Dating in your 20s
And the congregation says, "God when?"
Earlier this week, I saw a tweet inviting lovers to share what the love they receive from their partner feels like. I had a really good time going through all the responses and discovering the poets in people.
Many of the words used to describe the love they were experiencing were the same: safety, warmth, home. I saw the phrase “like a warm blanket” and “like cold water on a sunny day” several times as I scrolled through that everlasting thread. While doing this, I tugged my blanket closer to me and sighed in peaceful “single” bliss. I may not have a love that feels like a blanket (yet), but I have a blanket… that feels like a blanket.
Falling in love in your 20s is an amazing feeling. It is liberating to meet someone and have them look at you like you’re the best thing since Asake’s new album. Some weeks back, I went to Chicken Republic and saw this couple staring at each other. The girl kept saying: “what?” in small letters and blushing. I didn’t know whether I wanted to smack them both or gush. It must be nice o!
Dating in your 20s will have you feeling like the protagonist of a rom-com. You enter a room filled with people and see your special person, and all of a sudden, everybody else disappears, and So This is Love by Illene Woods plays in the air. You want to speak to them every hour of the day. You find yourself texting things like: “I miss you so much” and replying every picture they send you as they go about their day with heart emojis. God forbid the person doesn’t have a job that kills them with work, you’ll bid your productivity goodbye, hogging each other’s time and forgetting that outside, the sun is shining, and people are doing things.
Before getting to that stage of relationship bliss, you’ll probably have to use eye and enter market first, shey? Well, as someone who has been on the streets for quite a while (and knows where they sell what and what time each vendor closes), I’ll be happy to share some of the wisdom I have acquired along the way on navigating dating in your 20s.
Physical Attraction is Important. People have used “he’s a good guy” or “she’s a nice girl” to trap people they weren’t attracted to, simply because they felt they’d be shallow if they said no. I blame the moralistic sentiment that “what matters is the heart.” Yes, the heart is very important, until you wake up one morning in your matrimonial home thinking about how you don’t like the shape of your spouse’s head.
Don’t allow anybody to bamboozle you. Do you like their curves? Do their eyes inspire you to take your clothes off? Would you like to wake up every day and see them drooling all over your arm and smile because you think they’re so cute? Then date people you’re attracted to. I say this more to women because men are socialized to make the first move. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel like you are shallow for wanting a partner you’re physically attracted to. You will be approached because they find you attractive, so you’re allowed to approach people you find attractive, too.
Always Carry Vex Money. I cannot stress this enough. You’re going out on a date, and you don’t have enough money to pay for yourself and your date? How are you convinced that they will not leave you and escape through the toilet window? “He can never do that to me!” Really? Even if they beg you to come out, ensure that your Piggyvest is robust enough to cater to your needs if anything sup. We will not hear stories that touch in Jesus’ name.
Have Interests Outside of your Relationship: I’m not only speaking for myself when I say that it is really attractive when people have things they are deeply passionate about outside of nurturing a romantic connection. I love it when the people I talk to are busy working and making money. I love when they can wax poetic about concepts I am unfamiliar with. I love to see their eyes shine and their hands gesticulate as they try to explain why they think stocks are a better investment than real estate. I love when people have endeavours and projects that give their lives meaning.
Not only does this make you a more interesting person to speak to and get to know, but it also reduces the chances of getting sick of each other. If all your joy and fulfilment comes from the existence of a person, it will introduce unnecessary pressures into the relationship. You don’t want someone that will suffocate you because they are always bored, or guilt trip you out of your passions. Being available all the time might be cute at first, but eventually, it gets tiring.
Go out. Will you find the love of your life on Netflix?
Have Nonnegotiables. The last thing you want is to be served just about anything. You need to know what you want and be ready to walk away when it is not on the menu. If you don’t like certain behaviors or habits, make it clear to the people you’re involved with that these are dealbreakers, and respect yourself enough to walk away from them if they break them, otherwise it will only get worse.
Beware of Lovebombers: Few things are as horrifying as getting involved with a lovebomber. They will make you open up about yourself, your dating history, and your “love languages,” figure out what your mumu button is, and unleash it to the power of 5. Do you like to eat? You will never go hungry again for those two weeks that they’re interested in you. Do you like money? Daily credit alerts “for being a fine babe”. Anything to make you do what you probably aren’t ready to do. Once they are bored, they will leave, and you will be left wondering whether they were possessed for them to act that way. I don’t know if there’s any solid formula for recognizing a love bomber, so just refer to number 5. If someone is not being consistent enough to meet your needs, leave.
Have Good Friends. Having good people around you will make you feel less lonely, and less likely to be manipulated by a person that was sent to you by your village people. Shey we’re all watching Sheggz and Bella’s relationship on BBN. He has cornered the poor babe, and now she’s alone and scared of leaving him because she will be lonely in the house. Have people that you can talk to when you feel unsure about things, have people you love being around, and who will be able to pinpoint when the person you’re speaking to is bad for you.
Don’t Let Anybody Use your Head to Mop the Floor. Pay attention to the red flags. If he tells you that he is manipulative, or he can be very “annoying sometimes” don’t laugh. It’s not cute.
Have Fun! To be honest, dating in your 20s should be full of adventure and fun. You should wake up in the morning, go to see art, get lunch, come back home, dance, play games, and make out. All these relationships where half of the time is spent crying and the other half is spent sending long text messages explaining “where you were coming from” are really not ideal. If you know that you have issues to deal with, deal with them. Leave toxic relationships for The Originals.
That’s all from me for this week’s newsletter.
This September I want to spend more time taking life one day at a time, because balance is a running theme for me this month. This means that I will pace myself and I will not stress about things I cannot control.
What about you? What ideas are you holding onto this month?
I’m not really consuming any new media at the moment apart from the ones I highlighted last week, and Asake’s new album. I have been sleeping like a goat, because my body needs it.
Sha stream Asake’s album for good health and sound mind.
Till next week.
Thanks for reading 20 Something! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.