There’s a misconception that all twenty-somethings have when it comes to love, and that’s the notion that it gets easier. We’re adults now, we think, far too optimistically. And yes, we might have fewer spots, our own place and possibly a company expense account (if you are incredibly lucky), but the one thing that still refuses to fall into place are those still dreadful affairs of the heart.
For those of you happily coupled people reading this… well, you’re probably not even bothering because it doesn’t hit home with you lovebirds. The rest are reading this with scepticism, because you’re still holding on to the hope that love in your twenties must get easier because of maturity, actually having money for a romantic get-away, etc. and I’m not saying those things can’t and won’t happen. Just that the process of getting there is still as tummy tingling and cheek burningly embarrassing as it always has been (unfortunately). It goes a little something like this:
The First Meeting
The expectation: sees cute guy in coffee shop/bar/at party and asks for introduction and/or smiles until he comes over to say hello
The reality: sees cute guy in coffee shop/bar/at party and immediately panics and asks everyone in immediate vicinity if he’s single and if her skirt is tucked into her knickers
The First Move
The expectation: gets number from guy/friend of guy, sends one slightly flirty and funny text and guy responds immediately with dinner invite and smiley face
The reality: gets number from guy/friend of guy, sends one overly flirty and not that funny text and gets response two days later of ‘who is this?’
The First Date
The expectation: an all-night marathon of drinks and laughter, long lingering looks, hand-holding and suggestive thigh brushing
The reality: a plethora of awkward silences, strange thumb stroking and the eventual decision to split the bill
The expectation: a cute text reading ‘miss you already’ the moment you’ve said goodbye, followed by flowers the next morning, an engagement ring and a long and fulfilling marriage
The reality: a mildly nice text a few days later expressing vague interest in seeing you again and an uncertain, unpredictable future
Okay, so definitely no fairy tale endings smelling of roses just because you are in your twenties. Love is just as mixed up and confusing as it is in your teens, except now you can legally drink the heartbreak away (hallelujah). But how do we get through it, you ask? Well, keep balancing expectation with reality. Keep doodling his name on scrap bits of paper, making up situations just to see him and asking everyone if he ‘likes’ you or ‘like likes’ you. Just remember to prove that you understand taxes and those important bits too. Being an adult doesn’t mean you have to stop crushing with all your might on someone who seems made for you. Because the truth is, they might well be.