Falling in Love: 20’s versus 30’s

The older I get, the more I can relate to all the characters in Sex and the City better and better, especially Charlotte and Carrie. I didn’t watch Sex and the City until I was in my mid 20’s, but I also didn’t fall in love until then either, which is why I didn’t fully appreciate the lessons the show taught.

At that time, I remember laughing at all the stories, especially when Carrie got broken up with by a post-it (Thank goodness that has never happened to me). And now that’s the reality, relationships are not perfect. Dating in this day and age is messy, it’s not perfect, and the it’s like finding gold in the bottom of an active volcano.

Dating after your 20’s is something I would not wish upon my worst enemies.  By that time, most of us are broken in some way, shape or form.  There are small bumps left with every bad date, scars with each relationship that fell apart, and shattered pieces of glass for each heartbreaks.

I say this all the time, humans are not made to be alone. We all want to find a companion, but at the same time, most of us are so guarded.  We border between protecting our hearts and being so defensive that we ruin the relationship before we can even move forward or choosing to jump in blindly and having it go sideways.

Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and fall in love for the first time again. Be so free, so loving, and in many ways, so unbroken.

Topic In your 20’s: In your 30’s
Meeting people Meeting people was so much easier. You met people at school, parties, and going out.  You talked to everyone without reservation. It is tougher to meet single people. You are limited to the following:

  • Group of friends and hoping someone sets you up with a good candidate.
  • Meet someone out and pray they are a decent human being.
  • Work (which isn’t that great of an idea)
Blind Love For most of us, our partner was our first love.  And all you knew how to do was just love. You had no walls up, no reservations, and no questions.  Your life, your love, your relationship was a musical. There is no such thing. You’ve learned your lesson from the last set of men who exaggerated their life.  You don’t believe in closing your eyes and jumping into a relationship trusting your partner.  You start poking holes in their story immediately.
Trusting people and Honesty You trust everyone. At 20, what’s the worst lie someone can tell you?  Really, not much.You had no filters. You just told your partner everything without filters. You don’t trust anyone. You become extremely skeptical, you play FBI agent to make sure that the person doesn’t break your heart.You pause, omit, and filter every story you tell.  You don’t want to be completely honest because it has been used against you in the past.
The “Perfect” Man You wanted Prince Charming, the man who would sweep you off your feet, shower you with presents, roses, and endless compliments.  When a man does so many sweet things, you wonder the following:

  • Is he a con-artist?
  • How many other women has he been with and how many does he have currently?
  • What does he want from you?
Dating History You probably had single digits and never worried about telling people your past because nothing truly bad happened. You venture into double digits and possibly for some trip digits.  And the amount of horrible dates slowly outweigh the good dates.
Expectations You don’t have any expectation. You just date to have fun. There were no expectations.  Dating in your early 20’s especially, there was no talks of marriage, of kids, you dated each other because you liked each other.  You didn’t know if the relationship lasted 1 month or 2 years, but it didn’t matter. You date with a mission and you are determined to find someone who treats you well.  You expect the relationship to have labels. You don’t let it grow naturally because you want to cut your losses short if you two are not compatible.You learn to listen to your gut. You learn to follow your instincts and run if something does not feel right.  You know what you deserve in a good relationship.
Flexibility If the person didn’t have all the qualities, you were ok looking past it so that you can grow together. You’ve waited this long for Mr. or Miss Right, so if the person isn’t exactly what you are looking for, you would rather be single than commit.
Financial Stability You didn’t care if they were working towards their dream career or they spent summers wandering Europe and not having any assets to their name. You have your life together and he should too. Where are your investment accounts, 401K, and savings account?  Do you have any assets, can you afford to take me on a date without saying you need to wait for your next paycheck.
The “List” You just want someone to have fun with. You want someone kind, generous, fun, romantic, educated, adventurous, cultured, and a million other qualities and then you wonder if there is any way to find someone who has even 50% of your list.
Deal breakers Depending on your upbringing, maybe no drugs, smoking, etc.. The list of deal breakers include not wanting marriage, kids, not having a job, not caring for family, etc…
To split or not to split Since neither of you have money, splitting is fine. If you split on a first date, most of us will never give you a second date.
Giving a second chance You were ok breaking and making up. You have no time for that.  If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and you move on.
Job vs no job Being in between jobs or finding their passion is still acceptable.  Trying to be an actor, writer, or traveler is interesting and exciting.  Being in a band is “cool.” If you don’t have some type of job…NEXT!  And if you do have a job, but you have no dreams of growing in it, you question them why? Not having a job is a big deal breaker.  The big question will be…What are you doing with your life?
Energy Level You had so much energy to dress up and start leaving your house at 10 or 11 PM. Nowadays, You want to be snuggled up watching TV by 10 PM.  If a party starts after 8:30 PM, you kindly pass.
Nerd vs Cool In your 20’s, you wanted the cool, hot, and charming guy who most likely ended up being a jerk. You adore nerds. Nerds are the best.  They are loyal, stable, and all they do is do nerdy stuff.  Go ahead babe, play your video games.
Ex Boyfriends You didn’t have that many. You probably gave them multiple chances and truly hoped they would change. You have a collection that you hope you never see again.  If you do, you wish you had a magical wand to make them disappear.
Baggage The baggage included things like

  • Not having a nice car
  • Dressing like a teenager in Abercrombie
  • An annoying ex
The baggage includes everything from:

  • Emotional
  • Trust issues
  • Bankruptcy
  • Ex-wife and kids

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