By Jarone Ashkenazi
Many people in their 20s are still trying to figure out who they are, what they want to be, and how they are going to get there. In the midst of this, they are also trying desperately to balance a romantic relationship into the mix, which makes dating very problematic.
Let’s take a look at some of those most common factors:
1. Everyone you date is still into casual hookups.
“Netflix and chill” sums it up. Some still want a casual fling or a friend with benefits, like in college. Others are genuinely looking for a serious relationship in hopes to get married in their late 20s to early 30s. Big problem here is that you can’t really tell who they are until you’re already halfway into a relationship and completely emotionally invested.
2. People are still focused on their career path and not much else.
Most people at this age are fresh out of college and focused on career. This at times becomes troublesome as almost no one is making the same amount of money. Sherri Murphy, CEO and Founder of Elite Connections, has been a successful matchmaker for over 20 years setting up couples of all age ranges and has noticed that, “if one person has a ‘real job’ and the other person doesn’t, it can be awkward.” When it comes to income, some in their 20s with ‘real jobs’ are making high five and even six figure salaries while others are on the lower end of the five figure scale.
Murphy continues that those making more money than their partner may “feel like they are being held back from doing things that their partner can’t afford to do,” while those making less money may “feel dependent or inferior.” It is important to discuss this with your partner as money can be a big issue for most people.
3. There’s way too much information available about everyone on social media.
We think social media should be good for our social lives and, for that matter, dating lives — but is it really? People can find out more information through social channels (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) which can be helpful “when it comes to knowing your date’s likes and dislikes, but that intel can also be negative,” says Lori Salkin, matchmaker and dating coach at SawYouatSinai.com. Along with being able to browse through pictures of your date or look at what concerts he/she likes to go to, before meeting him/her, social media also has altered the courting process. This is more true for those in their 20s than probably for any other age group.
Women still want to be courted and social media interrupts chivalry, romance and courtship. In the midst of today’s text-based communications, men aren’t so eager to pick up the phone and ask a girl out on a date or even follow up after the date the next day with a call. “Phone time is crucial to helping a relationship along,” says Salkin as there is nothing like the old fashioned way of courting and asking someone out and calling after and following up.
4. People can be in very different stages of life throughout their 20s.
Along with people being in different stages when it comes to finances, those in their 20s are “basically not settled in life which can be the biggest issues of all” when it comes to dating, says Murphy. Some are either just finishing college, going to graduate school or exploring new opportunities that may bring them across the country or world. Should you let go of the new opportunity for the sake of your partner? Or are you going to struggle with a long distance relationship that would completely change the dynamics of your communication with each other?
Timing is crucial when trying to chase a corporate career and start a long term relationship and in your 20s, it is quite hard to chase a career and love at the same time.
5. Friends often pressure against committed relationships at this age.
Stacy Kaiser, Live Happy Editor-at-Large and licensed psychotherapist, states that, “people in this age category are often highly influenced by what their friends think about whom it is that they are dating.” Those in their 20s have removed themselves, or at least trying to remove themselves, from their nuclear families and “have yet to build their own families and so their friends are their most significant support system.”
6. You’re trying to date someone who still lives at home.
Many 20-somethings either have roommates, or still live with their parents. Alone time (in and out of the bedroom) can be quite challenging.
7. The online dating culture is mostly about the short term.
Most in their 20s resort to online/app dating, which still has the stigma of hook up versus long term.
8. It’s hard to date a party animal.
Some 20-somethings are still stuck in the college party stage and not mature enough to maintain a normal relationship.
You may feel discouraged to move forward with someone, and you may be worried about the future — but don’t be. Murphy advises that “yes there’s a lot that can go wrong, but there’s also a lot that can go right. And, worst case scenario: Failed relationships are successful learning experiences. Take life as it comes and enjoy where you are in the moment.”
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