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The Lost Art Of Dating: Learning How To Date In Your 20s

Once you reach a certain age, the art of dating completely changes. Over the years, our generation has somehow decided that dating is complicated and not worth it. Our individual trust, loyalty, selfishness and determination to succeed have destroyed the power of love.

Everyday, there are articles published on why people should not fall in love until later in life and why we need to enjoy these years living single. Why does falling in love have such a negative appeal to Gen-Y, and what can we do to fix this? Love really will save us all, and our world will never find peace if we continue to focus on its negatives.

Divorce rate is at an all time high, and if you trust your partner enough to refuse to sign a pre-nuptial agreement these days, people consider you crazy. I thought repeating “to have and to hold, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forward” meant you will love your partner forever. When did securing a backup plan for love become the norm?

I used to be the first one of my friends to laugh at the ‘L’ word and the first one to say, “I will never get married.” Then, I fell for someone, and it all started to fall into place for me. Well, true to form, that fairy tale conveniently ended before one fateful Valentine’s Day, and once again, I was an independent woman, and no man could put a ring on my finger. I eventually went through my first “post break-up mid life crisis.” We all know what that entails: no f*cks given, getting with whoever I wanted and doing whatever I wanted, and finally taking a step back to consider what was the true downfall of the relationship.

After observing myself and observing other people, I have put together a list of things we do that destroy all relationships. If you never mend these issues, your heart might never be put back together.

1. Social media is the messenger, and yes, you should be mad.

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People, please. If you take anything from this, it should be this very message. Verbal conversation - with your actual mouth moving - is on the verge of extinction. Everyday, people turn to text messages and email chains to discuss important matters, rather engaging in face-to-face contact. What happened to making a phone call and having a conversation?

When did breaking up with your girlfriend of four years via text become socially acceptable?  You can’t even talk to your boss these days without texting him or her because having a spoken conversation has become awkward and time consuming. There is no emotion in text-based conversations and words are so easily twisted. Having a fight through text is more useless than speaking to a wall.

The fact that there are actual memes reflecting how answering with the single letter ‘k,’ rather than spelling out ‘okay,’ makes the receiver angry proves how childish our generation is. The people who respond this way deserve to go back to first grade and learn proper manners all over again. Learn to express yourself in more then 160 letters, and bring back the conversation.

2. Stay calm, cool and collected.

Listen, just because your ex-boyfriend dumped you for your best friend, or you found pictures of other girls in his phone, does not mean every single person is going to hurt you like he did. Sometimes, people take a while to answer you. Demanding that they answer you right away will only push them away, resulting in an even further delayed response than you wanted.

Always be calm, cool and collected. No partner should make you so mad that you drive by their house and call their phone 150 times. If they do bring about that sort of behavior and anger, you should not be with their childish ass anyway. Know your worth. If this person is for you, they will prove it to you in a positive way. In the words of the Beatles, “Just let it be.”

3. Keep the romance alive.

There are so many reasons to keep the romance alive, yet everyone loses sight of that. Keep your significant other happy - mentally, physically and sexually. There are one million other fish in the sea looking for a decent person, but yet, you can’t find time to make the one right in front of you happy. Remember their favorite things; make up special holidays with each other and celebrate them; enjoy date nights. John Lennon said it all when he said, “Nothing works better than to have someone you love hold you.”

4. Be confident.

There is a reason this person is with you, no matter what your insecurities are. Allow this person to have all of you, and they will respond. Be vulnerable, open up and connect with another human being. We all have skeletons, and we have all been hurt. Own who you are, love yourself and allow yourself to be loved.

5. Never allow success to tear you apart.

We are all entrepreneurs, and everyday there is someone with a million-dollar idea. To lose yourself in your success is a reflection of weak character. To put your career, or anything that comes as a result of your success, in precedence of the one you love is allowing your success to ruin your relationship.  The truth is, this is so common, and it’s a pathetic trait of our generation. Start realizing what you have before it’s gone.

6. Stop being afraid.

People front way too much when it comes to acting like they love the single life. As fun as it is, we all know we would rather be with a consistent someone who makes us happy. But because of these made up rules and regulations, we trust nobody and are afraid to love. So we go around and act all big and tough, being mean to one another just to get a laugh. It’s not funny, and we should all be over it. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Words cannot be repealed, and just because you apologized, doesn’t mean it’s forgiven and forgotten.

7. Be together for the right reasons.

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Being with someone because they have money or other tangibles, or being with that person just for their good looks, is wrong and not helping anyone – not even yourself. Those hot girls with the inability to engage you are only good to you until someone better comes along, and just because he has all the money in the world does not mean he’s not an ugly person on the inside. Stop being so naïve.

8. Stop being crazy.

Desperation is not a good look for anyone. Neither is being a stage-five clinger. Unless you want to be known as a stalker and push them away undoubtedly, I suggest you give the person their space, and if they want to make an effort for you, they will. It’s that simple. Questioning a prospect or partner will only annoy them, and having sex with everyone to get back at them will only prove you to be pathetic, looking for revenge in all the wrong places. Stop doing so much; it’s not cute. Just be yourself.

Top Photo Courtesy: Tumblr