Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Relationships For TwentySomethings
If you had asked me five years ago what I would be doing right now, I would tell you I would be engaged, living in a great apartment with my future husband, and at the beginning of a great career.
Instead, I'm living at home with my parents, I was laid off and unsure if my career will ever really start up again, and my current relationship is anything but serious. The only thing that bothers me about any of the above statements is that I'm not in a serious relationship.
Is this a bad thing?
Part of me wants a serious relationship so bad that I've started to sound like a selfish child throwing a tantrum every time my significant other can't make it out to dinner with me or goes a weekend without visiting. As a twentysomething woman, I've grown up on icons like Carrie Bradshaw where casual relationships are a good thing and I should only ever want to be an independent woman.
But I've been in serious relationships since I was 14. I dated my high school sweetheart for nearly five years. The second guy was in the picture right after the break-up, and he was around for three years. Now the current relationship I'm in also happened right after the second guy, but it's been six months and we're in the same spot we were since our third date.
With me leaving for Vietnam, I doubt that a serious relationship is what I need. I never thought of myself as the kind of girl who needed a guy by her side, but my track record says differently. The thing is, I really was in love for both relationships so I won't even take any of it back.
But am I stuck in this notion that I need a serious relationship to define myself? I've been pushing to get more serious the third time around, but why?
Maybe I'm a hopeless romantic. Maybe I'm trying to cover up years of heart ache. Or maybe I'm afraid that if I don't find my true love in my twentysomethings than I'll never find it.
Either way, I think there's a lot of pressure at this age. Pressure to fall in love, get married, settle down, start a career, gain independence. It's a decade of learning some hard lessons. And maybe having someone there by your side makes all of it hurt a lot less.
But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So for now I'll stick with my "casual" relationship and take things day by day as I venture out on this journey known as your twenties. Except instead of fearing more heart ache, I fear that I'll only grow to be more jaded than before and less likely to ever really love again.