Dating through high school and college is one of the most challenging experiences. These periods mark the beginnings of love, trust, sex and heartbreak that shape the way your future-self deals with relationships for years to come.
You’re finally out of school with your new adult job, and things are going great, but there are no romantic prospects in sight. What happened?
There are many emotional and situational difficulties in finding a mate as you get older. Not only has the world changed since you took a break from the dating world, but your priorities have changed, and now it seems like you’re destined to be single forever.
We’re looking at 5 reasons dating gets harder from 20 onward, and what you can do about it!
1. You’ve become set in your ways
It’s true. The older we get, the more stubborn we become about what we do and do not like. Working through college-age relationships, while frustrating and sometimes emotionally crippling, also taught you exactly what you’re looking for in a mate, as well as all those little flaws you’re simply too old and too wise to put up with now.
However, it also causes you to become slightly jaded and less open to new types of people. Like it or not, you’ve become “old” and set in your ways, and not even Mr. Right can seem to break your stance.
2. You have more emotional baggage
When you’re a teenager, you feel like your whole life is ahead of you. Love is blissful, life is free, people are genuine, and you have all the naivety in the world. It’s that same naivety that gives you the balls to trust in love and continue putting yourself through relationship torture for years and years. It is also during this time in our lives that we begin to develop emotional baggage.
Suddenly the way our first love hurt us sets the pattern for how we handle future relationships. By the time we’ve hit our mid-20s, 30s and 40s, our emotional and physical baggage only grows, and if you’re dating within your age range, then that would mean your potential partner has some baggage of their own, creating a sticky situation for your future relationship.
3. It’s way harder to meet people
Ironically, once you’ve matured and feel like you’re finally ready for a serious relationship, there seems to be no avenue to find one! Once you’re outside of high school and college, your dating pool seems to shrink drastically.
The simplicity of taking a chance with that cute girl in class has now turned into you trolling the gym or your workplace for someone to date. This only gets harder as you get older, as you’re not exactly keen to go clubbing for potential partners when you have a 7AM meeting.
4. You’ve gotten too used to casual dating
On the flip side, perhaps you’ve spent a little *too* much time in the dating world, and not enough time in the world of relationships to remember how to do it. As silly as it sounds, sometimes jumping into a relationship isn’t as easy as riding a bike, if you haven’t done it for a while.
5. It’s harder to meet someone with your goals
The fabulous thing about getting older is that you only become surer of what you want out of life. The only bad side? It becomes harder to meet someone who shares your life goals after college, especially when life becomes tangled with demanding jobs, children from a previous relationship, ex-wives and husbands, and other familial obligations.