Monday, April 23, 2012
Dating In Your Twenties; A Decade Of Figuring It Out.
"Girls" is that show that had all that buzz around it. The show on HBO about single ladies living in New York. The show people were comparing to "Sex and the City" which I think is unfair. It's a show written by Lena Dunham, a woman in her twenties, about women in their twenties. Big difference.
I'll have to check it out before making any comments (I've read the complaints about the lack of diversity) but thinking about the premise of the show had me thinking about me and my friends, most of us single, in our twenties, living all over the place.
A while back, my sister Yemi and one of our mutual besties Viviam were having a bit of a tiff. It was more of a misunderstanding; Yemi thought Viv was becoming a bit boy crazy and Viv thought Yemi was being insensitive.
I was called by each of them, listened as both ladies made valid points.
Yes, as her friend, my sister should be more supportive. But as Yemi pointed out she "couldn't relate to all the boy drama". And that was the problem.
See, Yemi has not had the always amazing, confidence boosting pleasure of dating in her twenties. She met her fiance when she was 20. There's a whole world out there that she will never experience.
So to her, Viv and I (because I too have called her with the drama) were a little pathetic. She would NEVER say it but I know my sister. She's that girl. The girl who was incredibly blessed with a great guy and a healthy relationship early in life and is looking down at the rest of us with non-malicious pity.
But that's okay with me. I didn't do much of anything as a teenager so I'm due for a few f*ck ups. I'm also a writer who thrives on experiences and dating in your twenties is definitely an experience.
When you're a teen, there's often an awkwardness, an uncertainty about everything. So when you date mistakes, it's unfortunate but can at least be chalked up to a learning experience. When you're in your twenties, you may not be the wisest of the bunch but you should know better. Which makes the mistakes so much more embarrassing. The knowing that something is wrong/bad for you and going ahead and doing it any way, fully aware of your actions, unable to hide behind naivete.
There's also the pressure; both Viv and I are constantly being asked why we haven't found a proper boyfriend to seriously date and ultimately marry. Is this a cultural thing (Viv's Peruvian-American, I'm Nigerian-American)? Because gone are the days of just dating for the hell of it. Each guy we date is potentially our husbands to our families and we're both only 26.
Also there's the ick factor. Looking back at the mistakes of my teens, I can laugh it off like "I can't believe I spent so much time on that loser" . But the mistakes of my twenties make me cringe. Viv and I spent a good two hours comparing notes on the symptoms we experience when even thinking of some of our mistakes: slight nausea, shudders and a mixture of shame, mortification and disgust. A wave of "I can't believe I let him touch me" grossed-outness washes over us at the mere thought of certain mistakes. Then the question of why. Why oh why oh why?
I guess it's because dating in your twenties is all about figuring it out. We know what's wrong and what's right but we have to be sure it's wrong or right for us so we go ahead and test the waters. It's about growing up, getting over the uncertainty of our teens, learning not to apologize for figuring out what we want.
It's mostly bullshit but so is everything else in life.