Dating in your 20s is interesting to say the least. You’re learning yourself while also learning other people. But this learning journey is ever changing as we all navigate the highs and lows that come with young adulthood. Before I met Daniel I was convinced my first serious long term relationship wouldn't be until I entered my late 20s; being more established and having a better sense of myself and what I want and need from a relationship. Within the past year I’ve learned a long term relationship in your early 20s is possible under the swap of dead end talking stages, tinder profiles, and 3AM text. Here are 4 tips I’ve found extremely helpful to create a successful relationship in my 20s.
It starts with you
A successful relationship in your 20s starts with knowing what you want from a partner. The biggest mistake we make going into relationships is thinking that you can change a person. You cannot groom someone to have the qualities you want and need in a partner. And by no means is this me telling you to lower your standards. Embrace them and stick to them. You want someone who plans dates to take you on? Someone who buys you flowers frequently? Picks you up from work? Do. Not. Settle! You are worthy of a partner who has the qualities you want and will only set yourself up for disappointment waiting for someone else to develop them.
Make your intentions clear
Feelings can be a complicated subject. Save yourself the confusion (and time!) by making your intentions clear from the beginning. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to set a label and be exclusive from the first date, but show some transparency. Beating around the bush from the beginning only extends a long awaited conversation that you guys are ultimately not compatible. When Dan and I started dating we made it clear by our third date that we were interested in each other and looking forward to seeing where our future dates lead us to. In my case this was the ideal situation for me but if I would’ve received a response that he was interested in seeing multiple people; I still would’ve been satisfied with the response. It would’ve been honest and gave me an opportunity to make a decision early on if I wanted to continue seeing him.
Learn how to argue healthily
Arguments in a relationship aren’t a matter of if but when. Arguments are inevitable but learning how to work through problems in a productive way will ultimately strengthen a relationship. The best piece of relationship advice I’ve ever received is instead of tackling issues as you vs your partner to look at it as you and your partner vs the issue. The two of you are a team and handling problems in the relationship requires teamwork instead of singling out one as the sole problem.
Remember it's not a race or a show
Setting the pace and norms of your relationship should be based on what you and your partner need, not what society or social media wants. Every relationship is different and works differently to be healthy and successful. If there’s something you enjoy sharing on social media about your relationship, share it! But if people don’t understand you and your partner's dynamic or why you choose to do things a certain way, it was never their relationship to understand in the first place. Don’t be discouraged by other peoples relationships that seem to be progressing faster or hitting major milestones you hope to reach one day too. Applying pressure in your relationship to keep up with everyone else’s will only put a strain between you and your partner.