Dating Down

Many twentysomethings do not take dating seriously. Dating is thought to be a time to have fun now and worry about marriage later. All the first dates and not serious relationships are practice for when you want to get serious. 

If dating in our twenties is just practice, why are we practicing bad habits that could stick?

You can be a very successful twentysomething, but still have a bad love life. You can have a career, control over your finances and a fancy apartment, but at the same time uphold a condensing life of self judgement and settling. A life that consists of a respected nine to five day job, but a booty call at night. Or an uneven relationship with a live-in partner who has no job and doesn’t pull his or her weight. Relationships can be hard work, but there is a certain level of respect and equality that should be met for both parties.

At any age anyone can fall into dating down. It can stem from what Dr. Meg Jay calls your “untold story” or settling. An untold story is like a story line in your head created from past conversations and experiences about yourself. It may depict how you view your love life and how you play a role in the dating field. Here is what Dr. Meg Jay has to say about untold stories…

“The power of these untold personal stories is that… they can loop silently in our minds without anyone, sometimes even ourselves, knowing about them. The stories are found hiding… in the gaps between what we plan to do and what we actually do, or between what happens and what we tell people about what happens.” ~The Defining Decade, Dr. Meg Jay (p. 108)

These untold stories need to be told and edited. Stories that aren’t shared are of shame and can eat away at you left unspoken. Let your untold stories out and create a new story. Let the past out and replace those stories with the new edited you. New stories of all your accomplishments and best qualities. Share stories that you are proud of, then you will see yourself becoming more proud of yourself. Editing your story will allow you to have the strength to recognize when you are settling and how to never settle again.

Once you treat yourself with respect, others will too. 

Think about what you want and need in a partner. Take the dates you do choose seriously. Find out what traits you like and dislike. Find out what qualities you want or need in a relationship. To create good dating habits we need to switch from being wanted to wanting. Take charge of your love life! Choose your partner, don’t like your partner choose you.

You’re next boyfriend or girlfriend could be your last.

*This post, quotes and this post series come from inspirations and lessons found in The Defining Decade and should be accredited to Dr. Meg Jay.*


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5 thoughts on “Dating Down

    • I’ll give you some advice I heard from someone who was going through a bad cycle of letting guys use her. She said that one day, out of no where she realized that she wasn’t being treated right and she deserved better. What helped her change her ways and stay strong was to make a list of what she wanted in a husband. She didn’t just list qualities like tall, dark and handsome though. She made a list of characteristics that would make a relationship last like what type of family she wanted, how he treated his mother and other women, if he was driven, things that she thought she would need from a man. If someone asked her out and he didn’t have anything from the list, she didn’t go out with him. She would read the list often to remind herself of what she really wanted and surrounded herself with friends that supported her.

      I hope this helps. If it doesn’t maybe my next post on love will help. It’s going to be on what type of person you should be dating and how to tell before its too late.

  1. This is an awesome post and you’re totally right. Dating in my twenties absolutely sucked. Once I started being honest with my partners up front – I found that men could be astoundingly honest. I saved myself a lot of heartache and preserved a lot of great friendships that I still have today. Had I not started respecting my end game, then a lot of these friends would have ended up being just another guy who “didn’t step up to the plate”.

    • Thank you for sharing how being up front saved a lot of friendships being ruined by heart break. I’m going to talk about the problem of waiting for a partner to “step up to the plate” in a later post, hopefully sometime next week. It will be included in my post on living with a significant other before marriage.

      I hope things are going well for you now and thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Should You Move In Together? | Ask The Young Professional

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