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Opinion: Dating changes with age

By Savannah Christian & James Bright
On March 24, 2011

Dating in your early 20's

Dating is, in a word, exhausting.  College seems to be a time for young adults to leave home, "find themselves" and, for whatever reason, sleep with anyone they can get their hands on.  Well, at least this is the popular trend I have observed in my college experience. 

Dating throughout the 18-21 age range is, in most cases, essentially not about dating at all.  It is a sick, twisted, mind-boggling game that neither person involved in the "relationship" understands.  It is countless nights in the throws of passion followed by hideous fights fueled by jealousy where jealousy has no place, because there is no required loyalty or commitment in a more or less fake relationship. 

Now, there will always be the mature-for-their-age people who can actually put some promise into their relationship, but the majority of that kind of lovin' won't be seen until the 23-25 age range. 

I have never understood the youth of America's desire to pollute the dating world with their sorry excuses for relationships.  If you choose to be promiscuous, that's awesome; have at it.  But don't try to make your endeavors out to be innocent acts by saying they were with your boyfriend or girlfriend, because when you figure out life and grow up, it won't matter who you did what with at that frat party. 

Dating in the early 20s is simply just a joke.  Maturity, intelligence, responsibility, goals; none of this matters when looking for a potential partner at this point in one's life.  Good looks, a cool car and a lot of the parent's money – now that is something to really hold on to.  Even most of those who are in actual relationships end up breaking up for something better, something they think might be better, or something that is completely unexplainable.  So, if you can handle it, dive into the adult life and find the one for you.  And, if you can't, try to refrain from totally ruining your reputation… or don't.  I really don't care. 

At the end of the day, kudos to those who weather the storm, and best wishes to the people who finally mature into true relationship material at 23, if they're lucky.

Dating in your mid-to-late 20's

About a year ago I wrote a piece complaining and whining about my age. I dreaded turning 24 for one reason; to me, it meant I was no longer young. My early 20s were a time of adventure and reckless abandon. At 24 I felt like those times were over.

Over the year I have grown accustomed to my designation of mid-20s, and at 25 I've even started to enjoy it. With graduation looming in the near feature and my Christmas wish of a job answered, there is just one more facet of this new life I've yet to grasp.

Dating in this age group is supremely different than any other I have experienced. I was in a serious relationship for four years and it was ended – not by my choice – two years ago. After about a year of pining and less then reputable behavior, I decided to get back on the dating horse, but I was quickly thrown from the ride. The dating world is so different then it was when I was 19.

It seems in order to date a girl in her mid-twenties the first thing you need is a place to call your own. Unfortunately the top floor of my parent's house doesn't seem to count. I'm still in college, so I'm penny pinching with the best of them. That means no place of my own.

Financial independence and stability are also important factors. I'm by no means destitute, but I've got to be careful about where and when I go out. I used to be able to keep my first dates under $10. Not the case anymore.

I've noticed a change in my priorities as well. Finishing up school and working hard at a new place of employment have taken precedence over dating. This has resulted in me canceling a slew of dates and being virtually unable to date someone younger than 23. The priorities just aren't the same.

With all this in mind I've returned to suspending dating until I've successfully moved out and reached an acceptable level of respect at my new job. By that time I should be 27, and I'm sure dating in my late 20s will be much easier than it was in the mid. At least I hope so. 

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