How to enter the dating scene gracefully, in your twenties.
March 18, 2012 8:50 PM Subscribe
In my mid-20s. Am just now really getting into the dating scene. Help me figure out how not to deal with this like a teenager.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Hi. I’m a 26-year-old woman. Until late last year, I was a virgin. I’d been putting my energy into school and my career and was dealing with a lot of anxiety issues around men. Though I did go on the occasional date, I really didn’t know what to do with male attention. Now I’m just starting to catch up.
Also, I’ve only had two real ‘relationships’ to speak of: one when I was nineteen, and one until about a month ago. The longest relationship I’ve ever had was about 3.5 months plus a month of long distance; my average is about 3 months. In both instances, and, in fact, in every dating scenario I’ve even entered into, I was the person who ended it. In the first case (what turned into a LDR) it made sense for things to end because we were probably never going to see each other again and were both quite young, going back to school, etc. In the second instance (my recent relationship) I really, really cared for him but he was unable to show me the affection I needed in order to feel valued (in fact, he had difficulty with affection in general) – plus, he decided to move to another city thousands of miles away.
But I feel like I need a bit of advice on how to navigate the dating world, being an older-than-usual rookie. I don’t want 3 months to be my batting average. I don’t always want to be the one who ends things. Already, I’m having doubts about whether I’m just not good at…well, working things out. Like I fly when the first bad thing happens, instead of dealing with wrinkles like an adult. (FWIW, the man I recently broke up with, who’s in his early 30s, has also never had longer than a 3 month relationship and shares my fears, which at first felt like something we had in common and something we could learn from together, and ended up probably messing things up for both of us). How can I make dating, and relationships, feel more natural, or make better choices at the beginning rather than going for guys who probably won’t be able to meet my needs? For men in my dating range (mid-20s to mid-30s), would knowing the lady you’re dating had never had longer than a 3 month relationship effect your opinion of her, or the way you approached her? In every other respect I’m quite mature, which makes things even more awkward. I’m not attracted to younger men; typically, I’m attracted to men who are at least in their 30s, if not older.
Any and all advice appreciated.