Do you swipe right or left, do you go steady, or do you go out and not talk at all? One anonymous reader gives us the lowdown on his dating life, making it up as you go along, relationship goals and looking for learning experiences.
Navigating modern dating and commitment as a young adult is difficult at times.
We struggle with ‘swipe culture’ and the fast-paced world of serial monogamy.
When something is broken, we don’t fix it. if the going gets tough we just tend to go.
My own journey has predominantly been me just bumping into things and learning from mistakes, being queer made it more difficult in the beginning and I’m still learning. No one really talks about it, but when you are straight you have your teens to try the whole boyfriend-girlfriend thing and work out how to date.
I came out at seventeen and had never really dated, other than the ‘girlfriends’ who I never actually spoke to as soon as we were ‘going out’, it took me a long time to figure out what I was supposed to do.
I have had boyfriends at both extremes; the one who is completely indifferent to whether you are dating or not and the one who is borderline suffocating, it always seemed so political with all the games of ‘how long should I wait to reply’ or ‘when do we become official’.
But what is official?
For me I always found this tricky, the number of times I introduced my boyfriend as my friend to save the awkwardness.
I would have to say communication is a key part of this. You need to speak to one another about what you expect and what are the boundaries or expectations you have from one another. It’s important to have those conversations so you know where you stand, and you aren’t in some kind of strange limbo.
I remember me and my first boyfriend became exclusive because we had a row about something, and I ended up bringing it up.
It was nothing like the romantic films.
I’m still learning.
I think you keep learning from the mistakes no matter how old you are or what your relationships look like, I took a year or so out from the dating scene because I knew I needed some time to sort my self out and figure out how I felt about relationships.
I now have clear relationship and commitment expectations.
I won’t just date the next guy I see, I won’t put up with anything I shouldn’t have to, and I am clear from the beginning what I am looking for and what I want from the relationship. For me, I ask for respect and openness. If something is bothering me or my partner, I will try to open up that conversation and see if we can resolve it or come to some middle ground.
No matter who you date, you should never feel like you can’t talk about what’s bothering you and you should always respect each other.
If something doesn’t work out treat it like a learning experience.
And lastly, if you need to take some time out to figure out who you are and what you want, do it, it will help in the long run.