This one is a tough one and I can’t say I have all the answers. I can only speak from my experience so that’s what I shall do.
So in this 20’s series I am going to be talking about different topics offering what I have learnt so far with the aim of hopefully helping someone else out there.
This month’s theme is love. Ah, the thing that drives us humans… most of us.
In one way or another we seek love and the love of others right? It may be from a human or an animal but we seek love and we also seek to give it if we haven’t been hardened by the world.
For me I was in love with romance as a kid. I wanted to get married and have kids, although I admit I wanted to have kids more because getting married seemed gross because you have to kiss on your wedding day.
Then when I was a teenager I didn’t think kissing was gross anymore and so I really looked forward to having a boyfriend and experiencing the romance I read about in books like those by Meg Cabot.
Spoiler alert I never experienced it in my teenage years in the way I imagined but I did experience having a boyfriend and all that jazz in my early twenties.
We make a big deal out of the first kiss. If you reach a certain age and you haven’t been kissed then it’s as if something is wrong with you. I mean think of the movie Never Been Kissed (it was on TV today actually). The whole premise of the movie is that she’s a full grown adult and she was never kissed and that’s a problem that must be fixed.
I’m here to tell you it doesn’t matter! Don’t listen to those who pressure you they’re just trying to make you feel bad so they can feel better about themselves.
It is honestly just pressing your lips on another person’s mouth. It feels just like that too. There are no fireworks, especially the first time when you’re nervous. If you do experience fireworks then you are blessed, blessed!
It’s so awkward and weird. I remember thinking, “So this is it? This is what I was missing?” It made me feel better that I hadn’t missed much.
So I had my first kiss at the age of twenty two. One of my other friends also got her first boyfriend around the same age and the first kiss. She’s now been with her boyfriend a number of years and they’re going strong.
So it doesn’t matter when you have your first kiss.
It’s also ok for you to be inexperienced, practise makes perfect. And if your crush is a good egg they won’t make you feel bad about it and will be patient. I have another friend whose boyfriend is the sweetest and was like, “Whatever we’ll learn together.” So find yourself a good egg and throw the bad eggs away (they’ll biodegrade it’s ok).
Onto the next subtopic!
It takes a lot of compromise. This is a given but you don’t realise how much until you actually get in a relationship.
I would say it’s good to value your single life because once you’re with someone that freedom you had as a single person is gone. You don’t just think about yourself anymore but the other person.
I know what you’re thinking, “That’s obvious Gift!” But for me it was amazing how far it went. I expected it for big things but I didn’t expect it for little things. It applies to everything. It’s like the difference between travelling by yourself and travelling with another person. When you go by yourself you get to go to where you want and have a grand old time exploring. When you’re with someone you have to take into consideration where they want to go and sometimes they don’t know where they want to go and don’t want your suggestions which can make things difficult. Physics is easier honestly.
So if you’re not ready for that enjoy your single season.
Also you have to learn how to successfully navigate conflict. That’s a big one. People always talk about communication and yes that’s true communication is important but when you’re communicating disagreements can arise and with it arguments. How you handle those arguments will make or break your relationship.
Being with someone else will also teach you a lot about yourself. I learned a lot about my character from my previous relationship. I also learned what I like and don’t like in a partner.
That’s a positive. I won’t make the same mistakes I made before and I’ll make better decisions when choosing a life partner if I ever decide to.
I am one of the few in my friendship group to be single. As I said above I wanted to date for the longest time. I was desperate to experience romance and that led me into trouble. I crushed on the wrong guys and my first real relationship in my early twenties wasn’t horrible but I rushed into it.
Now I am content with being single because I know what is on the other side. Dating is not all sunshine and roses, it’s a lot of hard work and honestly as Rihanna once said I don’t have time for that. I have so many things I need to take care of.
So because I know that about myself now whenever someone tries to pressure me into dating I let them know firmly that I’m good. And this happens a lot. When your friends are all dating they think you should be dating too and it’s like, “No, I’m good.”
Go with the Flow
However as you know we make plans and then the opposite happens. So if you’re like me and a really nice person comes along and you hit it off and it’s great, then go with it. They may be just what you need.
And if you’re the opposite of me and are looking for a man or woman but it’s not working out then maybe take a step back and enjoy the single season. Take up a hobby, go to all those places on your bucket list, dye your hair and read a lot of awesome books. Being single is not a curse.
There are different kinds of love
So when I was dating I realised that I’d been chasing love when I had love in my life all along.
I have good friends, friends who are there for me and who I care about me a lot. They’re a small number but quality over quantity right?
Having them in my life has taught me that love comes from all around. It comes from family, animals (dogs man, they’re so loving and cats! I’ll admit I’ve been watching a lot of The Dodo videos and it’s not helping my desire to adopt a cat) and friends. So you don’t have to look far for love.
Anyway that is all I have to say. I hope that was helpful and not too rambley.
Ps: You do need to have some things in common with your future partner. It’s true opposites can attract as long as they have some common ground. It may be one thing or it may just be that you can talk to each other easily but it needs to be something.