You might not be a seasoned pro, but you know how to play dress up. Dating as a 20-something can be low-key, wild, fast or fun. Here’s a little inspiration.
Dating as a 20-something is pretty difficult – it’s confusing and most of us don’t really know what part we play in the whole scenario.
Chivalry is thankfully not dead, but (perhaps) becoming a bit of a lost art, and there are apps like Tinder which make it that much harder to find someone looking for a lasting relationship, because nobody really needs to. There are people to call at 2 a.m. and fun to be had and friends for conversation.
But then we all go home; and eventually there’s a feeling that we want a little more.
At least someone to spend a little time with.
Most of us—should we be driven individuals—spend a good amount of time working, which leaves dating to the last minute. And if you’re like me, often into strange nights of the week and weird hours. I work at a bar, so I can either go out on weekdays or really late on weekends. It’s not ideal. So, let’s make the most of the time we do have for seeing significant others or potential lovers, shall we?
The First Date:
A friend once told me a bottle of wine makes the best first date. I wasn’t completely sure; I mean, that’s about four glasses of wine. Then I realized pacing yourself is a thing, and quickly warmed to the idea. The logic is, that’s two glasses of wine per person. It’s not a big commitment of time and not too much alcohol for a Tuesday. If things go well, it’s an easy transition into dinner or another glass. If things go horribly, no one’s out too much money and some of your evening is remains salvageable.
If you’re not into drinking, coffee is always a good option. You’re still sipping—which allows for conversation—but you’re not eating, so there’s less opportunity for embarrassingly (accidentally) ordering a salad (the worst date food ever, in my opinion) or spilling something on your white shirt. It’s an easy transition and also an easy out, as well.
I still love both of these ideas later in a relationship. They’re easily tailorable to any night of the week and make a good catch up session with your significant other.
A Few Months Later:
Traditionally, the first big weekend trip is how many define a relationship. Romantic comedies and television shows often use it as a marker for whether a relationship is progressing normally. The problem is, I don’t know when the last time I had three days without prior commitments or the budget to leave for three days. So, I like to take day trips. Pick a place a few hours away and a few destinations along the way, and make a day of things. With warmer weather on its way (hopefully sooner rather than later) there’s an endless array of things to do—hikes, national parks, tourist spots, brewery/distillery tours. The options are endless.
If you’re not into leaving town for whatever reason, find some activities close by that you haven’t tried—maybe a new indoor rock climbing place or the hiking trail you haven’t trekked. It’s always interesting in new relationships to be in different scenarios with someone to observe how they’ll react. It helps you see how compatible you are, and also helps you get to know one another.
Even Later On:
Truthfully, it’s been awhile since I’ve been in a long-term relationship, but I do remember they take a little work. It’s easy to get into a bit of a rut and forget to have fun—there’s laundry to be done, bills to be paid and a life to establish. But people are fluid; we evolve and change. Remember to continue to get to know one another. Take one day or night of the week and do things that are fun as a couple—take a cooking class, learn how to make mozzarella, train for a marathon—an interest you both share. But make sure it’s a priority and not a “maybe.”
I suppose one other thing I must make note of is, as a 20-something, please ask your date out prior to three hours before you want to see them. Maybe even a day or two! I am not going to say follow all the arbitrary rules our society made up for dating—like call before Wednesday for a date this weekend—but do not ask on Friday afternoon to go to dinner on Friday night.
Put just a little bit of thought into things. Better yet, put some actual thought into things! We’ve all gotten so self-involved that we forget other people have schedules, commitments, friends (their own lives).
The quickest way to lose anyone’s attention is to act like you matter more than them. Yes, the things going on in your life are important, but so are theirs. As a society, we’re working so hard to make sure we’re all equals, that we’re all on a level playing field. I know this contradicts chivalry in a lot of ways, but shouldn’t we take some of those principles with us? Like consideration. No matter what stage of a relationship you’re in, will go a long way.[image: via flickr]