From there, more frequent touching, hand holding, and hugging will help build the physical connection. It’s totally normal for it to feel a little uncomfortable from the new sensation and the nervous butterflies, so there’s no need to rush any physical contact.

That’s why it can take two to four dates in order to establish this connection and build up to the first kiss. You both want to be thinking about and craving this kind of intimacy. Of course, everyone moves at a different pace and just like the possibility of moving too fast, there is also the mistake of moving too slow. If you wait too long, he may think you’re not really interested in him romantically. You’ll go from potential dater to friend and watch as he turns his focus to other girls to pursue romantically.

When I first began dating, I obviously had a lot less experience and because of that I definitely did not want a kiss on the first date. I thought it was too soon and if a guy tried I thought it meant he was disingenuous. That was nearly three-year ago now and it wasn’t really until a couple of months ago that I changed my mind on first date kisses.

I still believe the second date is probably better and more popular but as long as I am forming a connection and climbing the ladder of physical contact then I’ve become more accepting of first date kissing. As long as your partner and you feel comfortable, than you can move at whatever pace you want and change that pace when you want!

I’m a Fish out of Water

On a bench you put your arm around my shoulder

with your thumb tracing the intimate touch on the back of my neck

the soft lapping of water as it kisses the dock cocoons us in this moment

I watch my fingers dance from your hip to your knee

were both building up the courage to go after what we so deeply need.

our bodies humming with shouts of yes but my breathe is as still as prey in the wild

And then you strike, so sweet in your killing.

your delicious taste on my lips as you tug them closer.

and when you pull away I can’t help the plea in my mind

that begs to know how soon I can be killed again.

-Aug 2017

Second Choice

I’ve talked before about ways to know if you’re wasting your time on a guy or not. These guys, for a variety of reasons, are emotionally unavailable. Of course, it’s never so black and white, instead he’s more open and available some weeks or some nights and you think you’ve finally gotten through to him. And then he’s back to his old ways, not making time for you, and you can’t figure out where he truly stands with you. Here are some reasons why a guy might not be making room in his life for you.

They’re focused on their career and don’t have the time to dedicate to a girlfriend right now. It makes complete sense and you can’t really get mad at them for being self aware about their priorities. And it might cause some internal and interpersonal issues when you’re always put second behind their job.

Other times you can feel like you’re being put second to their friends and hobbies. It’s perfectly healthy to split up time between going out with your girlfriend and going out with your friends. It becomes a problem when you tell her you’re too busy to meet up this week and then you complain about how you’re getting dragged out to the bar by your friends. Just because she is understanding and doesn’t pick on you for decompressing at home does not mean she deserves the short end of the stick while your friends get their way. Either make time for her and be fair or stand up to your friends. Or don’t blame your friends when you know you’re always going to want to pick them over your girlfriend.

You ever have a significant other get back with their ex right after you guys break up and then you’re like “oh, now I get it.” Maybe you were just the rebound girl who lasted too long or he was lying to himself when he said he was really over her. You realize once he had the choice to choose between you or her, he chose her. And that breaks your heart, which I completely understand BUT it totally shouldn’t because the guy who doesn’t choose you doesn’t deserve you!

Lastly, it’s a combination of these things but most importantly, he just doesn’t care enough about you to put you first. It doesn’t really matter the reason, just his actions showing you how far down you are on his priority list. Remember how that makes you feel and don’t wait around for a love that will probably never come.

You should be with the guy who doesn’t put you second. You should be with the guy who puts in the effort to see you, the one who smiles when reading your text, and the one who is factoring you into his future because he can’t imagine it without you. That’s the guy you deserve.

You’re worth being put first.