Remember your first boyfriend? Not just the boy who chased you around the playground and your mom who constantly reminded you that he’s not your boyfriend, he’s just a friend of yours that happens to be a boy. Because what 8-year-old could have a real boyfriend, right?
No, I’m talking about your first real boyfriend, maybe it was high school, maybe it was college, regardless, close your eyes and soak in those memories for just a minute… the butterflies, the nerves you got when he first held your hand, or how your lips felt numb as you waited for him to first kiss you. Do you remember? All those feels and flutters mustered together could make us queasy all over again. Or not, depending on how who your first real relationship was with, maybe the bad outweighed the good, which is why you didn’t end up with him the first place. I’m just talking about the good times though, all those “firsts” of dating and being in a relationship. Those good memories that made it all worth it. When dating just to date was easy, it was fun, there wasn’t much stress or pressure on the relationship, because you were young. It was okay to take things slow and get to know one another.
Now let’s shift gears, dating in our 20’s. Sure in those first few years dating to date still works. You have a lot of figuring out to do with yourself and deciding your “type”. It all starts with what do you find attractive? Short guys or tall guys or do you like brunettes or blondes? Then you get a little deeper into their characteristics, they must like dogs, are they smart, are they funny, etc. Then we start taking things a step further like are they a Christian or Catholic, what are their beliefs, which way does their moral compass point, do they want to get married, are the open to having children? Scary how our concerns can change so quickly. We go from wanting to make sure they like butter on their popcorn to what if they only want one kid and I want three, can we compromise?
At what point does it all start to be “a little more serious” the relationships you are in are no long “puppy love” or “just seeing what you like” they are real. They have the potential to be lasting, like as in a marriage, kids, and growing old together. 20 seems too young to possibly be ready for that move, but some are! People like to say “when you know you know right?” I am here to tell you, I was not a “when you know you know” person. I was the opposite, I questioned everything. I had the cute puppy dog love high school relationship. Then I had the few in between flings of testing my taste, who am I, what do I want, what do I like. I could have done without a few of those flings, however, it brought me to my husband. And during our 4-year dating relationship I questioned so many parts of it before I came to the conclusion, please be mine forever. I was scared, I often thought I was too young to know. I married at 25 by the way, and start dating my husband at 21 (during those on again off again moments) it scared the pants off me that he could be the one. So I often ran away, did something to piss him off so he would run away. Doesn’t make much sense to fight “true love” right? But that was the immaturity in me. It took me longer than others to get to the point that I was ready for my ever after, but I got there. I am beyond blessed to have a man that stayed by my side during my 20 questions. I guess you could say he was more mature than me during this time because he knew he loved me and I was the one he wanted to be with. It amazes me that in our 20’s we can make these life-changing decisions like marriage. In just a few short years you can meet a guy in your 20’s and also marry him also in your 20’s. What a decade!