This article can also be found on THOUGHT CATALOG: http://thoughtcatalog.com/meral-kathwari/2015/01/dating-in-your-20s-is-the-riskiest-thing-youll-ever-do/.
I’ve always believed that dating in college is useless. I would preach it to anyone for the first two years of my college experience. Instead of spending or ‘wasting’ (as I used to say) time on boys, I would completely immerse myself in my studies and working two jobs. I didn’t try looking for anyone, I didn’t want anyone, and I didn’t want to settle. I think I had that realization after terrible high school relationships, one of which I took way too seriously due to the fact that I was still immature. I would later look at the statistics of relationships that would last in the long run and would convince myself that there’s no point.
College and other circumstances made me grow tremendously the past few years. I’ve traveled a lot, worked a lot, and learned to be completely independent. These are the three things I recommend people do before committing to anyone.
This year I’ve changed my mind. Dating in college or even in your twenties for that matter is not useless. However, I am convinced it is one of the riskiest things you can ever do.
Your twenties are all about finding and establishing yourself. The average age people are getting married these days is between 27-29. I don’t think anyone is taking the “your clock is ticking” thing seriously anymore and it’s perfectly fine. With the way the world is working, the economy is running, and the amount of shit that’s happening around the world, you should really launch your career and be 100% independent if you can, before committing to another person.
Everyone is different. I’ve grown up traveling the world a lot since I was pretty much a fetus. Depending on your background and lifestyle you will eventually crave stability in one way or another during your life. It can come in a relationship, a house, or in another form. I still believe your career is the most stable thing you can have so you should put as much effort into that as you can.
My mother would always tell me: “if you ever come at a crossroads between choosing a man and choosing your career, remember that your career can’t turn around and tell you it doesn’t love you anymore.”
It all depends on your situation, circumstance, and what’s worth it to you. Your twenties is the time you find a job, save up, move out, and get going. Build your name and brand.
I am not telling you not to date in twenties anymore. Yes, there are plenty of reason not to but there’s also plenty of reasons why it’s perfectly okay. Sometimes you end up finding the person that you could potentially spend the rest of your life with in college or in your twenties.
Dating is risky but it can also be worth the risk. There’s always that risk you could potentially waste your time because your or your partner could grow apart.
But your twenties is a time of incredible change. Things will happen without warning and things can change with the blink of an eye. You’ll graduate college, find a job and move out, like I said. Being with that someone special who can provide you with the comfort and stability you need when everything else is changing around you is worthwhile. Going through huge moments in your life and being able to share or even build that with someone else can be fulfilling.
Your twenties are also the time you are fragile physically and mentally. Having someone else to help you through life’s greatest obstacles is all really anyone could need. Whether it’s finals week or getting through a dreadful interview, having someone else at the end of the day to cheer you up and distract you from the real world is great.
When you date in your twenties, you can go on fun dates: concerts, games, parties, etc. You can spoil each other because don’t have any responsibilities. It beats the usual dinner and a movie date night that you mostly have to settle for in your late 30’s and onwards, because your babysitter also has a curfew.
Don’t miss out on the joys of dating when you’re young because you were afraid to commit in the long-run until you were absolutely sure about where you are going to be, like me. Nothing in this life is guaranteed. Don’t settle for less than you deserve but don’t miss out either.
My father would also tell me, “Young love is the best love. When you get to experience life with someone during the time when you have no worries will be the most memorable time of your life.”
Don’t stop yourself from letting “it” happen. Don’t stop yourself from flirting and having fun. Take a chance and go out with that guy or girl who slipped you their number. Be smart and wise in your all decisions but don’t stop yourself from loving or being loved.
I guess with all the traveling, finding independence, and working that I’ve done, I’ve learned that being loved and loving is one of life’s priceless gifts. Everyday is a gift. Take a chance and don’t stop yourself from going through absolutely everything a relationship has to offer. When you live a truly fulfilling life you’ll likely end up with no regrets.